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Marshall amps throughout the years.

PTS

Member
Messages
424
I'm not educated in the world of Marshalls, but am interested in buying one, so would like to learn more. I wanted to get some knowledgeable opinions on how Marshall tube amps have changed throughout the years - for good and for bad.

How say, does the first model Marshall amp compare to the new range of JVMs? Why is the JCM800 held it such high esteem, and does the single channel have it over the dual? How does everything inbetween stack up (600s, 900s, DSL, TSL, vintage modern, etc) - a quick pros and cons list would be helpful as I don't yet know what model I'll be picking up.

Obviously, my ears will be the true judge, but as most guitar stores don't stock a complete range of Marshalls to try out, I'd like to hone in on what's actually good. I'm personally interested in which era produced the best thick/warm/bell-like clean tones? I figure they all do overdrive pretty well.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,432
I too am a Marshall neophyte... I don't want to steal or hijack this thread, but info on the Bluesbreakers would be great too. Is there a 1x12 low wattage reissue out now?
 
Messages
3,766
Simply put, Marshall's history is a long record of new models coming out....being put down as the end of Marshall..and then becoming beloved with the next newest model touted as the end of Marshall.

I would think the best place to start would be to separate the two "era" of marshall. Non-master and Master volume amps. The reason is that the music and artists that used these amps are probably divided in half between them. Therefore you're going to find equal amounts of tones in either half.

What you might want to do is first find some artists that you really admire that play Marshall, then find out what Marshall's they prefer and start asking questions.

An overall question about all things Marshall is way too loaded. We could give you a massive rundown of every single type of Marshall amp and there would STILL be subtle difference between them that some players swear by.

Personally though... The 100 watt non-master Superbass is the end-all be-all marshall tone for ME. And unlike many MANY other models of Marshalls, the Superbass circuit is roughly the same throughout it's history. Circuit changes will make your head spin when it comes to Non-master marshalls. A SuperLead can literally mean 5-8 different amps that sound completely different.
 

mesanatic

Member
Messages
667
+1 ^ Though I wish a new edition were released to document later models.
Read this site too but beware the author does emphasize his preferences. But he is upfront about it.
http://www.legendarytones.com/marshallshoppers2.html

For instance he prefers the 1977/78 2203.
My favorite 2203 is the 1976 as it is for many people. Then again mine was worked on by Alan Phillips of Carol Ann fame.:RoCkIn
 

LesMarshall

Member
Messages
187
Perhaps you need to mention some of your favorite bands/players and then take it from there.I guess I'll also mention that some of the best "Marshall" tones are from companies like Roccaforte,Germono,Metro,Soultone,Reinhardt and on & on ..... my Rocca 30 for example does a great 'Marshall' and is built like a tank ... and is rather chimy even with a Les Paul
 

PTS

Member
Messages
424
The book and legendary tones link are really great, thanks for the help. I'd say my favorite player tone-wise is David Gilmour (even though he plays through a Hi-Watt) and I'd like to get in that ball-park with sparkly cleans and smooth overdrives. I like John Frusciante, Alan Sparhawk, and cream-era Clapton too.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,323
Superbass, JTM45, Early JTM 50's with or without the tube rectifier..Anything they did with the split cathode sounds great...These are all amps from the 60's and can get very pricey...but tone wise, they're totally worth it,,,The Newer Marshall amps ,,,anything after the JCM800's [which aren't that great anyway], sound fairly crappy,,,fizzy, buzzy, hard, in your face...no soul...go play a good old one, then a more recent Marshall, and you'll know after 2 notes what I'm talking about...I recently spent a few hours with a new JVM410 4 channel amp, and was REALLY dissapointed with that...It didn't sound anything like a JTM45, Plexi, ect...It was awful.... and I really wanted to like it!!...It's a great idea..3 sounds all footswitchable for each channel...12 sounds by your feet...now, maybe metal guys would like these amps, but coming from classic Allman Bros ect ...they just didn't cut it...just my opinion
PS/ and forget the reissue Marshalls....get a Germino, Kelemen or Soultone at that point,,,FAR better sounding amps than anything Marshall does these days..They're just a name now.....and big amp business
 
Messages
3,766
How much would a Super Bass go for these days? I'm guessing they only exist second hand, unless Marshall reissued them?
No need to buy a vintage one. Its preferred, but then you'll have to deal with upkeep and repairs.

I'd simply go to the billion Marshall copy builders (Metro, Germino, Reinhardt...etc) and have them build a new one.
 




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