Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel… Marshall’s latest entry into the low-powered amp market, the all-tube Class5 Combo, has been available and getting great reviews across the pond for many months, but appears to be only now starting to show up in the States — I can’t wait to get my hands on one.
Built to resemble the iconic Marshall Bluesbreaker of the ’60s, the Class5 is basically a 5-watt studio/practice/smaller-gig amp meant to produce classic British tone and overdrive at a reasonably low volume level –– though according to reviews it’s still loud enough to get you in plenty of trouble with your neighbors.
The Marshall Class5 sports Class-A circuitry, an all-tube signal-path, dual ECC83 preamp tubes, a single EL84 power tube, a top loaded “Plexi-esque” control panel –– just Volume, Treble, Mid, and Bass controls, thank you –– and a single specially designed Celestion G10F-15 speaker. It comes in at just 19.5 x 16.3 x 9 inches, and a light-weight 26.45 lbs.
I’ve been reading user-reviews and checking out the demos on YouTube for the last few weeks, but the UK’s Guitarist Magazine has one of the better written pieces on the Class5. You can check it out here, but be warned it’s a pdf, not a web page. Highly worth the read though if you’re wondering what this thing can do.
A quick search through the online retailers suggests that a few shops may have very limited supplies of the Class5, while more should be hitting stores sometime towards the end of December –– here’s hoping for a Christmas miracle. Street prices appear to be hovering in the just-under-$400 range.