Other Amps

Marshall 6100 LE - Pros and cons please !


Seems like small tube amps are a sign of the times. I've been looking into ( old ) Marshalls 50/100 w heads for sale, cause I never had one. I've come across this 6100 LE . Not that old , and it's full of things - that - ain't point to point . But It has looks that might even convince the wife and maybe a little more user friendly in the basement compared to a 70's or 80's bad boy . It hasn't been used much. Anyone have anything to say about these ?


Does it have EL34's? If yes, great amp.


I wouldn't call a 100w amp small.Even the combo version is a heavy beast.

A guy I played in a band with had the head version. He played it through a 4x12 but otherwise the same amp. It's very versatile, countless controls and sound options. You can attenuate the power down to 50 and 25w IIRC. No reverb (at least in the head). As versatile as it is... I never heard a sound from it that I was impressed by. Just not my taste. In my opinion this is a high gain amp. As far as I know there were different versions with different power tubes.


Yes, it has EL 34 's . it's not small . Referring to, that a the moment there are quite a few big old Marshalls for sale , even a few pre-1974 , which don't have the PCB in them. These and up to about up to 1982 are the ones I started looking at. Nice and simple. But it's the versatile part that makes me wonder if this might be a better choice. I'm not going to be dragging it around, it' just for playing fun at home. I haven't tried it yet. The pots are a little scratchy (hope some use will take care of that) ,the seller dosen't play ,he's just had it on display in his living rom ,so it looks very clean to start with.


For home use I'd just buy a pedal that does the Marshall thing - assuming you have a kind of amp already. Some do it quite well. From what I read you might like the classic Fulltone OCD.


There are plenty of great Marshalls with PCBs inside. But with Marshall the rule of thumb IMO is that the more "versatile" they are the worse they sound. I think Marshalls struggle with more than one channel. Date-wise my cut-off would probably be around 1982 I guess.

I bought a DSL50 when it first came out. Good amp - two channels, reverb, a few tone shaping options. But one channel sounded significantly better than the other, to the point where I only ever used the "vintage" channel. I tried the TSL when it cam out - three channels but none of them sounded as good as the DSL. Then I found a beat to hell 2204 (MV 50W head) from '81 which sounded so much better it was ridiculous. One channel, based on a 5F6-A Bassman (as most Marshalls are), and it sounded so much beefier, warmer, fuller, louder (etc).

I haven't heard a recent Marshall I have liked except for the handwired reissues.


Yea, I hear you guys , I should probably take the time to try a few , before jumping on this one.
El 34's have been mentioned, how about 5881 tubes in a Marshall 1959 ? ( 1959x -93? ).


Well they'll work. But EL34s are the sound of Marshall.


A 100 watt Marshal for home use is crazy. They'll hear you a mile away. Good for breaking windows.Get some 'Deoxit' for cleaning the pots, works well.


Crazy , yea . Worst case I'll use it as a heater in the winter . Now that the 6100LE spell is broken, I'm Going to take ride and try som of them , maybe they will scare the hell out of me . I got tell this tough: Today an original 65-66 plexi , JTM 45 mk IV tremolo with an early 70's 4x 12 cab came up for sale. Somebody is going to be a happy camper. He's had it for 35 years and thinks it all original. It looks sooooo cool.


A JTM45 is not too loud. Well it can be, but doesn't have to be. I LOVE old Marshalls. But most have been tinkered with. Have a look online at the insides of lots of old Marshalls. Marstran's website has loads of pics of the innards of old 45/50W Marshalls. It might help you to work out what is genuine.


A JTM45 is not too loud. Well it can be, but doesn't have to be. I LOVE old Marshalls. But most have been tinkered with. Have a look online at the insides of lots of old Marshalls. Marstran's website has loads of pics of the innards of old 45/50W Marshalls. It might help you to work out what is genuine.

– JimmyR

Isn't a JTM45 30 watts?


More like 28W. I just say 45-50 to try to keep things clear - in an obtuse way. There is a fair bit of confusion seeing as the amp is called a JTM45, and then Marshall came out with "50W" amps. IME the 50s are quite a bit louder than the "45s".

Anyway, Marstran or one of those Graydon Stuckey sites has loads of pics of the internals of JTM45s to 1987s, 1986s, etc. I find Marshall's habit of naming circuits with numbers that sound like years confusing. The 1987 is one of my favourite Marshall circuits. It came out around 1966. The classic Superlead is model 1959, but certainly didn't come out in 1959!

Looking at pictures of lots of old Marshalls can only help when you are buying one, provided you can look inside. It makes it easier to know what might be original and what isn't.


I've noticed that most of these people that are selling the these "old" HW ones have had them for a while , and are pretty passionate about them .They do post/send good photos of the internals , so you can compare... Then comes difficult part. So what do you do when it isn't exactly like the photo in the marshall book or the expert site ? Look, Listen to it or just walk away ? I would think that today with all the info/parts on the internet , it's easier than ever to bring those HW ones back to original or at least get it fixed. Drilled holes in the front- aren't that easy to deal with.


One thing to note. The filter capacitors (electrolytic) in an amp have a 20 year life span. If it is older that 20 years old you may want to replace them. If the amp hums the caps are going bad.


Yup, electrolytic caps do get old and dry out. But if an old Marshall has been used consistently over its lifetime you would be amazed at how long those filter caps can last! But if the amp starts to hum they are easy to replace.

It's more the mustard caps on the board - if loads of those have been replaced then the amp is worth less. You want an amp which has had very little touched inside, and preferably with all the original transformers. Again, transformers are readily available now, and there are some excellent trannies to choose from too.

The only reason I don't use old amps myself is that (a) good old amps are extremely rare where I live, (b) we have 240V where I live so anything from the US will need some kind of replacement transformer or step-up tranny, and (c) there is so much excellent repro gear around these days I prefer to build my own brand new version and avoid the pitfalls of buying old.

But I do love old Marshalls.


Yes , that is one of my tests - is there a lot of hum / noise.- . Most of the ones I see here look be original 110-240 v or at least 220 v. I have a 63 fender tremolux, had it for 35 years! I play on it all the time , I've never had any problems with it.It looks to have an original switchable transformer for different voltage. Euro model ? Big red nob on the back. I wish i could build my own amp. Thats got to be fun.The JTM 45 I was talking about is still up for sale, but I wasn't thinking about buying that one. You know, it cost little more. Sure looks nice . So now I have to stop thinking about it !

Register Sign in to join the conversation