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Unread 06-30-2013, 09:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Slash SL5 - a review about this

FWiW, here's my prelim review after spending hours and hours with it (about 4 or 5):

The Good:
  • It sounds like a great 80s amp, and is the closest I've gotten to my mid-80s 2205 and 2210. Sounds nothing like DSL/JVM.
  • It has all the mids that Marshalls have lacked in recent years.
  • The bottom is tight and adequate.
  • I doesn't make me sound anything like Splash
  • The gain channel is very responsive in the way you'd expect a tube amp to react, in both playing dynamics and your guitar's volume control. It cleans up nicely, but not too pristine.
  • Clean channel is very nice; lots of top-end sparkle. It's very clean up until maybe 12:00 and then it goes to a nice grind by the time you get to max volume.
  • Reverb is nice; plenty of it. It doesn't get in the way.
  • The amp is quiet, though it has normal hiss when gain and volume is high and you're not playing.
  • More features and versatility, better build, higher gain than Class 5.
The Bad:
  • It lacks FX loop, independent channel EQ.
  • It's heavy - about 50 whopping lbs.
  • It's largid - larger than it seems. However, its taller design makes it easily double as a stool.
  • Overpriced but not by too much when you compare it to the Class 5 ($500) which had less features.
Other Commentium:
  • The overall voicing of the amp is bright and tight. Plenty of treble and mids, very clear. The bottom end is very tight. This makes neck pickups sound woody and clear.
  • There is plenty of gain for hard rock and early 80's metal without a pedal. Pre-Rectifier tones only - not for scooped mids.
  • Can't figure why a 5 watt amp needs to have power attenuation to 1 watt; why not just turn the Volume down? The sound is different of course, 1 watt mode is squishier as you'd expect and has less treble. Either mode sounds great. I like the 5w tones but I like the squishiness of the 1 watt. In 1 watt mode you can crank the clean channel while remaining quieter.
  • What is the need for a low sensitivity input?
  • I don't get the need for footswitchable reverb; who the heck switches reverb on & off? Get rid of the 1 watt mode, low-sensitivity input jack and the reverb switching, and add an FX loop.
  • What's with the power switch going from Standby to Off to On?
  • 50lbs. is bestial, considering a whole Vintage 30 4x12 cab weighs only 50% more (80lbs.) It's a 1x12 amp with one EL34 - how heavy could the transformer, speaker and box weigh?
That's all I can think of right now.
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Last edited by Vinsanitizer; 07-01-2013 at 07:27 AM.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 09:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

thanks for the review! great read. I was seriously considering getting one.. but... ended up getting other stuff. ... enjoy the SL5!
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Unread 06-30-2013, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Yes. Crank it!
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Unread 06-30-2013, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

HNAD....congrats

I don't mind having foot switchable reverb tbh....it's not essential but, comes in handy in some situations.

Rock out
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Fantastic little amp! I love mine!

A very accurate review!
well done!

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Unread 07-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinsanitizer View Post
FWiW, here's my prelim review after spending hours and hours with it (about 4 or 5):

The Good:
  • It sounds like a great 80s amp, and is the closest I've gotten to my mid-80s 2205 and 2210. Sounds nothing like DSL/JVM.
  • It has all the mids that Marshalls have lacked in recent years.
  • The bottom is tight and adequate.
  • I doesn't make me sound anything like Splash
  • The gain channel is very responsive in the way you'd expect a tube amp to react, in both playing dynamics and your guitar's volume control. It cleans up nicely, but not too pristine.
  • Clean channel is very nice; lots of top-end sparkle. It's very clean up until maybe 12:00 and then it goes to a nice grind by the time you get to max volume.
  • Reverb is nice; plenty of it. It doesn't get in the way.
  • The amp is quiet, though it has normal hiss when gain and volume is high and you're not playing.
  • More features and versatility, better build, higher gain than Class 5.
The Bad:
  • It lacks FX loop, independent channel EQ.
  • It's heavy - about 50 whopping lbs.
  • It's largid - larger than it seems. However, its taller design makes it easily double as a stool.
  • Overpriced but not by too much when you compare it to the Class 5 ($500) which had less features.
Other Commentium:
  • The overall voicing of the amp is bright and tight. Plenty of treble and mids, very clear. The bottom end is very tight. This makes neck pickups sound woody and clear.
  • There is plenty of gain for hard rock and early 80's metal without a pedal. Pre-Rectifier tones only - not for scooped mids.
  • Can't figure why a 5 watt amp needs to have power attenuation to 1 watt; why not just turn the Volume down? The sound is different of course, 1 watt mode is squishier as you'd expect and has less treble. Either mode sounds great. I like the 5w tones but I like the squishiness of the 1 watt. In 1 watt mode you can crank the clean channel while remaining quieter.
  • What is the need for a low sensitivity input?
  • I don't get the need for footswitchable reverb; who the heck switches reverb on & off? Get rid of the 1 watt mode, low-sensitivity input jack and the reverb switching, and add an FX loop.
  • What's with the power switch going from Standby to Off to On?
  • 50lbs. is bestial, considering a whole Vintage 30 4x12 cab weighs only 50% more (80lbs.) It's a 1x12 amp with one EL34 - how heavy could the transformer, speaker and box weigh?
That's all I can think of right now.
The #1 reason why I didn't buy one. Thanks for the writeup though.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

I second the review.

As far as an FX loop. I'm not sure how many 5w/1w practice amps will come
with a loop. I assume Marshall/Slash figured this as a practice amp and not
a giging or recording amp.

If it is a really big deal, there are work-arounds, I know a lot of players that use hihg-end amps with NO FX LOOP.

That certainly didn't stop me from getting one.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

I know, but still at the price point this is, kinda silly to have to jump thru more hoops! Tonewise they don't sound bad imho I didn't know they were that heavy!! That'd be an eye opener!
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"Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? NOWHERE!!!"

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1986 Lead 12 Microstack
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

What makes the thing weigh 50 pounds?
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sournote View Post
What makes the thing weigh 50 pounds?
slastone.....it weighs a ton......
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"Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? NOWHERE!!!"

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1986 Lead 12 Microstack
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Unread 07-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan11 View Post
slastone.....it weighs a ton......
I honestly have no idea. There's a speaker, a transformer and a wooden box, not much more than that.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Great review Vinsanitizer!

For the most part I agree with your review, but here are some of my thoughts that are a bit different than yours.

1. Heavy, yeah it is for a 5W amp, but the larger cabinet with 12" V30 speaker is why, and is also why it sounds so good.
2. I like the footswitchable reverb because it sounds great on or off in both channels depending on the needs.
3. I also like the dual input option....I am still not sure which I like better on any given guitar. There again more versatility.
4. I also like the 1W option. Yes, it will sound darker in that setting. No problem, use the very effective EQ and Presence controls to brighten it up to your liking.
5. I am really impressed with how effective the EQ and Presence knobs work for a wide variety of great sounds using many different type guitars.

I have owned my SL-5 for about a month now, and am truly enjoying the great sounds that I am achieving in both channels with multiple guitars!

Great job Marshall!!
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinsanitizer View Post
FWiW, here's my prelim review after spending hours and hours with it (about 4 or 5):

The Good:
  • It sounds like a great 80s amp, and is the closest I've gotten to my mid-80s 2205 and 2210. Sounds nothing like DSL/JVM.
  • It has all the mids that Marshalls have lacked in recent years.
  • The bottom is tight and adequate.
  • I doesn't make me sound anything like Splash
  • The gain channel is very responsive in the way you'd expect a tube amp to react, in both playing dynamics and your guitar's volume control. It cleans up nicely, but not too pristine.
  • Clean channel is very nice; lots of top-end sparkle. It's very clean up until maybe 12:00 and then it goes to a nice grind by the time you get to max volume.
  • Reverb is nice; plenty of it. It doesn't get in the way.
  • The amp is quiet, though it has normal hiss when gain and volume is high and you're not playing.
  • More features and versatility, better build, higher gain than Class 5.
The Bad:
  • It lacks FX loop, independent channel EQ.
  • It's heavy - about 50 whopping lbs.
  • It's largid - larger than it seems. However, its taller design makes it easily double as a stool.
  • Overpriced but not by too much when you compare it to the Class 5 ($500) which had less features.
Other Commentium:
  • The overall voicing of the amp is bright and tight. Plenty of treble and mids, very clear. The bottom end is very tight. This makes neck pickups sound woody and clear.
  • There is plenty of gain for hard rock and early 80's metal without a pedal. Pre-Rectifier tones only - not for scooped mids.
  • Can't figure why a 5 watt amp needs to have power attenuation to 1 watt; why not just turn the Volume down? The sound is different of course, 1 watt mode is squishier as you'd expect and has less treble. Either mode sounds great. I like the 5w tones but I like the squishiness of the 1 watt. In 1 watt mode you can crank the clean channel while remaining quieter.
  • What is the need for a low sensitivity input?
  • I don't get the need for footswitchable reverb; who the heck switches reverb on & off? Get rid of the 1 watt mode, low-sensitivity input jack and the reverb switching, and add an FX loop.
  • What's with the power switch going from Standby to Off to On?
  • 50lbs. is bestial, considering a whole Vintage 30 4x12 cab weighs only 50% more (80lbs.) It's a 1x12 amp with one EL34 - how heavy could the transformer, speaker and box weigh?
That's all I can think of right now.



....And it's made by MOTHER-F@#%IN SAUL HUDSON!!!!!
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Unread 07-01-2013, 10:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Its heavier because of the extra thick multi layered ink. The AFD100 suffered from insufficient ink that rubbed off too easily. Not the SL5 !
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Unread 07-01-2013, 10:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

SwampThing,

Beating a dead horse.....really??? Discussions of the SL-5 on this forum have been few and far between.....too few for that matter IMHO.

I am not one to be judgemental of an amp because of who signs it and/or where its made. I judge amps on how they sound and frankly, hope for reliability....which of course is an unknown for all tube amps no matter how expensive and where they are made IMO.

Hey, I understand...the SL-5 ain't your thing. No problem.

However, I love this amp for my needs and so may others for their needs!!

To each their own.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

That's a nice little amp. I played one at GC a few weeks ago.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 11:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

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Originally Posted by SRT2011 View Post
SwampThing,

Beating a dead horse.....really??? Discussions of the SL-5 on this forum have been few and far between.....too few for that matter IMHO.

I am not one to be judgemental of an amp because of who signs it and/or where its made. I judge amps on how they sound and frankly, hope for reliability....which of course is an unknown for all tube amps no matter how expensive and where they are made IMO.

Hey, I understand...the SL-5 ain't your thing. No problem.

However, I love this amp for my needs and so may others for their needs!!

To each their own.
Says the guy with 42 posts.
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It was late at night,,,,jamming some Ozzy (Crazy Train to be precise)...I stopped to re-do a passage....and a Catholic Mass in Latin started blaring out of my cabinet....I shut the sumbitch down and went downstairs and poured a stiff drink.. -ChuckHarmonJr
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Unread 07-01-2013, 11:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

And I LAUGH OUT LOUD at "DA Slash TONEZ dont get talked about much here"

The sky is blue

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Marshall Forum and Slash TOANZ
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It was late at night,,,,jamming some Ozzy (Crazy Train to be precise)...I stopped to re-do a passage....and a Catholic Mass in Latin started blaring out of my cabinet....I shut the sumbitch down and went downstairs and poured a stiff drink.. -ChuckHarmonJr
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Unread 07-02-2013, 12:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

SwampThing,

No doubt...Slash tones are discussed forever on this forum! I definitely agree with that statement. My comments about the SL-5 amp have nothing to do with "Slash tones" at all.

I love the amp for the fantastic classic rock / hard rock and clean tones that it can provide. It is a simple as that. Others may too.

As far as the number of posts......yes you are very correct. I don't post often, but when I do.....I try to post with something meaningful based on my experiences with Marshall amps which is what I thought this forum was all about? Apparently, you do not...at least not this time.

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Unread 07-02-2013, 04:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

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I honestly have no idea. There's a speaker, a transformer and a wooden box, not much more than that.
Kinda defeats some of the attraction of a 5w amp for me.

Why lug a 50 pound 5 watter vs. a 50 pound 40 watter?
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:34 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

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Kinda defeats some of the attraction of a 5w amp for me.

Why lug a 50 pound 5 watter vs. a 50 pound 40 watter?
It's not a deal breaker for me, though I'd certainly prefer 30lbs. You won't be using a 5 watter for many gigs, it's a home practice/recording amp. And if you were going to gig with it mic'd up, you'd still typically be using an amp of about equal or more weight otherwise.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

I wonder if I can get one without the fugly logo on it?
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Unread 07-02-2013, 07:29 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

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It's not a deal breaker for me, though I'd certainly prefer 30lbs. You won't be using a 5 watter for many gigs, it's a home practice/recording amp. And if you were going to gig with it mic'd up, you'd still typically be using an amp of about equal or more weight otherwise.
Yeah, I'm not a gigging musician but I do go jam with friends from time to time. I've been thinking a small, lighter amp might be cool for that if it was loud enough and spared me hefting my larger amps around.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

So basically the differences between this and the class 5 are the extra effects And more distortion ? Any other differences i would be happy to hear them. I have the class 5 currently but very interested in giving the sl 5 a go. How does the sl 5 sound through headphones? I find the class 5 horrible through headphones which makes night time practicing impossible
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Unread 07-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

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Originally Posted by Pete1983 View Post
So basically the differences between this and the class 5 are the extra effects And more distortion ? Any other differences i would be happy to hear them. I have the class 5 currently but very interested in giving the sl 5 a go. How does the sl 5 sound through headphones? I find the class 5 horrible through headphones which makes night time practicing impossible
IMO, the similarities between the Class 5, and the SL-5, are limited to the 5 watt ratings, and the fact that they are both Marshalls. Speaker, tubes, circuit, features, are all different.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Let me get this straight - the SL-5 is made in China but the Class 5 is made in England?
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Unread 07-02-2013, 02:25 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Those are 2 completely different beasts...
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Unread 07-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete1983 View Post
So basically the differences between this and the class 5 are the extra effects And more distortion ? Any other differences i would be happy to hear them. I have the class 5 currently but very interested in giving the sl 5 a go. How does the sl 5 sound through headphones? I find the class 5 horrible through headphones which makes night time practicing impossible
I had the class 5 previously. A nice little amp but I didn't like the dirty tones on it. The SL5 sounds to me what I have been looking for. With a smaller gig, I can run it through the Two-Notes Torpedo Live loadbox and it sounds amazing.

Very happy with it. The FX loop, I'll deal with at some point by getting one added in. I need that for my delay and some of my Fx to run through it. Not a dealbreaker though. The reverb does very nicely to help with that.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

The Class 5 is a one-channel no frills amp. It's a cool little box for people who want a low-powered non master volume "clip and rip" amp. Uses one EL84, two preamp tubes, 10" generic speaker, headphone out. It is currently discontinued.

The SL5 has two channels, Presence control low/high inputs, dual wattage selection, digital reverb, Vintage 30 12" speaker, single EL34, three preamp tubes and a proportionately large box to facilitate the speaker and enhance the tone.

Not to knock the Class 5, but I was an early adopter and had a lot of the problems that plagued the amp right out of the starting gate: mainly, the placement of the EL84 too close to the speaker spelled the future demise, as it caused irreparable rattle. The entire box rattled and buzzed as well. They ended up doing a redesign to address these issues, and subsequently raised the price from US $399 to $499. By then it was too expensive and was falling out of favor. Lack of sales left it in the dust.

I can't say for sure the SL5 will become overly popular; it's expensive and heavy for a 5 watter. The US $699 tag and Slash signature will likely further relegate this amp to "Limited Edition" status, and will probably be phased out by the next greatest release - personally, I'm expecting a reissue of the entire Silver Jubilee series, but I ain't holdin' my breasts.

For now, the SL5 is with us and will probably always remain a cool collectable. It's a great amp for the Jube sound, and a great amp for any collector.
colchar and Fiat Lux like this.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 05:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Slash SL5 - a review about this

What if Marshall brought out a EVH5? There's one that every man and his dog would be lining up for.
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