Marshall Class 5

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pgissi

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It is loud for 5 watts but 20, 50 or 100 watt amps are much louder, they have more low end low mid energy and literally shake the house, make walls vibrate, glass rattle etc.. 5 cranked watts is loud but its mostly upper mids and highs, those freqs are easier to soundproof against or your homes current construction and furnishings may do well attenuating that already. Its the low end energy that is most difficult to stop.

For recording you want to be able to move some air, get that speaker into the tone and 5 watts seems to be reasonably loud enough while not sounding as ominous to its higher watt alternatives. I think the only alternative to the volume issue is using power scaling, get down to milliwatts or just above at 1 watt but your not gonna move a speaker cone as much.

The headphone output option is about 1/4 watt but its not the amps real tone.

I had a Blues Junior I picked up in 97, returned it, it was sterile OD but had decent cleans. I think the Class 5 fills that niche for those wanting a representation of classic marshall tone so in that its a cool amp. I wanted the Blues Junior to be the same of Fender but was dissapointed.

You could soundproof a closet and place this amp inside for isolation and get that cranked tone if you wanted while doing some close and ambient micing for a bigger tone. Thats what I am working on here but I do get to crank it, the amp begs you to.


Too bad this didn't have a line out / slave output that you could run into another higher wattage clean headroom amp; that would be cool.

It would not be difficult to install a line out.

Clean headroom for gigging is definitely a challenge. Have not gigged yet with it but have been practicing with the band and as a combo it is borderline or less in the clean dept at practice where we are not as loud. One thing I have not tried with the band is the amp into a 4x12, higher wattage spealer load, less speaker breakup may have more cleans, will have to try that. Have done that at home at it seems cleaner longer.

The idea that I or anyone is even considering gigging with 5 watts is funny. 20 years ago I would not even consider it and those amps are now silent witnesses.
 

analogmike

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you have to consider the wattage of any amp when judging how clean it can go in a specific setting.

If you dime the amp volume and roll back the guitar pot for cleans as opposed to rolling back the amps volume and diming the guitar pot, you should find the amps full clean potential since by rolling back the guitar pot, your attenuating the pups output level into V1 of the amp wheras in the reverse of that, your dumping the pups full output into V1, causing some breakup even though you reduced the amps volume.
I'm using early 60s Gibson PAFs in my R9 Les Paul and there are NO cleans to be found, even with the amp turned down a bit.

Is there something wrong with his amp?
 

pgissi

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I'm using early 60s Gibson PAFs in my R9 Les Paul and there are NO cleans to be found, even with the amp turned down a bit.

Is there something wrong with his amp?
It is a dirty little amp but you can get a clean tone then again it depends on how clean at how loud your talking about. The factory speaker is a 15 watt speaker, try it into a higher power cab, 16 ohm. Speaker breakup comes early with the stock speaker, even earlier with a G10M greenback, its all about the mids.

I stuck a run o the mill comp in front of it set for limiting, found some spanky cleans. Without it though the cleans mean a little fiddling with the guitar pot, not much turn before it breaks up and the clean tone is a little hairy.

I dont think there is anything wrong with the amp, its definitely emphasizing dirty tones over cleans though. Humbuckers are of course harder to dial in clean. I have a lp custom with a pearly gates, its most definitely more rude than refined. My strat is cleaner of course.

Is there an amp of the same wattage that you may be comparing it against, I am curious?

Have you tried the Vox AC4 or other in the same power class?
 

zosozep7

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I really didnt buy this amp for clean sounds. Its an asskicker for its size and perfect for what I wanted. Something that sounds like a 1987x Plexi without having to pay $1500 and a attenuator. For $400, its perfect for me. I get all my cleans naturally through my Fenders. I have a Marshall Vintage/Modern and that amp dont really get clean for me.
 

zosozep7

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Honestly, I dont think this amp was created for cleans. I was under the impression that Marshall answered many peoples requests to build an amp that sounded like a cranked Plexi but at a low wattage and they delivered. It states that in the owners manual. 1st page
 

pgissi

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Something that sounds like a 1987x Plexi without having to pay $1500 and a attenuator. For $400, its perfect for me


That about nails it, its that in a smaller package

I think I am gonna get a Vox AC4 combo with the 10" and a/b switch them for clean and dirty, that should round it off nicely.

The British are coming, again!
 

porterburst

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For those wanting more clean try:


1. Putting a 5751 or 12AT7 in V1. For even more clean, you could install cleaner pre-amp tubes in both V1 and V2.

2. Try a Siemen E84L in the power section.
 

pgissi

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I would prefer an EL34 with a few more watts too but it was 400 plus tax, that hard to not jump on for what it is but I may be crazy enough to mod it in the future, will require some invasive surgery though.
 

Pencho

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I am really lovin my Class 5 into a 2x12 with greenbacks. I keep the volume anywhere between 7-9 and hit it with a TS. I'm using a Ultimate Attenuator with just a litte attenuation to keep the volume managable in the house.
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
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That about nails it, its that in a smaller package

I think I am gonna get a Vox AC4 combo with the 10" and a/b switch them for clean and dirty, that should round it off nicely.

The British are coming, again!
That's a thought, I might get an AC4 head and fill it with some decent glass. I've heard that running it through a nice cab with Gold(s) is a killer combo. That would be a neat little mini amp dual rig, Marshall Class 5 and a Vox AC4 on the other side.
 

evbrad2007

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That's a thought, I might get an AC4 head and fill it with some decent glass. I've heard that running it through a nice cab with Gold(s) is a killer combo. That would be a neat little mini amp dual rig, Marshall Class 5 and a Vox AC4 on the other side.

This is exactly what I have in mind. I recently picked up an AC4TVH to go with a 16ohm Greenback loaded 1x12 Jenkins cab that was sitting around bored and lonely...what a great combination! and I haven't touched the tubes yet. One of the best bangs for the buck I've come across. Looking forward to the Class 5 with it. A Mini-British invasion is taking place in my home (a.k.a, Big Kids R Us):rockin Neighbors =:mob
 

analogmike

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Cool, thanks for the feedback, the amp is fabulous for what it is, but people who mentioned clean sounds must have a different idea of clean that I have. It's a distortion engine, pure and simple, and a very good sounding one. Don't buy it and expect to be able to get clean sounds at any volumes above speaking.
 

blackba

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Cool, thanks for the feedback, the amp is fabulous for what it is, but people who mentioned clean sounds must have a different idea of clean that I have. It's a distortion engine, pure and simple, and a very good sounding one. Don't buy it and expect to be able to get clean sounds at any volumes above speaking.
Its fairly common for people to try lower gain preamp tubes in the Vox AC4TV, maybe the same thing is needed with the Class5 to get more cleans if that is what you desire....
 

-analog-

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...they are NOT MADE IN ENGLAND, buddy

They do sound awesome though, i am a lil interested and Thank You for your detailed review

the one I played at namm was....:huh
sounded great..

they're not made in some 1240th world country are they?
 

pgissi

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They are assmebled in England per the marketing

Cool, thanks for the feedback, the amp is fabulous for what it is, but people who mentioned clean sounds must have a different idea of clean that I have. It's a distortion engine, pure and simple, and a very good sounding one. Don't buy it and expect to be able to get clean sounds at any volumes above speaking.
I like that " a distortion engine", guess that about sums it up.

The cleans that are there are dirty oh well, I just assume all have the same perspective given its a 5 watt amp and when were talking about cleans from a 5 watt amp we all know what that means. Until I compare others in this output class, its hard to say if it lacks cleans or is it just par for the course.

I have a twin, had a super, have a rivera and bogner all with glassy cleans, this is the extreme other end when it comes to cleans but is also a much lower output power section.

With the band and using the stock celestion, the G10F-!5, the amp managed to eek out some hairy cleans that I was able to hear above the band on tunes that are not slamming songs so thats been my experience with it. I found that placing the amp on the floor and at least 7 feet in front of me aimed right at me but still on the floor for low end reinforcement is the best way to hear it, position it alone and away from other more powerful sources like a bass amp or other guitar amp and its usable.

I have been using the amp with my can be loud at times classic/modern rock, blues and country band and I dont think the newly installed G10M-30 greenback is gonna give up cleans though, its only 95db sens but of course is all greenback and makes the amp a mini me plexi, have yet to try it with the band with the G10M.

It may not even hang in general, I can detect the reduced output with this speaker playing it alone, it does not make my ears ring as soon:eeks

But the tone with the G10M-30 is classic plexi, the mids, upper mids and aggressive top end really takes it tonally to plexitown even being a single ended el84 amp! I knew that would happen. The stock speaker sounds more Bluesbreaker which I dig also.

We have been doing some old Stones, Mick Taylor years and I am getting those tones

The stock speaker is very well designed for versatility I will say, it has later onset of breakup, slightly more efficient than a greenie and I am guessing maybe its a 97 or 98db speaker even though its a 15watt speaker. Its surely warmer with less mid and top end aggression but as you all know, when pushed hard slips into plexitown some.

Marshall and Celestion got it right if their intention was to give this little monster the cahones to hang with bigger boys in that you have tolerable clean and happening dirty tones!

I just had to try the greenback and may end up pulling it to get some efficiency back but will put it in a cab for recording maybe, until I test it with the band I wont know and I have about a 2 months on the stock speaker in my head for comparison.

Next stop Vox AC4 for a great back savers rig!
 

evbrad2007

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Interesting development/update. I just contacted the vendor I purchased my Class 5 from to confirm shipping/tracking number. I was told the amp had not yet shipped because they gave both of the Class 5 amps they had in stock a test drive before shipping to ensure they did not have the rattle issue....both exhibited signs of the dreaded rattle so they did not ship. Note, I was told when I placed my order that Marshall had assured the vendor that the issue had been addressed in this "batch" of amps. The representative indicated another order was due in soon (I assume first of March when every other vendor's are scheduled for delivery). I elected to cancel my order for now.... Disappointing news....
 
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