Other Amps

Has anyone here used a Marshall 18w?


I have a 1974x at the room at the moment and am really impressed by the sensitivity, great (semi cleans) and tremolo (which modulates the pre-amp rather than output tubes)


I've built a few! I really like the regular 18W with the tremolo channel. Both channels sound great - and surprisingly "Marshall" - but I particularly like the sound of the trem channel. I had the opportunity to put my Homebrew combo next to a marshall RI 18W and they sounded virtually identical - I used a different speaker so that probably caused the slight differences.

I currently have a head version which I built as a treble/middle/bass channel, forgoing the trem, but I think the trem version sounds better.

I think the 1974 Combo sounds good with any guitar but surprises me with how good it sounds with a Gretsch. My only issue with the combo was that I wish it had a little more low end oomph. I like my little tweed Super 1x12 more but wouldn't mind another 1974 combo. Great amp!


There were two. The early ones were based on the Watkins Dominator circuit and sound good. The later ones are a different circuit without enough gain to sound anything like a Marshall.


Thanks BIlly n Jimmy. This is an early reissue model which had the issue with the transformers blowing . This one has mercury replacements.

Jimmy, I’m quiet happy with the low end. I find my blackface/silver face have a little too much for me. ive never played a tweed super but need tremolo on an amp. I love it! My fav amp is my blonde tremolux - was looking for a smaller combo.

Object of my desire was a 6g3 brown deluxe which I expect would sound similar to my tremolux 6g9b. not easy to find here... Then the 18w came up . And I thought similar in spec.. 1 x 12 combo with trem. main difference being the Marshall is cathode bias no negative feedback

I just dropped an old 60s Vox speaker in it. However, I am scared I will blow it as the speaker is rated at 15w


Billy's right - the one based on the Dominator is the one to get. The later one is usually referred to as the 20W and while it's ok doesn't sound as good and bizarrely sound as "Marshall".

The Brown Deluxe is a cracker of an amp and I have built one with parts from Mercury Magnetics and Marsh amps. I think Mojotone now make a kit... Anyway mine sounded almost identical to a friend's original brown Deluxe - very midrange-focussed. Probably the most midrange focussed Fender I've heard. Unusual to see a brown Deluxe in Australia indeed.

The Brown Deluxe sounds quite different from an 18W Marshall but both are fantastic amps. And both have excellent tremolo. Not quite interchangeable but I'd be happy with either!


thanks Jimmy . I am surprised at how much I like the Marshall. All the demos jus have it dialled and fuzzed out but it is really quiet thick and pleasing before it gets to that level.

i just saw that Lucas Miles builds clones of the 6g3. I did have a 6g2 years back it it was great but not very loud and a bit boxy . The Marshall has a large cab


Yes and the cab is not just large but a lot harder than the solid pine of Fender cabs. The ply (I assume) absorbs less of the frequencies so the speaker does more of the work. A tweed or even brown combo baffle also acts as part of the speaker because it is quite thin and not attached by much to the cab. It's interesting to plug the Marshall into the Fender cab and vice versa.

The brown Deluxe can be a bit boxy sounding - kinda what I meant by "midrange focussed". But my friend with the original says it behaves quite differently from a tweed deluxe onstage - the mids cut through and the brown Deluxe doesn't quite fill the stage with sound the way a tweed can.

You're making me want an 18W Marshall again!


My first build was a 1974x clone. I had it as a 2x10. I loved it. It was my main gigging amp for a while.


2 x 10 would sound great

Jimmy, I never considered the material of the cab being such a big part of the sound. With that in mind - Do you think a vintage pine cab may sound better than a new one?


Good question! Possibly, but I suspect the dampening effects of the covering (tweed or tolex) may negate the differences a little. I can hear the difference between ply and solid pine - or at least the difference between a Marshall style cab and a tweed style cab - but I think my ears might struggle with determining the age of the timber!

To be pedantic the moisture content must make a difference - and the new pine you buy from Bunnings is still pretty green - but I doubt I would hear much difference. There is a limit! And it could be that the differences in cab sound could be down to the thickness and rigidity of the baffle. Everything affects the sound but some things are probably less audible.


Fascinating. Do you have a preference for Ply or Pine?


I like 18W Marshalls a lot, but the originals have become very expensive.

For a vintage overdriven British tone at affordable prices, I'd suggest checking out the mid 60s WEM (Watkins) Westminster and Custom 15. Truth be told, I prefer them.

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