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User Review

Marshall AVT 20 Valvestate Combo - Reviews Marshall AVT20

Acquired this amp from Promenade Music in Morecambe; actually traded it for the Fender Princeton 65 amp that I'd had before which really sucked, though I guess that it wasn't meant to be used for Metal music.

Superficially this is a great amp - compact and sturdy; the control layout is just what I wanted - simple and easy to use. The amp is only one-channel, but the sound you can get out of it is really good - nice clean sound, which unlike
all-solidstate amps (which are shite by the way) is deep and thick, not brittle-sounding, which was what I hated about the Fender Princeton. The reverb has the same thickness and depth about it - you can really saturate it if you want to, but even a low reverb setting (I put it on about 4 out of 10) it makes the sound SO much better.

Overdrive channel on this Marshall is very good, considering that every amp I've used so far (I haven't used any really big all-valve amps like JCM's or the like so I can't speak for them) has needed a distortion pedal between it and the guitar to get a gig-worthy overdrive sound, but this one could probably handle it without the Metal Zone pedal I use, and the closed-back cabinet and ten-inch speaker give it a very good, ballsy punch. In any case don't forget that only the PRE-amp stage is valve and the power stage is still solidstate, so don't expect to get exactly the same sound as an all-valve amp without adding a pedal or two.

It does have some other good stuff though, and the emulated DI output is great for recording stuff, all I do is run a lead from this output to the 4-track and bingo.


The only real bitch is the lack of footswitching ability, which would top it off although this doesn't bother me as I use a Metal Zone (look for my review of that on this site); also an effects loop would be great, but what the hell, this is a very low-price, and LOUD amp with a great sound, and let's remember that it is only meant to be a rehearsal amp and not for gigging, even though it is more than capable of doing so.

Great - it's been transported in cars, (hundreds of miles sometimes)and lugged around a lot and there's never been a problem. The cabinet is built like a brick shithouse, and all the usual things are there - sturdy handle, hard plastic corner-caps etc. Very sturdy, and much more so than an open-back amp as the speaker here is in no danger of being whacked.

The only thing I'd say is add somethig like a Metal Zone pedal (or any other good distortion pedal) so that it runs:

Guitar - Dist. - Amp

This has put an end to the three-year search I had to make for the perfect setup. The amp also gives great feedback at high enough gain and a reasonable volume setting, so all in all it holds up the Marshall name really well.



This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com