High vs. Low Powered Marshalls

junk notes

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Yes, check your notes. 20 watts will enter into clipping (overdrive) at a lower volume than 100 watts.
notes, as in "gimme sumptin' to wright on". -DLR

Yes, 20w will never sound like the 100w big iron. It is just physics.
Marshall did not design the SV20 to overdrive at lower volumes as you posted. You are describing in amp theory that low watts will enter into clipping (overdrive) at a lower volume than 100 watts. That the SV20 which Marshall describes as a 1959 circuit, breakes up quicker than the 100w SL/A that is attenuated, which is also a 1959 circuit.
 

marshallmellowed

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notes, as in "gimme sumptin' to wright on". -DLR

Yes, 20w will never sound like the 100w big iron. It is just physics.
Marshall did not design the SV20 to overdrive at lower volumes as you posted. You are describing in amp theory that low watts will enter into clipping (overdrive) at a lower volume than 100 watts. That the SV20 which Marshall describes as a 1959 circuit, breakes up quicker than the 100w SL/A that is attenuated, which is also a 1959 circuit.
To state that a 20w amp won't sound like a 100w is basically stating the obvious. The rest of your post, honestly, makes absolutely no sense (IMO). By design (anyone's design) a 20w amp will run out of headroom (overdrive) at lower volumes than a 100w amp. I think you might be missing the point of the thread, which is "actual" comparisons of high and low powered Marshalls, not anyone's "idea" of design theory, or what "should be". I know there are guys on here that have both high powered (1959, 2203, 2555) and low powered (SV, SC, Mini Jubilee...) Marshalls, and I'm interested in what differences they're "hearing".
 
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junk notes

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To state that a 20w amp won't sound like a 100w is basically stating the obvious. The rest of your post, honestly, makes absolutely no sense (IMO). By design (anyone's design) a 20w amp will run out of headroom (overdrive) at lower volumes than a 100w amp. I think you might be missing the point of the thread, which is "actual" comparisons of high and low powered Marshalls, not anyone's "idea" of design theory, or what "should be". I know there are guys on here that have both high powered (1959, 2203, 2555) and low powered (SV, SC, Mini Jubilee...) Marshalls, and I'm interested in what differences they're "hearing".
okay, but you were "stating" all this? I just reposted what you stated and you were the one not making any sense with SV20? Is there a problem? You were attempting to inform others with your knowledge and that is cool. All good, we can all learn together. I will let you know soon as I get familiar with my SV20, comparing them to the 1959/1992.
 

marshallmellowed

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okay, but you were "stating" all this? I just reposted what you stated and you were the one not making any sense with SV20? Is there a problem? You were attempting to inform others with your knowledge and that is cool. All good, we can all learn together. I will let you know soon as I get familiar with my SV20, comparing them to the 1959/1992.
I'm not here to inform anyone of my "knowledge", or to try and convince anyone of anything (which usually leads to back and forth debating). I'm just sharing my first hand "observations" when comparing the amps with those that might be interested, and looking for others that wish to share their "observations". For those looking to debate, they should probably look for another post.
 

dro

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This is interesting. I have never had the pleasure of a 1959. Being a JTM45 guy I could not see the need of a 100 watt'er for my application. Not to mention for the price of a 1959, I could get a really nice Les Paul. Or maybe a Martin acoustic. That's here nor there. I did try the SV20h jumped, through an EVH 212 cab. Although it did sound good. It was missing what I love about the tone I've enjoyed with the JTM. If they would make a smaller head, with the tone of a JTM. I'd be all over it. As would allot of players I'm sure.
I'm thinking it would nee a tube rectifier to get there.
 

WellBurnTheSky

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Regarding the OP: yeah, makes sense. I still think they really did get the feel of the original amps (and I agree that the goal was clearly to get as close as possible to the sound and feel of a cranked Superlead, just at a manageable SPL, and they achieved it beautifully). But yeah, any change in the power amp will change the tone (especially the low end), in particular with such a "simple" circuit...
Then again, in the context of a band mix, most of the differences in the low end will be much less obvious.
And a 800€, 10kg amp is just a winning proposition, when it has THAT tone and feel and dynamics.

Ah and I totally agree, they definitely weren't shooting for maximum clean headroom with the Studio line. Scaling down output level would be counter-productive for this anyway. They clearly wanted to offer the "cranked 100-watter Marshall" experience, without obliterating everything in a 10 meter radius, which was what many people had been asking for 20 years. And they delivered that.
 

scozz

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.......a 800€, 10kg amp is just a winning proposition, when it has THAT tone and feel and dynamics.

Ah and I totally agree, they definitely weren't shooting for maximum clean headroom with the Studio line. Scaling down output level would be counter-productive for this anyway. They clearly wanted to offer the "cranked 100-watter Marshall" experience, without obliterating everything in a 10 meter radius, which was what many people had been asking for 20 years. And they delivered that.
Right on point WBTS!
 

scozz

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I'm not here to inform anyone of my "knowledge", or to try and convince anyone of anything (which usually leads to back and forth debating). I'm just sharing my first hand "observations" when comparing the amps with those that might be interested, and looking for others that wish to share their "observations". For those looking to debate, they should probably look for another post.
Excellent response MM! Also a great thread, I think a lot of us really enjoyed your experiment, I know I did. Not only well done but done by one of the most respected members of The Marshall Forum imo!

Thanks,....
 

marshallmellowed

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Regarding the OP: yeah, makes sense. I still think they really did get the feel of the original amps (and I agree that the goal was clearly to get as close as possible to the sound and feel of a cranked Superlead, just at a manageable SPL, and they achieved it beautifully). But yeah, any change in the power amp will change the tone (especially the low end), in particular with such a "simple" circuit...
Then again, in the context of a band mix, most of the differences in the low end will be much less obvious.
And a 800€, 10kg amp is just a winning proposition, when it has THAT tone and feel and dynamics.

Ah and I totally agree, they definitely weren't shooting for maximum clean headroom with the Studio line. Scaling down output level would be counter-productive for this anyway. They clearly wanted to offer the "cranked 100-watter Marshall" experience, without obliterating everything in a 10 meter radius, which was what many people had been asking for 20 years. And they delivered that.
Totally agree with everything you said. My goal was just to identify, aside from the obvious power differences, the noticeable differences in tonality, feel... between the lower powered amps, and their 100 counterparts, attenuated to the same levels. I even compared them, both attenuated to the same levels (obviously more attenuation on the 100w). In no way, am I trying to prove one amp is superior to the other, just comparing and sharing the observations. I thought about doing audio clips, but recordings don't typically capture the more subtle differences.
 

marshallmellowed

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Excellent response MM! Also a great thread, I think a lot of us really enjoyed your experiment, I know I did. Not only well done but done by one of the most respected members of The Marshall Forum imo!

Thanks,....
Thanks. I'm always hesitant to start a post/thread like this, as you never know what direction it's going to go.
 

marshallmellowed

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This is interesting. I have never had the pleasure of a 1959. Being a JTM45 guy I could not see the need of a 100 watt'er for my application. Not to mention for the price of a 1959, I could get a really nice Les Paul. Or maybe a Martin acoustic. That's here nor there. I did try the SV20h jumped, through an EVH 212 cab. Although it did sound good. It was missing what I love about the tone I've enjoyed with the JTM. If they would make a smaller head, with the tone of a JTM. I'd be all over it. As would allot of players I'm sure.
I'm thinking it would nee a tube rectifier to get there.
Yes, I was comparing the JTM45 to both the 1959 and the SV20. There's definitely a certain mojo to the JTM45, whether it be the tube rectifier, the KT66's, or a combination of both (I'm thinking it's both). Not sure how to describe it, but to me, it's a more "ragged" or "crackly" character to the output distortion, where the other amps seem "smoother". It seems somewhere between an over driven Fender and an over driven EL34 Marshall.
 

marshallmellowed

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Something totally unrelated to tonal comparisons, I noticed that the head box of the SV20 is actually 3/4" deeper than the 100w 1959. Not sure why they did this, as I'm sure , after looking at the guts of the SV20, it could have been made the same depth.
 
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Biff Maloy

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I'd say it's as valid as hearing them side by side, in the same room, so good enough for me. In my opinion, the SV20 does an excellent job of capturing the general feel of a Plexi, on a small scale. Does it sound as good as an attenuated 100w, at the same volume? If I'm being honest, and based on what I'm hearing, I'd have to say no. But, as already mentioned, the SV20 output tubes are operating at lower voltages, the output transformer is much smaller..., so I guess it's to be expected. As for your question of headroom, the SV20 does not have much headroom at all, then again, it's only 20 watts and was designed to overdrive at lower volumes.

This is a debate I've had with myself for a while now. Big power that needs attenuated vs scaled down from the factory with no external attenuation needed. I have the Origin 20H, DSL20HR and Mini Jubilee 2525H. I've been planning my next amp purchases to be the SV20H and SC20H. Bedroom volumes are not in my thought process btw. I have my 50th Anniversary Marshalls for home playing so the amps in question are for playing out as intended. Before Covid, the 20 watters performed well in jams and i do like them a lot. But, i still crave a 1987X or even a 1959 as my duty amp. The thought of scrapping the whole 20 watt idea has crossed my mind and just get a 1987X. Slap it on top of my 1960AX and be done with it. I already have a Bad Cat Unleash. Been playing since the 80s but not any experience at all with attenuators even owning the Unleash. I used it years ago just to bring the volume up to playing level on the 50ths. Another reason this is kind of a big decision is, I've been a gear nut for a long time. I'm getting older and kind of done with that and am wanting the one or two amps that says me. NMV is definitely a circuit i prefer. It hits all over my tonal interests.

So, i gather from your thoughts, you are getting a better overal tone and feel from the big boys attenuated vs the stand alone 20 watt heads?
 

marshallmellowed

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This is a debate I've had with myself for a while now. Big power that needs attenuated vs scaled down from the factory with no external attenuation needed. I have the Origin 20H, DSL20HR and Mini Jubilee 2525H. I've been planning my next amp purchases to be the SV20H and SC20H. Bedroom volumes are not in my thought process btw. I have my 50th Anniversary Marshalls for home playing so the amps in question are for playing out as intended. Before Covid, the 20 watters performed well in jams and i do like them a lot. But, i still crave a 1987X or even a 1959 as my duty amp. The thought of scrapping the whole 20 watt idea has crossed my mind and just get a 1987X. Slap it on top of my 1960AX and be done with it. I already have a Bad Cat Unleash. Been playing since the 80s but not any experience at all with attenuators even owning the Unleash. I used it years ago just to bring the volume up to playing level on the 50ths. Another reason this is kind of a big decision is, I've been a gear nut for a long time. I'm getting older and kind of done with that and am wanting the one or two amps that says me. NMV is definitely a circuit i prefer. It hits all over my tonal interests.

So, i gather from your thoughts, you are getting a better overal tone and feel from the big boys attenuated vs the stand alone 20 watt heads?
Having owned both (and still do), here are my thoughts. If tone and feel are your #1 priority, with no concerns about volume, price, or having to move the amp around for gigging, I'd probably suggest a 1987x or 1959 SLP. Yes, they require the use of an attenuator, but from what I've read, most SV20 owners are also using attenutors (although less expensive attenuators), even at only 20 watts. Most SV20 owners also seem to prefer to attenuate the 20w mode, rather than use the 5w mode, which makes the 5w mode somewhat useless to those users. I'd have to say that, yes, I do prefer the attenuated "big boys" over the attenuated (or un-attenuated) 20w. Now, if I were having to haul the "big boys" around to gigs, I'd proabably be glad to use the 20w. It's more of a self indulgence thing, as although the "big boys" do have a certain "something", that seems to be missing in the 20w, the 20w still sounds excellent, and would definitely do the job.
 
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dro

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Yes, I was comparing the JTM45 to both the 1959 and the SV20. There's definitely a certain mojo to the JTM45, whether it be the tube rectifier, the KT66's, or a combination of both (I'm thinking it's both). Not sure how to describe it, but to me, it's a more "ragged" or "crackly" character to the output distortion, where the other amps seem "smoother". It seems somewhere between an over driven Fender and an over driven EL34 Marshall.


I call it sweetness
 

Biff Maloy

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Having owned both (and still do), here are my thoughts. If tone and feel are your #1 priority, with no concerns about volume, price, or having to move the amp around for gigging, I'd probably suggest a 1987x or 1959 SLP. Yes, they require the use of an attenuator, but from what I've read, most SV20 owners are also using attenutors (although less expensive attenuators), even at only 20 watts. Most SV20 owners also seem to prefer to attenuate the 20w mode, rather than use the 5w mode, which makes the 5w mode somewhat useless to those users. I'd have to say that, yes, I do prefer the attenuated "big boys" over the attenuated (or un-attenuated) 20w. Now, if I were having to haul the "big boys" around to gigs, I'd proabably be glad to use the 20w. It's more of a self indulgence thing, as although the "big boys" do have a certain "something", that seems to be missing in the 20w, the 20w still sounds excellent, and would definitely do the job.

The Studio Series is a winner for sure. My 2525H is.

It does seem a lot of attenuator use is for taming the SV for home use. I get it. I played one briefly. I have the home thing covered with my 50th collection. I think my 2061CX with 20 watt EVH Celestions should be a good match for the SV20H. I actually bought those just for it to be breaking them in ahead of time. They shave a little volume also that's slightly less than a 25 and it's very noticeable compared to a 100db G12H55hz or say a Vintage 30. I'm betting the 20s should tune it about right. My pedals are pretty basic but I'm always going to have a boost or overdrive if needed.

Yeah. I probably can't pass on the SV as i typed. The SC20H either. Your post just hit on my thoughts. I just want a Plexi i guess like a lot of us do. Can't help it.
 

marshallmellowed

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The Studio Series is a winner for sure. My 2525H is.

It does seem a lot of attenuator use is for taming the SV for home use. I get it. I played one briefly. I have the home thing covered with my 50th collection. I think my 2061CX with 20 watt EVH Celestions should be a good match for the SV20H. I actually bought those just for it to be breaking them in ahead of time. They shave a little volume also that's slightly less than a 25 and it's very noticeable compared to a 100db G12H55hz or say a Vintage 30. I'm betting the 20s should tune it about right. My pedals are pretty basic but I'm always going to have a boost or overdrive if needed.

Yeah. I probably can't pass on the SV as i typed. The SC20H either. Your post just hit on my thoughts. I just want a Plexi i guess like a lot of us do. Can't help it.
It wouldn't be a mistake, they're both nice little amps.
 


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