Marshall Studio Series

Mats1A

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Does the Marshall Studio Vintage and Studio Classic have a real Choke or a resistor?
 

Tatzmann

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So whats the difference, the studio amps have
basically nothing in common with the real
2203 or 1959, besides the general preamp and the name ffs.

Always funny to read posts like "my jcm800"
or "my plexi" when they really only got this
overpriced dwarfy little lunchbox. :p
 

Whiteknuckle

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So whats the difference, the studio amps have
basically nothing in common with the real
2203 or 1959, besides the general preamp and the name ffs.

Always funny to read posts like "my jcm800"
or "my plexi" when they really only got this
overpriced dwarfy little lunchbox. :p
Think they’re supposed to sound like 2203 and 1959s?
A JCM 800 or a JMP can be many things and come in different sizes and spec, so why not think of the Studio Classic as a broad representative of the JCM 800 series, including 2204, 2205 and 2210 and the different combo versions? And the same with the Vintage/JMP.

I see you ragging on stuff other people like in most of your posts, why is that?
 

PelliX

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Think they’re supposed to sound like 2203 and 1959s?
A JCM 800 or a JMP can be many things and come in different sizes and spec, so why not think of the Studio Classic as a broad representative of the JCM 800 series, including 2204, 2205 and 2210 and the different combo versions? And the same with the Vintage/JMP.

I see you ragging on stuff other people like in most of your posts, why is that?

Studio Classic​


A portable replica of the classic JCM®800 2203 which was originally introduced in the 80’s.

Studio Vintage​


Based on the vintage JMP® 1959SLP which was the amp that defined classic rock tone, with its plexiglass panel seen on the 100W amps in the late 60’s.

Studio Jubilee​


A small version of the Silver Jubilee®.

That's according to Marshall, themselves, indeed. While deviating from the original design, what people seldom mention is that you effectively get more or less the same preamp though a cathode biased output stage. Some like it, some don't, but if you dig those characteristics they represent a sort of unique take on those classic amps. :shrug:
 

vivanchenko

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So whats the difference, the studio amps have
basically nothing in common with the real
2203 or 1959, besides the general preamp and the name ffs.

Always funny to read posts like "my jcm800"
or "my plexi" when they really only got this
overpriced dwarfy little lunchbox. :p
Totally agree with that. The conventional wisdom always had been that to nail plexi you had to have a real deal 50 or 100 w output transformer or at least a faithful reproduction of them. Now all of a sudden you can do it with puny 20 w Chinese made transformers, no choke and significantly underpowered, cathode biased, pair of EL34 tubes.

The amps are good for what they are, but they are no plexis.
 
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vivanchenko

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That's according to Marshall, themselves, indeed. While deviating from the original design, what people seldom mention is that you effectively get more or less the same preamp though a cathode biased output stage. Some like it, some don't, but if you dig those characteristics they represent a sort of unique take on those classic amps. :shrug:
Marshall can tell you anything. They say in the manual for my DSL that the green channel was designed to sound like a Pexi. It also has a very similar signal path and tone stack, but Plexi it ain't.

Plexi is all about power amp distortion. Power amp of the Studio version is about 90% different. The only thing in common is a pair of EL34 tubes.
 
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Whiteknuckle

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Studio Classic​


A portable replica of the classic JCM®800 2203 which was originally introduced in the 80’s.

Studio Vintage​


Based on the vintage JMP® 1959SLP which was the amp that defined classic rock tone, with its plexiglass panel seen on the 100W amps in the late 60’s.

Studio Jubilee​


A small version of the Silver Jubilee®.

That's according to Marshall, themselves, indeed. While deviating from the original design, what people seldom mention is that you effectively get more or less the same preamp though a cathode biased output stage. Some like it, some don't, but if you dig those characteristics they represent a sort of unique take on those classic amps. :shrug:
Oh, I shall stand corrected.
I don’t care much about cathode biasing, in fact I think I prefer it.
Plenty of videos online to show their tonal similarities.
In a band setting with low volume requirements, or a wimpy drummer, I could totally see one of the combos working really well.
 

vivanchenko

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If you don't like fixed biased amps you don't like Plexi. It's an important part of the recipe. Fixed biased amps have very different dynamics. Most importantly they clean up differently. As I said above, the Plexi sound is all about power amp distortion. Power amp design of the Studio version is totally different.

The youtube videos are very misleading. Proper test must be blind and they should be done in controlled conditions. Also, most if not all testers never played the real plexies the way they should be played. Basically they are comparing pre-amps whereas they should be comparing ovedriven power amps.
 

mark123

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If you don't like fixed biased amps you don't like Plexi. It's an important part of the recipe. Fixed biased amps have very different dynamics. Most importantly they clean up differently. As I said above, the Plexi sound is all about power amp distortion. Power amp design of the Studio version is totally different.

The youtube videos are very misleading. Proper test must be blind and they should be done in controlled conditions. Also, most if not all testers never played the real plexies the way they should be played. Basically they are comparing pre-amps whereas they should be comparing ovedriven power amps.
Now that’s an excellent point. 👍
 

PelliX

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Marshall can tell you anything. They say in the manual for my DSL that the green channel was designed to sound like a Pexi. It also has a very similar signal path and tone stack, but Plexi it ain't.

Plexi is all about power amp distortion. Power amp of the Studio version is about 90% different. The only thing in common is a pair of EL34 tubes.

I wasn't defending or criticizing the way Marshall market them, I was merely confirming that they are indeed based on specific models from the past. I think that their wording about the DSL green channel is probably accurate, but indeed - it's a channel. That means it effectively has nothing to do with the power stage after after it. That stage is very linear in DSLs, not much 'mojo' or 'vibe' to be got there in my experience (though with other types of valves and a little creative adjustments to the circuit that could be changed, if you really want to go down that road).

Now all of a sudden you can do it with puny 20 w Chinese made transformers, no choke and significantly underpowered, cathode biased, pair of EL34 tubes.

I'm not going to put my foot in the bear trap and say that they faithfully represent the models they are based on, but the preamp is the section they copied, not the power stage of course. The smaller the output stage, the less difference a choke will _generally_ make. Again, I'm not saying they did the right or wrong thing or that it works for everyone in getting every tone. Sometimes unexpected, seemingly inferior developments work for some things. Brian May used solid state AC30's for a substantial period of time if I'm not mistaken. He did move back to the valve models but with SS rectifiers later on sometime. Did everybody lose their shit back then?

If you think a choke is going to make a difference, it would be worthwhile to actually measure or calculate the sag that you're trying to compensate for by implementing a choke. It's an inductor, not a piece of magic.

Lastly, I'm the last person to defend cheap Chinese crap, but the size of transformers has shrunk due to developments in technology. That's not a bad thing in itself, unless you can identify an unwanted change in their behavior. To justtify a choke, you _might_ just be better off with a really underrated transformer in order to get the kind of sag they were battling on the 100W models of yesteryear.
 

vivanchenko

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I see where you’re all coming from but if you guys can tell a choke from a resistor by listening then you’ve got a better set of ears than I do.
Choke is more important for dynamics which affects the feel of the amp and how you play it.
 

vivanchenko

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I wasn't defending or criticizing the way Marshall market them, I was merely confirming that they are indeed based on specific models from the past. I think that their wording about the DSL green channel is probably accurate, but indeed - it's a channel. That means it effectively has nothing to do with the power stage after after it. That stage is very linear in DSLs, not much 'mojo' or 'vibe' to be got there in my experience (though with other types of valves and a little creative adjustments to the circuit that could be changed, if you really want to go down that road).



I'm not going to put my foot in the bear trap and say that they faithfully represent the models they are based on, but the preamp is the section they copied, not the power stage of course. The smaller the output stage, the less difference a choke will _generally_ make. Again, I'm not saying they did the right or wrong thing or that it works for everyone in getting every tone. Sometimes unexpected, seemingly inferior developments work for some things. Brian May used solid state AC30's for a substantial period of time if I'm not mistaken. He did move back to the valve models but with SS rectifiers later on sometime. Did everybody lose their shit back then?

If you think a choke is going to make a difference, it would be worthwhile to actually measure or calculate the sag that you're trying to compensate for by implementing a choke. It's an inductor, not a piece of magic.

Lastly, I'm the last person to defend cheap Chinese crap, but the size of transformers has shrunk due to developments in technology. That's not a bad thing in itself, unless you can identify an unwanted change in their behavior. To justtify a choke, you _might_ just be better off with a really underrated transformer in order to get the kind of sag they were battling on the 100W models of yesteryear.
Again, Plexi is all about ovedriven power amp. Pre-amp design at this point makes little to no difference. Nobody ever cared for Plexi pre-amp sound.

Speaking about transformer size, which exactly technology improvement contributed to smaller transformer sizes? The answer is none. It's just a common marketing BS. Modern 50 and 100 Marshall amps still have proper large output transformers, just like back in the day.

No way a 20 W cathode biased underpowered EL34 amp will play, sound and feel as a 50 or 100 w Plexi.
 
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PelliX

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I’m losing my shit. Brian May was using solid state AC30‘s? Do they even make such a beast?


Apparently. I saw an interview with his former tech where he went into the move back to valves but skipping the valve rectifier because they were popping on the road too much. They got in some medical grade power conditioners, but opted with solid state rectifiers because not even Brian could tell the difference in tone. He didn't specifically mention the AC-30 SS, but I've also seen Brian refer to using SS amps. Don't think he mentioned a model, but it was a while ago. As for Quo, I somehow doubt it. They were rather conservative with new-fangled stuff. Until recently, I guess about the time Rick passed they were still on GP-8's and the odd RAT pedal for Francis. I recall seeing the AC-30 guts in Marshall JCM800 headshells WITH the standby switch, so those were presumably valve driven, or they cobbled together whatever they had and left the standby switch in. I know Francis used "something SS" in his home studio at times.

Speaking about transformer size, which exactly technology improvement contributed to smaller transformer sizes? The answer is none. It's just a common marketing BS. Modern 50 and 100 Marshall amps still have large OT just like back in the day.

Increased efficiency due to different types of metal (alloys?) and thinner insulation with equal characteristics resulting in a smaller package for the same number of windings, to name a couple of things.
 

PelliX

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Choke is more important for dynamics which affects the feel of the amp and how you play it.

Under certain conditions, it's as simple as that. I would wager that it would be extremely hard if not nigh impossible to tell whether a 100W plexi had a resistor or a choke at say half volume, or even dimed without a fair deal of input signal.

Take your middle-of-the-road SS hifi amp, nothing too fancy. Often, they skimp on the AC transformer for obvious reasons, and it shows at high volume. Would you notice a difference turned up to say about a third? No, generally not.
 

vivanchenko

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Apparently. I saw an interview with his former tech where he went into the move back to valves but skipping the valve rectifier because they were popping on the road too much. They got in some medical grade power conditioners, but opted with solid state rectifiers because not even Brian could tell the difference in tone. He didn't specifically mention the AC-30 SS, but I've also seen Brian refer to using SS amps. Don't think he mentioned a model, but it was a while ago. As for Quo, I somehow doubt it. They were rather conservative with new-fangled stuff. Until recently, I guess about the time Rick passed they were still on GP-8's and the odd RAT pedal for Francis. I recall seeing the AC-30 guts in Marshall JCM800 headshells WITH the standby switch, so those were presumably valve driven, or they cobbled together whatever they had and left the standby switch in. I know Francis used "something SS" in his home studio at times.



Increased efficiency due to different types of metal (alloys?) and thinner insulation with equal characteristics resulting in a smaller package for the same number of windings, to name a couple of things.
More efficient alloys, such as nickel based alloys, were well known when the classic Marshalls were produced. It's not a new technology. The thing is that changing core material will change the sound, similar to how different magnet materials change pickups. Alnico 5 magnets are a lot more efficient, but many players prefer Alnico 2. Output transformer core performance is all about magnetic flux.

Changing insulator material also changes the way transformers feel and sound. Transformers with paper insulation do sound different.

Using higher efficiency transformers is fine, just don't call it "Plexi".

50 years old 20 W transformers are approximately the same size as the ones used for the Studios. So, looks like there is nothing new here. You are not saying that OTs used for Studios are 50 W rated, or do you?

Most guitar amp transformers are made of the cheapest metals possible and the only reason why some transformers are smaller than most others is that they are even cheaper.
 
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