What kind of Marshall tube combo amp is a good start?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Flat6Driver, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Cosmic Cowboy

    Cosmic Cowboy Tele-Holic

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    I see clean used DSL and JCM combos every day for >$500. I really like the Origin 20 and 50. I played one as a backline and nearly bought a brand new one the next day. If memory serves correct, they are $650 brand new shipped.
     
  2. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I think sweetwater had the origin 20 for $500. Plus free candy!!
     
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  3. Krackle

    Krackle Tele-Meister

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    Good introduction to a general sort of Marshall tone might be one of the DSL20's with reverb..I think they make a combo in that configuration..

    I've got the DSL20r head...the thing is pretty impressive for the money, lots of fun in a diminutive package..used for sure is a crazy value..
     
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  4. Retired Schmuck

    Retired Schmuck TDPRI Member

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    You are already setup for basement jamming. A cheap Marshall will not be a step forward. If you want a good Marshall 50w 1×12 combo its JVM 2. Two $ Grand but good.
     
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  5. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Wait, that's not how TDPRI works around here. Moar gear always. Where's a mod to punch your membership card??
     
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  6. DCgtrguy

    DCgtrguy TDPRI Member

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    Take a close look at Ceriatone's many Marshall circuit amp offerings. They are hand wired and use good quality parts. Prices are super reasonable, the customer service is incredible, and if you buy from their only USA dealer, guitarampsusa.com, you save a little over buying direct from the factory. I'd recommend one of the lunchbox heads, 20 watts (which is plenty!). I have a Son of Yeti (SOY) lunchbox on order, should be here later this month! Here's a review of the SOY by Leon Todd:
     
  7. Spooky88

    Spooky88 TDPRI Member

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    Pudding, you nailed it. I did the same thing to my DSL 40. Creamback 75 combined with my Warmoth telecaster... Every audition I go to, the bands are like "so, are you in?" Haha!
     
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  8. perttime

    perttime Friend of Leo's

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    Every DSL has a clean channel too. You don't have to crank the "gain" channel either. Playing just for fun, I like to have "gain" of my little DSL 1 at around noon, and adjusting the guitar volume and how hard I play.
     
  9. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    OP not got a DSL40CR yet?
     
  10. TeleNation

    TeleNation TDPRI Member

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    I was gifted a rebuilt Class 5 several years ago. We had a church band and visited other churches so it was smaller and fairly easy to travel with. I did the '60s this by hanging a Sennheiser 609 over it. A decent sound tech could balance it out. In short, the little old box fit well with what I needed. That's the main consideration: What will work for YOU? [The DSL20 sounds like a pretty versatile amp. Go for it if you can afford it. Look for used ones to keep it manageable.] There are some similar amps available. If you like building amps, try Mojotone.com
     
  11. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

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    A buddy of mine wanted to get back into Marshalls and borrowed my DSL40CR for a few days. I brought it over and heard him messing with it at lower volumes. I told him not to mess around. Get the power amp involved, then back off of the gain a little. He saw how much better it sounded cranked. He thought about buying one, but found a Vintage/Modern instead.
     
  12. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    OP has lots of ideas and too cheap to act on all his impulses.
     
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  13. CowTownPickers

    CowTownPickers TDPRI Member

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    I have a Marshall Class 5. It is a 5 watt monster that is very simple and pure Marshall when you crank it. All tube and really easy to move around and get the tone and use your guitar to keep the volume down. I got mine on a trade but have seen them in the $300-$350 range.
     
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  14. The Stever

    The Stever TDPRI Member

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    Marshall Origin unless you want a high gain at bedroom volume. I own the Origin20 head. IMO Marshall hit a home run with the Origin. It has power reduction and an effects loop and foot switchable boost that adds a low midrange bump. I love the Plexi tone and I dig the clean tone. The Origin clean tone is one of my favorites on any Marshall amp. A prefect pedal platform.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  15. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I've only read through the first page of posts, and I notice there are several models (current or former) that haven't been touched on just yet... so here goes.

    If you are not a fan of stuff made in China (or Vietnam), then Marshall Buyer Beware. Many of their products say "Marshall" with the same script logo on the grill, but "Made in China" (or "Made in Vietnam") on the back. Granted, quality control from Chinese/off-shore factories has much improved over the years, but for the China-everything-haters, Marshall has quite a few models made "over there" (I heard they put uncooked rice in the speakers to create distortion, but it might be an Urban Legend, hahaha).

    When I hear somebody say "Marshall" having owned several in my lifetime, the first thing that comes to mind is "oh, you mean the amp most likely to break down?" So, cross your fingers and you might get a good one made on a Wednesday when the folks aren't hung over on Monday or rushing to get stuff out the door so they can leave early on Fridays. If you want bullet proof and dependable, Marshall is NOT the brand. But I love the sound they make, so I gotta have one, as well... Haha

    I agree, Marshall has become a bit of an alphabet soup with their model names. There's the CIA, the FBI, the BATFE and then there is the alphabet soup with a Marshall script logo...

    I am assuming you want the innerds to be tubes, but you need to know not all Marshall guts are created equal. It might say "Marshall" on the grill, but now-days it might be solid state inside. The "MG" series is 100% solid state and are made in Vietnam. (If you can find good hi-res pictures online, and find one of the back of the amp you can zoom in to to see the small print on the back, you can figure out where this or that model is made. This particular one is a "Marshall MG50GFX 50W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp". Not a recommendation, but rather one I am using to show you that some of Marshall's amps are solid state and made off-shore.
    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/marshall-mg50gfx-50w-1x12-guitar-combo-amp

    It might be a no-brainer, but there is the CODE line of Marshalls. One glance at the top panel and you'll figure out quick it's not a tube amp. Lot's of digital happiness if you like digital happiness. Also made in Vietnam. This one is the "Marshall Code 50 1x12" 50-watt Digital Combo Amp". Marshall's "go" at a modeling amp.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...l-code-50-50-watt-1x12-inch-digital-combo-amp

    Then there is the Marshall "Origin" series, also made in Vietnam. The one in this link is the 20-watt version ($499.99) the 50-watter is $649.99 but the picture of the back where you can see country of origin is upside down on the Sweetwater page, so I used the 20-watter instead which has the COO right side up. My first and only impression is that "oh, neat, they are trying to get back to a "roots" model"... I plugged into several versions in different power rating at the store and my ears said "wow, that's way too much treble" no matter how I fiddled with the knobs or which pickups in what guitar I tried. It does have a master volume, so you can crank some gain out of it, but not the same gain as the DSL series. If you like a Vox AC-15 and all treble thing, then maybe you'd like this. I passed on this model, as I have had 2 x AC-15s and IMHO they both had out of control way too much treble, so down the road they went. There was an incredible amount of "hoo-plah" surrounding the Origin series when they were released, of which I didn't get sucked in to... I let my ears decide and my ears said "too much treble"... so mine was left at the store for the next guy to try or buy.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...rigin-ori20c-20-watt-1x10-inch-tube-combo-amp

    Next I'll mention the Marshall DSL series. Like most all Marshalls these days each version or model comes in various wattage. If I had to choose one of the DSL line, I'd probably gravitate toward the 20-watt version. Also, "Made in Vietnam"... They also have a very bedroom friendly 5 watt, 1x10" version ($499.99). 2-Channels "Classic Gain" and "Ultra Gain". This one is the "Marshall DSL20CR 1x12" 20-watt Tube Combo Amp" ($599.99). The "C" stands for "Combo" and the "R" stands for "Reverb". They also made a non-reverb one at some point (maybe still do ??). For under $1,000 bucks it has "that Marshall sound" if you can live with having helped he Vietnamese people survive their version of Communism. I'm not country-prejudiced anymore after buying so many excellent Made in China and Made in Indonesia guitars. If I were in the market for a loud, inexpensive Marshall, the DSL20 would be my go-to... as far as a "good start" Marshall combo, I'd head to the aisle where they have the DSL series and test drive and let my ears decide. So far I was looking for something else in an amp, but for the guts and glory and easy on the wallet, the DSL line for me... but Marshall's product line doesn't stop there...
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DSL20CR--marshall-dsl20cr-20-watt-1x12-inch-tube-combo

    If you like buying expensive things for the sake of buying expensive things, Marshall has the JVM series. In that series they have a 50-watt, 2-channel, 2x12 version the JVM205C ($2,399.99), or a 100-watt, 4-channel, 2x12 the JVM410C ($3,149.99). These are Made in England. They also have some computerized innerds as they have MIDI connectivity. These are priced way way out of my old, disabled, living on social security income of less than $800/mo income... but worth a mention if you want to talk Marshall I suppose. You may also want to contact your local Sunbelt rental office to get a price on a forklift rental to move it from one dented spot on your carpet across the room to another soon to be dented spot on the carpet. 2x12s + tubes and transformers = heavy as hell, haha
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...5c-50-watt-2x12-inch-2-channel-tube-combo-amp

    As far as "Made in England"... "tubes" ... and "small" I still passionately regret selling my Marshall Class 5 combo from a few years back. They aren't making them anymore but it was the best Marshall I've ever owned (and the first one of several that didn't poop out on me). Mine was a limited edition red tolex, another reason I hated to sell it, it looked great, too. They have several on Reverb, and if you asked me what (new or used) small and loud Marshall all tube combo to pick, this would be my no-brainer right off the top of my head. New they were $379, Made in England, and are a (very freaking loud) 5 watt, 1x10" combo. There are several on Reverb for around $400. As soon as I plugged in at the store, my ears were screaming "TAKE THIS HOME, NOW !!!" LOL...
    https://reverb.com/p/marshall-class-5-combo

    Another in the ouchy money bin is their 18-watt "Marshall 1974X 1x12" 18-watt Tube Combo Amp" ($3,299.99). Very simple no frills 2-channel and highly recommended by many. These (too) are priced way way out of my old, disabled, living on social security income of less than $800/mo income... But you'll see them mentioned in several of the posts here with thumbs up appeal.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1974X--marshall-1974x-18-watt-1x12-inch-tube-combo-amp

    Another "Made in England" for a bit over $1,000 is their "Marshall SC20C Studio Classic 1x10" 20/5-watt Tube Combo Amp" ($1,599.99)-- this one is stamped "JCM 800 Lead Series" on the front. The JCM 800 Marshall's carved quite a niche into the "Marshall sound" back in the day with the head/cabinet piggy back amp thing. 20-watts and a 1x10" (IMHO) go very well together. I just discovered this model this very moment and now I have to go hunt one down and do a test drive. Looks like 32lbs isn't going to require a forklift to move around. I really can't justify a $3,000+ amp, but I could maybe do a layaway at $1,600. Treble, middle, bass, presence, gain and master gain (no reverb)(I have a Source Audio Ventris Dual-Reverb that does all my reverberating...LOL), voila. Its a Marshall. I have to go check this one out, I have been eye-balling the Vietnamese DSL series, but this English Marshall ticks quite a few Marshall boxes for me.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...io-classic-20-5-watt-1x10-inch-tube-combo-amp

    I know there are a lot of other Marshall's out there, but I've simply ran out of time to type anymore...

    So, from my list here (in no particular order)

    Marshall Class 5 (used) 5-watt, 1x10" combo, made in England ($400-ish used)
    Marshall DSL20CR 20-watt, 1x12" combo, made in Vietnam ($599.99)
    Marshall SC20C Studio Classic (JCM 800), 20/5-watt, 1x10", made in England ($1,599.99 new)


    GearGeek01
     
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  16. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I know this is off-topic... but... if you want a really good Marshall sound for $200, check out a JHS Angry Charlie... I've had 2 of these pedals (previous versions) and love them to death, but financial woes come and out the pedals goes... LOL...
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AngryCV3--jhs-angry-charlie-v3-channel-drive-pedal

    I didn't bother with the regular JHS Charlie Brown, because you can dial-down the Angry Charlie and get all the sounds the Charlie Brown has... then crank the gain and you're in Marshall-type heaven. New they are $199.00... but used the new version 3's are somewhere around $140-ish on Reverb (I had 2 of the version 2's, very much in love with this pedal...)
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AngryCV3--jhs-angry-charlie-v3-channel-drive-pedal

    If I were going to the store with a fistful of dollars to blow on a Marshall amp, and they had a JHS Angry Charlie behind the pedal counter, I'd save my money for yet another guitar, and bring home Charlie...
    JHS_AngryCharlieV3_revision_1_1400x.jpg
     
  17. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Quite the essay. Thanks.

    On another note, I did notice that the DSL40C and DSL40CR look different on the front (more knobs) however, Reverb lists them in the same category...gotta look carefully when shopping.
     
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  18. SackvilleDan

    SackvilleDan Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    The JCM 800 Combos are great, but LOUD. I've got a 4104 (2x12 50W) that I love, but it is NOT a basement amp. Even with my Alex Attenuator, it is LOUD.

    My Bluesbreaker on the other hand, can be manageable in the basement - you just need a pedal to get it Dirty - I recommend a TIM! And then it still has plenty of guts to get loud on stage if you need it!

    The Bluesbreaker would be my recommendation for a Marshall combo that can do it all.
     
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  19. Omiewise65

    Omiewise65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I found my JCM900 2x12 50watts for 300 EUR . I only use the clean channel . Great sound .
     
  20. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have the same rig Vox AC10 w/Greenback and an Origin 5. Great in a stereo rig or either paired with a Fender 57 Custom Champ. Waiting on a Vintage 30 and G12H-75 Creamback for two 1x12 Marshall cabs I have, both 16 ohm so I'll have options for the Origin 5 on 12" extension speakers. The little 8" in the cab will fart out a bit at full roar but it's a fine low powered amp as is. Put Genalex ECC's and their EL84 in the Origin last night and they made it even better. Great sound and with a bigger speaker it would keep up with all but the most cavemen/women of drummers. Effect loop is great for delay and or reverb even a good drive pedal for a second channel sorta thing. The boost adds a nice girth to it and the footswitch is cool to kick in the boost and the loop. It can get down to pretty low levels on the lower setting and still sound good. Cleans up good with the guitar's volume knob at higher gain settings. I've had it over a week now and it's a keeper.
     
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