AVT100 review by Marshall

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7.3 (98 votes)
Marshall: AVT100

Price paid: A$ 500

Purchased from: Second hand

Features — 7
Got this in 2007 from second hand. I start recently to make most out of this amp. I put a Tung Sol 12AX7, and it rocks. I use emulated output to my mixer with my mp3 music in my phone. I can browse YouTube to listen to other Marshall JCM 800, JCM2000, JVM, and compare to my amp in the same headphone. The AVT is very competitive.

I will describe the features in my own way:

- Closed back cabinet (great for bass response)
- Speaker is beleived to be G12-T100, very good speaker
- Clean channel
- OD1 simulates JCM800 (and I verify it, very similar sound)
- OD2 simulates JCM2000 (and I verify it, very similar sound)
- Scoop button (using it correctly will cut through the mix with high mids)
- Emulated output (very high quality, I compare it with the built in speaker, very good sound, also good cable will do the trick, I use a bad cable before and ruin the sound quality)
- Speaker output (too low volume for my headphone, not used it)
- Digital reverb, (very good, does not sound digital sound)

- Resonance
- Scoop button should be changed to a knob
- Separate EQ for each channel

When I get it, it already got Electro-Harmonix 12AX7 tune.

Sound — 9
My guitar is a Les Paul, it matches the Marshall really well. It as designed to simulate the JCM 2000, JCM 800, and it nailed it. There are so many arguments about it being solid state. This is a big misconception. Most modern amp, such as JVM, and DSL. There is no such thing as power tube saturation. Most gain is coming from preamp tube (specifically, V1 tube), so based on that information. The sound difference argument is not coming from the power tubes, but is coming from the preamp tube, and the speaker of the amp.

Marshall Mosfet Lead 100 is complete solid state, and people love it, what does it tell us? I plug my phone to my mixer, plug my amp into the mixer, and compare the sound quality.

JCM800 = OD1
JCM2000 = OD2
Clean is very clean.

The speaker is highly likely to be a G12-T100 (I open it, check the magnet huge size, and also compare to some video about G12-T100). The speaker has very high bass response, plus with the closed back cabinet. The sound might be too muddy, due to the resonances inside the cab. The bass knob must be set to low for this amp. Nowadays, not many combos has closed back cabinet.

I play Metallica most of the sound. The scoop button is a very interesting thing, press it, and it will cut too much mids, Not press it, it will have too much mids. So the trick is to put a 6 bad eq before the amp to boost the mids, and remove the lows, here is my setting.

Amp (0 - 10):
- Bass - 3
- Middle - 10 (Max)
- Treble - 6
- Gain - 6.5
- Scoop button on
- Below 100Hz, -8db
- 200 Hz- not touch
- 400 Hz - 4fb
- 800 Hz - 8db

With the above settings, it will cut through the mix really well, bass guitar will come out, and the guitar has very obvious mids. I also compare the sound with Blackstar HT Metal box (by YouTube video), this amp has got serious gain, after changing to a Tung Sol tube. This amp is very loud, good for small venue performance.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Fan is the only concern for this amp. I have a can of air duster to remove the dust. The TDA2793 power amp chip is not subject to punish, I would not turn this amp pass 75% in volume. There are people reported with the power chip failure, and they said to keep the fan free of dust is the way to home. I only use it at home. If I gig with very loud volume, I will buy a tube amp and cab, not expensive for second hand. Neverthless, I play this amp for few years now, and no problems reported. This amp is very loud anyways, will be enough in small venue.

Overall Impression — 8
I play manly Metallica, I play 30 minutes per day average. For this price for a solid state amp, and tube sound, it is a great deal. If anything goes wrong, I will fix it within reasonable budget. This amp is a state of the art (except the power amp section). I will probably buy a spare fan for back up. Having said that, if I gig in a larger venue, I will buy a JCM2000 and a cab, or if PA is supplied, just plug the emulated output to the PA, the emulated output got very good sound quality. Very sad that this amp got bad reputation, as people has so many misconceptions about solid state. Especially people plug a solid state distortion pedal to a tube amp.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    For your reference about modern amp does not use power tube distortion http://www.marshallforum.com/showthread.php?t=... TUBE Facts and Info by MartyStrat54 Hello MF members. As we all know, there are always a lot of threads pertaining to tubes. I would like to just share a few things and I hope it will be helpful. First off, a lot of questions are directed at the "high gain" Marshall's like a DSL, TSL or 410. Please be aware that these amps get all of their tone out of the preamp stage. I cringe when I hear someone with a DSL asking how they can get "better power tube distortion?" If you have a DSL and the power tubes are distorting, I don't think you will like what you hear. DSL amps (and other high gain Marshall's) use four (or more) preamp tubes. V1 and V2 are the gain stages. V3 (A and B) are the Tone Stack and Cathode Follower. V4 is the Phase Inverter tube for the power tube section. V1 will make the most noticeable difference in tone and gain. I always say that you want to put your very best tube in V1. The DSL can handle a pretty hot 12AX7 without farting out. I used to be a little conservative about the V1 tube I used, but over the past year, I tend to go with a hotter tube if it fits the player's needs. I use a more moderate tube for those whose playing style dictates it. Note: In Plexi's, JMP's and JCM 2203/04's, V1 is the main tube for gain. Half of V2 needs to be considered as well, so I still recommend a good tube for V2. Here is something that has me perplexed. Current production tubes are not that expensive. I think any guitarist that has more than two years playing under their belt needs to have a nice stash of tubes to fall back on and also to experiment with for tone. I think every player should have a budget that allows for multiple 12AX7 tubes. They shouldn't be purchased "as needed." I have said this before, "Every tube amp player should have a complete set of tubes to be used for backup purposes or troubleshooting." If you own a Marshall or other tube amp and you are running old tubes, because you can't afford a new set, you run the risk of damaging your amp. If you are lucky, a fuse will pop when a power tube blows. However, I have seen more serious damage such as fried valve sockets and burned components. Again, all tube amp owners should have a complete backup set of tubes. Now back to 12AX7's. You should try and get yourself a JJ ECC83 (same as a 12AX7). Also, a Tung-Sol and a Mullard RI. You can round out your set with a Shuguang (Chinese) 12AX7. The Shuguang's are usually loved because they are high gain and are a favorite with metal players where a good clean isn't a must. Most of the guys I hang with have 30 to 40 12AX7's. Enough to last them for a good long while. Most of these tubes were bought over a three year period. Most of these tubes are NOS. However, I won't go into that, because most of you use current production (CP) tubes. I think a good player would have two each of the preamp tubes I have listed. Having some Electro-Harmonix tubes handy would be good also. The EH tubes can be used as an economical replacement for V3 and V4 (especially the PI tube). To "roll" tubes in a high gain amp, you want to have V3 and V4 selected. Therefore, take a couple of EH's and put them in those slots. Put a Mullard RI in V2 and then roll the JJ, the Tung-Sol, Shuguang and even another Mullard in V1. Once you find the one you like, pull V2 and roll your tubes in V2. Once you find the tube you like, then you have your V1 through V4 selected. If you want to get picky, try rolling V3 and then V4. You might notice a very slight difference in tone by rolling these slots. My friends and I like to run a lopsided, high gain tube in the PI. This is because the power section is asymmetrical by nature and a lopsided PI tube will help enhance this. An amp with an asymmetrical signal has a lot of even order harmonics and this is what you want. This goes against what EURO TUBES states. They push their customers towards a "balanced" PI tube. Trust me, you don't need this. I will say that there is a small difference in tone between a lopsided tube and a regular one, but if you are used to rolling tubes, you will hear a small difference. Power tubes tend to sound similar to each other when they are cranked. I run NOS power tubes and CP as well. A while back I did a review on how Sylvania Fat Boy 6CA7's (same as an EL34) compared against EH 6CA7's. At lower to moderate volumes, the NOS were better, but going above 5 on the Master Volume they both started sounding very close. I will say that there are some cheap power tubes that are thin sounding no matter what the volume level. I bring this up, because power tubes in high gain amps are designed to be ran "clean." If you use a cheap power tube, you will notice it regardless of the volume level. Look for a well made tube that are frequently recommended. Stay away from the el cheapo tubes. It's just not worth the heartache it will cause. In closing, preamp tubes will make the most change in your tone. Power tubes just add a little. You should own a complete