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User Review

Marshall's last great amp - Reviews Marshall 2550 Silver Jubilee [1987]

Note: I'm writing this review about the Marshall 25/53 Jubilee, which is a smaller box version.

The Marshall Silver Jubilee came about in 1987 as the flagship amplifier to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary. It was based on a hot-rodded Marshall circuit with cascading gain controls, but it also had a clean channel and was available in a very cool silver tolex. It delivers 50 watts of power (powered by EL34s of course) and has two channels. The EQ is shared between the two channels and it consists of bass, middle, treble, and presence. On the back of the amp are the requisite speaker outputs, footswitch jacks and the send/return plugs for the effects loop. The first gain knob is a push/pull that toggles between the two channels. As I stated before, the two gain controls are cascading and a bit of tweaking is required to get the right balance between gain levels for both channels.


Getting a good sound out of this amp is easy and difficult at the same time. Dialing up a great tone on one channel is easy and straightforward, but getting the two channels to balance can be a tempered nightmare. Because the dual channels share gain and EQ controls, plus the gains are cascading, it can be a chore to get a gain level that suits both channels and there is definitely a bit of patience involved in dialing it in! If you think of it as a one channel high gain amp (or as a high gain amp with a really gritty sounding "clean" channel as a bonus) then you might fare better, but for those looking for sonic versatility, you aren't going to get it with this amp without some tweaking.


I've tried this guitar with various Les Pauls, Strats, and the odd superstrat here and there. In my opinion it offers one of the best (if not the best) high gain tone that I've ever heard from a stock, non-modified Marshall. All the traits of a good Jose, Friedman, or Cameron mod are here... tight and responsive low end, a subdued but still punchy midrange and a snarling, vicious top end that screams with harmonics and perfect overtones. It's great for everything from Van Halen/Ratt/Dokken of the early/mid eighties all the way up to modern shred tones. If you back the gains down you can get a nice classic rock tone for stuff like Michael Schecker Group or Deep Purple with ease.

The clean tones are good as well when set right and I would say they work well for jazz/blues type things quite well. You can't really switch on the fly like I stated before, but when the amp is setup for good clean tones, it can produce some great unique clean tones that remind me of a goosed up old Fender or VOX.


All in all I think the Marshall Silver Jubilee is a great amp for anyone looking for an awesome hot-rodded Marshall amp who doesn't want to get something that's been modified. It has all the traits of a killer sounding Marshall. Sure the functionality isn't great, but there are other amps for that. If you take the Jubilee for what it is, it's probably the best stock Marshall ever produced for high gain. They're getting harder to find and more expensive so snap one up while you can!