Epi Valve Junior or Marshall Class 5?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Honeyman Scoot, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Honeyman Scoot

    Honeyman Scoot TDPRI Member

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    I have been trying a lot of combo amps, and I am close to giving up and going for a Epi Valve Junior, which sounds really alive and touch sensitive like I like, although muddy without some eq. It has a lot of what I would call "presence" or "it transmits all of my mistakes and nuances immediately".

    However, it seems like I might really like the Marshall Class 5 based on reviews, etc., but the nearest one I can try is 2 hours away...and of course, it is considerably more expensive.

    Looking at the forums, it seems like the Epi was much loved...3 years ago.?

    I am basically an at home player, like to play along with Page, Gilmour, Neil Young, etc. and have been playing a bit with a friend who uses a SCXD. I have some nice pedals to use (OCD, Plimsoul, Carbon Copy, RC Booster), and plan on grabbing a few more for fun.

    Before it comes up, I have tried SCXD, AC4TV, BJr, etc. already, and have not fallen in love with any. I really, really want to love the BJr, but can't seem to make it produce the tones I want...Finally, I want something that is basically ready out of the box, not one that requires additional mods immediately to make it work for me.

    Those of you that have tried Epi or Marshall 5, is it worth it to make the trip? I am hoping that I will fall in love with the Marshall, and be done with what has become an exhausting search.

    Any advice or input would be welcomed!


    Thanks,

    Honeyman
     
  2. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    I recorded a band that used a Class 5 Marshall.
    It was hard for me to judge because he was playing his axe, his affects, his way.
    The other guitar player had an Egnater 20 wattt combo.

    Everybody in the band swore by the Class 5. Even the drummer and bass player.

    I thought it sounded pretty good, but he was just doing what I would call midrange-y rhythm guitar and didn't really put it through the paces I wanted to. :)
    He was playing an Epiphone LP with humbuckers, not sure of his stomp boxes.

    I heard a guy use one a couple of years ago. It sounded pretty good to me.
    The guy playing it did mention that the tone changes the longer you leave it on. So the lack of a tone control was an issue with him.
     
  3. tarts

    tarts TDPRI Member

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    From my own experience, I don't like the stock Valve Junior very much. It's definitely is a good tube amp for the price (at least version 3) but it's dark and doesn't have much character. I purchased mine with the intent of modifying it. After several tweaks it's a great amp. The tone is in there, it just needs to be let out. If you are not into modding I would go for something that sounds good out of the box. I think the class 5 might sound like a well modded VJ judging from the reviews and You Tube. Nothing beats trying one out yourself. Everyone has different ears and taste.
     
  4. Tele-Monster

    Tele-Monster Friend of Leo's

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    Never owned a Class 5 but played a couple. Owned a VJ for years and it was....Meh. IMO the Class 5 is better. I just think its a better sounding amp stock.
     
  5. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

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    I have played through both and was completely underwhelmed. Cleans were just ok, but try overdriving the amp and all you'll hear is a nasty, farty distortion.
    There are far, far better small valve amps around. The VHT Super 6 Ultra and Blackstar HT5 combos spring to mind.
     
  6. Bolide

    Bolide Friend of Leo's

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    Can only talk about the Class 5, was GAS-ing for a Champ, got this instead, and am extremely pleased. Its four knobs allow for a great deal of tailoring of the tone, withing a certain band, the distortion shimmers nicely, and is very responsive to dynamics.

    Now, my experience with the Mark I model of the Class 5 can only be taken so far now that they are rolling out the Mark IIs, everything I hear about the new models is a step in the right direction (better attenuation to allow for bedroom playing, dual-impedence, separate head unit available), but it is a bit more pricey as well; still in the sane range of cost however.

    otoh: There is far more information available on modding the Valve Jr., the Class 5 Fora are full of people who are still figuring out which overdrive pedal they like better :rolleyes:
     
  7. XKnight

    XKnight Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a Valve Jr. and it was a great amp for the price, but I now have a Marshall Class 5 and it is even a greater amp for the price. Actually, the Marshall Class 5 is a fantastic amp regardless of price whereas the Epi was a favorite of many simply because of the low price. The Epi required some mods to get it really shining.
     
  8. gelpel

    gelpel NEW MEMBER!

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    Ok so this is my first post on tdpri. I would just like to say that the class 5 was my go to practice amp for the past 2 years. Before purchasing I tried all the low watt tube amps a decided to pull the trigger on the class 5. However using the internal speaker gave me a boxy sound that I couldn't dial out with my eq pedal or the eq on the amp (which does next to nothing). I decided to try out different cabs and fell in love with the sound I was getting with the class 5 going through an old sunn 10 inch pa monitor. The external cab made all the difference. Fast forward 2 years and I decided to take my pedals, cab, and guitar (casino) to the guitar store and have a shoot out between all the 5 watt tube amps. I plugged my setup into an ac14 and was less than disappointed it sounded very thin and harsh to my ears, the class 5 was what I was used to, and then the one the only epiphone valve jr. I was absolutely blown away by the 3 dimensional tone I was getting out of the valve jr. The tone was true honest and pure. Later that day I sold my class 5 for 300 and bought the valve jr. for 90 and am so much happier with my tone and wallet and everything. It seems that the valve jr. has the most flexible tone and what goes in is what comes out. The marshall on the other hand seems to color your tone a bit more and have a more narrow frequency range. Both are fantastic amps and one should definitely not assume the marshall is any better than the epiphone based on the name or the price tag. I signed up for this forum just so I could write this and maybe help people who are trying to decide which amp is right for them. thanks.
     
  9. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

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    I would check out as many Youtube videos as possible before making a long drive. With that being said, I've owned both amps (the VJ a few times) and ended up keeping a VJ with the Bitmo mods. I like a versatile amp and with the 3 way voicing and a gain switch I can go from clean to metal. I got mine used already modded so it was much less than a C5. If that sounds appealing to you, you may also want to check out the Egnater Tweaker which is also a versatile amp that runs 6V6 tubes rather than EL84s.
     
  10. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    No love here for the Epi Valve Jr. Probably the worst low watt tuber out there, IMO. Just about anything else would be better. Haven't played the Marshall, but seems to be very well regarded by most who have. Big thumbs up for the VHT Special 6. The 20-watt Jet City gets a lot kudos from from some amp builders on the forum and right in the price range of the Class 5.
     
  11. bacongrease

    bacongrease Tele-Meister

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    Try excelsior or champ600?
     
  12. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Owned a Class 5, and put some time in on an Epi, stock, and modded. Same Epi.

    I would take the Class 5. The modded Epi was decent, but my personal preference was the Marshall's crunch.

    The only other 5 watt I've had time with was the 5 watt setting on a Carvin Vintage 16. Not a bad amp either!

    IME, there is little clean headroom with any of these.
     
  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Zombie thread!
     
  14. drob

    drob Tele-Holic

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    Love my VHT Special 6
     
  15. beexter

    beexter Tele-Meister

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    Haven't tried the Epi but I did try the Marshall and didn't like it- had a dead / dull tone to me but that's only my opinion and many will disagree. The 5w Blackstar sounds pretty good but I ended up with a 15 watt Laney Cub head. It has a 15w or 1w input and takes pedals well. Also has an effects loop and is worth checking out.
     
  16. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I own a Class 5 combo, the latest version. I mainly use it on the .1 watt mode for my practice needs. Good old Marshall tone, nice build quality, UK made, a good looking amp, and at a great price when I bought the amp new.

    I have not tried the C5 with a drummer but I bet that it would hold it's own set to 5 watts and through a 2x12 cab.

    Recommended if you can find a nice used one (the latest model).
     
  17. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    By now the guy has the Class 5 head and Combo...........because they're better than the Epi bass box.
     
  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Probably, but nobody is paying attention to how old the first post is...
     
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