Saturday, January 31, 2009

Marshall Vintage Modern amp head

I've always been one to try to find "value" in my musical instruments - trying to get good sound on the relative cheap.

When it comes to guitars and amps I have tended to buy and use used equipment whenever possible. For the first time in my life I'm actually stepping up and buying something really top notch with the Marshall Vintage Modern 50W amp head.

I was searching for tone, listening to samples/sounds coming from amps recorded all over the internet. I started off looking for a Fender Blues Deville amp with 4 10" speakers. I think I remember playing one in a store many years back remembering it as one of the best sounding amps I'd ever played. After listening to several clips though, I realized it wasn't quite what I was looking for.

So I kept doing web searches. I found amp demonstrations on very helpful, as well as many others found on youtube and other outlets. I know it'd be best for me to go try to play all these amps myself - if I could find them - but I find most music stores are surprisingly bad places to audition amps given the noise levels. (Question: why not have better listening environments, and at least have a few tuned guitars if you're in the business of selling musical equipment?)

And I got to thinking about some of my favorite guitar sounds. There was an unsigned band named Ghotti who popped into my mind. The guitarist Ugo's tone, songwriting, and playing inspired me. He plays Marshalls. I'd always thought of Marshall amps as just too expensive, and in a strange way had considered Marshall amps too "elite" to consider playing. But they had that sound. And I knew so many rock bands I grew up listening to played Marshall's also. Maybe it wasn't all marketing.

Anyhow, after listening to lots of amps I was drawn more to the Marshall line, especially after hearing a demonstration of the Plexi model played by one of my favorites Eddie Van Halen in his early years. I kept listening and came across the Marshall Vintage Modern line of amps which was an attempt to create a line of amps with modern features but having the vintage sounds. So I found a seller on ebay and purchased a lightly used Vintage Modern 2266 50W amp head. I've never paid so much for an amp, but I'm hearing the dynamic touch sensitivity, aggressiveness and "aliveness" of sound that I'd been trying to get from other amps on the cheap - and "on-the-cheap" just wasn't cutting it for the tone I was going for. I'm looking forward to running the new amp through the paces when it arrives. And if all else fails, the used market for these seems strong.

Here's one sample video:

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