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Marshalls...

Postby Hewesy » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:22 am

Hi all, hope everyones keeping well

I've come to the conclusion that I need a Marshall in my life. Most of my heroes play one, others use an MIAB type pedal to add that tone.

I've typically stayed away due to size/wattage but with the new Origin and DSL models this seems a sensible time to look at one.

Trouble is, the "cheaper" modern amps get really mixed reviews. The Origin 20H looks perfect as I'm after more of a Plexi/JTM45 sound but reviews are so knife edge its daft. Same with the DSL20HR, seems to get a kicking just because it has the DSL "My First Marshall" tag.

Anyone tried either, any real world thoughts to share?

Hewesy
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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Hewesy » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:26 am

For context I have a Laney VC30 that I adore but it has that "chime" Vox thing due to the EL84's that you can't get away from. Great drive for the Tom Petty type tone but doesn't get thicker.

Don't get me wrong it is awesome at what it does but I'd like another flavour for the more growly type stuff.

I've tried all manner of drive pedals, MIAB's, revalves, speakers etc but I've realised that it is just the EL84's doing what they do.

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby ore_terra » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:45 pm

I do like “small” Marshalls, but mind that without EL34 (the big ones) you dont get the classic tones.

Old 70’s JMP can be found for reasonable prices. And they come with master volume.
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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Hewesy » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:16 pm

Thanks, its tempting to go old (and I have an SE100 to help tame volume to a certain extent) but the Origin and DSL are EL34's hence the thought of saving some cost/space if the tones stack up.

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby CS70 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:48 pm

The best Marshall sounding amp I've tried recently it's the Mezzabarba M-Zero. Unfortunately it ain't cheap. Fortunately I don't like the Marshall sound too much :D

But as ore_terra says, an used JCM800 doesn't need costing a fortune? A friend of mine just sold his old one - from the 80s - for some 600 (yes I told him he was being an idiot, but nevertheless..). More recent production years are more affordable (that is, can occasionally be found around the amount he sold his for..). If you want a Marshall, buy a Marshall I'd say..
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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Hewesy » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:08 am

Flicking around seems there are some older eras going for sensible money.

Hmm...
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Re: Marshalls...

Postby ef37a » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:21 pm

Have a chat with a guy who goes by the sobriquet of ICBM over at thefretboard.co.uk

He has gigged most of them and serviced almost all of them. Marshalls vary in build quality from BSH to feeble and some marks, some years ,had very fragile output transformers I understand.

Tell him the sort of tone/genre you are interested in and I am sure he will point you in the right direction.

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:38 pm

The sweet spot for price vs 'that' sound is probably a late 70's JMP or 80's JCM800...which are more or less the same amp. Be aware that even the 50w is INSANELY loud.

The late 70's JMP had plastic power switches instead of the metal toggles. They are less valuable but have a bit more gain, and are master volume - not that you get that thing if you turn them down.

In terms of that modded marshall high gain thing, I'd look at EVH or Friedman.

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Hewesy » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:31 pm

Thanks Jack, interesting point that those amps are less desirable. We're a funny bunch aren't we....

I'm more into the crunch sound e.g. Angus, Paul Weller, Paul Kossoff so the JCM's probably aren't my thing - lovely as the 8/900's are.

Dave, thanks for the tip I'll head over as time allows and see if they can help.

Thanks al,

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby ef37a » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:03 pm

Hewesy wrote:Thanks Jack, interesting point that those amps are less desirable. We're a funny bunch aren't we....

I'm more into the crunch sound e.g. Angus, Paul Weller, Paul Kossoff so the JCM's probably aren't my thing - lovely as the 8/900's are.

Dave, thanks for the tip I'll head over as time allows and see if they can help.

Thanks al,

Hewesy

You are most welcome. I know faf that Paul Weller uses a pair of Artisan 30 combos, went da'hn sarf and did the mods.

Mind you he can afford them and has someone else to hump them, 'king heavy. The 15 is virtually the same circuit (with the EF86) but still loud enough for most pub use.

If you can find a used one it will be electrically fine, they never went wrong just got bits broken off so even a really tatty one would be ok.

Oh!! NOT to be confused with the ArtIST 15 and 30 although they are still very good amps and said to be first class pedal platforms.
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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Hewesy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:26 pm

Cheers Dave, that's interesting to know. Steve Craddock (long term sideman) uses Artisans so I'm not surprised PW has taken them on too.

Can you share any mod details on them? No worries if not of course.

Actually I was going to ask about the Artist, the 3 new 15w models look interesting. EL34, EL84,and KT88 models aren't they?

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby ef37a » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:22 pm

Hewesy wrote:Cheers Dave, that's interesting to know. Steve Craddock (long term sideman) uses Artisans so I'm not surprised PW has taken them on too.

Can you share any mod details on them? No worries if not of course.

Actually I was going to ask about the Artist, the 3 new 15w models look interesting. EL34, EL84,and KT88 models aren't they?

Hewesy

Ah, the mods! VERY early days this was and we found that with certain brands of EL84 they would "redplate" slightly so the common cathode bias resistor* was upped to 120R.

The other mod was to the rectifier circuit but you would have to get Blackstar to do that because I do not have the type codes for the components. You are very unlikely to find an amp that has not been modded. The rect mod was to save the GZ34 (they are not what they were in Mullies day! Though the TAD is pretty good) Bruce, the designer hates standby switches because they stress the rectifier valve but you cannot market a 'classic', hand wired all valve amp without one!

As for the rest of the 'new' range sorry, cannot help been gone from them too long now.

My PERSONAL opinion is that I do not like Single Ended valve amps except for a very cheap practice amp but, they seem to sell and you have to pay the bills!

*10 watt rated and a massive over kill but that is the design philosophy, overengineer stuff so a valve failure does not result in collateral damage.

Example: The first Series One 200 experienced some massive flash over of the KT88s (they are ***t these days) and that dumped well over an amp from the 700V anode supply into the surrounding circuitry. Blew every fuse including the one in the 13A plug. All I found on the circuit board was a rather brown grid stopper resistor but it still read well within tolerance.

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby Folderol » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:53 pm

ef37a wrote:Example: The first Series One 200 experienced some massive flash over of the KT88s (they are ***t these days) and that dumped well over an amp from the 700V anode supply into the surrounding circuitry. Blew every fuse including the one in the 13A plug. All I found on the circuit board was a rather brown grid stopper resistor but it still read well within tolerance.

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They call it defensive design. You know they've taken this to extremes when you see a spark gap across the OP Tx primary :lol:
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Re: Marshalls...

Postby ef37a » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:58 pm

Folderol wrote:
ef37a wrote:Example: The first Series One 200 experienced some massive flash over of the KT88s (they are ***t these days) and that dumped well over an amp from the 700V anode supply into the surrounding circuitry. Blew every fuse including the one in the 13A plug. All I found on the circuit board was a rather brown grid stopper resistor but it still read well within tolerance.

Dave.
They call it defensive design. You know they've taken this to extremes when you see a spark gap across the OP Tx primary :lol:

Seen it! We had an Avon cosmetics factory and I worked on the PA. One amp was EL31s (yup 6V TV valves) with 1kV on them and top cap freaking anodes! That had spark gaps set in what looked like Paxolin. Bloody thing used a huge slab Selenium rectifier.

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Re: Marshalls...

Postby adrian_k » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:53 pm

I love reading this sort of thing even though I understand not one word :)
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