AVT50 review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (19 votes)
Marshall: AVT50
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Price paid: $ 279

Purchased from: Coyle's Richboro Music

Sound — 8
I use a guitar with single coils, another with EMGs, and finally another two with standard passive PAF style humbuckers through this guitar, and they all sound great for what they're made to do. The clean channel on this amp is wonderful, utilizing a simple two-band eq a la Fender, and the single coils sound full and retain plenty of headroom for clean playing due to the solid state construction of this amp. The EMGs kick this thing real hard on the overdrive channel, and the PAFs really show the versatility of this amp, letting it go from crunchy clean to full bore metal all on the lead channel. This amp isn't very noisy, far quitter than my 5150's lead channel, and it has a wonderful sound to it. The Distortion is versatile, using a three band eq, and past seven it gets pretty brutal, albeit in the vein of the JCM style Marshalls that tis amp is modeled after. The overdrive channel can get you anywhere from AC/DC to old school death and black metal, but for those who prefer modern, post 1990 style distortion in the vein of super-high gains American amps like mEsas or Peavey, this amp will probably need a boost or a pedal, otherwise you're covered. I play blues, punk, and thrash with this amp, and it really lets me get some warm clean tones, and the overdrive lets me go from punk to extreme European style thrash and black metal. Beware though, this amp is distinctly British, it doesn't do super articulate, ultra gain chugga lugg tuned to drop-A, it's aimed more at those who want a dirty channel that sounds dirty rather than gainy. Some people looking at this amp may desire a presence or resonance control, but these can be emulated by throwing a Boss GE-7 eq in the effects loop and utilizing the 100hz and 6.4k knobs, although the top and bottom end are set very well already. Additionally, both channels take to pedals extremely well, as most solid states do. Thing loved both the Boss HM-2 I pu in front of it, and the Boss MT-2, a common weapon in most peoples arsenal, which will provide you with that articulate chugga lugg I was talking about previously.

Overall Impression — 9
This amp was a Diamond in the rough find for me. I was looking for a practice amp and found something I canuse both for practice and live! I've been playing guitar for three years, bass for eight, and classical instruments for 12, and I can tell you these little things are a great platform for pedals to change up your sound a bit. I own a Peavey 5150 II and a Marshall 1960A cab, along with a small batch of guitars. The only things I wish I had asked when I bought this would have been "where can I find more of these?" as I love the sound and I'd love to get my hands on some of the larger models with more options and channels, such as the 150h model. If this were lost or stolen I definitely try to replace it, but I think it would be a bit hard due to the relative rarity of these amps now. I'd have to studiously watch eBay and Craigslist. My favorite thing about this amp is how good it sounds for such a simple thing, with no presence control, it could have been a disaster, but instead the boys at Marshall found the perfect place to set the eq for both channels. I don't hate anything about this amp, only that I had to wait almost three months before I could bring it home! I compared this amp to a Peavey Vypr 60 solid state, a Marshall TSL 60 combo, and of course my 5150, and it outclassed both the combos as far as warmth and sound, but the 5150 easily this in terms of gain, but this little monster still has plenty. I wish it had some extra onboard effects like delay, flanger, and chorus, but for what it is, this amp is a certified Mega find for me!

Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing has already made the rounds for at least few years before I picked it up, so I'd rely on it. It hasn't broken down yet, although I haven't had it too long, the only thing I'd be worried about is buying a new 12ax7 or fixing a busted transistor if it happens, both cheap and easy fixes. I'd gig with this without a backup, solid states that actually have time put into them are great, and this one was made in the UK!

Features — 8
This little screamer was probably made around the turn of the century. I don't know, as I picked it up second hand. This amp is versatile enough to rock everything from squeaky clean jazz to thrash and black metal, and its 50 watts of solid state power, backed up by a 12ax7 tube in the preamp, are enough to move between bedroom playing and a live show with the appropriate 4x12. This Marshall comes with two channels, clean and dirty, and both are eq'ed very well. The addition of a great reverb just add to the charm. I play this amp in my room, where I need to take it between super low volume during the day to loud as hell when no one is home. The only things this amp doesn't have is built in effects other than reverb, but askign for that when you've got this is getting a little picky. This amo has an effects loop, a CD/aux in and a headphone jack, and my personal favorite, a jack for speakers, which gives the player the choice of using different cabs for different gigs. Overall, this amp has great features, but modern players who are used to lots of onboard effects may feel that more effects could have been added.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MaggaraMarine
    Overall, this amp has great features, but modern players who are used to lots of onboard effects may feel that more effects could have been added.
    It's just great that all the amps don't have those crappy built in effects. They just raise the price and you'll never use them because they are always pretty weak.
    DimebagsGhost67
    Hey um Im considering getting a new marshall head sometime in the future and Im stuck between this and a Valvestate. Anyone have any suggestions for which is the better buy? As far as tones go, Im looking for anything that can get me sounds ranging from Zeppelin, good thrash tones (Aka Kill em all, Rust in Peace style ones), and maybe some Cannibal Corpse/Death type stuff Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    COREYTAYLOR721
    I don't think you are going to get much metal out of this amp. How much better is this than an MG? Assuming its a little better made but kind of the same.
    ToxicTrace100
    COREYTAYLOR721 wrote: I don't think you are going to get much metal out of this amp. How much better is this than an MG? Assuming its a little better made but kind of the same.
    If you're trying to get a post-dimebag style tone form this, you're going to need a pedal, but as I said, once you eq it right for the pickup and the guitar, as these has a much larger effect on tone with this amp than they do with a higher end tube amp, you can get good thrash tones and first and second wave of black metal tones. My advice to to make sure you have a good pickup tho. If you want to rock some thrash put an EMG or similar high output, tight bass pickup in front of this thing, if you want to play zeppelin, throw a PAF in front of it, it makes a very noticeable difference in the tonality of this amp.
    GaryBillington
    Duke_Jr As far as comparing this to an MG series from Marshall.. let's say an MG is more of a step to the side than a step up sound-wise. I think the AVT's and VS's are better built than the MG's considering they built in the UK.
    Close - AVTs are actually a step up from the MG, not the other way around. Granted, it's not a huge step, but the AVTs are definitely better than the MGs. Both are reasonable starter amps, neither are much more than that though. The AVT has a slightly larger range of usable tones than the MG does, but like you said, you need to spend a lot of time getting the best out of them. In my experience, both are well built and reliable, but I'm only talking about my experience from one of each. I had an MG for a short while, then sold it to a friend about 6 or 7 years ago. It's still in perfect working order. Around the same time I upgraded to an AVT, which I sold a few months ago - again, it was still in perfect working order.
    ToxicTrace100
    DimebagsGhost67 wrote: Hey um Im considering getting a new marshall head sometime in the future and Im stuck between this and a Valvestate. Anyone have any suggestions for which is the better buy? As far as tones go, Im looking for anything that can get me sounds ranging from Zeppelin, good thrash tones (Aka Kill em all, Rust in Peace style ones), and maybe some Cannibal Corpse/Death type stuff Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    This is an updated version of the valvestates. I'd go with this.
    MaggaraMarine
    DimebagsGhost67 wrote: Hey um Im considering getting a new marshall head sometime in the future and Im stuck between this and a Valvestate. Anyone have any suggestions for which is the better buy? As far as tones go, Im looking for anything that can get me sounds ranging from Zeppelin, good thrash tones (Aka Kill em all, Rust in Peace style ones), and maybe some Cannibal Corpse/Death type stuff Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    I have heard that the best Valvestates are the "first generation" (Marshall 8000 series). And AVT and VS series would be much worse than those 8000 series amps. But if you want to play death metal I don't think Marshall is the amp you should look at. Because Marhsall = mids and in newer metal you want to scoop your mids and that's what Marshall isn't known for. Though for Kill 'em All tones I think Marshall would be the best because they used Marshalls when recording the album. Oh, and Death used Marshall Valvestate 8000 series amps. Some people were talking about MG series here. Well, I would say that they can do only one distortion sound, no matter how much or how little gain you have, and that sound would best suite punk rock or something. It's too harsh and dry sounding and a one trick pony. I have heard that they have got worse and worse, so best solid state Marshalls were in the 80s (JCM 800 solid states, 5000 series) then Valvestate 8000 series, then VS series ("upgraded" 8000 series) then AVT ("advanced valvestate") and then MG that replaced AVT.
    BlackSabbathFTW
    Well if your looking for a solid state Jcm 800 get the Marshall Lead 100 because that's what it was supposed to be and it was made in the 80's
    ToxicTrace100
    This thing is WAY better than an MG. The tone knobs on an MG just seem like decoration to me. And I'll concede that a solid state JCM800 would probably sound a bit better than this AVT, I like it tho.
    DimebagsGhost67
    Well really I just do Death metal occasionally, Metallica/Megadeth/slayer/Exodus type thrash is what im heading for for the most part. Thank you everyone for all the sick feedback which will definitley influence my next amp purchase.
    GaryBillington
    MaggaraMarine ...and then MG that replaced AVT.
    You were doing well up until this last sentence - MG didn't replace AVT, The MG amps are a completely separate range from the AVT series. AVTs outrank MGs in the pecking order.
    Josh100
    I'm also planning on doing a review of it after I've played around with it. It will hopefully be nothing but positive.
    Josh100
    It's an easy choice between an MG amp and the AVT amps. The MG amps are more for beginners who just want an okay amp to begin with. I think the older MG amps that they did are good, as I am currently using one, but the AVT amps still are a lot better, considering they've got a tube in them and are just better quality all around. With the AVT amps you know you'll get a sound you can use whereas with the MG amps you may be a bit doubtful with your choice. I'm gonna get one of these AVT amps, just a step or so up from my 10 year old solid state MG15DFX which is fine for me.
    Duke_Jr
    Dimebag.. As far as Valvestate or AVT, it's basically the same amp. The AVT's are the new generation Valvstates. TBH, you can get better. I've owned both models, AVT20 and VS100, both in combos, and although they are decent amps, it's not something I would use for live play. Don't get me wrong, I know people that swear by these amps and I admit, they do sound pretty good once you dial them in properly, but to my ears there's something lacking... COREYTAYLOR... As far as comparing this to an MG series from Marshall.. let's say an MG is more of a step to the side than a step up sound-wise. I think the AVT's and VS's are better built than the MG's considering they built in the UK.