a recent thread about “chainsaw” guitar tones got me thinking about guitar amps, and Marshalls in particular. when i was growing up, if you were able to lay your eyes on a Marshall amp, outside of a big name rock show, you were a very lucky individual. this was the pre-Korg days, where, i believe, Marshalls were distributed in the USA by Rose Morris. they were very rare stateside, and at the time, the conventional wisdom was, the older the Marshall, the thicker, the more dynamic, the better. thus, JCM800s were not as well regarded as the late ‘70s JMPs, or especially, Plexis. when Korg became the stateside distributor, you’d see smaller combos here and there, mostly transistor garbage, but every once in awhile you’d find a proper 50w or 100w top. after ‘87 or ‘88, the shortage of vacuum tubes caused Marshall to switch to 6L6 power for US export amps, and these sucked. everybody was using racks and shit anyway. all fine and good if you liked thin, compressed, cheesedick guitar sounds. this continued into the JCM900 era. 900s weren’t bad sounding amps, but they weren’t in the same ballpark as a Jubilee or vintage JMP at all. it wasn’t until the JCM2000, with its amazing green channel, that real improvement was made. damn that amp was incredible. i had 3, two 50w and one 100w. i thought this was the be all end all, until i heard the Bogner Ecstacy blue channel. that amp changed everything. the Ecstasy was really the first new amp that Marshall players, by and large, preferred over vintage Plexis and the mid ‘70s metal fronts. now look where we are at! if you have the money, you can have a Bogner, a Friedman, a Wizard, a Splawn, etc. any one of which is going to sound better than 99% of the old stuff, with the added benefit of being much more flexible and recordable. lots of companies are making Plexi flavored 6V6 powered 25w combos, too. Wizard, Dr Z, Germino, Divided by 13, etc, i’m sure there are others. if you’re a Plexi lover, what a time to be alive!
Post edited by bourbonsamurai on