03-09-2010 12:00 AM
03-03-2010 12:00 AM
02-18-2010 12:00 AM
07-17-2009 12:00 AM
06-04-2009 12:00 AM
I love the fact I have it, I'm bitter about it dying, felt stupid about having to shell out for an attenuator, but it is ace, and it's what I want and I wouldn't want to be without it.
Buy it again if it was nicked? hmm, tricky. Consider it came with a 5 year guarantee for naff parts, and I'd still say no (I think).
For the money you could by 2-3 similar sounding amps that don't have Marshall written on the front, there are lots of copies out there, and if the Marshall isn't reliable, what are you paying for apart from the logo?
I'd buy a clone or a 18watt kit and with the money left over buy an island in the Caribbean.
Not scoring this because if you look at, say a line6, the features list is a mile long, and if that's what you want then you wouldn't be looking here. This is a reproduction of an amp made in the late 60's, it's not likely to have built in effects, different amp modelling etc.
A word to people who want to play this in the house...It's fierce...I had a 10watt solid state before this and thought 18watts on full chat wouldn't be much louder. I, and half my street, were in for a bit of a surprise. The problem is, on bedroom levels, the amp sounds shrill and thin and, well, crap. On anything past about 6 sounds awesome. With the vol set to 8 I had next door but 2 around complaining and I was in a detached house at the time.
So if the sound you're looking for is that distorted Marshall tone at bedroom levels, this probably isn't for you. As mentioned, that sort of amazing sound that can only be got from driving the jacobs off a tube when it's cranked can only be done when it's cranked.
I spent a lot of time thinking I'd made a right balls up, I had an amp repair guy in a guitar shop call me a ****** and tell me to put a duvet over it, AS IF, definitely the most useless advice I've ever had, unless this guy has a 1,000 tog duvet on his bed he was clearly being a tool.
The only way to do it is to fit an attenuator, you're getting that ace sound at whatever vol you want. Before this the amp was unusable in the house for me because it was just so loud.
My fault, not the amp.
I do have the attenuator between 8-10 most of the time, so it's getting a good workout every time I use it.
Worked perfectly for a couple of years continuous use. Fired it up one night recently to warm, came back to it 5 mins later, dead.
No lights, nothing. No fuses blown, just nothing. Transformer knackered.
The attenuator doesn't put any extra strain on the amp anymore that playing at those volumes would normally, so this should not be the cause.
I'm giving this 5 because, in spite of this well known issue, it is a solid cab and well put together.
Phoned them and, well, they offered to check it out for free to tell me what was wrong with it, then let me know how much it'd cost to put right. Problem with that is the factory is miles away, I don't have the original box and it aint cheap sending a 3 stone parcel. The person on the phone conceded that it was likely the transformer that has been so problematic for fellow 1974x users, and even said that they didn't use that transformer any more because of the problems they've had.
So would they replace the known defective transformer gratis if that turned out to be the problem? - No. I'd have to buy one. But that was okay because it would be the new transformer and they've not had the same issue with that according to the guy, which a quick search on the internet for this issue would suggest otherwise.
I'm not really going to pay to have this sent to them to put another component in it to then send it back, all of which at my expense without being 110% confident that this issue is fixed...and I'm not convinced one bit by what I have read on this issue.
Although it sickens me to spend even more money on this amp, I'll be putting a 3rd party transformer in because I've already had issues with the factory fitted ones and stubbornly, I'm not paying Marshall to put something right they should be doing anyway on an amp of this calibre.
Very disappointed. A real shame.
04-13-2009 12:00 AM
If stolen, I'd probably go for a Brown Note or similar. I'm hooked on a pair of EL84s, but don't need a tremolo and would prefer the money put into improvements in the circuit and better transformers.
I love the tone and nostalgic vibe.
I compared it to a Blackstar - see earlier comments.
Two "channels" - two identical inputs into normal channel and two inputs into tremolo channel, the top one very bright and the lower one much darker - something to do with sensitivity of the source. But, forget the tremolo channel as both inputs sound inferior to the normal channel. Also, on mine the tremolo is unstable and speeds up as the amp warms up. So, if you're playing for half an hour plus, the tremolo becomes much too fast on the slowest speed setting and therefore is unfit for purpose. Apparently there is a mod for this if you're up to tampering with ¿¿1,200 worth of amp. I bought my amp secondhand, but almost new, so no transferrable guarantee.
The tone control is pretty ineffective, but make sure that you set it at 12 o'clock as anything else sucks out the natural tone.
This may sound all a bit negative, but I auditioned the amp against a new Blackstar Artisan 15 and fell in love with normal channel of the 1974X. (Also, I liked the fact that is was hand wired in the UK and had a Union Jack on the rear plate.)
The main features are: stunning tone, wonderful looks and vibe and British made. If you want more - look elsewhere.
The amp is absolutely stunning with the 312. The alnico single coils really bring out the shimmer when clean (up to about 2/3 on the dial). Beyond, the break up is wonderfully smooth. The amp reaches its maximum volume at about half way and beyond just adds distortion.
This is a wonderfully tactile amp for playing clean, on the edge of distortion and Marshallesque rock. I'm not into the heavy stuff, but there are probably better amps for metal.
In summary, a one sound amp that is truly stunning. Just consider it as having one channel and a volume control only and you won't be disappointed.
01-20-2009 12:00 AM
i left it on by mistake for a few hours and returned to find the power fuse blown.. replaced blows in a second.. .. reading reviews that this is common but sure is frustrating
12-31-2008 12:00 AM
When I was looking to buy it was between this and a 100W Plexi, I chose this because it sounded as good and was easier on my ears.
I would buy this amp a million time over if god forbid it was stolen or lost.
both channels have 2 inputs, on the normal channel they are exactly the same, and on the trem channel they are like other high/low inputs.
The way I see it there are two outlooks on the features of this amp
1. "Simplicity RULES!!!"
2. "No EQ? That's cute now get me a real amp"
When I first got mine, I has the first outlook, but as I play an EQless amp I realize how important they are, nothing that a pedal doesn't fix.
18 watts is perfect for cranked Marshall tone in your bedroom, plays over a drummer easy, and if you gig you can mic it up and it's as loud as any full stack.
Both sound Incredible!
I play a lot of blues, classic rock and GnR/Van Halen higher gain stuff
I pretty much always keep the amp dimed and make adjustments on my guitar.
the distortion level with the amp and guitar at 10 is somewhere between Eric Clapton in Creme and early Slash. If you need more dirt then a MXR distortion + or a Boss DS-1 will push you into hard rock/metal territory.
Both my guitars have relatively low output pickups so I am not sure how hotter pickups would sound, I imagine that if you have higher output pickups you want a higher gain amp though.
But the closest thing to breaking down this amp has ever done is one of the tube covers came off, and I didn't even notice.
I haven't needed to replace the tubes yet and I push them pretty hard daily.
But I haven't had it for that long, hence the 8/10 rating
12-26-2008 12:00 AM
11-26-2008 12:00 AM
05-27-2008 12:00 AM
05-21-2008 12:00 AM
04-06-2008 12:00 AM
A whole league of knowledgeable experts build clones of the original, and they know damn well that it¿¿s a Class A amp, (try 18watt dot com mate); but then Duccy comes along and tells us all that it¿¿s not a Class A like we¿¿ve all been believing all along, but a Class A/B... hmmm, I wonder if he¿¿s told the inventors; Marshall/Watkins about this??
So don¿¿t don¿¿t worry folks, it is a Class A amp, and is probably one of the best ever made. Only a Class A amp can sound this way. Been lovin mine for years now, had the PT problem too, was replaced, been howlin¿¿ since.
Don¿¿t fret Duccy, whoever told you the 1974 is a Class A/B amp was pullin¿¿ yer leg mate!
Turn it up!
03-17-2008 12:00 AM
I'd replace immediately if stolen/lost......perish the thought!
I love the simplicity......in an era of channel switching/modelling/400 knob monsters, it's a delight to play an amp that sounds this good with TWO knobs.......
As indicated in most of the other reviews, very simple, quite straighforward......turn it on, play.....
Contrary to what a lot of other users seem to think, this is a conventional class A/B amp...
It is plenty loud for playing any gigs I can imagine, I rarely turn it up past 4.....doesn't really get much louder beyond that point, just more saturated & sweeter........
02-22-2008 12:00 AM
i'll never go to a gig without it.
this is a one trick pony amp. but it's the best trick in the book.
not alot of headroom.....
from 4-10, as yngwie says, "you've unleashed the fury"
with my les paul standard (burstbuckers 1 & 2), the jimmy page sound is right there
sounds great with other pickup types......
jumpering between the 2 channels gives you some really wild tones....all sorts of phase-cancellation pockets as you move the 2 volumes and tones from 0-10....
each channel sounds great on it's own
i've been gigging w/ it for 3 months with no problems
02-11-2008 12:00 AM
01-24-2008 12:00 AM
01-23-2008 12:00 AM
This amp redefined a "good tone" for me.
Thank you, Marshall, for doing that!!!
Does everything from clean to killer plexi crunch. Sounds especially good with humbuckers, but performs good with single coils as well.
It has perfect power for studio and small gigs... on large stages use PA.
There is only one issue... It longs to be cranked up!
I mean this is really REAL THING. I am happy that marshall is making AMPS again. A bit pricey (they should make a cheaper non handwired version of this amp for more budget oriented players).
PS! THIS IS THE FIRST PRODUCT I HAVE EVER RATED WITH MAXIMUM POINTS! Because it is not good for it's price, it is not reminding some classic amp... Ihis IS IT, THE HOLY GRAIL OF MARSHALLNESS!!!
01-15-2008 12:00 AM
As for the number of features should be a 1, but for their effectiveness it deserves an 8, so I rate it midfield...
The warranty period is more than satisfactory but I want my amp fixed the right way to be sure it won't blow fuses any more: I don't really think I'm asking too much for a 1.500 Euros amp!
11-24-2007 12:00 AM
Enter Mercury Magnetics. The solution may lie in the purchase of MM upgraded PT, OT, and choke. Retail at about $500 for the set, plus installation, I see this as the probable solution. The MM's will make the amp most reliable and allow me to enjoy the amp until it self destructs! Really, it sounds that good...
I have to rate the features at 5 to avoid confusing anyone.
The tone is just fantastic, at least to my ears. Maybe even the best tone I have acheived in my 30+ years at the craft. The strong midrange seems tailored to the electric guitar. The notes remain individual but blend just as well. Put the amp on 4 and you get a nice clean (but snarly) signal. Get up to 6-8 on the dial and enter the beautiful marshall breakup / overdrive. Dime the amp and all is well! Rock on man!
Throughout the entire volume range the tone remains constantly good. The amp can be bright but not brittle (based on the tone control setting). You can cut through the crowd without annyoing the dogs!! The bottom is great too (comming from a bass player using Ampeg tube amps).
Repeating, as a classic rock, blues, contemporary christian, and country musician, I could survive with this amp alone. Put the volume on 10 and work the drive with your guitar controls. That simple.
09-24-2007 12:00 AM
09-07-2007 12:00 AM
08-15-2007 12:00 AM
This is the ultimate British voiced studio and small gig blues and rock amp. It's perfect the way it is (except for the early units with the defective power transformers).
The amp is handsome and lightweight; moreover, it sounds like a Marshall Plexi at reasonable volume levels for small gigs and recording. The 1974x has everything that you need, and nothing that you don't. You can turn it into a modern sounding channel switcher with the addition of a good OD pedal (check out the Radial Hot Brit), and you can connect a Y cable and switch between Channels One and Two. Set one of the channels to a nice grind and the other to a "just past clean" and then use your guitar's controls to dial in a whole bunch more. There are not many amps that respond to your guitar's controls or to your playing dynamics as well as this one.
At around $2000, you are getting boutique quality and features. Check the prices of the boutique 18 watters, and then look at the pains that Marshall has taken to make this authentic. It's an excellent value.
The tremolo is one of the best sounding and most usable units that I have ever heard.
The two channels are voiced slightly different. Channel one is darker; channel two has hi and low inputs. It has a definite bite in the highs, but it never gets harsh.
The tone controls have quite a bit of range, from dark and brooding to bright and chimey, almost like a Vox AC15 with the volume 1/2 way up.
I short, this amp has a lot going for it in terms of features, even though it is based on a forty year old design. There is more to it than meets the eye.
I use a Radial Tonebone Hot British Overdrive in front of my 1974 for high gain tones. The amp loves that pedal. I'm sure that just about any good OD or distortion will work great, but the Tonebone gives you an authentic sounding Marshall preamp so that you have a master volume-equipped amp.
Without any pedals and using a Les Paul r8 with 57 Classics, the amp starts to break up at around 4. The best way to play this amp is to set the volume just past half-way on both of the channels, use a short cable to jump the two channels, plug a guitar into Channel Two, set the tones to around 3/4, and use the guitars volume and tone controls to get an infinite variety of clean, blues, and rock textures.
This amp is NOT a one trick pony, but you have to understand how to "play" a vintage amp.
08-04-2007 12:00 AM
i had already 3 of them as they always break down !!
this week, my third 1974x combo broke down again (as did the 4x 2061 lead & bass 20w head i had !!!!).
usualy, i play about a few weeks on them and they break down !!
other than that, the amp is good for the 60's 70's tone i'm after , blues, rock, funk, so it's versatile ennough even if it doesn't compete with modern multi channel amps
the clean tones are great, better than the lead and bass head .
the tone depends on the speaker you use as with many amps
the third i have (after it was replaced two times but i had to wait months and months) broke down again this week.
don't know what it is but it lost half it's output volume and don't sound as good as before .
it seems those amps are not getting their problems fixed since they were released.
07-24-2007 12:00 AM
07-19-2007 12:00 AM
Like I said the sound is good but for the money their asking for a basic amp...no way.
06-30-2007 12:00 AM
05-04-2007 12:00 AM
The warranty is a 4 year transferable on the amp and with me being the 2nd owner they still honored the warranty after some effort on my part getting the original bill of sale.
04-24-2007 12:00 AM
03-23-2007 12:00 AM
1. Not all amps are affected by failing power transformers.
2. Marshall have long since realised the problem, and all amps with failing PT are being or have been repaired with an improved PT from Dagnall.
3. Wasting your money on new transformers from Mercury or Heyboer, Trinity etc. is absolutely unnecessary, and will not improve on the tone. Nor will fitting NOS tubes make any noticable difference. The tubes originally fitted are from JJ, and are the best currently available. These amps sound killer as they are, period.
The PT on my 1974X blew while on stand-by, and was repaired within 3 weeks. Yes I was angry about this too, but the amp now has the improved PT from Dagnall, fitted free of charge on warranty of course, and the amp has gained a little more headroom from it.
I also tried NOS tubes, old Tesla EL84s from the sixties, they were expensive, sounded just like new JJs, and they went bad after just a few months!!! NOS preamp tubes? Oh behave! Forget it, it is all just a huge rip-off. Try the new russian Tung-Sol 12AX7s if you want to experiment. I am back to the original JJ tubes that came in the amp in the first place, they sound best, and last longer than anything else. After all, Marshall did all the testing for us, they build these things, they built the originals too, so suggesting that people spend even more money on this amp to get it to perform supposedly better, is simply pathetic.
It is fine just as it is thank you very much.
So if your 1974X fails, get it off to be repaired under warranty, it¿¿s free! And if it doesnt fail, dont sweat it, play it and be happy!