Valvestate 8240 review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (26 votes)
Marshall: Valvestate 8240

Price paid: $ 275

Sound — 10
First off, I'm using an Epiphone Dot w/ Seymour Duncan '59 pickups in the bridge and neck. It suits my style perfectly, as I play blues and classic rock. It's a fairly quiet amp, it doesn't really buzz much. The amp is great for Claptonesque tones, which I use a lot. It's also great for emulating the tones of other classic rock stylists, along with some blues stylists. And as the gain goes up to 20, and I've tried it at that level, the amp is also good for heavy metal. The clean channel is good, it has it's own gain knob that will make it distorted if you turn it high enough. The cleans are also good for blues and some jazz. The distortion is very brutal when you have it all the way up. Otherwise, this amp has great distortion. Personally, I play with bass, mids, treble all the way up, gain about 6 or 7, and contour at 0, and I really love the tones in both the clean and distorted channels.

Overall Impression — 9
I play blues and classic rock, and this amp keeps up with me perfectly. I've been playing for a few years now, and I also own a couple of acoustics and a cheap Crate 15 watt amp. If this were lost or stolen, I would most likely buy it again. I really like the distortion and the tones that this amp gets. There isn't anything I absolutely hate on it. I chose it because it's a Marshall and it really had the tone I was looking for.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I can definitely depend on this amp. I would use it at a gig without a backup. It hasn't ever broken down, and it only has a preamp tube that doesn't need to be replaced very often. Also, it looks like the previous owner has put my amp through some strenous tests, as it looks dirty and there are some tears in the fabric. But every time I turn it on, I get the same tone that I like, so it's very reliable in my mind.

Features — 9
From what I've been told this amp was made in 1986, so it's 3 years older than I am. It's definitely versatile enough to handle the types of music I play, mainly blues and classic rock, plus any originals I happen to write. It is a 40 watt combo and has 2 channels to switch between, along with the standard gain, treble, mid, and bass. It also has reverb and chorus, and a contour dial. I'm pretty happy with the features it has, and I don't think I need anymore from it. I use this amp mainly when I'm jamming with friends Who also have amps in that have around 40 watts, and it has plenty of power. It is also a hybrid amp.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I've had this amp since 1992 - Paid over $1000 for it. Had a love hate relationship with it but now I have made some mods and love it. First off - clean those dam pots! they get scratchy and the amp sucks! I put a Sovtek 12AX7WA tube in it and got way more volume, grit and depth to the sound. I tried electron harmonix (blah), phillips(smooth and low output), ruby(clear and heavy) and JJ (full and smooth) tubes and this sovtek was the winner cause it added some needed growl to the overdrives. I do not play the clean unless I am going to a JC roland sound which it does quite well. Instead to get clean-ish sound I play the OD1/2 and turn down the volume on my guitars that have 50s wiring / treble bleed so I do not loose the high frequencies. I replaced the speakers with Eminence Legend GB128 $79 which sound really good in this amp. These speakers are louder, punchy-er and have more bottom end growl. Plus they are 8 ohm and they are easier on the amp(lets me dime the master volume [you know "10"] for hours. Last note is if you are playing metal, grunge, hard rock put the amp against a wall (within an inch) or put a board on the back to close the open back but when I am playing blues, classic rock and alternative I pull it off the wall (a foot or more). The amp is on wheels. It is a great sounding amp now and play with guys with full marshal stacks and it keeps up just fine and I get nods of approval from them and "how do you get that sound out of it? It likes a boost pedal in front of it especially if you are doing single coil - I use a danelectro transparent overdrive which I love. The SD JB bridge pickup and my dimarzio super distortion 2 clones sound great with this current version of this amp. I play alot of guitar - I have 14 and repair and mod guitars and amps on the side. I am an electronics engineer and sound installer for pro audio and home theater for 12 years. I am a tone freak - have 15 guitars and 5 amps so I know my stuff. If you have this amp upgrade the tube at least and try it against the wall or as I do under a desk. If you can afford it change the speakers and you will have an awesome versatile tone monster of an amp.
    i have this amp too but i live in europa and i bought it for 350euro that's about 515 dollar. but i want to aks:was your amp new or secondhand??
    its a good amp to practise with but at gigging volumes it wont hold up that well.... to the guy above...try selling it to another person who you can rip off for that price, sorry bro...
    Overall, I agree with the OP. I live in Europe as well, I guess I was lucky to buy it for 70 second hand. The only setback is that on high volumes, it sometimes makes a hard clicking noise. I wonder if it has something to do with the tube that needs to be replaced?
    sanderknopfler - I bought this amp second-hand at a Guitar Center near where I live. GreekGuitarist and zionboard- Personally, I think this amp (at least mine, anyways) holds up fairly well at louder volumes, and I don't recall ever hearing a hard clicking noise.
    Goldtop Classic
    I have this amp as well. Bought it for $290 here in Sweden 2 years ago. I mainly play at home and whatever some people say about this amp...I think it sounds good enough, almost great at low volumes. Not to noisy, no hazzle with the pots. Still Im looking for a full size Marshall stack! Its just the real stuff
    From what I've been told this amp was made in 1986
    It can't be because they started making Valvestates in early '90s. So maybe 1996?
    I have 2 of these, the Chorus is the best feature of this amp, dirty or clean low or hi volume, it reigns supreme (2 me),yes the pots get dirty, yes it needs TLC, when i plug in my Line6 XTlive or Spyder II as a pre, there is very little that will touch this sound.. I use it with acoustics thru the Spyder with Volume FV shorty and can change to my shred machine in a songbreak and wail. I would buy a third if given 1/2 a chance. L~
    I've had this amp since the late '90s, now it's time to part ways with it. I live in NYC.
    I bought mine for $230 used it had some rips in the grill and the tolex was very dirty and beat up. But it sounded great I put about 70 bucks into refinishing it and doing a custom color combo on it so it looks like nothing else I've ever seen. All around great amp for the house or small jam sessions. The chorus on it is amazing sounding it does play fairly loud and clean. Mine was made in 1993 in the U.K