Artists use this
edited about 2 years ago
Nice work Marshall.... NOT!
I technically still own this amp but I left it at my buddy's studio for the last 10 years. I never record there anymore, the JTM30's that good.
Features a clean channel, a gain channel, shared TMB cathode-follower tone stack, effects loop (more on that anon) and a solid-state driven spring reverb that's a lot like the 900 series reverb. 3xECC83s and 2 6L6 power tubes. I liked mine biased for KT66s for a thicker midrange.
The clean channel has a nice tweed-super type clean sound and rolls into gnarly distortion around 5 on the volume that is somewhere between a mid-sized tweed amp and a 50 watt plexi. The gain channel reminds me of the diode-clipped gain channel of a Marshall JCM900. Fun in a comical way. Mine was loaded with two 10" eminence speaker that sounded okay to me.
Now the bad news. The cab is too small and sounds boxy. It is also made from pretty questionable MDF including (get this) the BAFFLE! Not sturdy. The top handle repeatedly ripped outta mine because the screws would chew their way out of the MDF if the amp encountered the least bit of humidity.
Next, these amps always appear to have catastrophic failures because the cheap switching jacks on the solid-state effects loop (effects loops are lame anyway) crap out and stop the preamp signal from reaching the power amp. The bad news is that all the pots, switches and jacks are board mounted and difficult to replace. The good news is that you can put a patch cable between the 2 loop jacks to pass signal for a while until they crap out completely. After that you have to say goodbye to your lame 80s feature set and hardwire a jumper between the 2 jacks on the board or your amp will never make sound again. Be careful though, this board is unusually thin for a Marshall and the traces are not up to snuff.
Did I mention all the parts are board mounted and the board is crap? Oh yeah, the entire amp is oriented horizontally so the tubes stick out the back like glass bullets asking to be smashed. Marhsall saw that this was a questionable arrangement and thoughtfully included a metal cage around the tubes but it doesn't dissipate heat well and its not very sturdy anyway. Mine bent severely in a car taking a kt66 with it.
I never gigged this amp yet I was still constantly repairing it. Do not buy this unless you are a tech-bench masochist. It sounds pretty nice when its working, but doesn't sound THAT good. The 2 star rating is strictly a nod to the lovely crunch available when you start cranking the clean channel.
Recovered from NJ and SOLD! gotta pay those divorce lawyer bills!