Archive for huhtikuu 25th, 2012

25/04/2012

Not again! Another Epiphone Casino photo

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The Epiphone Casino – a beautiful classic!

25/04/2012

Review: Marshall JTM1C + JMP1C

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Marshall Amplification celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. To honour the occasion the company is releasing five small anniversary models, produced in limited numbers. Each model of these one-Watt all-valve heads and combos has been designed to represent one era in Marshall-history, both in looks and in sound.

Kitarablogi.com had the pleasure to review the Sixties and Seventies combos – the JTM1C and JMP1C.

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The JTM1C-combo (current street price in Finland approximately 700 €) nails the look of early JTM-models perfectly. Just like the famous Bluesbreaker-combo, the JTM1C sports a golden nameplate with the old-style block lettering and the famous salt-and-pepper grille cloth of yore.

Valve purists will be delighted at the sight of just one volume- and one tone-control – nothing stands in the way of pure tone.

Even though the anniversary models aren’t wired point-to-point in the vintage style, the electronic lay-out and PCB-build look very sturdy and clean. Two ECC83/12AX7-valves run in the preamp section, while the power amp employs one ECC82/12AU7.

The Marshall JTM1C is equipped with the same, fine Celestion speaker, which had been developed for the Class 5 combo – the ten-inch G10F-15.

The combo’s half-open back looks as clean as the front.

The Power-button next to the two external speaker jacks drops the maximum output of the amp from one Watt to 0.1 Watts.

The same Marshall-handle is used on all of the anniversary amps.

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The Seventies are represented by the JMP1C (current street price in Finland approximately 700 €), which displays the famous Marshall script logo, as well as the light grey grille cloth with the dark weave that’s typical of many amps from that era.

This anniversary model features three controls – volume, treble and bass.

The JMP1C’s design uses four valves: two ECC83/12AX7’s in the preamp section, and two ECC81/12AT7-models for the power stage. The speaker, too, is different here – it’s a ten-inch Celestion G10N-40.

Looking from the back the JMP1C seems to look almost exactly like the JTM1C; but wait…

…there’s a second pushbutton next to the speaker outputs, labelled Gain Boost.

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It’s interesting to note the sonic differences between these two combos.

Set clean the Marshall JTM1C has a fine, open and bright ring to its voice, while the JMP1C is noticeably fatter and more mid-centric. Neither of the combos is endowed with a lot of clean headroom, but I found the Sixties version to be somewhat better suited for clean playing:

Marshall JTM1C – Telecaster/clean

Marshall JMP1C – Telecaster/clean

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Regardless of what guitar is used, once the volume control reaches about 12 o’clock both amps are definitely in overdriven territory. The JTM’s drive tones are warmer and smoother than those of the JMP. The JMP1C’s overdriven sounds are fresher and crunchier, with a distinct stack-like tonality, in contrast to the JTM1C’s Bluesbreaker-inspired delivery:

Marshall JTM1C – Les Paul Junior/overdrive

Marshall JMP1C – Les Paul Junior/overdrive

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At full throttle – and with the JMP’s Gain Boost activated – the differences are clearer still: The JTM1C is really creamy and warm, while the JMP1C has a far more aggressive and snarling take on things. You could say the JTM1C is the bluesier alternative, while the JMP1C caters for the classic rock fans:

Marshall JTM1C – Hamer Studio Custom/full gain

Marshall JMP1C – Hamer Studio Custom/full gain

Both combos are rather loud for one-watters. Turned up full the volume is not quite loud enough to annoy your neighbours during the day, but almost, which is where the handy Power-button on the back panel comes in and saves the day.

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700 Euros for such small combos may sound like a lot of money to some, but you shouldn’t forget two things: Firstly, all anniversary models are built in the UK, and not in China, and secondly, these are limited edition runs, making them interesting for collectors. If Marshall had chosen to release 50- or 100-Watt stacks to commemorate their five decades in business, the price of such models would have been above most of our budgets. With these cool one-Watt amps most Marshall fans are getting the opportunity to acquire their own piece of Marshall-history, without going bankrupt.

I feel the reviewed combos are great little amps that are a fitting tribute to both Marshall the company, as well as to their founder, the late Jim Marshall!

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Marshall 50th Anniversary -combos

Finnish Distributor: EM Nordic

A big thanks to DLX Music for the loan of the review samples!

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Marshall JTM1C

Pros:

+ workmanship

+ sound

+ output power can be curtailed

+ small size

+ collectability

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Marshall JMP1C

Pros:

+ workmanship

+ sound

+ gain booster

+ output power can be curtailed

+ small size

+ collectability

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