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Did Marshall ever produce a Bad Amplifier?

Wookie

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Everyone has their opinions, but I was wondering if there is considered to be any real DOGs or booger models of Marshall's out there among the years. I know every amp, no matter what, will still have it's place in the pantheon of sound, and even the worst piece of shite could be put to good use somewhere.

But what I'm referring to is something YOU would never be caught dead with on stage?
 

BluesForDan

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any of their SS stuff,
Town & Country models,
Mode 4,
Artiste models,
TSL stuff (waaaay too many knobs)
Any of the reissues of their classic models, and I owned a handwired Offset halfstack reissue. I wouldn't do it again.

I'm not saying these are bad, but you will not find me ever playing any of them. Pretty much the only thing made after 1980 by Marshall that I like is the DSL 50 or 100. And the DSL 401 & 201
 

Wilko

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I had the unpleasant session with a guitarist who showed up with a solid state Marshall that was seriously hideous. I don't remember the model. Maybe it was "Master Lead"? It was so bad that I loaned him a real amp to use for the actual gig.

To be fair, he is mainly a drummer. Bassist second, guitarist third. He's an awesome player. Does well on keyboards too. He was poorly advised when buying that amp. He uses a pod with it to get some good sounds now. But that amp left to it's own devices is pure shit.
 

GeeJay

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My first amp was a VS30R, which at the time I thought sounded alright and with 'buckers it did have a certain 'charm'. It sounded really crap with a strat though, just awful on OD and no volume on clean..

Changed it for my DSL401, which sounds great. I know it's not everyone's favoutrite, but I really like it..
 

stompbox

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Mar 28, 2003
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Yep, my first gigging amp (got me through bands in highschool/college) was a Marshall VS100R What a P.O.S. I had that for about 9 years before i could save up enough for a Fender DRRI. I recently sold the VS100R and its monies partially funded my 18watt build i am working on.
 

jon9

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Mar 9, 2005
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I found they sound different amp to amp. For example I have a JCM800 2210 that sounds just amazing I got it new in '86 Over the years I have had at least 5 other 2210's none sounded good, as a matter of fact I think they all sounded bad and buzzy. But not this one.I'll keep that amp forever. I've also had some old "vintage" Marshall's 50 & 100 watters some sounded great some duds. I sold them all except my 2210 and it's 2x12" combo 4211 brother.
 

Adwex

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Oct 29, 2002
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Wilko said:
I had the unpleasant session with a guitarist who showed up with a solid state Marshall that was seriously hideous. I don't remember the model. Maybe it was "Master Lead"? It was so bad that I loaned him a real amp to use for the actual gig.

My first amp was a "Master Lead Combo", ss, 1x12. It was seriously hideous. I tried to upgrade by getting a JCM 900 dual reverb head. That sucked too.
 

Michael Patrick

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I played a Mode Four that sucked ass. One clean channel that was just average, and three increasingly fuzzed-out channels of pure garbage.
 

DrRobert

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Heard a kids band on the weekend-the lowest cost 100w head into a 410 cab, OK cleans but the distortion was YUCCHHHH-harsh, grating and unusable.
 

Todd Louis

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BluesForDan said:
any of their SS stuff,
Town & Country models,
Mode 4,
Artiste models,
TSL stuff (waaaay too many knobs)
Any of the reissues of their classic models, and I owned a handwired Offset halfstack reissue. I wouldn't do it again.

I'm not saying these are bad, but you will not find me ever playing any of them. Pretty much the only thing made after 1980 by Marshall that I like is the DSL 50 or 100. And the DSL 401 & 201
Dan even the Offset 45??? Say it ant so:) What didn't you like about it?? And what about the HW one's now 18, 20 and the Plexi. I played them I thought they're realy good....:wha
 

rufes

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BluesForDan said:
Pretty much the only thing made after 1980 by Marshall that I like is the DSL 50 or 100. And the DSL 401 & 201

mmmmm Don't forget the 30th Anniversasry. That's a very cool amp specially with EL34
 

BluesForDan

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Todd Louis said:
Dan even the Offset 45??? Say it ant so:) What didn't you like about it?? And what about the HW one's now 18, 20 and the Plexi. I played them I thought they're realy good....:wha

The JTM Offset 45 was nice, but compared to a real Marshall JTM 45, it was trebly, almost harsh. This goes back to the inherent variation in old Marshalls, and probably the offset used as the model for the reissues wasn't the best sounding amp.

I haven't had the chance to check out any of the other handwires. The one store that had the Offset went out of business before those other ones came out, and our local GC is second class compared to the other stores in the chain, in spite of leading the rest of the country in volume of sales per sq ft. If it were bigger, maybe they could get some of those. Sure, they'll order one if you BUY it, but I am not doing that at the moment.
 

V!N

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jon9 said:
I found they sound different amp to amp. For example I have a JCM800 2210 that sounds just amazing I got it new in '86 Over the years I have had at least 5 other 2210's none sounded good, as a matter of fact I think they all sounded bad and buzzy. But not this one.I'll keep that amp forever. I've also had some old "vintage" Marshall's 50 & 100 watters some sounded great some duds. I sold them all except my 2210 and it's 2x12" combo 4211 brother.

Hey Jon,

There were more versions of the split channel JCM 800's. The first ones 'till 1985 sounded less like a tube amp than a Big Muff. The later ones, like your first, are killer.

Marshalls, I love 'em, but they have made a few things over the years that were just not my cup of tea. Mind you, they could be the right cuppa for a different kind of guitarist.

Valvestates are nice at home, not so nice at many other places. MG's weren't nice enough for me at the store to bother and it's amazing how much the DRP-1 pre-amp sounds like a clean (tube ?) amp with a monstrous fuzz in front of it, it's nice if you use it clean and feed it a good pedal though.
A Mercury is a nice and relativly cheap complement to any Marshall collection, but personally, I don't think it's a very nice sounding amp. The solid state stuff could be nice for your kid start out with something but the Lead 12's however are great to have around (or in) the house for daddy ! To conclude my rant about the few Marshalls that aren't my favourite, I'd like to say that I suppose the mode 4 is .. nice if you tune your 7-string down to G#.

nice nice nice :biglaugh:
 

bluespckr

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Jun 8, 2005
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I haven't tried the DSL's, but after playing one of the great ones from '75, I've yet to hear any other Marshall that sounded like the shit. The beauty of the old JTMs and MKs was their simplicity. A very few knobs to spin, maybe channel bridging, that's about it. Just raw, unadulterated, pure tube power and tone. When I go in and see triple channels this or that with 400 knobs and a zillion effects built in, on a Marshall, it's like 'scuse me -- not interested. Tried them, didn't like them, wouldn't have one.
 

sickboy79

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Apr 2, 2002
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The SS stuff didn't ever do anything for me. There are a few tube Marshalls that get a bad rap that I haven't played....ie the Artiste and Club and County (great amp, but not traditional Marshall from what I hear) that I haven't played. Every tube Marshall I've played and heard has been great, some better than others....but great.
 

modoc_333

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Oct 29, 2003
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all of the SS amps suck.... but the crown goes to................................................................the JCM 600. what a turd.
 

Hackubus

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Dec 20, 2001
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ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh. What Modoc said. I literally had to kick mine to get it to switch back to the dirty channel. (would switch channels all by itself after awhile.)
 
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