Thu Feb 2, 2012, 03:21 PM
ProfessorGAC (23,992 posts)
Bought A New Toy
Background: I am one of the hosts of a jam night at a nice club with a good PA and lights. We do it every other Friday. Not unusual to have the 5 to 7 of us and another 10 players show up. A couple times we had about 25 total musicians there, ,(again counting the host players.)
Anyway, i was using the little Acoustic practice amp (well, 20 watts), but it just wasn't cutting it. Since i didn't want to move my Boogie back and forth (too heavy and got my rack on top of it, so didn't want to disconnect and reconnect everything every 14 days), i went and bought a Marshall 100W with 2 12's. I didn't want to spend a ridiculous amount and i was worried about weight, so i went with the solid state model. Has a built in digital reverb which can be switched to modulated effects like flange or chorus. (Doubt i'll use that much.)
Anyway, because it's solid state and it doesn't need the same degree of cooling, the speaker section is sealed, closed back. So, at volume i get that THUMP at attack that the 4x12 cabinet has. Obviously not to that degree, but pretty cool sounding.
The really cool part is the speakers aren't hardwired. So, i can leave the amp off, pull the cable and plug it into the Boogie. I can then get the full saturation tube sound but with the closed back cabinet character.
And, the distortion channel was clearly designed to give as close to the "Marshall sound" as one can get without tubes. It's big sounding, but still really smooth with no discernable even harmonic harshness.
Paid quite under 5 bills for it. Since i don't play for money anymore, it's the first musical thing i have bought in more than 30 years that didn't get paid for with gig money. But $500 every thirty years is still pretty frugal.
Having fun with it.
2 replies, 687 views
Response to ProfessorGAC (Original post)
Fri Feb 3, 2012, 02:29 AM
guitar man (15,996 posts)
1. Congrats on the purchase
I've had a few of the Marshall solid state amps over the years, still have two of them. Marshall has done a real good job of developing solid state amps that sound pretty greasy and believable. I've got an 80 watt Valvestate I bought new around 94-95 IIRC. It was originally a 1x12 combo but I took the chassis out of the box a while back and built a head cabinet for it. I made the 1x12 box it was in into an extension cab. That way I can use the head with either the 1x12 or also a 4x10 mid-80s Marshall cab I have.
The other solid state Marshall I have is a little Lead 12 practice amp. It's 12 watts with one 10" celestion speaker and it sound killer. In fact, it's the same amp Billy Gibbons used to record the guitar on ZZ Top's "My Head's In Mississippi"
I also have a Marshall Artist 3203 30 watt Head. It has a solid state preamp with 2 EL34 tubes in the power section. It's outrageously loud for 30 watts!
Response to guitar man (Reply #1)
Fri Feb 3, 2012, 06:38 PM
ProfessorGAC (23,992 posts)
2. Doesn't The Valvestate. . .
. . .have a tube front end? I thought there was one tube that created the warm distortion. No?
Anyway, thanks for the reply. I know i'm enjoying having that closed back thump. Everything i've ever had has been open back. As great as my Boogie sounds, it can't give that "thump".
I have another jam on SuperBowl afternoon. We play from 2 until the game starts. Actually, i'm leaving in time to get home in time to watch the game. I'm not the type to watch the game in a bar.
But the guys i play with are the same guys since 1985. So, hanging with those boys is always a good time. (Back to the original story, it's me, another guitar player, the drummer, and our bass player who used to be, yep, our light guy.) You know, a lot of bands can't stand the sight of one another after 27 months. We've been playing together with one bass player or another (and for a couple years i was one of them) for 27 years.
So, now i've got a new toy to go play with my friends. How much fun is that?