2061X & 2061CX Half-Stack Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 06/16/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Marshall: 2061X & 2061CX Half-Stack
Harken back to the golden age of rock and roll with this Marshall half stack featuring two classics together, the 2061X Handwired 20W amp head and a 2061CX 2x12 extension cabinet.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 10 
 Views:
 8,941 
reviews (2) pictures (3) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
2061X & 2061CX Half-Stack Reviewed by: thejester, on october 18, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

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overall: 9
2061X & 2061CX Half-Stack Reviewed by: ClassicRock1974, on june 16, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 2000

Purchased from: MusicStore.de

Features: Hand-wired Marshall 20 Watts head and 2x12 60 Watts cab. Made in England, 2013. Re-issue of the PA20 /Lead @ Bass 20 (model 2061), originele produced 1967-1973. The lunch-box sized head has 2 ECC83 preamp valves, 2 EL84 output valves. 4 channels (HI and LO Lead, and HI and LO Bass). Basic controls for both Lead and Bass channels: Volume & Tone. On-Off switch, no Standby switch. Switchable Impedance (4, 8, 16 Ohms). The 2x12 cab is loaded with a pair of G12H30 re-issue Celestion (8 Ohms), putting out 60 Watts between the pair of them. Very nicely made 3/4 size slanted cab, very manageable at only 24kgs. // 9

Sound: I play blues rock and classic rock. Main guitars include custom made T-style with P90's, S-style, Gibson SG Jr, LP style guitars as well. Most used effects include Kalamazoo (Lovepedal), BB Preamp (Xotic), Blue Sky (Strymon), TS808, Spacetime delay (Vahlbruch).
My other amps are Egnater Rebel 30 + extensions cab, Fender Blues Jr III.

About the Marshall 2061x:

While I have been very happy with both my Egnater and Fender combo amps, I was looking for a head / 2x12 cab combination. As far as my choice of output wattage goes: I have never understood the need for more than 40 Watts, at least not for guitarist playing in clubs and bars - the tribe to which most of us here belong. Being a classic rock aficionado, Marshall amps do of course hold a special, mythical place in my sonic heart :-) So when one day a very good deal on a used 2061XC cab presented itself, I found my perfect excuse to also purchase the matching 2061X head! The specs were perfect to me: 20 (LOUD!) Watts, no frills, the classic Marshall sound, and great looks to boot. Since no store in the wider area had a 2061X in stock, I took the chance of purchasing one online - without testing. Having read many a raving review, I was however quite assured it would be a fine amp. I already had the cab (purchased separately second-hand), which I had been playing both my Egnater Rebel 30 and Blues Jr III through. Both amps sounded absolutely brilliant through this cab! Once the head was delivered, I immediately put it through its paces. What a beauty this amp is! Brilliant warm tones, smooth to crunchy overdrives. The channel jumping option was new to me, but works like a charm: I connect the Lead LO channel to the Bass' HI channel, and mix both channels to my liking using the respective Volume knobs. Want more Bass? Turn up Bass channel volume knob. More Highs? Turn up Lead channels volume. To fine tune the tones of each channel, simply use the Tone knobs (higher value = more high freq's). Simple but very efficient system!

Cleans/Overdiven tones:

Up to about 4 you get warm, fairly clean tones. Between 4-6 sound start to mildly break up. 6-8: nice fat break-up, perfect for blues and classic rock tones. 8-10: Volume tops at 8, only breaking up even more towards 10, when you get a raunchy, fat typical Marshall crunch - at which point you are no longer able to wipe that grin off of your face ;-) All the while volume is very bearable indoors. Very usable at "bedroom level" up to 6, any further exploration of the volume and tones is entirely up to the goodwill of your neighbours or loved ones ;-)

Volume: using the amp at rehearsals and live!

Of course, when purchasing a low to medium powered amp, there's always a little concern whether it will hold its own in a band or live situation. Let me assure you straightaway: the Marshall 2061X does so indeed! At rehearsals (5 piece rock/blues band in my case) volume rarely needs to be higher than "3", coming along just nicely in the mix. I've played small (pub/bar) and mediums size (300 ppl) gigs with this amp. It's always un-miced, and volume levels, again, never need to go over 3 or 4. There you go, no need to worry about having enough juice with his amp! :-) The amp is also quite touch sensitive, which I like. So in other words: playing hard, will get you more volume, and vice versa (you can play at pretty bearable levels indoors, even with the amp cranked).

Pedals:
I use pedals sparingly, but consistently. Meaning that, in spite of having a very nice array of overdriven tones on this amp, I use both BB Preamp or, more often, Lovepedal's Kalamazoo to deliver rich drive tones. Which are obviously more easy to control and EQ than the overdrives from the amp. The 2061X takes these pedals absolutely graciously, even when the volume is cranked. Again, no worries.

The cab:

Loaded with a pair of Celection G12H30's, the cab delivers warm, saturated tones. Because of the closed-back design, bass response is huge - which I love. Again, at 60 Watts I'm more than able to deliver all the volume that I might need for small to medium size gigs. Need more? Have the cab mic-ed, and you're all set for large venues. I also used the 2061X head through a vintage 1980's JCM800 Lead 2x12 cab. Sounds pretty good, although a bit too "mid-y", not like the wide range of frequencies you get with the 2061XC cab. So they really match up well! // 9

Reliability & Durability: Both head and cab are beautifully made, with great attention for detail. classic vintage Marshall style, what's not to like! The head is very portable at 10 Kgs, nicely balanced even - unlike it's larger brethren, who tends to lean to one side due to heavy transformers. Not so with the 2061X. Very worth mentioning: knobs are very well made, and are perfectly responsive: both Volume and Tone knobs respond very smoothly, not like the "On/Off" character of most cheaper amps. Hence the usability of the Volume knob even on setting 1 or 2. Inputs are also very well made, no rattling of any sort. A nice improvement to the original PA20 is the switchable impedance on the back of the 2061X. It let's you switch between different loads for different cabs (two output jacks present), just by turning the coin-slot switch. That, and the detachable poxer cord are also the only cosmetic difference between this re-issue and the original!

both head and cab are easily transportable. As I said, the head weighs in at 10kgs, is well balanced and has that very practical lunch box- format (rather large lunch box at that). The cab is 24kgs, has two sturdy side handles, and is very manageable for one person to carry up a flight of stairs. The pair of them will not kill your back, even if you're out gigging every weekend. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall impression is fantastic. It's not a cheap amp & cab, but given that it's hand-wired, and beautifully designed and assembled in the UK, I think it's well worth the money. They are very hard to find used - but if you can find one used, go for it, it's a no-brainer. Is it a typical Marshall one-trick pony? Perhaps it is, but it does the trick outstandingly. I might not be the amp to go for if you're a working session player, who needs a lot of headroom, and a neutral base for as many different tones as possible, but if you're a down-to earth kind of blues/rock player, looking for a great amp to use for the rest of your musical days, you can't go wrong with this bad boy! // 9

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