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Unread 06-29-2009, 12:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

Anyone have experience with the Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp? How do they compare to the Marshall amp heads?
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Unread 06-29-2009, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

There's some members on the forum who swear by them. They've gone the complete rack route. I think if you use the right preamp (tube) like a 9001 or JMP-1, then you can get down and dirty and sound like a true Marshall. Some have even tubed one side with EL34's and the other side with 5881's or 6550's. To me that's like having two different amps and I think it's very versatile. Or it gives you the advantage of a "backup" amp in case one side goes down.

I'm sure you will get some responses from those who use this equipment.

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Unread 06-29-2009, 10:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

The other guitar player in my band has one. I think they sound pretty good. A LOT of balls behind that thing. I almost think it gets louder than an amp head. Of course it really depends on the preamp that you put in front of it but if you don't like it you can always change it and keep the power amp the same. That's a big plus to the rack route. I'm still like heads better but that's just personal opinion, sound wise, I wouldn't mind playing rack gear as long as I could keep it simple.
The biggest drawback to this thing, it is HEAVY AS HELL! I can't stand having to help lug this thing around to gigs, it takes up a bunch of floor space too since you can't sit it on top of your cab. That part is lame but the ability to run 4 cabinets off of one unit is pretty awesome within itself.
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Unread 06-30-2009, 06:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

I have the older 9200 Dual MonoBloc power amp in my all rack based rig and the only difference in the 2 models is mine runs 6L6s(5881s were 'stock' when it came out). The EL34 100/100 is the same amp just the newer model replacing the 9200,and it runs EL34s instead of 6L6s.I first wanted the EL34 50/50,which is the same model as the older 9100,but they were out of stock. Then I wanted the EL34 100/100 but I was able to find and buy 2 of the 9200s used for the same price as a new 100/100. I may still try to get an El34 100/100 at some point. Thru the years I have run heads with EL34s and heads with 6L6s and my preference is for 6L6s.

Mine is a monster 100/100 or 200watt total output power amp. The best thing I like about it is the super wide amount of headspace. It is just not possible to run it to clipping.

I run a total stereo rig. I alternate between 2 different preamp/effects processors for the 2 bands and one side project I'm in- a Fractal AX-FX and a Digitech GSP 1101-instead of a tube driven preamp. I tried Triaxis/GMajor/2:90 and JMP-1/Gmajor rigs. Did not care for the tones I got. I like the modeling processor into the power amp tones and its flexibility. After the preamp my signal runs down thru dual engine processors- BBE 482i sonic maximizer,Rocktron Hush 2 CX noise reduction, then into both sides of the power amp,then runs out and into either one 1960A cab on stereo for some bar sized gigs,rehearsals, and recording or out to 2 1960s,both on mono, for most gigs and touring. I like to run the 1960s side by side.

My rig is super compact. My 8space rack has casters and rolls. Cabs roll in. On my floor is just a wah, a midi controller footswitch to change my programmed patches in my preamp/effects processor,and a single button footswitch connected to my rack tuner that is used as a mute when switching guitars on stage. I keep everything clean and well organized in the back of my rack and all cables are labeled and fall out ready to plug in at gigs. The Furman power conditioners in my rack-anything and everything electrical in my rig is connected to. I only have one electrical cable,a big thick super long heavy duty custom built electrical cable, coming out of my rack to find a power source to plug into at gigs. Thats it. Rack/cabs/Small floorboard. Loadins and loadouts are a breeze.

My rythym guitarist runs a traditional 100 watt head/pedal floorboard/2-4x12 cab rig and I have to really hold back the throttle in our rehearsals to keep from smoking his system. I let him adjust his volume,then I adjust to him. I play lead mostly but also harmonize with his rythym playing plus do all of the fills and the solos. We finally have figured out how to blend our totally different systems to make a good solid sound.

When we first got him I was messing with him in a rehearsal one day. I kept sneaking my power amps volumes up louder and louder and he kept checking his volume,kept turning it up,kept stopping, and actually even started kicking stuff.Lolll. My drummer finally resorted to wearing ear plugs it got so loud. I eventually backed off and told him what I had been doing. He had thought his rig had blown something. He went so far as to thinking it sounded like shit. Well, compared to mine, it did,and does,IMO. Mine is just smoother and more even sounding ,as well as being just a really clean type of loudness. No hum at all. Guitars dont squeel. Totally quiet rig.

Only one problem- that damn power amp weighs 85lbs by itself...
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Unread 06-30-2009, 08:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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Originally Posted by noise5150 View Post
Anyone have experience with the Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp? How do they compare to the Marshall amp heads?
I have one. Very flexible. Sounds great and it can push 4 cabs. VERY heavy. The fan is a little noisy when no one is playing. Make sure it is secure in both the front AND the back of the rack. casters on a rack are convenient but can be tube killers when you roll it across a rough surface when they're hot (ie; rushing on and off stage or across the parking lot to your truck)

Now, about it's versatility. Its just raw power. You can put any preamp in front of this and it will sound good. I have found that tube pre amps respond better that modeling type pre amps. Modelers are fun to tinker with and program. The tone downloads are endless on the web. I just think they're thin and lack any life. Tube pre's have an organic feel and respond better to your playing.

Nofearfactor, try your setup without the HUSH and the Maximizer. IMO they are tone killers.
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Unread 06-30-2009, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

I used to have a Sonic Maximizer, I agree they destroy tone sometimes... I think they sound good on a bass rig but at the same time a compressor works better...
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Unread 06-30-2009, 08:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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Nofearfactor, try your setup without the HUSH and the Maximizer. IMO they are tone killers
What would 'kill' one persons tone,may be that somethingsomething that adds a certain something to another players tone that another persons rig cant use. Thats me and my rig. And my tone.

The sonic maximizer I will always use. What I have in my rack right now is my third different model of BBE s.m. I use guitars with EMG active pickups-sterile and processed tones- to guitars with DiMarzio ToneZones,which put out a more rock or metal tone. I always A/B my rigs tones with/without the s.m. and it doesnt kill my tone at all,only adds to it.

And,actually,my new rig is so quiet the Hush is barely even being used. Sometimes it isnt being used. When I used heads though it got used more because of those hissy fizzy noisy assed heads.

Quote:
compressor works better
Myself,I dont believe compressors necessarily belong in every guitarists rig. Depends though on the type of music you play and the gear youre using. I could never get used to using one and have tried several. I actually have a couple of rack compressors in my home studio not being used in any of my rigs any more- a DBX 166XL and an Alesis 3630 .My bass rig though I use one. When I record guitar and bass parts I will use one. Just not in my live guitar rigs.

Ummm,IMO,the way I see it,your personal tone depends entirely on your own style,the rig you put together to get the tones you hear in your head,the type of music you play, and how you EQ everything that you use in your rigs chosen gear.

I dont play rock,the blues,classic rock,old skool heavy metal,hair metal,pop,etc, where I may need a more 'organic' type of tube generated tone. In the 3 projects I play in- modern metal,extreme metal, industrial-metal, and instrumental rock-metal-fusion projects- I can get by with a more processed digital type of tone because thats the tone that I'm actually going for. I've always been after a more digital processed tone. But I like to use tube power amps instead of solid state to push my cabs. May not make sense to some people, but it works for me. I have to build this sterile digital processed tone then push the cabs with heated up tube power amps. I tried using solidstate power amps and it just didnt work out. I spent alot of time in the mad scientist lab between projects and bands tweaking gear to get my rig to where it is right now. The rig I have now is as close to perfect as I'm ever going to get. For me.

Ive been using the same rack of processors for years. I used the same rack of processors when I used heads/floorboard pedals instead of the rack preamp,effects processor/power amp type of rig I'm using now. I get nothing but compliments on my tone from everyone.

So,to each their own. Thanx for the advice guys. I appreciate it.
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Unread 06-30-2009, 08:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

Just wondering, would it be hard to mod one of these things so that one side is 50watts using EL34s, and the other is 100watts using 6L6s? For a while I've been thinking of buying one and modding it as so, then having two preamps set up with an A/B/Y box, and using the EL34 side for overdrive, and the 6L6 side for cleans.
It'd be much easier than buying 2 power amps and setting it up like so.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 06:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

I see no problem with that. It is basically 2 seperate power amps in one cabinet. But then youre going to have cabinet issues.

Last edited by nofearfactor; 07-01-2009 at 07:06 PM.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 03:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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Myself,I dont believe compressors necessarily belong in every guitarists rig.
Me too. I only like them in bass rigs...
Just like you said a lot of stuff isn't for everybody. Me personally I don't use that BBE anymore but my other guitar player does and I think it makes a positive impact on his tone as it stands now. I still think with some tweaking he could get around without it but that's just my own opinion as I'm a minimalist. Good tone is good tone no matter what's behind it, though.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 03:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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Just wondering, would it be hard to mod one of these things so that one side is 50watts using EL34s, and the other is 100watts using 6L6s? For a while I've been thinking of buying one and modding it as so, then having two preamps set up with an A/B/Y box, and using the EL34 side for overdrive, and the 6L6 side for cleans.
It'd be much easier than buying 2 power amps and setting it up like so.
Of course in doing so you would be better off just A/B/Y'ing two preamps into the same side of the power amp. If you split the power amp you won't be able to use all four speakers within a cabinet at once. You'd have to stereo the cab to make it work. So essentially you're cutting your speaker cab in half if you can run stereo. If you can't run it stereo than you can't do it at all unless you have another cab or a quad stack! That'd be the way to go, get four 4x12's and make the singer carry them to keep his ego in check!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 07:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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with some tweaking he could get around without it but that's just my own opinion as I'm a minimalist
Ironically,I use the BBE because I'm like one notch below a minimalist- a complete slacker. I know I could get more out of my rig without the BBE if I just spent more time tweaking my rig in the mad scientist lab,but with it on it sounds great and I'm honestly too lazy to do any more tweaking than I have to. The rig sounds totally badass as it is.And like David Lee Roth said,"if it aint broke then dont **** with it".

Now, when I do any recording with either of my preamp/effects processors direct the BBE isnt being used at all. And when I run a direct feed to the FOH via XLR outs there is no BBE on that either. So,basically its just my live rigs sound where its being used and where its needed the most. After reading what BBE says the unit does- then that is the only place where I need it anyways. Most studio producers and engineers scoff when they see them also. They just arent needed in your rig when trying to get a tone to record with. Maybe its used later, no idea....
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Unread 07-01-2009, 07:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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Of course in doing so you would be better off just A/B/Y'ing two preamps into the same side of the power amp. If you split the power amp you won't be able to use all four speakers within a cabinet at once. You'd have to stereo the cab to make it work. So essentially you're cutting your speaker cab in half if you can run stereo. If you can't run it stereo than you can't do it at all unless you have another cab or a quad stack! That'd be the way to go, get four 4x12's and make the singer carry them to keep his ego in check!
One problem, I do Vocals/Guitar D=

I'll just go out and find some poor sodd to be my roadie =D
And I like the idea of 4 cabs. And running it in stereo would be cool with me.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 10:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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One problem, I do Vocals/Guitar D=

I'll just go out and find some poor sodd to be my roadie =D
And I like the idea of 4 cabs. And running it in stereo would be cool with me.
Hell yeah!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 10:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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Now, when I do any recording with either of my preamp/effects processors direct the BBE isnt being used at all. And when I run a direct feed to the FOH via XLR outs there is no BBE on that either. So,basically its just my live rigs sound where its being used and where its needed the most. After reading what BBE says the unit does- then that is the only place where I need it anyways. Most studio producers and engineers scoff when they see them also. They just arent needed in your rig when trying to get a tone to record with. Maybe its used later, no idea....
I think the main reason that the engineers and such get away from them in a studio rig is that the way the BBE SM was first described to me was that it kind of "masters" your sound. Pretty good description 'cause that's what I always felt they sounded like, obviously you know how they round everything out and make the tone sound more together and such. It's a similar process that happens in the mixing and mastering sound that brings all the instruments together that I think leaves them more to work with if the SM is left out. I'm pretty sure you can use the rack BBE on a mixing output console but I'm not positive.

We just recorded some guitars a few weeks ago and I used a 2203 with some pedals and a EL34 100/100 with an Engl preamp and that rig had the rack Sonic Maximizer in it. We left it in the signal for that session to further contrast the two rigs. You said you are running direct, so are you not mic'ing any speaker cabinets and just using the signal straight to the board? I've always liked big room sound so I try to record with bottom cabs in a wide room with no sound proofing. We always try to DI the bass guitar though to be able to blend a lot of different sounds not present in the amp signal.

Wow, we're almost headed for a studio forum... lol
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Unread 07-01-2009, 10:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

got any sound clips up?
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Unread 07-02-2009, 04:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

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You said you are running direct, so are you not mic'ing any speaker cabinets and just using the signal straight to the board?
No. I do both. I mic cabs and run a direct feed and then mix them. Same as in the studio. I will record a mic'd cab sound and then a direct sound and mix them. Live I use one cab that is mic'd and another for stage volume that I turn away from shooting straight ahead.
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Unread 07-02-2009, 04:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Monobloc Amp

word
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