EL34 Combos and MV

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by douglaswarren, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. douglaswarren

    douglaswarren Member

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    first post, long time lurker

    just recently started to find my own sound on guitar and what really clicks. I play in Nashville and and have been doing the Fender amp thing for a while due to recommendation and they’re all over the boutique stores and clubs but over time realized I’m a tried and true Marshall kinda dude. Love the sound of a British EL34 stack and most comfortable playing with that tone. Got a Kemper for gigging and studio and love the freaking thing and it’s helped me figure out more and more the tones and amps I enjoy. I’ve been looking at Bogner EL34 amps, Marshall Silver Jubilee, or other Marshall style JCM800 EL34 amps. I really want a combo for portability and space reasons. I’ve narrowed it down to the Marshall 2525c and Bogner Shiva EL34 combo. Price difference used is about $300-500. Problem is, even in Nashville, both these amps aren’t easily available to try out. I know the Bogner is 80w and 70lbs vs the Marshall 20w and 40lbs. At the end of the day, my main concern is which one id enjoy playing the most. And the master volume is the deciding factor. I want a nice warm sound at practice volumes. I know all amps I’ve ever played sound awesome cranked but still, I’ve heard some amazing quiet sounds out of high end 100w heads (SLO comes to mind) but out of these two combos, which one sounds best at casual practice/bedroom volumes? And if you have another combo suggestion, let me know. Thanks
     
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  2. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Member

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    IMHO the Bogner Shiva 112 Reverb Combo.

    It is a great all round Amp that offers plenty re Cleans, Drive, Quality build & great tone.

    Put the right NOS Tubes in & it gets even better.

    MV is great too.

    Good luck.

    :beer
     
  3. AlanH

    AlanH Member

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    Don't rule out the new 20W Studio amps by Marshall. The Studio Classic is a JCM800 type and the Vintage is a Plexi type.
     
  4. Christopher Sullivan

    Christopher Sullivan Member

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    JCM800 combos sound great imo or a blues breaker reissue

    Edit: didn’t read before you needed the MV for practice volumes. Neither of the amps I suggested are going to do too well at home.
     
  5. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Bogner definitely. They have great master volumes.
     
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  6. Produktsumme

    Produktsumme Member

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    For my taste it would be the Shiva 112. Smoother, more refined, more bassy than a Jube. The Jube is simply more old school, the Shiva a little more modern.
     
  7. JCantrell

    JCantrell Member

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    I think a small head and 1x12 or 2x12 cab is far more portable than a heavier combo. No bigger footprint either. I don't think you should limit yourself to just EL34s either. There are some great small EL84 amps out there. Bogner Atma/XTC 25, Friedman PT/Runt 20/JJ Jr. Ceriatone 2202 (6v6) could be another to consider, they also do a 2525 clone.

    Out of the 2525 and Shiva I think the Shiva would be a far superior amp.
     
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  8. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    The Bogner sounds best out of those IMO, but as a combo, its very heavy. The weight comes with a price and build quality of course. You might also want to check out the Mesa TC-50 combo, it comes stock with EL-34s and get can get into these sounds as well.
     
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  9. zwiefldraader

    zwiefldraader Member

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    Adding a decent PPIMV isn't that much of work for a good tech. I got my MV added for way below 50$ here in Germany. I bet in Nashville they can use their soldering irons too ;)
    Just get the amp you like best and a good tech and be done.
    Keep eyes open for H&K Puretone. You'd be surprised.
     
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  10. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    Your best bet is to try both at the volume you're most concerned about.

    Most tube amps need some help to get the saturated sound of a pushed amp at lower volumes - pedals work for me - but some form of electronic trickery may be needed. I have a 2555X - big brother to the 2525 - that only needs delay to sound good at low volume.

    Russ
     
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  11. theRagman

    theRagman Gold Supporting Member

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    Ultimately, the one that sounds right to you will be the one to go with. That being said, if you’re planning on gigging it, the Bogner will have two very usable channels (as opposed to the weird channel switching on the Jube) plus a variable volume boost. It will also have plenty of headroom, should you need it, and the master is quite good. It will also be a hell of a lot heavier.

    Full disclosure: I gigged an EL34 Shiva for about ten years. I had a 50 watt Silver Jubilee for about ten days before getting rid of it. So I’m not really unbiased...
     
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  12. douglaswarren

    douglaswarren Member

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    The weight does concern me a bit for the few times I do decide to gig out with it, but some casters can help with that, as well as side handles, and I’m used to using a dolly to haul gear downtown. I guess I like the idea of it being one piece. And I forgot to mention, I like the closed back design of the Shiva and the 90% closed back of the 2525c. But great suggestion with the TC-50. Gonna look more into it.

    Haha yes, I do believe I could get some custom work done on amps pretty easily here in Nashville. Working in this town has its perks. I’ve had a great convo with Jeff Hime, anything that can be done with an amp, that guy can do it.
    Although, I’d like to avoid any custom work if necessary.
     
  13. douglaswarren

    douglaswarren Member

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    Those are awesome. I really do love a big opened up Silver Jub. But.... soooo loud. Analog Delay into the loop or front end? I know the loop can really alter the sound at all volumes on some amps more than others, not necessarily in a good way. I have read on here that can be an issue with the Shiva actually. EDIT: seems that was just the 1st gen silverback Shiva
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  14. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    Yeah, the TC-50 comes with casters out of the box so its not so bad to move around. I'm guessing the Bogner does as well but I haven't looked into it. I have the TC-50 head since its only 35 pounds and for me it does the British voiced EL-34 sounds really well on channel 2 but also crosses into some American voices and Mesa sounds on channel 3. Its easy to dial in. The 2525C is actually a pretty nice sounding amp, I think the biggest drawback with it for most is the build quality. I have read some reports as well about some effects loop problem cause of the plastic input jacks, don't know if it holds true or if it was fixed.
     
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  15. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I have been playing for 62 years so far in bands.
    Last year, I bought a 2525H and use it with a Marshall 1912. I have no problem at all setting up the head for use as a 2 channel amp, plus I have a Line 6 HXFX in the loop.
    The combo is 2525C is light weight, but you need to know how loud you will need it to go for most situations.

    While I understand that you want a combo, just to let you know, Matrix makes a 1x12 and a 2x12 cab loaded with neo-magnet speakers and built of Italian poplar, which is extremely light weight. My NL-12 Matrix 1x12 weighs 16 pounds, which is half the weight of my Marshall 1912 1x12 cab.

    You might also consider a Brunetti Pleximan, which has a loud 5 watt setting and a 50 watt setting, and goes from absolutely clean on one channel to JCM 800 dirt on the second channel with a built in ft switchable boost that has a dial for the amount of boost you want on the amp, and several other really good features. The head is lighter in weight then a Marshall 2525H. The Brunetti weighs 18 pounds and is small and compact. This amp was designed as a 21st Century version of the Marshall Plexi, but with many upgrades, and a flexible set of usable features.
     
  16. tbonesullivan

    tbonesullivan Member

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    I would maybe look for something smaller than 50 watts, which of course means you may need to look for something with EL84s instead of EL34s. Even 40-50 watts is still really loud, and most of the "British" style amplifiers are designed to take advantage of cone breakup and the power amplifier saturation.

    The TC-50 from mesa, as others have mentioned, may be a good option. But the Shiva also is. I unfortunately can't speak for either of those, but all of my Mesa Amplifiers have had great overall master volumes, something that Marshalls are not known for. My experience with Marshalls is that they are LOUD, and go from 1 to 10 before you hit 2 on the volume knob.
     
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  17. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    Shiva.

    And for the record the circuit is more important than the power tube.
    If you stuck 6L6's in a 50 watt marshall and set the impedance right I doubt you could tell.

    People spend way too much time obsessing about the power tube compliment. It's the circuit.
     
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  18. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Matchless Chieftain if you have the coin. For you I’d probably do the Bogner.
     
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  19. zwiefldraader

    zwiefldraader Member

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    It does it a bit of justice, though only played up to nine or ten o'clock on the dial.
    It was available as a 112 combo amp with British V30 as well and has a built-in Power Soak. But a PPIMV serves it better.
    40w.
     
  20. Vanyu

    Vanyu Member

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    Marshall 4104 or 4210 would get my vote. I've always thought the pre phase MV lent itself quite nicely to lower volumes, though nothing beats cranking these puppies up... There's so many different ways to tame these bad boys, any tech worth a damn will have no problem putting some neighbor provisions in the amp. My personal favorite is a single ended switch that grounds one of the P.I. grids. Super easy to do, I'll usually do this mod alongside a PPIMV using a push pull pot.
     
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