Gretsch Thru Marshall...anyone else?

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by pmac11, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yes Marshall have made many great amps plus some real dogs - especially last 10 yrs. DSL5 got terrible reviews :)

    Fender have released their fair share of duds too recently imo
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  2. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    I have a 1978 JMP 50W combo that's my main amp now. I only ever use it clean and get my graunch from pedals. The clean sounds are beautiful.

    I've also got a JCM900 100w 1x12 combo for when the 2x12 is too heavy. The dirt sounds are awful, but again the cleans are terrific.

    I think people are prejudiced against Marshalls because of their RAWKNROLL image.
     
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  3. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Electromatic

    61
    Jul 22, 2019
    Canada
    Despite what people think, it's not a 5 watt, or a 1 watt, world.

    Are there 5 or 1 watt tube amps that sound okay. Sure. In fact I'm very interested in the new Supro Blues 8, as it sounds good in the demos through an 8 inch speaker, although I bet the sound in the room is much different, given that it's only an 8 inch speaker. The 10" Celestion Ten30 is a terrible speaker just like the 12" Seventy80. The 10" Celestion V-Type Jr. In the Origin 20 is a great speaker, very similar to a v30, but the V-Type Jr is warmer, a bit more focussed, and a bit less spikey. I was initially expecting to replace the 10" V-Type Jr with a 12" Vintage 30, but the 10" V-Type Jr is so good, I haven't had to.

    To get good speaker movement, that 5 watt or 1 watt amp has to run a small speaker (eg. 8"), which usually sound terrible, small, spikey, boxy to my ear, in the room. They can sound okay mic'd, but invariably they sound small, cloaked, boxy, and spikey in the room, again IMHO.

    Can you use a 5 watt or 1 watt amp with a proper 12" speaker? Sure.
    But then you run into issues with the amp not being powerful enough to properly drive the speaker, which results in a different kind of terrible sound.

    For me, a 20 watt amp with a good 10" or 12" speaker is the lower limit of being able to get the sound I hear in my head for home playing. 40 watts is preferred, but 20 is doable, particularly if it's a very loud 20 like the Studio Vintage and Classic.

    So when people say things like, "I played a 5 watt Marshall and it was terrible. Marshall sucks. I bought a 15 watt Fender and it's a way better amp. Fender rules." ... well DUH.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  4. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    933
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I think that Marshall are great for some kind of music and not-so-great for some other (like any other amp brand, anyway :)). You can’t beat a Plexi+Jet combo if you have to play Highway To Hell, but sure it would be hard to get the right tone from a Bluesbreaker if you’re into Hank Williams.
    If you’re into hard rock you NEED a Marshall, if you like Chicago Blues it’s probably not the best shot (although the greatly missed SRV used to play cleans on Marshall and Fender to play distortion, don’t forget that ;)).
    Btw, if you haven’t tried them yet, there’s a brand that could give you the best of both words: crispy cleans in spades (with some tweaking and the right speakers it could get very close to a Blackface sound) and overdriven tones to die for (sorry fellas, but I’d take a DR103 over a JCM 800 any day...).

    It’s called Hiwatt. :D
     
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  5. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Electromatic

    61
    Jul 22, 2019
    Canada
    FWIW, I'm not some Marshall fanboy. I have a stunning Fender HRDiv. Its sounds great clean and overdriven.

    I know, right.

    I must be effin crazy.

    Initially, I purchased and played a HDRiv and it sounded terrible. Loud and hissy at idle, with even more hiss and lots of static noise/hiss on the overdrive channel. Boxy, cloaked. Took it back and tried a few others of the same HRDiv model.

    One stood out way above the rest. Absolutely silent, composed, responsive.

    Like they'd taken the cleans of a Deluxe Reverb Re Issue and the Overdrive of a really really good sounding Tweed and put them into one amp...

    ... and all that was in a lowly HRDiv, which is a bit crazy because people usually **** all over that amp.

    Damn I love the sounds I can get out of that thing. Cleans are unreal truely blackface, overdrive goes from really stunning blues tweed to work horse medium rock tones like Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and even some great Classic and Southern rock tones.

    Blackface cleans with tweed overdrive is what the HRD was supposed to be all along. And I found one that actually is.
    ....

    So not a Marshall fanboy. But I am a fan of getting the right amp with reasonable expectations.

    Expecting a 5 watt Marshall DSL5 to compare to a 15 watt Fender Blues Jr is a folly. Just like comparing a 15 watt Blues Jr to a Fender Twin or JCM800 is a folly.

    For apples to apples, go compare the Blues Jr to the Origin 20. I did, and the Origin 20 won hands down. The cleans of the Origin 20 to my ear are way better, more balanced, warm, open, clearer, 3 dimensional when compared to the Blues Jr which sounded small, compressed, boxy, nasily, and spikey rather than sparkly in the high end, by comparison, IMHO. The Origin can get you very close to the JTM45 blues sound, so you've got great blues tone covered. The Origin 20 can get you very close to the Plexi sound, so your got rock covered. Boost it with a TS or some such and you can get close to an early JCM sound.

    ...

    tl;dr compare apples to apples instead of relying on group think confirmation bias... which is kind of what this whole thread is about anyway.

    IMHO, YMMV.

    ...

    All this to say, I'm not trying to single out a post or poster in this thread. It was/is not my intent so I hope no one takes any of this personally.

    Lord knows I've been publicly ridiculed for expressing that Marshalls can have great clean tones, and that a Fender HRD can sound good as something besides a pedal platform, and that my HDRiv has great cleans and actually has great sounding overdrive too with a variety of tweed blues and medium rock sounds.

    Do any of my amps compare to $3000 hand-wired amps. Hell no. Again, it's about expectations and apples to apples comparisons. Can the HRDiv unit that I specifically bought give some $1500 - $1750 Fender models a run for their money? yah I'll take that bet. Is that common and can every HDRiv do that, hell no. I got very, very lucky.

    It's all a learning process, and opinions are like assholes, so please take it all with the grain of salt it deserves. We're not curing cancer here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I used to own an old 100 watt Hiwatt in the early eighties.
    And of course it had that big, big clean sound. But to get at least some crunch with it you had to dial it to insane volume-levels. It went very nice with all kinds of pedals but that was not my way to go.

    It now belongs to my brother who is happily playing his Ric bass trough it. Great combo.
     
    stiv likes this.
  7. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    933
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well that it’s always been the issue with Hiwatts, they have to be played loud. But a 50 watt (although a loud one... what was classified to 50 watts at the time Dave Reeves invented it, it’s now considered an 80 watts for many other brands) it’s not that unbearable loud. Sure Marshall have a earlier break up point, so you could overdrive them without becoming deaf, still the Hiwatt overdrive it’s a lot more definite that any Marshall I ever tried (and I tried a lot, they were very popular when I was a kid in vintage instruments shops.. I even owned a ‘68 JTM 45 head before to discover it wasn’t my thing).
    The good is, as you said, they’re real all purpose amps and sound great either for bass or guitar.
    I love to think they’re instruments from another era, that’s long gone and will never come back. That’s the reason I like them so much.;)
     
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  8. afire

    afire Country Gent

    A '65 Country Gentleman through a 2x10 18 watt clone was my main rig for a little while. I really liked the clean tone. The way I used it, it was mic'ed and running right on the verge of breaking up. Not exactly my usual M.O., but a great sound and an enjoyable change of pace.
     
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  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    The only Marshall I own is a modest one : a Class 5 (2nd series)... :oops:

    [​IMG]

    I bought it from a pal at a kind price, because it looked good, sounded surprisingly good, like the 18W 1974X that same pal still have (at the left of my SF PR below) alongwith we compared the class 5 (no pics, sorry) :

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and every (good) amp sounds great with a Gretsch ! Why claiming that evidence ? :rolleyes::D;)

    A+!
     
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  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    So you actually own one of these classics?
     
  11. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I am with you@stiv .
     
  12. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Electromatic

    61
    Jul 22, 2019
    Canada
    Love the Marshall Class 5's! They are one exceptional 5 watt amp! Always wanted one of those.
     
  13. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Before he started making amps, Jim Marshall was a jazz drummer. I've often wondered if his amps have always carried a bit of that heritage.

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
     
  14. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Nah, he played drums and started a drum shop but back then you sold what was on demand. Demand for Fender amps was higher than he could deliver and pricey. So he hired some young engineers, some still in college(cheaper), to see what made the Bassman tick and they came up with the JTM45.

    Glad he wasn't of oriental orientation. We wouldn't have heard the end of it...
     
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  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Hey Reckless - you ask
    "Are there 5 or 1 watt tube amps that sound okay."

    Hell yes - lots of em.... and they sound better than ok too - many sound great using 12" speakers.

    The kings of low watt amps are Mesa Boogie and Egnater.
    Both these makers have made many 5 watt amps the past 15 yrs almost all using 12" inch speakers. The Egnater Rebel amps can be dialed down to 1 watt.

    I've run 8 different Mesa amps on 10 or 5 watts thru 2 x 12 cabs and they sound better than any Fender or Vox amps imo.

    While most of Marshall's attempts at low wattage are a failure their Class 5 head is very good and got excellent reviews.

    Fender don't even try.

    Vox had a big success with their Night Train sounding great at 7.5 watts and it sounds much better with a 12" speaker. Same with their MV50 AC :)
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes, they are ! ;)

    The 1st series were awfull vibrators due to several flaws in their mechanical construction design. They are recognizable to their one-piece back panel. But this is not DIY irremediable...

    [​IMG]

    The 2nd series corrected that issue with a more open back and a 2-pieces back panel and a metal grid. Moreover, they added the low power facility switch at the back (because it's nonetheless a loud amp despite its 5W operation).

    [​IMG]

    Both versions suffers from a too light B+ RC filtering, which let them hum. It can be definetly solved by replacing the 220R/7W resistor by a little and cheap Champ 194A choke (175R/4H/50mA). I have to do it on mine ! (see mention "choke can replace R6" on the schem below)

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
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  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    @Waxhead you are one of only a few people I have read that didn't knock the nightrain amp. I have one and think its a great little amp.
     
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  18. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    933
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well, it’s my main amp at the moment. An early ‘80s DR504 with a 1x12 Fender cab.
    Like I said, with the right speaker it’s surprising how close to a blackface sound these amps could go despite having a completely different building philosophy.
    And I really would like to try the same with a Super Bass or a JMP. I bet they’ll sound gorgeous.
     
  19. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Electromatic

    61
    Jul 22, 2019
    Canada
    Well, that was a rhetorical question, but...


    ...while I love the Marshall Class 5 for BOTH it's cleans and overdrive, for the mesa, egnater, and fender (BassBreaker 007), I like either the cleans OR the overdrive but not both. The Vox 4 watt is terrible all around, but the VoxAC10c is a pretty good amp for both cleans and Vox overdrive. However, while I like Vox cleans and Vox high gain, the low to mid gain Vox overdrive sound is just not my cup of tea. I'd take the Vox AC10 over the 5 watt mesa, egnater, et al. but that's not really apples to apples as now we're straying from the 5 watt class. IMHO, Orange also makes some small amps that have good cleans AND good overdrive, but unfortunately the cleans don't get very loud before you start getting breakup. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  20. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    myself and everyone else I know who played an NT thought they were the best thing Vox had produced in 20 yrs.

    It's just the clean players here on GT that criticise them cos they are not another 1 trick clean pony like their old AC10s and AC15. And the NT does not deliver the AC chime. I don't get the criticism, especially when an AC10 doesn't deliver Vox chime either.

    Why does every amp a company produces have to be the same?
    And in fact I want them all to be different otherwise what the point of making another clone. The NT is it's own beast and sounds better, is much more versatile and lighter than the AC10 and 15 imo

    If you look on thegearpage amps section everyone loves the Night Train
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    pmac11 and Bertotti like this.
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