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Hot Topic Box

Find out the latest info about valve (tube) amps right here.
 

Yep, it's HEAVY - very heavy.

This amp comes in two flavours, an EL34 driven unit with 4x12ax7 driver tubes and an 5881 with the same 12ax7 driver tubes. The amp is actually a dual monobloc design. This means that each amp is completely separate, in fact you can drive one side while leaving the other side off if you want to.

The amp has 8xEL34 or 8x5881 tubes and it can be very loud if you need it to be. There is no facility on this amp to run at half power or any of the other features that you normally see on Marshall tube amps and this is mainly of course that this is just the power section of the amp, unlike most of the famous kit which includes a pre amp.

The driver tubes (12ax7) do in fact contribute to the sound and overdriven sound in particular at volume and driven hard. I have used a TriAxis power amp with this one and the sounds are cool, checkout the www.tonymckenzie.com site to hear this amp in action.

As you can see from the picture above, the amp has a great design, and you can easily see that the dual monobloc layout is clean and solid. Notice the driver tubes at the front of the picture and the EL34's behind.

This amp can get hot, being mounted in a rack, so Marshall included a nicely quiet fan and a nice glass front so that you can show off the tubes glowing in the dark on stage.

If you look carefully you will see two volume knobs and two presence knobs one set for each channel - nothing special there, but also there is a switch for each channel with different voicing i.e modern and normal. To my ears the sound did change, but with a TriAxis then who cares......

My overall impression (and a lasting one at that) was that this amp produced a loud, and very smooth lead guitar sound (with the TriAxis) and not particularly like a Marshall sound, although I guess that if you use it with a Marshall preamp then you will get the Marshall sound out of this great amp.

I do not know of any mods for this amp and I guess there is little to do to improve it. You could switch tubes from EL34 to 5881 (or reverse) but I felt that the EL34 model has definitely more to add than the 5881 in terms of sound.

Everything about this amp was quality. There are, as you see numerous ins and out connectors so the hook up was simplicity itself. An expensive amp if you buy new, so look around for a well looked after amp and you will have a bargain. Match it up with a Marshall preamp for the best Marshall sounds from a rack.