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Marshall 1974X vs 2061X

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by trisonic, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Someone (who shall be nameless) asked me today - What is the difference, tonally, between the 18 watt and the 20 watt Marshall?
    Buggered if I know - it's been decades since I played an 18 watter and don't ever recall playing the 20 watter.

    I know what the physical differences are but what are the differences in tone between them?

    And another thing can anyone find these amps on the Marshall website??

    Thanks,

    Best, Pete.
     
  2. Hoady Snitch

    Hoady Snitch Guest

    Another forum has a sound bite-demo of the two of them at a
    recent namm event,.....the 2061 is more aggressive in that it has
    the ss rectifier as oposed to the 1974x tube rectif.
    e mail me or pm and I'll give ya the site details.
    I'm planing on getting the 2061 1st, (early spring)
    and using it A/B with my 1970 deluxe reverb.
    to cover some tonal ground.
    But 1st I gotta get an attenuator to calm down my mars 1972 50w 1986b that just got home from the shop.(suggestions?)
    GONNA be a busy year.:)
     
  3. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    I know nothing about the RI's, but the original 18 watters have more gain, more 'about to explode' great old marshall tone. The 20 watter just sounded lame next to it, though it might be better for country. The trem on the 18 watter can be a pain.
    Put another way, the 18 watter sustains, howls and responds like crazy, while the 20 watter sounds shrill and two dimesnional. Before i got an 18 watter to compare with the 20 watter, i thought it was a good amp.
    I'm a bit confused about how close to the originals the RI's are, as i'm hearing that the 20 watter rocks a bit harder than the 18, which is't my experience at all.
     
  4. mrmojorisin

    mrmojorisin Member

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    You're right on the money man.

    The original 18 was much more lively than the original 20.

    But in these new re-issues the 20 has a bit more gain and volume than the 18. Nonetheless, when I heard these demo'ed at NAMM I preferred (surprise, surprise) the 18. It really sounded magical. I think the Celestion custom shop re-issue speakers had a bit to do with this...re-issue of teh original 20 watter.

    Now, at NAMM they were running the 20 watt head through a 2x12 with the Celestion Custom shop re-issues of the 55 hz G12H-30. Maybe this explains why the 20 was sounding more agressive than the 18?


    Carl
     
  5. AndreasG

    AndreasG Member

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    Both are great amps, and if you love both, you might consider the Cornell Plexi18/20, a head that comines both amps (tube and ss rectifier), and even goes down to 5 Watt. Is considered to be one of the best Marshall clones out there. Plus, Cornell builds amps for Eric Clapton....

    As far as Attenuator for a 72 50 Watter, go with a Hotplate. I use mine with a 73 50 Watter, and it really is a great improvement over using multiple overdrives/dist. boxes.
     
  6. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    Hoady,
    Please enable emails and PM in your profile. No one can email or PM you until you:

    Click on the "user cp" button under "The Gear Page" in the upper right hand corner of the page.

    Then click on the "Edit Profile" button to make sure you've entered your email address.

    Finally, click on the "Edit Options" button to set:

    Hide Email Address? Choose no
    Enable Private Messaging? Choose yes

    Until you do these things, we can't email you or PM you.


    Or just email me the link to the forum where the clips are located and I'll post it.

    Thanks!
     
  7. loverocker

    loverocker Member

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    I'm also a bit confused about the reviews on the Reissues saying the 20Wer was more aggressive.

    I have a '71 20Wer and a buddy recently brought over his original 20W plexi and his own 18W clone. Although there's a similar amount of gain in them, the 18Wer's tone just had more body and was a lot more rewarding to play (this was with no pedals - just a LPalike and amp).

    Of course, there are many variables that could account for the difference, but it was immediately very clear to both of us. So I'm left wondering about those magazine reviews... :confused:
     
  8. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Yeah, I know all about Mr. Cornell!

    I'm trying to find out in answer to a question what the difference tonally is between the 1974 vs 2061.

    It seems to be confusing right now!

    Best, Pete.
     
  9. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Pete,

    It seems to be a little hard to get folks' attention today, with the Dr Z thread now going to 10 or 11 pages. In answer to your question:

    I've played both the 74x and the 61x reissues. I used to own an old 20-watter.

    Tone differences between the RIs:

    - The 74x has a complex, swirling chime to it. I kept thinking, Vox. With the tremelo going, I thought "small Fender." Won't stay clean for long with humbuckers ... but that's OK too!

    - my original review is posted below.

    - the 61x is a more straight-ahead, grunting rock amp. Old-skool Marshall roar, but at sane volumes. Less subtlety, more direct, fewer overtones, less air.

    - I played the 61x through its matching new/RI 2x12 cab and thought, Yeah, that's it. That's the package. This is my old '73 Lead and Bass 20, all right, with a good crunch at decent volume levels.

    Both are very sensible and practical amps, albeit expensive. You get the goodies at lower volumes.

    Kiwi

    ~~~ my original 18w RI review from 2004 ~~~~~~

    Went over to a friend's house last night to welcome the arrival of his new baby, the handwired reissue 18 watter from Marshall. His is serial number 01 of only 40 made for GC.

    It's physically quite handsome, all clean and neat, ruler-straight piping, with attention paid to cabinet finishing. I sometimes forget what an elegant design those old Marshall combos had. This one's a 1x12 combo, with (I believe) a Celestion G12M in it.

    I used to own a vintage 1973 Lead & Bass 20, which is also being reissued. I'd heard the 18-watters were quite different sounding, though, and that's correct.

    The 18w is surprisingly chimey and sweet, more toward the Vox sound. With the tremolo going, it gives the impression of a baby Fender (probably because the sound of a tremolo amp just automatically conjures an image of old Fenders for me!) - yes, it's complex and swirly.

    The 18w doesn't stay clean for long, and with low-output humbuckers (PRS Hollowbody II) it reached a sweet growl fairly fast. It reproduced the PRS ring and zing, and (this is important to me) I heard the air in the guitar's tone. That's a good amp, in my book.

    The old L&B 20 was voiced as a baby Plexi, old skool Marshall sound, driven by a SS rectifier and not terribly complex in tone, but it sure sounded like rock. Or rawk, or raucous. It didn't reproduce the air in the HB-II's tone nearly as well as, say, a Carmen Ghia does.

    This 18w struck me as more soft and Vox-y, with an interesting jangle factor I wasn't expecting. I'm a sucka-fool for jangle. We were not able to dime it (it was getting late).

    The 18w is not as powerful or as steely/brilliant as a Bad Cat Cub, another contender in the 1x12, 2xEL84 arena. We played that one last night, too. The Bad Cat takes the jangle thing way further than the 18watter, and you think, 'that Cub is the Matchless voicing, taken a step further.' Very modern-sounding.

    The 18w has its own thing going on. It's still on the Marshall side, still very 1960s.
     
  10. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Thanks, Kiwi! I'll pass your answer along....

    I don't think I ever played one of the 20 Watters originally; they sound very interesting - just straight forward, no tremelo?

    Best, Pete.
     
  11. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Pretty much. The 20w has a SS rectifier, no trem circuit. A quicker attack than the 18w RI I played.

    I think they're both good amps, it just depends on what you want. Conventional Internet Wisdom (CIW) is that the 20w is a kludge compared to the 18w.

    I'd modify that to say that one of them went to charm school and one of them didn't.

    It's great to have choice between an amp you can take home to meet Mama (and later go get a little dirty with), and ... an amp to just go play rock and blues with. Depends on your needs and purposes.

    Kiwi
     
  12. Bigtone

    Bigtone Member

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    Kiwi is quite correct, I have an original 70 Lead 20, If you jump the channels and Dime everything
    its a very Classic Marshall Voice, less gain than the 50 Watters,and Less Chime and Sparkle than the 18 Watters, Which Also have more Gain,
    The cool thing IMHO about the 20 Watter is its
    very round sounding, very Warm, ZERO Shrillness,
    Mine likes strong Single Coils, or weak Humbuckers, and doesn't like alot of help from PU's in the Midrange department, It takes boosts really well and stays tight with the pedal in front, even with the pedal giving it alot of gain,
    Lots of thick mids, Bigtone
     
  13. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    The 20 sounds even better!
    Thanks for the posts guys. Are the new ones strictly to order do you know?

    Best, Pete.
     
  14. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Not quite sure what your phrase means. Translation from the English, please?

    :p
     
  15. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    To Kiwi or American?

    Do stores actually stock 'em?

    Best, Pete.
     
  16. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    [Merkin] Yeah, sure, you bet, dude! Guitar Center's got 'em or can git 'em. A local independent store here had the 20w and that really great new 2x12. Sounded WAY fat and huge! [/Merkin]

    [Kiwi] 'Ell yeah, mate, you moight 'ave to look a bit, but that Guitah Cinner's apt to have 'em. Local music stockists 'round ere 'ad the twenny, and that 2x12, sounded like two axe handles across the acre. [/Kiwi]
     
  17. Lashing

    Lashing Member

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    This is an interesting thread.

    I had 2 1974x's on loan. I posted a full review on a different thread. Anyway, I'm confused. While I havent tried the 2061x in my own setting I did try one at a shop and I agree with others that the 1974x was more aggressive sounding to me.

    I keep reading the 2061 is the aggressive one. However right away the 1974x just barked out gritty tone and I had to crank the 2061 to 10 and still didnt get the amount of grit the 1974 was throwing out.

    The 2061 was much better jumpered in the sense that its tone was fuller but that 1974 crunch was unbeatable. The 1974 jumpered thing just plain doesnt work for some reason. Tone really doesnt change much.

    However as I explained in my detailed review of the 2 1974x's I had - one of them was a dog. One was killer the other sucked. I've heard others say they found weak 1974x's as well. Watch out for quality control.
     
  18. ausguitarman

    ausguitarman Member

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    I have both and there different beasts, but to my ears only slightly. I've have a number of friends over and their split about 50/50 in which one they like the best.

    To get the best from the 2061x the matching cab is the key. I've taken it without the cab and plugged into other cabs and it just looses its magic.

    There's something about the tube rectifier that I love and what it does to the feel of 1974x. It also may have something to do with the aged speaker as well.

    I'm just about to buy the 1974 extension cab and try it with the 2061x. I have a feeling it going to be a great mix.

    I've probably been no help but I love both of the just the same.
     
  19. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    Yep,

    I too am a really pleased 1974X owner. Still waiting for my first transformer to blow!!

    The am sounds terrific with my R8 and my strat sounds really sensible with it too. The amp has so much character that it balances out a vintage style strat really nicely, i.e. swapping from neck to bridge pickup doesn't mean you have to twiddle around with the amp controls too. It's spot on, all the time. And B.T.W. that Celestion is really sweet.

    Great amp! I really have to look for a replacement O.T. though just in case this one blows!
     

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