4140 Club & Country
watfordkev, on december 11, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 400
Purchased from: Ebay
Features: If you were to design an amplifier that was a combined head-turner, back-breaker, bone-shaker, sound-maker, you might end up with the Marshall 4140 Club & Country amplifier. An extremely distinctive & rare Marshall combination amplifier dating back to 1979, and designed and marketed as a competitor for the ubiquitous Fender Twin, its' honeyed clean sounds are every inch that of its' rival. I have read that it was the most expensive piece of R&D ever undertaken by Marshall. Of course it's a completely valve-driven amp, with a natural spring reverb (switchable via a footswitch). There are two channels, one of which features that natural reverb, the other totally clean. And when we say clean, with this amp, we mean very - very - clean. It will overdrive (although I tend to use external processing for this) but it's on those cleaner sounds where it really scores.
Do not confuse cleanliness in the tone with any lack of power. This bad boy will blow the hairs on your legs long before you get anywhere near maxing out its' volume. I've never been able to above around 6 or 7 with it, and even then the tone stayed rockin' and clean. The brown cabinet is tastefully complemented with a fawn grille cloth, covering 2 x 12 red McKenzie speakers with gold-capped tweeters. // 9
Sound: I use the 4140 primarily with my Yamaha SG1500 in an all-electric setting, playing in a covers band. I also use a DigiTech GNX3 unit with it, to add a little delay and/or chorus. This amplifier specialises in clean sounds, and the tone stays strong and clean as a whistle even at mind-melding volumes. There is virtually no noise from the amp, and the controls move smoothly with no crackles or pops. The eq is beautiful too, and a 'bright' switch will add an extra little 'twang' should you so desire! // 9
Reliability & Durability: There is an overhead with an amplifier like this. The enormous weight makes mobility extremely difficult. Additionally, and despite the tank-like construction, it does not travel well. The tubes have let me down before, which involved a return to Marshall and the associated travel | repair costs, although they were very professional to deal with! So I would have to say that the trade off for using a cherished, vintage, rare, head-turning piece of equipment that oozes style and tone is... Reliability! // 7
Impression: I've used this in my covers band and also in an Indie setup. It suits itself extremely well to pop | rock covers and also in the Indie setting, that Johnny Marr tone is well within its palette - would that I could play anything like him! If it were stolen I would circulate a description of a 20-stone bodybuilder. While it's a desirable piece it would be very - very - difficult to make off with it. I love its sound, it's like nothing else I've used before or since, although the AS50D I own is like a modern version with lots of extras and about 75% lighter weight. Anything I wish it had? WHEELS!