'80s Marshall Lead 20 - Anyone got experience with one?

Dismalhead

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Hey all,

Just watched a used budget amp comparison shootout on YouTube. One of the best sounding was an '80s Marshall Lead 20, which I believe is a solid-state combo version of a JCM 800. Anyone got or had one? Interested to know if it's worth seeking one out.

I've got other +/- 20-wattish tube amps, so this is more to add a bit of that Marshall sound to the stable than to cover any gigging or practicing requirement.

Thanks!
 

68goldtop

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Hi!
Hey all,

Just watched a used budget amp comparison shootout on YouTube. One of the best sounding was an '80s Marshall Lead 20, which I believe is a solid-state combo version of a JCM 800. Anyone got or had one? Interested to know if it's worth seeking one out...
Sorry, no experience with the 20-Watt Model, but I used to own the "Lead 12", and I played it A LOT over a couple of years.
Mainly at home/home-recording. I got a bit tired of it after a (long) while, but I got some good sounds out of it!
I´d like to try one again to see how I like it now 👍

cheers - 68.
 

marshman

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I also never had a Lead 20, but a friend had a Lead 12 which rocked. In fact, I have a Lead 12 stack I picked up at a pawn shop over the summer which needs it's pots cleaned, but does 80s mid-gain rock-n-roll tones very well.

I had a 5510, which was a 50-ish watt 1x12 from the same series that always sounded better than I gave it credit for. It seemed a little quiet (which I now would happily accept) and I noticed that the power output was rated as '50 watts into 4 ohms' but the speaker in it was 8 ohm, wondered if that mattered. I never got a chance to A/B it, but every time I tried out the 90's DSL401 as an upgrade I felt sure that the 5510 sounded every bit as good.

I recently scored a Bass 20 from CL and it needs a tune up. I was simply hoping to use it as a bass amp for the acoustic living room jams I go to but it makes a lot of extraneous noise...could be it just doesn't get along with piezos.
 

Chud

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I've owned one since the early 90s and will probably never sell it. Bought it used in about 1993 I think. It's a fantastic amp, classic Marshall cleans and 80's JCM gain/distortion. Loud little sucker too. I've gigged and recorded with it numerous times. Every time I turn it on it puts a smile on my face.

IMG_1884.JPG
 

elihu

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I found a beat up one on evil bay a few years ago for $100.

I was the only bidder.

I had it cleaned up by a local tech and he showed me that the headphone jack was gunked up. Since it’s first in the circuit it adds a lot of noise downstream. It sounds fine now.
 

The Angle

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A Lead 12 came up on eBay recently, from a nearby seller. I dropped out when the price shot north of $150 and kept climbing. Nowadays it seems you're likely to pick up a Lead 20 for less $ than a Lead 12, thanks to all the praise heaped on the 12s the last few years.
 

wildschwein

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I had the Lead 12 combo. It really did capture the Marshall sound in minature and sounded great outputted to a bigger amp. It was cool for practicing and recording and kept up at smaller/more intimate gigs. Even when I owned one in the early to mid '90s there was gossip in guitar mags at the time that Billy Gibbons used them for something so they have always been a bit hyped.
 
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BackwaterJunction

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Like others in this thread, I have a model from the same series - the Reverb 12. It's the Lead 12 others have described but with built in Spring Reverb.

It's always sounded good, but I recently swapped the stock speaker for a WGS Green Beret. Only took a couple of minutes and has made a world of difference - it sounds just like a Marshall should. I'm so pleased!
 

blues

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I have the 30 watt 5010. Marshall got those solid state master lead series right.

Solid real plywood cabinet.

Get them now as the prices are on the rise.
 

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