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| |-+  20 Watt Lead, Bass
| | |-+  18 Watt TMB vs 20 Watt Lead & Bass
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Author Topic: 18 Watt TMB vs 20 Watt Lead & Bass  (Read 17096 times)
Duppy
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« on: July 13, 2009, 04:29:45 PM »

I was really close to ordering a 50 watt Plexi 1986 head, but stopped at the last minute thinking about the ongoing "turn it down" comments I get from sound men. I'm a firm believer in cranking an amp to get the best tone and I don't really like attenuators.

So I was thinking what should I go for instead; the 18 Watt TMB or the 20 Watt Lead & Bass?

Have any of you guys got an opinion on this or can describe the difference in tone to me. I really want the EL34 growl of there big brothers.
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Pastor Bentonit
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 08:44:50 PM »

I have both a 1986 head (Marshall '74, plenty road-worn but still going strong! Possibly the best Marshall I've played or even heard) and the Ceriatone 20W Lead and Bass head. They both have the same (blendable - you know the trick) insane bite and fat bottom, only the 1986 is a bit louder (and has more of the annoying "no volume - full volume" feature). The TMB I haven't tried; I'm sure it's good too, but the 20W will *nail* the tone of a 1986 IMHO. Simplicity rules.

That said, I think your sound man would object to your turning up the 20W past "2" on stage, lest you also turn your (miked, I suppose?) cabinet backwards. Only that - and bear with me for a moment of clarity - I once did exactly that using the 1986 in a small sports bar (we crammed in ~500 beer-guzzling guests that evening and played for the friggin' door...aaah, those were the days!); the next day the bar owner had gotten notice from the hotel reception right behind the off-stage door (!!) that "the police would (yada yada retractable batons yada)" if that EVER happened again...you get the picture.

Just my 2 cent's worth, et cetera.

Peace,

/The Rev.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 07:30:50 PM by Pastor Bentonit » Logged
Jack Daniels
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 09:43:09 PM »

Here's your answer if you're a blues player go for the 18 watt, if you're a classic rock or hard rock player go for the 20 watt.  My reasoning here is this:  The 18 watt version utilizes tube rectification, so it will sag when driven hard or when you pick hard.  It will give and "quash"(compress) PLUS, and this is a major one, the 18 watt amp as sold by Marshall was designed as a combo w/open back cabinet where a certain amount of lows are lost by virtue of the open back design.  The 20 watt amp on the other hand utilizes a solid state diode bridge rectifier as used in all late model classic Marshall amps. It stays tighter and has more headroom prior to clipping.  This coupled with a closed back cabinet gives you a bigger fuller bottom end.  Also I'm a big proponent of the Marshall 2x12 slant front cab w/G12H Celestion 30 watt anniversary speakers.  I have the actual Marshall 2061X head and marshall 2061CX cabinet so I can speak from experience.  I love the cabinet as it appears to be a slant front 4x10, but actually has the 2x12's I just mentioned.  I'll typically use my Boss/Keeley Blues Driver BD-2 pedal with a Boss DD-2 Digital Delay with the Bass and Treble channels jumpered.  This rig is the absolute shit, and sick as hell (in modern terminology).   
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Jack Daniels
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 09:49:10 PM »

Duppy, also the tubes used in the 18 watt and 20 watt amps (EL84's) are kissin' cousins, or smaller versions of the EL34.  That's why I love my 20 watt Marshall so much because it DOES get those tones and at less than earbleed levels.  Before you go and start wanting to turn the amp up to 10, just jumper it and use an overdrive of choice and see what I'm talking about.
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