The Truth About Marshall Stacks (there, I said it)

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by Kevy Nova, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Well said, and I agree. If PA's would have been better, there would have been no need for large amps.
     
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  2. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure about it being the "Truth about Marshalls"..have NEVER had a thin sound from my amp with the volume I use...ever! I don't even turn up that much from my practice volume..(which is loud enough LOL..) There is just NO substitute for 4 vintage Celestions making the grillecloth flap..I've been gigging a '78 100 watt Master Volume SuperLead Marshall/'76 1982A cab (G12H30 Blackbacks) since '99..that's what I practice with, and what I'm gonna play live with..practice volume is 2.5, gig, 3-4..anything past 6 is full volume, and just more compression..:dude:
    PA technology in the Detroit scene ain't all that..usually only the vocals have a monitor, I've only had a proper monitor mix a few times in the hundreds of shows over the years..Everything gets miked here, but for clubs..vocal monitors only.and my band is LOUD..we have no problem hauling all of that firepower to small clubs/bars either..other guitar runs a 50 JCM 800 clone on a 4x12, bass runs a 400 watt SVT on a 9x10 old Ampeg cab, (9, not 8..3 rows of 3..:naughty:) and our drummer is a heavy hitter that has a 26 inch bass drum..we need all that just to hear ourselves!!:laugh2:
    I could never imagine taking my Class 5 out to gig with..not with this band anyways..but every amp suits it's purpose..it would be great to sit in with a blues or country band..but for the full on roar of hard and heavy rock/metal..there's absolutely no substitute for power.
     
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  3. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    I did it again at the end of May this year.
    2500 + people
    150 X 300 room with a 68 foot high ceiling.
    Roland MicroCube with an E609 in front of it.

    ...and a good Engineer and PA.
     
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  4. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    No, a small amp, mic'd does not sound or feel like a large one. Most people who say a full Marshall stack is absurd have never experienced one as a player. Playing a SuperLead is a religious experience.

    That said, there is no place for one in the modern world. I tried gigging small to tiny amps, but it isn't satisfying to me.

    Now I have a compromise. I use a JTM45 (30W). depending on whether you jump the channels or not, and using the master volume I can get it to roar at moderate club to loud club volume. I use 1 2x12 cab most of the time, but have a second cab for outdoors and big crowded venues. Not that much louder, but better projection and coverage.

    Best of all worlds, I'm not stupid loud (I key off the drums), but moving some air and maintaining dynamics and touch.

    So, 30W 1/4 to 1/2 stack. Works in a lot of situations and has that Marshally goodness.

    P.
     
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  5. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    Never owned a Marshall amplifier.
    I did however own and gig (mostly outdoors) with a Hiwatt DR103 and 2
    EV SRO12 loaded 2 X 12 Cabinets. I played an old ES 355 through that
    amplifier - no pedals - and I have to agree with Paul. No guitar and
    amplifier combination I have ever used has even come close to what
    that Guitar and amplifier sounded like and felt like to play through.

    There is no way to explain it. You have to do it to understand.
     
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  6. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Well-Known Member

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    The only Marshall I ever had was a little white stack from the 70's. Each cab had an 8" speaker and it was a ss head. Cute as a button. Cool amp. Like a dumbass I sold it years ago. Same time i had a Peavey half stack, tube of course. At the time I thought any self respecting guitar player had to have at least a half stack! What can I say, I was in my early 20's. :D:D

    Wish I still had it! It would make a cool bedroom amp. Oh well......
     
  7. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    As far as big acts using small amps, offstage I have bad news for you.

    After working in the biz for a few years I can say at least 50% of the time, you're only hearing the lead vocals and maybe guitar solos live. Most of the rest is on DAT.

    Look at the drummer. If he's wearing headphones and clicking off every song, you're paying to see dudes dance and do Karaoke to their record.

    P.
     
  8. Bijou Drains

    Bijou Drains Member

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    W H A T ? W H A T ? W H A T D I D Y O U J U S T S A Y ? W H A T
    D I D H E J U S T S A Y ? ! :laugh2:

    I do know what you mean, though. I've wanted a "stack" since I started playing back in the 70's but I just wasn't able to afford one and my parents didn't want to go deaf and insane listening to it. As time and life went on, other things took priority. Then, finally, a few years ago, this brand new 40th came along and...well...the rest is history.

    (Truth be told, I'm allowed to turn it up to "only" "8" in the house). :)
     
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  9. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I have played on some Marshall stacks in my distant past - and they just were not "tameable" enough for my playing style.

    Like Tony, though, I know what a good large amp feels like, back when I had the Fender Showman/JBL 15' speakers rig in the 70's.

    Yes, there is a certain feeling...but I really do not miss it!
     
  10. javamagic

    javamagic Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed that the vending machines are miked up!!!! :dunno:
     
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  11. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Why those are hand wired Class A all-tube vending machines.
     
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  12. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    ...and they are loaded with NOS vends.
     
  13. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed the computer monitor at the front of the stage. A little lyric assistance, perhaps?
     
  14. javamagic

    javamagic Well-Known Member

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    Probably. It seems just about everyone has trouble remembering their own lyrics these days but I think it all started back in the drug-addled days of Axl Rose in Guns'n'Roses.
     
  15. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    That's not a computer monitor.
    It's a holographic projector.
    Geddy Lee actually doesn't exist.
     
  16. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Okay...I have a confession to make.

    I've been following this thread since Kevy Nova started it two years ago.

    I've said a lot about small amps and how I like them. All of that is true.

    But...

    ...I have to admit...


    ...I do like the sound of Marshall amps. *ducks


    There...I said it. It feels good to come clean.
     
  17. javamagic

    javamagic Well-Known Member

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    Does a Marshall have to be deafeningly loud to sound like a Marshall?
     
  18. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Playing through a full stack at an unreasonable volume is an experience that every guitar player should have at least once. No matter if it's a Marshall, Hiwatt, Mesa, etc. There is just nothing at all quite like it. I regularly play through a friend's dimed Twin Reverb just for grins and even that is not even close to the experience of playing through a raging stack.

    Are they useful in today's gigging environment. Yes, absolutely. But that usefulness is sure to depend on the type of music, the venues being played and the makeup of the band/what kind of musical statement they are looking to make. In a lot of instances they won't fit or won't sound right, but in the right context nothing else will really do no matter how good the PA is.

    I switched from a big amp to a little Rivera 25-watt combo a few years back. It sounds amazing and will do 90% of what I want all on its own but for the other 10% it still needs to be plugged into a cabinet just to get the projection and response needed. The 25 watts provides plenty of volume and will get cooking a lot sooner than a 50 or 100 watt amp will. I just don't think any small combo can do it all by itself. Unfortunately for me its been quite a few years since I owned a high-powered head and cabinets (in my case it was also a Rivera) and got to play through it regularly.
     
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  19. Moose

    Moose Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely agree with the maxim that you can't have too much power. Just have to find the right place to use it. (Applies to cars and bikes as well)
     
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  20. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    No, but it does have to be deafeningly loud. Why else would you have it?
     

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