50th Anniversary 1 Watt Amps review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (27 votes)
Marshall: 50th Anniversary 1 Watt Amps
1

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Soon to be major retailers

Sound — 10
Literally blown away! I rarely give anything a sound rating of 10 but all of these amps earned it. All of these amps were tested as the head unit going into a 4x12 Marshall cab (speakers varied depending on the period. The first three amps really made the biggest impression on me. There were a couple of factors making this so, 1 watt going through a 4x12 cab is loud and awesome and Chris from Marshall was playing for us. It is always nice to have a professional musician who speaks for the company give you a rundown of their new line. I have a HW 2061X and a 1962 Bluesbreaker RI (JTM45) at home and really love the early sound of Marshall. The 1960's JTM 1 really paid a great homage to the Bluesbreaker/JTM45 sound. It had a great growl but was still able to retain that Marshall "clean". Chris was playing through his Gibson Les Paul Standard. He was really channeling some early Zeppelin, Hendrix, and ZZ Top tones through the JTM. When he plugged into the 1970's JMP 1 you instantly heard the addition of gain in the circuitry. This was starting to get much more like an AC/DC and Black Sabbath sound; the mid to late 1970's hard rock. The amps were being pushed and it is such a great sound to hear an efficient tube amp being driven. Everything changed when Chris plugged in to the 1980's JCM 1. After riffing out for about a minute on this amp he addressed the eight of us in the room and said "It only took us 30 years but you can finally play a JCM 800 in your bedroom." We all had a good laugh out of that but it was back to riffing. This was a record quality kind of sound coming out of this amp, completely channeling Slash's Guns N' Roses tone. Hitting it to a tee along with other 80's rock sounds you would have come to expect made famous by the JCM 800. All of the amps really sounded amazing. You could easily gig with any of the amps. All that is needed to do so is a microphone on the cab plugged into the PA and you will get any tone you want with minimal head trauma. The other amps sounded great as well but the first three essentially covered most of the sounds we have come to know in the Marshall Rock era.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall I could not think of anything better to do for Marshall's 50th year making amps. I think they hit the nail on the head on this one with these five amps. In addition to the amps mentioned in this article they are also releasing a 50th anniversary 1962 Bluesbreaker and a collaboration with Gibson for a 50th anniversary Marshall Gibson Les Paul, and finally if you are a lucky one you can get a commemorative 50th anniversary Marshall Scotch. If I had the cash or a studio I would have all of the one watt heads in my possession. Low wattage amps really seems to be the way of the future, especially with the increased efficiency of PA's and people being able to make professional level recording in their bedrooms. Many will gripe that $800 is far too much for these amps being only 1 watt, but there are a lot of factors going in to that price. These are all made in England, this isn't a new line or series, these will only be made in 2012 (giving it somewhat of a collector's item feel), and they really do sound great, 1 watt or not. If you have an opportunity I highly encourage you to plug in and just crank one of these. You will not be disappointed, pick an era of Marshall sound you like and go with it. Personally for me I cannot wait for the JCM 1 to come out. I have my early era Marshall sound covered with the Bluesbreaker and the 70's sound covered with the 2061X but a 1980's JCM 800 sound in a 1 watt form would be terrific, take up nearly no space in my cramped music room, and produce a big sound for what it is. Enjoy your tone and happy pickin'. Feel free to contact me!

Reliability & Durability — 7
Even those these are little 1 watt amps all of these amps are being made in the UK. They are going to be made right next to the reproduction JTM 45's, the 1959SLP's and so forth. With that being said and the fact that this is a pretty special year it seems as if Marshall will have a very keen eye on the production of this product. With this nearly being a collector's piece you can play I believe that all of these will be built to the same standards as the top of the line, most revered Marshall Amps. Until are all released and we actually find out they will have to stay at a hypothetical 7.

Features — 9
To start things off this will be a different sort of review considering this is more of an overview of what I got to interact with at NAMM 2012 at the Marshall booth. These are the 50th anniversary amps, all 1 watt amps available in either a head or combo unit and one being released of each of the last five decades. They will be released in 10-11 week intervals going in order of decades (60's then 70's and so on). Here are the amps you can expect to be released in 2012: - 1960's JTM 1 - 1970's JMP 1 - 1980's JCM 1 - 1990's DSL 1 - 2000's JVM 1 All of these will be available in a head or combo unit. All of the combo units will come equipped with a 10" speaker except for the DSL and JVM version which will be equipped with 8" speakers. All of the features on these amps are what you would except for the time period. It is very interesting to see them all in a sequential line to see how the company evolved over the last 50 years. Being a Marshall nut myself I was blown away by their attention to detail in these amps. Every detail you would expect to be period correct is. The grill cloth, Marshall Plaque, placement of the knobs & input jack, and the "ON" light are all as they should.

82 comments sorted by best / new / date

    LeakyFlask
    Great idea, low wattage amps are all the rage right now and they sure can sound good. But $800 for 1 watt? That's a little steep. In fact, it's more than a little steep. It's crazy.
    Evilllamas
    These look awesome, and I'm not fussed about the price. 1w amps are for bedroom play or recording, and there's no law against having a good amp, that won't tear down your walls. I'd love a big marshall, but it's not viable in a house with other people, these seem perfect- and are going to drop in price!
    Mahoru
    Most_Triumphant wrote: Okay, so $800 for 1 watt amp. Less watts equals less money right? Wrong, it is $800 because it is in limited production, and because they probably used quality parts on them. I never see anyone crying that Hiwatt is too expensive/rip-off. Honestly, some people want good tones in the bedroom. How about instead of getting on the bandwagon of hate for Marshall, you all get back to "playing" Eruption on your Line 6 Spiders. I mean, why bash and amp if you have never tried it?
    Exactly. Overpriced for what it is? Yes. But considering they're Marshall (so they're not exactly cheap normally), they're hand-made in the UK and limited editions, it's not THAT outrageous, I've seen far worse things. Also, they might not be very versatile, but from the demos I've heard, they sound amazing and pretty damn close to the originals. And who wouldn't want 90% of the classic Marshalls at bedroom volume? Not that I'd ever get one, I'm happy enough with my Laneys, but they're pretty cool and sound good enough.
    thejester
    COREYTAYLOR721 wrote: First the MG series and now this bullshit wtf Marshall.
    how in your right mind are you comparing this to an MG series? please explain.
    dreadlock6
    Call me a old timer but when i go to a concert i want to see towers of 4X12s...
    fastlanestoner
    this is a great idea, but for $800 you can get the real versions of these amps. this is a waste, and only intended to capitalize on people who fall prey to marketing ploys
    Leeizslayer
    HELLO CHICAGO! WE ARE LEGION AND THIS IS THE END!!!! (strums first note one 1watt amp...nothing. >>>FAIL
    Most_Triumphant
    Okay, so $800 for 1 watt amp. Less watts equals less money right? Wrong, it is $800 because it is in limited production, and because they probably used quality parts on them. I never see anyone crying that Hiwatt is too expensive/rip-off. Honestly, some people want good tones in the bedroom. How about instead of getting on the bandwagon of hate for Marshall, you all get back to "playing" Eruption on your Line 6 Spiders. I mean, why bash and amp if you have never tried it?
    Mahoru
    Marrowoflife wrote: Nice arguments but this is a bad deal.
    Absolutely, I wouldn't pay $800 for one, but they're certainly pretty good and useful amps and I'd definitely like to have the JMP1, I admit it. If I happened to find one for, say ~$500, then that's another thing. Definitely not for the price they're going for now.
    thejester
    recap so far: seems a lot of you dont like the price. keep in mind its a collectors amp that you can still play and if you have a PA you can play this live anywhere. Honestly the price can be looked at as very high but these are in limited quantities. I bought my 1962 RI bluesbreaker for right around $1000usd. I could see these dropping into the $500 on the used market which I think is a steal for this amp. Play it first then re-comment. Honestly if you want a 1959slp or 1987x you arent going to be spending $800 and where the hell are you going to play an amp without a master volume. 100 watts pure tube cranked? You will get evicted from a city let alone a home.
    ne14t
    Yeah these are NOT a players amp, they are REALLY REALLY awesome and have deadly tone accuracy; however certainly not price efficient, I mean my 15W haze with one cab was $1000. This is certainly a collectors amp and is meant to be just that, I am sure it sounds great but for versatility and tonal variety there is many better amps out there.
    sc247
    I think the price has more to do with the 50 year aniversary, rather than the quality of the amps, and are likely to be a good investment for the future. But yea, $800 is pretty steep.
    L2112Lif
    I'd need to hear them in person before I bash the price. A 1 watt amp is perfect to record with, and would probably provide enough power to any guitarist new to gigging, or any guitarist who mics their amp onstage.
    meringo
    LOL this is ridiculous. Seriously $800? go get a tiny terror or tt-like amp.
    grungelive72
    It'll definitely be a huge collector's item somewhere down the line, so I might pick one up. I'd want either the Plexi or the JCM 2k Just because they're the only Marshalls that I've ever really really liked.
    COREYTAYLOR721
    All I am saying is don't they understand that we get tired of gimmicks? $800 for a 1 watt amp when used marshall heads are around $700, doesn't make sense to me. I am comparing to the mg series because I doubt that after playing it I would be like....wow that was money well spent. People buy MG amps because of the name and are greatly disappointed by them.
    spacemanbran
    All of you expecting this to worth a lot in the future are sorely mistaken, something made to be collectible is almost never collectible because so many are made.
    TimTheWizard
    800 is totally overpriced, I'll just wait until someone wants to get rid of his and pay him 100 or maybe 200 lol
    JonnyMonster91
    So, lets see. A 1-watt amp is $800. So a 100-watt amp and a 4x12 cab should be right around $100,000, right? I might be underestimating.
    Seref
    For $800 you can buy a real JCM800. You can buy a real JTM45 copy. You can buy a real JMP 50 copy. And you could probably buy a real DSL original.
    huther7717
    No you can't. A JCM 800 for $800 is either a desperate seller (rare) or an amp with issues(likely). If you're lucky it's just beat up on the outside. In any event you'll still drop a couple hundred minimum on tubes and bias. I've had tubes fail and that can cause significant problems and expense so I always retube vintage amps. I've played and own a lot of vintage Marshalls. Very often the vintage amps sound like crap because they've been abused and or not maintained. Finding a sweet deal is not as easy as you think.
    Marrowoflife
    Mahoru wrote: Most_Triumphant wrote: Okay, so $800 for 1 watt amp. Less watts equals less money right? Wrong, it is $800 because it is in limited production, and because they probably used quality parts on them. I never see anyone crying that Hiwatt is too expensive/rip-off. Honestly, some people want good tones in the bedroom. How about instead of getting on the bandwagon of hate for Marshall, you all get back to "playing" Eruption on your Line 6 Spiders. I mean, why bash and amp if you have never tried it? Exactly. Overpriced for what it is? Yes. But considering they're Marshall (so they're not exactly cheap normally), they're hand-made in the UK and limited editions, it's not THAT outrageous, I've seen far worse things. Also, they might not be very versatile, but from the demos I've heard, they sound amazing and pretty damn close to the originals. And who wouldn't want 90% of the classic Marshalls at bedroom volume? Not that I'd ever get one, I'm happy enough with my Laneys, but they're pretty cool and sound good enough.
    Nice arguments but this is a bad deal.
    xTony111
    $800 for 1 Watt? really Marshall, i don't care how great it sounds that doesn't even make sense.
    huther7717
    Try playing one. 1 watt is not 1/100th of a 100w. It's more like 25-30 percent of the volume. I own one of these and though not loud enough to gig unless mic'd they are certainly well past bedroom volume amps. A new JCM 800 will run you $2500 and used one $1000++. Whenever I buy a used vintage amp the first stop is always my tech for a check up and usually a retube and bias. That runs a couple of hundred. Sure they are pricey but all great kit is pricey.
    tresspassor
    This is utter B.S. from Marshall. There's plenty of Hand built boutique low-watt amps out there that can nail these tones at a lower price. But hey, Dumble was able to fetch $20K for his amps, so why not. I was able to build my own low-watt "Martial" for less than $300. I can imagine that they can do it for half that. http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k624...
    Lord_Doku
    Cashing in on popularity eh ? I really hope that $800 is a typo. Might as well get the originals, atleast they are original.
    Inversemetal
    I understand the heritage behind Marshall and that they're one of the best manufacturers out there and all that but 600 for a 1 watt amp is just robbery. May aswell just get a Blackstar HT1.
    daniel.kPL
    I CAN SEE SPAM ABOVE back to the main topic : 800$ is a great price! If your name is Bill.
    LivinJoke84
    MarkoakaNiggaK wrote on 02/24/2012 - 108 am / quote | so 800$for the wholebunch?
    Each
    ZombicidalMan
    I paid about $1100 for my Tiny Terror and a cabinet to go with it, and it's an absolute blast. I love it, wouldn't trade it for any other of its kind. But $800 for a 1 Watt amp? No thanks, Marshall. That's just extortion, regardless of it's limited run.
    Razor_AcidPunk
    dude i have a 450 watt amp for practice in my room alone perfect for anything like recording, giggs a whole bunch a shit its a peavy got it for $240 from a friend i dont need anything like this like seriously 1 watt for $800 no way iv herd one and personally my amp and 1 distortion pedal can get any tone i want like master of puppets (metallica) to revolution (the beatles)and even cannibal corps screw marshall
    jangafett
    Just like Class 5, The first few will be made in the U.K. then off to Asia.Just like the rest of them including Celestion, Orange,Vox and I know that there are people that say aslong as they use the same specs there is no difference but that's B.S. If you think for one minute that your Chinese JVM OR your Gretsch or your Epiphone as some Mojo Forget it. Rant over $800 INDEED