Class 5 review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.8 (61 votes)
Marshall: Class 5

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Local Guitar Shop

Sound — 9
I was playing this mostly with my Epi Les Paul Custom with Seymour Duncan PUPs. The sound was great, but there was one problem as many people have mentioned, the back rattled. Rattle aside though it would get nice rich clean tones and a Big Muff sounded awesome at low levels. As far as the sound of the amp's natural distortion I only cranked it once and wound up frying one of the tubes.

Overall Impression — 5
I was so disappointed with this amp. I was able to get some nice sounds out of this, but it kept having problems. I has really high hopes about this and was pretty excited to be owning a Marshall tube amp. I like simple amps like this, I sold my 76 Champ when I heard these were coming out (big mistake). I have read from different reviews that Marshall has worked out some of the issued like the rattle, but I would not buy another of these. Yes it's a Marshall, UK made, all valve, but it's far from what you'd expect. If you really want a Marshall tube amp save your money and put it towards a Haze or a MA.

Reliability & Durability — 5
I would never depend on this amp. I had a lot problems with it. As I mentioned I blew one of the tubes, the tech at a local shop (not the one I bought it from) said it was a low quality tube. I was having problems later with the amp cutting out. I thought it might be my cords but after a million times pulgging in this and taking out that it kept doing it. I finally wound up selling this amp back to where I bought it at a $150 loss.

Features — 5
There isn't too much you can say about features on this. It has a volume knob, bass, middle and trebble. It has a line out for a 16 ohm speaker and one for headphones. You cannot get any distortion out of this amp without cranking it. Marshall's website claimed that this could be controled with your guitar's volume but I was unable to get any sound I liked doing that. If you want distortion or FX you need pedals.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    andyjk wrote: June 15th reviews points on changing valves very accurate. I wound up having to put a cord in the headphone jack so that I could pull the chassis off the speaker because the screws weren't long enough to reach it Really hard to take this amp apart, and when you try and put it back together the metal chassis sticks to the back of the speaker magnet. This can also knock the power amp tube out of alignment in it's socket... ... and naturally you can't get your hand in to check this before powering up. V. poor design w.r.t. servicing. Get it sorted please Marshall - otherwise cracking amp.
    Dom Hawthorn
    Anthony1991 wrote: Likes nice etc, good unbias review, it's just a shame about it's price for just 5W and basically little features.
    You do realise that there's only a slight difference in loudness between a 5 watt amp and a 50 watt amp? 5Watt = 36.9 dB 50Watt = 46.9 dB 500 Watt = 56.9 dB and so on. What i'm trying to say is, although a 5 watt amp may seem quiet when you look at it on paper, if you were to compare it agains a 50 watt amp, the difference in volume propabley wouldnt be as high as you'd expect.
    I have owned the class 5 for about 3 months and have had NO problems with it. I think the price is very reasonable coming from a big name brand like Marshall. I don't know what everyones problem is when it comes to it's's the meat and potatoes of a classic plexi!!! This amp is practicaly meant to take pedals, it handles them soooo well. Marshall has come out with a REAL winner! Also, no vibrations in the back for lucky I guess
    kill your idols
    Nacho66 wrote: I played one of these a coupla days ago. 2 words - Freakin' awesome! This thing sounds like a 100 Watt Plexi in a 5 watt version. If you're a guitarist who doesn't know what that means then you're clueless. No modelling amp WILL EVER have the balls, creamy tone, and class this thing has. Yes, true to the originals, this doesn't have a master volume. But, who cares? It's 5 watts. This will do Hendrix, Beck, Page, Gibbons, Slash, etc. tones for days. It's a real Marshall. Made in England too. If you don't know what that means then you don't know tone.
    I Agree with you 100% - "freakin' awsome". I've been a recent convert to all valve amp since 18 months ago I bought my first all valve amp. Solid State, half tube or whatever combination of the two just doesnt compare to 100% tube! unfortunately it blew up! Well it could have been a blessing, cos now i own a Marshall Class 5. My previous amp was an Ashton VP30 30 watts. I bought it only cos it was on sale for less than $200AUD - about $500 RRP at the time and it was an opportunity to own an all valve amp. Yeah it was loud, it had good features and sounded great for only $200. But compared to the Class 5, the Ashton just doesnt compare. The Class 5 doesn't have much in the way of controls, knobs & switches, but by varying your guitar knobs & playing with the volume on both amp & guitar, you get such a wide range of tones from just 3 knobs on the amp. One downside I have is that my Boss distortion & OD & chorus pedals dosent sound as good as it did on the Ashton. Because these pedals are not 'true-bypass' you can really hear the difference. It doesnt do the Class 5 any justice. I'm now on the market for new 'true-bypass' pedals. One last thing...5 watts of all tube is LOUD! With my tele + seymour duncan hotrails in the bridge...This is NO bedroom amp.