Splawn Quickrod - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Motterpaul, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I have been looking for a ballsy Marshall, something when I can get a tight classic rock sound with heavy gain.

    The Splawn seems to be very versatile, but I have heard a few people say they are "sterile" and "unforgiving"

    Most compare them to a high gain (DSL100, perhaps) Marshall on steroids, although you can back that off.

    The one thing I don't personally care for is that squeezed Mesa sound with no definition in the high end. I want the high pitches, harmonics, etc, to sustain.

    Can you play a Splawn through a closed back 2x12 cabinet with Celestions and get a thick Marshall sound with a Les Paul or PRS (humbuckers), or do you need a bright guitar to make these amps work?

    Also - no reverb, but it has a buffered EFX loop, right/ What do you think, worth the money? Also, are they heavy (like 50 pounds)?
     
  2. mesa/kramer

    mesa/kramer Member

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    Here's a pretty good comparison between a Splawn and a Marshall DSL.

    As far as the videos go, they sound very close to each other.

    However, You can get the Marshall used for about a third the cost of the Splawn new.

    But If I ever came across one at a good used price I would grab it.








     
  3. slowhand66

    slowhand66 Member

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    The QR will get you from plexi to hot rodded JCM800 tones, decent clean channel, solo boost, workable loop for time based effects. Lot of usable gain. Used ones can be had for around $1100 ish. They work great with closed back cabs or oversized cabs, celestions I have tried and liked included v30s, Gt75s, CL-80s.

    They are not sterile, but a bit unforgiving. Very tight sound. They will not hide your mistakes.
     
  4. rcl

    rcl Member

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    If you get a used splawn, make sure it has the upgraded clean channel. He changed it shortly AFTER I got mine.
     
  5. cirpo58

    cirpo58 Member

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    I own a 2012 Splawn Pro Stock head, which is a one channel (OD only) Quick Rod.
    No trace of Mesa fuzz here.

    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/rockin-loud/09-guitar-solo-you-really-got[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/rockin-loud/call-now[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    Splawn Pro Stock into 2x12 Celestion V30 cab, guitar is a US Peavey Wolfgang EVH.
     
  6. shanesiegle

    shanesiegle Supporting Member

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    The Splawn's can sound huge and are made of Marshall DNA but they to me as compared to the DSL are more organic, touch sensitive and capable of a more aggressive sound. The Splawn's build quality is also top notch. For $1100 on the used market it's a great deal. As long as your playing isn't sloppy you should love the Splawn. They do have their own thing going on in the mids though and I love it but some guys don't care for it. It's also important to get the one with the effects loop level control, otherwise at low volumes the loop had some issues.
     
  7. DeuceII

    DeuceII Supporting Member

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    I've owned 2 used Marshall DSLs and both ended up going back due to technical problems. I also owned a Splawn QR and that amp always sounded great. However, I bought it used and thought I was getting the improved clean channel version. It was actually the 3 preamp tube version, and that clean channel sucked. It was impossible to balance the two out, either the clean channel sounded like a transistor radio or the drive channel suffered (they shared a preamp tube in the gain section of each). Also it was louder than any amp I've ever played. I never pushed the drive channel above 10 o'clock on the volume.

    Newer 4 preamp tube versions have a much improved clean channel (doesn't share a gain preamp stage w/ drive channel), and also some kind of master volume in the loop (maybe PPIV? not sure). But I've also heard the drive channel isn't quite as good as the older versions.

    It never sounded fizzy or Mesa-ish to me, just great ballsy Marshall-esque tone for days, thick sustaining brown sound. Not sterile, but like others said a bit unforgiving. I was running it through a Bogner 4x12 with V30s, it loved that cab. Yeah they're a bit heavy, big transformers.
     
  8. ronmail65

    ronmail65 Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree. I've owned several Splawns over the years (among many other amps) and they are my favorite. Great sound, geat-gig worthy features (as mentioned above), top quality, and excellent service if you ever need it. As far as speakers go, I got my best tones with a mix of Vintage 30s and G12H30s.

    The term "unforgiving" bothers me though (as it applies to all amps, not just Splawns). Splawns are Marshall-inspired tube amps which are tight and responsive (like all great sounding Marshalls and Marshall-inspired amps). Clarity, definition, and bite are part of the defining character of these amps. If these characteristics bother you, then look into different amps -- like EL84 tube amps, Mesa DRs, or SS amps.

    Do you want an amp with a high degree of clarity and response? Or do you want a more spongy and compressed amp?
     
  9. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    OP here - sorry for late reply. It looks like there is an almost new StreetRod for sale here on CL for $1350.

    There is also a Nitro (KT88) for $1500.

    Those seem to be pretty good prices, right? Does that Nitro sound like a better option, or would I be happier with the Marshall feel of the StreetRod.

    I am a little worried it might sound too thin. I currently use a DSL100, and I really like the "deep" switch.
     
  10. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Also - I am a little confused by the term "unforgiving" -

    Here is what my Marshall gives me - clear, singing mids that seem to resonate with the guitar. For example, if I chime the harmonics on the seventh fret, they will sustain long enough for me to grab the whammy bar and feed into that resonance and keep it going pretty much as long as I want.

    If I play a high fretted note it will be loud and sustain, sometimes even resonating with a higher harmonic.

    I am looking for an amp that gives me even MORE of that. And I think the high gain of the Splawn might do it.

    To me "unforgiving" means "sterile" - kind of like a Parker Fly, where it sounds clean and pretty, but very little sustain, even on an overdrive, high gain setting.

    ADDED: That Streetrod/DSL comparison is telling. They sound a lot alike, but the Splawn has more "cut through" in the mid-range - makes the DSL sound like it has blanket over it - which we all know it doesn't sound that way in real life although I admit I usually have the treble up pretty high. But I think "in comparison" that you notice the difference in mid-range.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  11. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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  12. fusionbear

    fusionbear exquirentibus veritatem Gold Supporting Member

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    The Splawn's are unforgiving to those who don't want to work on their chops.

    But if you are "on", this amp rewards like no other. :Devil

    I miss my 2006' Quickrod and will own one again if I can in the future.

    Here is a clip I did some time ago with a Quickrod that I eventually bought and sold (stupidly!!!).

     
  13. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Fusionbear - nice sound. So why did so many of you sell them?

    Also - has anyone tried the Nitro?

    I wonder if some people say they are unforgiving because they don't have reverb? I mean I know it is a little "out of favor" these days but most of us still have a touch of it on, right.

    Any Marshall type amp with no reverb at all is "unforgiving" - especially a bright amp like 2203 (Angus Young sound)
     
  14. sosomething

    sosomething Member

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    I've owned and gigged Splawn amps since probably around 2006 or so.

    Recently I owned two at a time - a 1st-generation Pro Mod (KT88 version) and a recent-model Quick Rod (EL34) with all the bells and whistles. Maybe I'm weird, but the one I ultimately had to keep was my old Pro Mod. The Quick Rod may have been more versatile and configurable, but there's something special about the simple, older Splawns with the Mercury Magnetics transformers that I prefer.

    With regard to their tone and feel, I believe the term "unforgiving" is completely misapplied. "Accurate" is a much better term. The amp puts out what you put in. Loud and clear.

    If you expect the amp to mush together sloppy transitions between notes and chords - if the way you play fast lines is by just fretting them as fast as you can and trem picking, hoping enough of your notes sync up that it sounds passable - they are not the amps for you. They do not play ball with those kinds of shortcuts like most other high gain amps do. They are basically modded Plexi and 2203/4 circuits. I wouldn't compare them even for a second to a DSL or TSL.

    There's maybe not as much "playing the amp" as some other brands will have. Controlled feedback is easy enough, but aside from some very insistent midrange (that may bother some mid-scoopers or possibly some singers), Splawns are not particularly idiosyncratic amps. It's pretty much just you and the guitar, and the amp is going to represent whatever it is you two get up to.

    In the right hands, a Splawn will go toe-to-toe in terms of musicality and tone with the best Marshall-flavored designs.. And stomp all over the mediocre ones.
     
  15. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Thanks for your input, interesting. I think the KT88 does give a "mushier, fuller sound" which has its advantages.

    But my PRS custom24 is actually already pretty "mushy." I don't like it through a 2204 - too "clean" - but I am also not one of those "hope to hide my bad notes" players, either.

    I just want the amp to have that resonance; the feeling of a note blooming with the right overtones instead of just dying away. The demos I see tend to show that.

    The thing is - so many of these demos do show players doing speed trials. My style is a little more classic rock than metal. So I love the gain, but mostly for the sustain - not to cover anything up.

    I am a little intrigued by the Nitro with KT88s now, though. but I figure I will try out the StreetRod first and see if I bond instantly. If I do, cool, if not I will check ot the Nitro.
     
  16. ronmail65

    ronmail65 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure I agree with that statement. All other things being equal, I find KT88s are brighter, more open, and have more headroom that EL34s, which tend to produce slightly warmer and rounder tones by comparison. But neither is in the "mushy" camp.

    I've found this to be true of both Splawns (the KT88 ProMod vs the EL34 Quickrod) and Marshall JMPs MV amps (6550 versions (which are KT-88 equivalents) vs EL34s).

    At least that's been my experience.
     
  17. sosomething

    sosomething Member

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    I agree. KT88s have tons of headroom and I'm not sure I've ever heard one in a circuit that sounded like anything I'd call mushy.
     
  18. billm408

    billm408 Member

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    The other guitarist in my band has this QR nowand it's probably the best sounding one I've heard. I've got an early 3 pre version that's real close, but this one has something special going on. I've also got a 2012 QR that's voiced a bit differently (more compression, little darker), but the early non MV Splawns are by far my favorites.
     
  19. sosomething

    sosomething Member

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    I don't think Splawn ever made an amp without a master volume.

    My Pro Mod is a late '90s model, hand-wired turret board, and it has a master volume.
     
  20. billm408

    billm408 Member

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    Channel volume yes, but I'm referring to the loop volume control on the back of the amp which acts as a global master. My '06 doesn't have a MV and neither does fusionbear's old one. I think Scott started adding that feature in '09 or '10.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013

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