JTM30 Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 04/19/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Marshall: JTM30
This 30-watt all tube Marshall JTM30 combo amp plays beautifully and would make an excellent studio amplifier.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 9.3
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reviews (3) pictures (3) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
JTM30 Reviewed by: sigma69, on june 23, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 320

Purchased from: Scotto musique

Features: Made in 1994 but bought in 2001 this 30 watt amp has 2 5881 tubes in the power section(like fenders)and 3 12AT7 in the preamp. It has a clean and a boost channel with a shared 3 band eq. It has a reverb unit which I never use because it doesn't suit my sound. Effects loop xlr out. Cool grey brown speaker cover and tolex over the main part of the amp. The speaker is a Celestion 12" G12. In the manual they say there is a matching cabinet with another 12" speaker but I've never even seen one although I'd love to try it out. I play mainly rock blues and hard rock. And this amp nails all those music types down to a tee. I mainly use this to go to practice sessions and it's perfect for that my guitar can clearly be heard over the drummer and the bassist, in home practice in the garage I can make the whole thing shake and rattle. I also use this to test new equipment it's a good ballpoint for me to compare the tones of different guitars as it doesn't color the tone too much. Only bad thing about is there isn't enough distortion on the distortion channel to go really heavy without any pedals. It also came with a footswitch for switching channels but that was from a modern Marshall and is not the original but it works fine. One last thing this amp weighs about 40 lbs which I think is rather heavy for a 30 watter. I don't think this amp is powerful enough to play in a gig bigger than a small pub. // 8

Sound: I play a US Telecaster and US Gibson SG(both original pickups)and I play mainly rock blues and hard rock but almost no metal and they both sound very good the clean channel breaks up like you would expect it too in the preamp (12 oclock for the humbuckers and 3 oclock for the singles) however the master volume can get pushed a little further without breaking up so the clean sounds can be very convincing. The lead channel leaves a bit to be desired the distortion gets mushy after you take it past 2 o'clcock and the amps gets noisy when push it past 4 oclock(same with the master volume) the preamp volumes can be pushed without creating much unwanted noise (just one coming from the guitar). I am more of a plug and play type guy so I don't use much pedals appart from a crybaby wah from time to time. I can get a variety of convincing sounds out of it from my favourite rock idols from keith richards to AC/DC going through Jimi Hendrix, Page and Clapton and The Chilis I can get it all with the two guitars I play(sg and telecaster). The clean sounds a I get with the tele are also very convincing and definetely have a fendery vibe about them(not from the guitar, from the amp) overall I would definitely say this is a rock amp and metalheads should look elsewhere. People looking lots of headroom might also be disappointed. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I would say this amp is dependable I've been lugging it around through university and I never had any problems with it what'soever I haven't even changed the tubes in the years I've owned it although I think I might stock up on some new tubes soon just in case. The tolex around the corners is peeling off but that is simply cosmetic. I would actually take this amp as a backup to a gig rather than use for the main gig, simply because it lacks the power but in terms of reliability I would use it without a backup if I had to. // 10

Overall Impression: I've benn playing for 6 yeras nowan been making guitars for 3 and for the type of music that I play this is a match made in heaven this amp sits in my workshop in a place of pride I also own an Ashdown 300watt bass amp which I just can't compare it with(transistors and guitars just sound weak in general through it). When buying it I hesitated with other models like the Peavey Classic 30 but in terms of tone they don't even come close. I really love the versatility I can get from it within my style of playing. The only thing I hate about it after haing lugged it around for awhile is the weight, the Peavey was so much lighter. I really am not disappointed with this amp and if it was lost or stolen I would definitely try and find another one altough they are getting hard to find. The only thing I wish it had is a better gain circuit making the increase in the distorton a bit smoother. Appart from that a good amp all round in my opinion. // 9

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overall: 9.5
JTM30 Reviewed by: marvelboy_04, on august 25, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features: Mine is a 1995 30 watt, 1x12 speaker amp with 2 channels. It has treble, middle, bass, reverb, master volume, and channel independent volume controls. It also has an effects loop and works with my Vox footswitch. // 10

Sound: It has that classic Marshall roar, being that I heard it's basically like a JCM900 combo, so It's perfect for me, since I generally like that classic Marshall tone like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Sabbath, etc. I play it with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (soon to be playing a Gibson Les Paul Standard) and it sounds fantastic with the humbuckers. I don't own a Strat yet but I did play my Squier through, and it still sounded pretty good. I've even cranked it up all the way, and it was amazing. It really shines when cranked, even though it still sounds great at lower volumes. Now, the only pedals I've played it with were a Vox Clyde McCoy wah (pretty nice) and an MXR Distortion+ (not a fan of that pedal) and it seemed to not be too noisy with the pedals. // 10

Reliability & Durability: From reading other reviews online, a lot of these amps have overheating problems, but fortunately, I've never had this problem, but I couldnt say so on other models. Otherwise, I would totally use it without a backup definitely. Now if something were to happen to this amp, and I didn't know a good tech, you'd be in a rut, because these are discontinued amps. be aware though that I think you can still find schematic sheets and the manual online. // 8

Overall Impression: I got this amp on a blind craigslist trade, where I traded a 1971 Fender princeton amp for this amp, and though you may think it was crazy, the princeton just wasn't my style, and this amp is darn near perfect for me. Overall, it's got just the right features and sounds great. I may eventually upgrade speakers and tubes, but in the meantime, it's fine. If it were stolen, I'd probably not be able to find another one of these, so then I might would save up now that I have a job and get an Orange amp or Laney etc. But it's tend to go for about 400-500 on eBay I think, so I think for the money this or a Classic 30 (depending on your style) are the best bangs for the buck at budget tube amps. // 10

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overall: 9.8
JTM30 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: guitar center

Features: 30 watts. Treble, mid, bass. Reverb. 2-channel. Footswitchable. Effects loop on FRONT face of amp. 1X12 celestion speaker. External speaker cabapility. tone controls are great. I can actually clearly hear the change in tone with the slightset adjustments of the knobs. This amp has all the features that any yokel local bar band guitarist would ever reasonably need. Don't scoff at the mere 30 watts behind this amp. I researched this amp extensively before I'd bought it and my only real concern was if it would be loud enough for bar gigs or even rehearsal and I'm hear to tell you that IT IS. I have the volume set at around 5 or 6 leaving myself with plenty of headroom and still find myself turning it it down slightly at times. If the opportunity to play larger venues happens to present itself the amp could be miked and run through a PA as it should be for a big room anyway. In the meantime, there's not a room in town that this amp cannot fill with sound. The effects loop input/output jacks on the front of the amp are nothing short of genius and I can't help but wonder why this isn't more common. I can attest that running effects (stomboxes)through the effects loop are golden and sounds delicious. I cannot testify as to the gain channel in practical applications because I don't even use it as I rely on the clean channel and an assortment of pedals to accomodate the vast & versatile range of material our band covers but I can say that it is respectable based on what I've heard of it. // 10

Sound: Guitars with humbuckers, tubescreamer for blues & classic rock, distortion for the heavier stuff, are the primary tools fueling the sound behind this amp as well as a wah, super-shifter, tuner. It's not easy piecing together a single rig that'll accomodate a vast range of musical styles and genres without shelling out big bucks but I've managed to piece this whole thing together for a very reasonable amount of money and I would'nt change it if I could. Prior to this rig I was using various tube amps that were rated between 50-85 watts and I was NEVER even able to unleash the full tonal cababilities of those amps as I was never able to turn the volume up past 3 or 4 no matter where we played. The JTM30 affords me the opportunity to crank up the volume and open up the unlimited tonal range of this amp. I've got a ''thousand-dollar Marshall tone'' here for $500. The clean channel alone at mid volumes is boderline between ''clean'' and ''dirty'' and lends itself very well to a vast number of musical possibilities. The gritty sweet tone of the clean channel with the right distortion pedal GROWLS with crazy ''holy grail'' metal tone complimenting stuff like tool or metallica and an overdrive pedal is heavenly sounding and is ideal for everything from blues to zepplin to buckcherry to ACDC and everything in between. The clean channel by itself at high volumes is beautiful with the classic Marshall tone and could be used as it is without any effects if your set list doesn't demand sounds outside of the realm of that particular classic tone. Despite all of the pedals in the chain of this rig there is only a minimal amount of unwanted noise common with any tube amplifier. That's it. I'd only briefly checked out the gain channel as I already knew what I was going for when I got this amp and knew I wouldn't even need it and although I've never been a fan of built-in amp gain, they DID do it proper with this particular model and I'm sure it'd suit anyone whose in the market for that sort of thing. No matter where we play, every guitar player in the house makes it a point to wander by my rig at some point to see where the awesomeness is coming from and I never tire of the endless compliments with regards to my tone and overall sound literally every time I Switch that badboy on. Forget about what everyone else says about this amp. See for yourself that it compliments any broke-ass guitar player's arsenal. This amp ''glows'' with sound as a good amp is supposed to. It does'nt obviously & forcefully spew out sound through the speaker as lesser quality amps do. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I can't say enough good things about this amplifier. I understand that there are ''common'' overheating issues etc. Associated with this particular model but it's unlikely you'd have problems and if so, it's not an expensive fix anyway as long as you're not a sucker. I NEVER use a ''back-up'' amp. It sucks enough lugging around the stuff I actually use and the JTM30 has my full confidence that it'll get the job done. This amp is reminiscent of the ''good'' Marshall amps with the same craftsmanship that we've come to expect from the brand. // 9

Overall Impression: Playing for more than 20 years now and having owned just about everything under the sun at some point in time over the years, I can honestly say that the JTM30 is without doubt one of my favorite amps I've ever had the privilege of playing through for a number of reasons. The 30 watts actually is quite beneficial to obtaining the sweetest tones and sounds and is proving to be truly ideal for the typical bar band applications. It affords players lacking a big bankroll to throw down on an amp the chance to sound great for a reasonable amount of bread which is awesome. The only way you could arguably do any better than this would be with a comparable jcm800/900 50 watt combo but speaking from experience, you'd be hard-pressed to ever have the luxury of playing anywhere big enough that would permit you to crank it up enough to get the tones that you can get effortlessly from the jtm30. If this amp was stolen/lost I would undoubtedly get another without even thinking about it. // 10

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