Valvestate VS265 Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 03/06/2006 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Marshall: Valvestate VS265
It has 2x12" speakers pushing 65 watts each. It has 3 channels, one clean and two distortion channels as well as built in chorus and reverb. There are dual speaker outputs on the back to run an extension cabinet, headphone out jack and it comes with a footswitch that switches channels. This amp is in good shape, with one noticeable blemish on the front frame.
 Sound: 7.3
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Features: 9
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reviews (3) pictures (2) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Valvestate VS265 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 06, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 176400

Purchased from: used

Features: So, I previously owned a Behringer gx110, that I loved so, but, as time passed, I needed something bigger ("I'm on the way of making it big.") I found this amplifier in a local music shop in my hometown (Bekescsaba, HU), and I found it suitable for my playing style, because of the following:

- it's a 2x65 watt stereo chorus solid state combo loud enough for practicing at home that I've managed to try, and I guess, a 2x65 watt amp is pretty enough for rehearsing and smaller shows too, that I have not yet.
- it has two overdriven channels that is very useful if you're trying to make versatile music, for example if you want a British-style crunch, and a liquid lead on the other hand.
- the chorus is assignable to the channels, both, only clean, or only OD, that is a useful feature if you like to fatten your cleans with chorus, but you don't like chorused overdrive sounds, as a lot of guitarists do, including myself.
- other features - effects loop, DI and enclosure outputs, headphone socket, of course, all is stereo, and the amp has reverb, can be set differently on clean and OD channels. // 10

Sound: I use this amp with an Ibanez GAX guitar (bolt-on neck, two open humbuckers, Tune-O-Matic) with that the amp gets on quite well. The clean channel is so sensitive, on a lower volume settings it responds to the style and strength of picking. I can't wait to try it with a Strat, or any single coiled guitar, I suppose they would make a nice pair. On higher settings, the cleans get a bit crunchy in a very unique "Marshall-ish" way. I haven' used it so much that loud, but I guess, clarity in that case too is just the matter of playing technique and the setting of the guitar volume. The OD1 is similar in the case of sensitivity, but of course with a slight tubey overdrive. It's pretty good fot bluesy leads or Brit-style crunch (not a Vox AC30, but it's not that expensive anyway). The OD2 is a metallic overdrive, suitable for both classic and modern hard rock and metal, due to its character knob, that is like a tone knob or a scoop control. Anyway, as a negative, the two OD-s could have a separate EQ, the character is not enough to alter the OD2's tone, I think. On lower volume settings, both OD's sound a bit too fuzzy, but with suitable EQ settings and the growth of volume, the lows get stronger, the sound gets thicker (it's unfortunately still just a solid-state). The chorus is beautiful, subtle, maybe that's the main point in this amp, especially if you listen to it through headphones. I guess that feeling could be reproduced through the stereo outputs. // 8

Reliability & Durability: That's what I fortunately haven't tried yet, but it looks durable. // 9

Overall Impression: I think it matches my style, that is mainly classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, U2, REM etc. and I think it could be suitable for harder genres too, because of the OD2, that is so metallic (that I don't use it much). The crunchiness of cleans is acceptable in this styles, and if you would like to play Dire Straits, you'd better buy a Roland JC or a Fender (I love Dire Straits too, so it is not impossible that I will buy something like that later). I think it's a good choice for beginners or lower intermediates who look for their first stage amp. I don't say it's dirt cheap, especially in Hungary, but it's a Marshall anyway, with the familiar Marshall power worth trying. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Valvestate VS265 Reviewed by: thetobarmethod, on september 07, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Local store

Features: I'm not sure about most of the details on this amp but it was obviously made in the 90's, and its a stage sized combo. 3 channels (clean, OD1, & OD2), one pre amp tube and a solid state power amp, it has a wattage selector to decrease its wattage output but I can't remember by how much, a tone shift which is basically a bass cut(pun), 3-knob eq for clean and od (od 1 & 2 work off the same eq) its 100 watts or a little above 120 watts, it has a effects loop, headphones input etc., on-board chorus and reverb with a 2 knob eq for chorus and selector for which channels want the chorus to be on. Pretty damn versatile and it has a contour knob to adjust frequencies but it isn't very sensitive until you adjust it enough. // 9

Sound: Clean - chimes, dry, dark, kinda solid state sounding but I love it. And it virtually doesn't distort unless you guitar overdrives an amp extremely well. Overdrive 1 & 2 - Overdrive 1 is more of a classic drive, while 2 is very modern and thick (think JCM900), I prefer od 1 since it is more transparent and raw. (Plus it sounds like tubes). I play alt metal and modern stuff with a mix of some contemporary styles and it fits, but a good ole' tube amp with a hao rust driver or Suhr Riot in front then I'll tweak it to my liking and create a very powerfull dark tone that ISNT metal-sounding and overly tight. No noise at all surprisingly until you hit about 7.5 on OD even with EMG's. It does fit my style to an extent, but I prefer a Plexi distortion and actually dislike JCM tones. My favorites are Pete Loeffler from Chevelle's and Daron Malakian from SOAD's tones. The amp is versatile yes, but it only makes 2 types of distortion, however, when you change pickups... Let the games begin. I get 5 completely different sounds from every 1 of my guitars since they are different woods, shapes, thicknesses, and only 1 has EMG's. So just keep in mind that if your Ibanez has passives, then your tone will be much different than your buds EMG loaded Schecter. In the end though, it will suit most peoples tastes. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It is very dependable, plus its solid state so there isn't much to worry about in terms of fragility to begin with. Not broken down once in its nearly 20 years but I have had it repaired and kept up with regular maintenance. And I Drive my amps quiet hard and play them harshly (but smartly of course) and not a single time has any of my equipment failed me, this is included in those ranks. // 8

Overall Impression: I play alt metal and modern styles with a mix of contemporary, been playing for 4+ years and with many different effects in front of it. Good amp, good tones, good clean, its just a good all around amplifier, and I don't plan on selling it because its od1 channel is actually really cool. Btw, I have Marshall goldbacks in it. // 9

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overall: 7.8
Valvestate VS265 Reviewed by: glytch5, on february 18, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: A buddie.

Features: This thing was made in the early to mid 90s I believe. The Marshall Valvestate VS265 is a 130 watt, solid state/valve hybrid combo amp. It contains 1x 12ax7 pre amp tube, driving 2 x 65 watt solid state power amps, each connected to a single 12 inch, 8 ohm Marshall Goldback 100 speaker. One clean channel, plus OD1, and OD2. There is a tone shift button for each channel. Built in adjustable reverb, and chorus with speed+debth controls. On board effects loop, head phone jack and speaker outs. Open back amplifier. Generally comes with a foot switch to go between channels, and turn on chorus. Rubber carrying handle on top. // 8

Sound: This amp has a really good clean tone, and can get some good gritty crunch. The OD1 channel gets a good classic rock sound The OD2 channel can sound good after adjusting the contour knob. Not the best all out, tight bass heavy metal amp, but it can do some semi-thrash metal tones if you tune it up just right. This amp has PLENTY of power. The 130 watts crank very well. Very loud amplifier. The amp can get muddy with the gain and volume up, and it will run away on you if your not careful. It has a pretty versatile sound. This thing produces over the top low end bass when you back it up towards a wall. I give it a 7/10 because it can do a lot of different styles of music, but more so on the clean side, which is not for me. Has a rubber handle on the top. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This amp is built very solid. Sturdy construction. It is built very much like a Marshall 1930 lead 2x12 cabinet without casters. Pretty much is a 2x12 cabinet, with a slanted top that is opened for an amp. It has re enforced corners, and some hard rubber feet. This amp is about 15-20 years old now and has been beat on. Still works great. I have lugged this heavy beast all around town and no issues. It has withstood the test of time. Only things I have ever had done, was changed out a bad speaker, and took it in to have the pots cleaned up once. In all honestly, it could probably take the fall down a few stairs if it were dropped. // 9

Overall Impression: I enjoy bluesy music, and some heavy stuff. Probably not the all out best amp for hard rock/metal. This amp does sound cool though. It has its own tone. Very adjustable and can do many different sounds like I said. The biggest issues I have with this thing is... Putting distortion pedals in front of it always sounded... Well HORRIBLE. Not sure why. Also it just does not quiiiite have the gain I want. Being open back it is a pain to always have to "tune" the amp to get the right bass response. If you like jazz/country this is just fine however. I mainly use it as my bedroom amp now days, or my clean amp. I use a Orange Dark Terror, on a Marshall 1960 4x12 for the heavy stuff, and this for clean. You can take this amp to gigs just fine, and it is loud enough to play in a small bar or somewhere with no PA. If you see one out there within the 200 dollar range, I would pick it up. It is a well built amp. Could definitely be worse. If it were stolen I would buy another one if I could get it for the deal I got. I bought it from a friend probably 6 years ago who really needed money. Got a good deal on it at the time. Wish this amp had a better gain channel. // 7

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