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Author Topic: Marshall EL34 50/50  (Read 29 times)

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Marshall EL34 50/50
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This power amp came to me with issues, a transformer was replaced at significant time/expense and I'm pleased to use it now. Tried a number of speakers with it, assorted mic preamps and various levels of output to determine that I can get the best out of it with Greenback speakers. All of the Marshall amps now have GBs, so I can clearly hear the Marshall personality from the channels in use, compared against actual 50W Marshall amps, the 50/50 is clearly cut of the Marshall cloth.

It took some time to get this amplifier and channels up and running. These amplifiers should be biased when new tubes are installed, a process that took time to learn and helped discover the uneven sides. A professional repairman discovered the transformer issue, and replacement parts took time to acquire. Because of these issues, the amplifier never received a proper speaker compliment. Mic preamps were never upgraded to analog. However, having the amplifier repaired allowed me to move forward and develop the channels. And each time I upgraded, the results were better and better.

The completed chain is:
Marshall EL34 50/50
Marshall JCM800 1935 Bass 4x Cabs
Celestion Heritage Greenback G12H(75) and G12M-20
Shure SM57(x2)
Dave Hill Designs Europa 1 Mic Pre (x2)

Switchblade routers allow me to patch in a bunch of preamps, and that's when you learn more and more about the power amp's character. I use it constantly as 1/2 of my stereo lead guitar patch with the ADA MP-1, and it also excels with any other preamp you want to patch into it. Great MID character, always prominent. Mids just jump right forward in a mix.

The differences between the 50/50 and Marshall's JMP head are that the JMP heads come with Marshall's standard preamp section. Non Master Volume heads get very loud when they're breaking up and this imparts a lot of bottom end to compliment the searing top and strong mids. Playing softly, of course to be quieter allows the JMP to clean up. More touch sensitively is achieved and the head appears more dynamic.

The 50/50 can do this as well, which relates to the overall decibel levels. Having the preamp levels high and the poweramp levels wide open, the pre/power combo throws enough decibels to pronounce the bottom end, which sounds much closer to a JMP head. But a saturate preamp doesn't clean up the same way when played softly and as a result, feel less dynamic.

I've only recently read about the input mod for the JMP heads to allow outboard preamps, interesting indeed. But for now, the EL34 50/50 serves as a great platform for preamp users. Very satisfied.
Les Paul Traditional, ES-335 Lemonburst, Explorer 120, Ibanez UV77 SVR, Suhr PT Sig Std, Rickenbacker 620-12, ESP E-II M-II, Fender H.E.R. Stratocaster, Xaviere XV-900, Buscarino,  
ADA MP1 MDRT, Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording, Marshall JMP-1, Rockman XPR, Black Widow MGP-1a, Rockman XPR, KSR Ceres
Peavey Classic 50/50, Mesa Stereo 2:100, Marshall EL34 50/50, Marshall JMP, Victoria Sovereign, Victoria Victorilux
Celestion Heritage Greenback G12H(55), G12H(75), G12M-20, Creamback G12M-65, G12-65, Redback, Alnico Blue, Alnico Gold, Vintage 30, Eminence Texas Heat, GA-SC64
Shure SM57(x6), Sennheiser e609(x2)
Sound Sculpture Switchblade GL (x2), Eventide Orville, Eventide H8000fw, TC Electronic 1210, Great River MP2-NV, Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4, Dave Hill Designs Europa 1(x2), UK Sound 1173
Fireface UC, Fireface UFX, Hosa Format Converters
Fishman Tripleplay, Spectrasonics Keyscape, Omnisphere, Italo DeAngelis Sound Library
Surface Pro 4, FL Studio 20, EZD2.0, Fabfilter ProQ2, Gullfoss, Waves CLA-3A, CLA-2A, CLA-76, API-2500, SSL G-Series Comp
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