Advantages Simple, Brash, Uncompromising and Fun
Disadvantages No Flexibility, Recommend modding if single coil bridge pickup used.
Possesses THAT sound. Think Judas Priest 'Rapid Fire' crunch.
Little to go wrong electronically if maintained properly compared to multi channel valve amps.
Simple no nonsense operation.
Brash crunchy sound with a tight metallic edge compared to other old Marshalls
50W proves more useful in small venues, practice rooms and studios
Here then is my favourite Marshall. 3 12AX7s, 2 EL34s, a solid staterectifier and a big transformer. Simple. If you like to turn up, turn on, ROCK then spend the evening nodding and smiling politely at groupies you can no longer hear this is the amp for you. Some would say one trick pony. I would argue no nonsense in an area where a lot of nonsense is spoken about presets and settings. It does one thing but it does it beautifully.Choosing an amp can be tricky these days, what with all the endless voice modeling algorithms and thousand band parametric triple recto whatsits. None of this flies with me. I already have a computer, I want an amp. Transistors have their place but that place is not here.
Having owned both models I can safely say that if this amp is only ever to be used live for larger venues or if you like to be able to dial in a passable clean sound at volume go for the 100W as it has a little more volume and headroom before the crunch kicks in.
If you use your amp for a variety of applications such as studio, practice room or home settings the 50W will allow more crunch at lower volumes and won't frighten sound guys at smaller venues quite so much.
Clean(ish) sounds are obtainable by rolling off the volume on your guitar slightly.
DI connector on the back gives reasonable results but must still be connected to a speaker for the sake of your output transformer. With the master volume turned down the low input will give you clean sounds and the high input will yield a rather fizzy (but still tubey) distortion. If you must play at low volume but need all the crunch try a Power Brake or something similar.
Amongst other advantages the 50W has only 1 pair of output valves which is less costly when you come to replace them. It is also a fraction lighter which makes sense if you travel and do not have an army of serfs.
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