SNAMM04: Hand-Wired Heaven

Marshall show off their new amps      05/08/04

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They might have been announced at the MESSE in Frankfurt but Marshall were showing their new hand wired amps to the world at Summer NAMM. We grabbed a moment with U.S. Product Manager Nick Bowcott - checkout the vid piece.

This ongoing series will feature some of the world's most sought after, vintage, all-valve Marshalls. Other than the limited edition Offset JTM45 Halfstack available in 1999 (only 300 were produced worldwide), this represents the first time Marshall has offered a handwired product in recent years. Like the originals, these new amps share simplicity of operation and rich, natural valve tone.

"This new series was created to meet growing public demand, and to pay homage to models that, for many players, represent the ultimate in organic, all-valve guitar tone," explains Nick. "Our primary objective was to achieve maximum authenticity in terms of components, circuitry, construction methods, materials, specifications, aesthetics, signal path, performance, tonal characteristics and feel. All of the original components and materials were used or reproduced, and the original methods of construction employed in the late 1960s were revisited. All transformers (output and power) have been meticulously re-created by Dagnall Electronics, and each amplifier's handwired tag-board lives up to the slogan, 'Point-to-Point Perfection'."

HANDWIRED SERIES MODELS:

1974X Combo with Tremolo. The original versions of this 18 Watt Amplifier (made from 1966-1968) are now extremely rare and highly sought after. The new, all-valve combo (3 x ECC83s* in preamp, 1 x EZ81 rectifier, 2 x EL84s in power amp) features two channels and a valve-driven Tremolo circuit (on Channel 2). Each channel offers two inputs plus volume and tone controls. Channel 2 also has Speed and Depth controls for the Tremolo.

A contributing sonic factor in the original 1974 is the way the sound of the Celestion Greenback speaker softens with age. For the 1974X, Celestion revisited the recipe for the original 20 Watt, ceramic magnet, 15 Ohm, Greenback T1221 speaker, and 'aged' it. The result is a new speaker proprietary to Marshall that yields all of the sonic characteristics of the original.

Newly added, user-friendly features on the rear panel include two speaker output jacks (the original internal speaker was hardwired to the output transformer) and an impedance selector. In addition, both the Mains and H.T. fuses are now accessible via the rear panel (in the original, fuses were internal and difficult to access and change). Most importantly, these new features have no tonal impact on the amplifier whatsoever.

1974CX 1x12" Speaker Cabinet. Designed to partner with the 1974X combo, the 1974CX is also loaded with the proprietary, 'aged' 20 Watt Celestion Greenback T1221 speaker.

2061X Head. The original versions of this new 20 Watt, all-valve (2 x ECC83s in preamp, 2 x EL84s in power amp) Lead and Bass 20 Head (made from 1967-1973) are now highly collectable. Its two channels. Lead and Bass, both boast the same, simple features: two inputs (High and Low Sensitivity) and controls for volume and tone.

To enhance the user-friendliness of the 2061X, an impedance selector has been added to the rear panel and both the Mains and H.T. fuses are now accessible via the rear panel. Again, these new features have no tonal impact on the amplifier whatsoever.

2061CX 2x12" Speaker Cabinet. This compact, 60 Watt, mono 2x12" cabinet has an angled front and is the perfect partner for the 2061X head. It sports Salt and Pepper (a.k.a. Grey Basket Weave) grille cloth, metal handles and two 30 Watt, Celestion G12H reissue speakers.

All four of the introductory models in this handwired series will be available in September 2004, with US MSRPs as follows:

  • 1974X $3200 (average street price $2299)
  • 1974CX $850 (average street price $599)
  • 2061X $2300 (average street price $1699)
  • 2061CX $1100 (average street price $799)


    *Note: ECC83 valves are also known as 12AX7s.

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