Price paid: $ 1700
Purchased from: CraigsList
Features: Marshall HandWired 2061x & 2061cx Cabinet. 20 watts of power, two channels (lead & bass), volume and tone control for each channel. That is it. Simplistic and all you need. Uses EL84 Power Tubes for the classic Marshall sound.
The cabinet is a 2x12 Cabinet filled with Celestion G12H-30watt speakers. The sound characteristics of this speaker are between a Celestion Greenback and a Celestion Vintage 30.
Although there is no 'channel switching' there is 'channel blending.' In other words you can blend the Lead and Bass channel to get a really unique sound with endless possibilities. I will tell you how I run this later. // 7
Sound: If you go on to the Marshall Website and read the product overview of this amp you will read something much different then what I am saying. They state this amp is much more aggressive sounding and more modern sounding then a traditional plexi. This I truly do not agree with. I don't think this has a modern edge to it what'soever. Maybe it is what I play and what I play through it but that is not the impression I am ever struck with. Moving back to the style I play though at lower volumes (on the guitar) you get that beautiful Marshall crunch on the clean parts and when you bring up the volume you get a slapped in the face, hard, with beautiful tone!
For me, this cab is a wonder in itself. The 2061x boasts the 'hybrid' speakers essentially combining the tonal characteristics of a Greenback and a Vintage 30. I personally hate the sound of Vintage 30's so I was extremely skeptical about this when I tried the cab. Every other amp I have has a greenback speaker in it except for one, so to say the least, I really like the sound of those 25watt Greenbacks. As I said earlier, to me this speaker, the G12H-30, has 90% voicing of a Greenback and 10% voicing of a Vintage 30. It just has a slightly different edge than a Greenback. Not enough to deter you away from it, but enough to intrigue you. As these speakers are based on a Greenback, they provide an extremely warm sound with strong bass response and something that really fills out your tone. I am extremely happy that they kept these speakers at 30watts so you are able to get some speaker breakup. Celestion did an extremely good job designing this speaker and I would encourage everyone who likes Greenbacks to try one of these out.
I am extremely passionate about my stance on this and this could very well piss a good amount of you off, but I can honestly see no reason why anyone who gigs would ever need more than a 40watt amp. I cannot fathom it and I simply do not understand it. There are a few exceptions, if you are a Jazz player trying to keep it crystal clean, then yes an 80watt Fender Twin is probably a great choice for you. But for the style of music I play there is no need to be higher than 40watts in ANY SIZED VENUE. This is why this amp at 20watts is perfect. I can actually get a great tube overdrive in bars, clubs, and larger venues. In addition, when you start getting to larger venues (not that I have played them...yet) but Arena's, outdoor events, they Mic your amp, so tell me again why someone needs 100watts? In the days before quality PA's yes it makes sense when you literally had to fill an arena with sound. Ok the rant is over; morale of the story is this is perfect at 20watts. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Reliability & Durability is where this amp truly shines. Knowing it is HandWired makes me feel at ease that if something were to go terribly wrong it would be a fairly easy fix. I gig with this on a regular basis. I basically shuffle between two amps when I play live. Either this 2061x or my Marshall 1962 'Bluesbreaker.' I just base that decision on what fits better at the venue in terms of size. // 9
Overall Impression: After having my fair share of Marshall Plexi's I can say that the 2061x & 2061cx are my favorite pairing. Just by a hair but something about this is just 'special.' I have had a 1987X & 1960x cabinet. Rated at 50watts, was way too loud, could never play it anywhere and get a good sound out of it. The reason I sold that is I played an outdoor event that was at an Airfield and I still couldn't get it to the sweet spot. So none the less I sold that and I purchased this and believe it or not broke even. A great upgrade in my mind. The other Marshall Plexi I have is the 1962 'Bluesbreaker' rated at 30watts. This is just a hair behind the 2061x. Sound is nearly equivalent out of both but the HandWired has a slight tonal benefit and I must say the 2061x looks dead sexy.
I am a huge fan of combo amps, especially when you gig it makes your life way easier, so I was looking at the 18watt 1974X but learned it was voiced exactly like a 1962 'Bluesbreaker', which I already own so I naturally gravitated towards the 2061x. Although this is technically a half stack it is a miniature one and extremely easy to transport. The cab weighs about 60lbs, and the head is right around 20lbs so in amp world that isn't too bad. My 'Bluesbreaker' is about 67lbs and extremely awkward to carry so when I transport the 2061x & cab I have a nice sigh of relief.
We all know that you pay more for a name, whether it is Gibson, Marshall, or Fender. But there IS a reason for that. They have reputation, have been around for 50+ years and they know what they are doing. Over the years I have seen their prices continue to rise and that is why I refuse to buy new. I was lucky with this one, I live in Southern California and found this one on CraigsList up in San Francisco and luckily have a friend that offered to pick it up and Drive it down. When I did a National search on CraigsList there were only 4 in the nation so I feel pretty privileged that I own one. Something I hope to have with me until the day I stop playing guitar, maybe even afterwards because it is a piece of art, but don't kid yourself, this thing is meant to be played.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me and I would be more than happy to talk with you. Thank you Ultimate-Guitar for being the best Guitar Player oriented site out there! I have been a member for 7 years now and can't wait for 7 more! // 9