Marshall Studio Classic SC20H

Tube Head

  • Preamp based on the classic JCM 800 2203
  • 20 Watts with power reduction to 5 watts
  • Tubes: 2x ECC83, 1x ECC83 (Phase Splitter), 2x EL34
  • Controls: Preamp and Master Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass and Presence
  • 1 Channel with high and low sensitivity inputs
  • DI out
  • Serial FX loop
  • Dimensions: 510 x 240 x 240 mm
  • Weight: 9.7 kg

Further Information

Power 20 W
Power Amplifier Tubes EL34
Channels 1
Reverb No
Footswitch No

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15 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.7 /5
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
handling
features
sound
quality
Overall very happy with sound and function. Finishing on the product disappointing
C0norF, 08.05.2020
Very happy with sound and use but sloppy finishing letting the brand down

For the price I paid there is some sloppy finishing on the front of the amp. The tolex was not cut clean on either of the front corners. One side is not allowing the front panel to come flush to the front of the case and on the other side the fibers protruding from inside the tolex layer were left untrimmed. A nail/tack in the corner guard was poorly installed with the hammer, thus leading to a ding in the plastic. The white piping on one side is not perfectly fitted to be flush with the gold from panel. This is disappointing sloppiness at this price-point. I recently had a DSL20H (had to return with a channel switching relay popping issue) and decided to go for this higher quality item instead. The finish on the DSL20 was better than this SC20H!!!! However these imperpection are simply imperfections and not noticeable unless you are looking for them. Disappointing though Marshall.

On to the main use - the function and sound.....
I'm very happy with how this amp sounds and having done a lot of research I'm more comfortable with a one channel amp. I can hit the front of the amp with a cheap tube-screamer clone and the amp will do an awesome 80s thrash vibe. I can on/off an EQ pedal out front with the level set to minimum to simulate rolling off the volume on the guitar to get a cleaner tone & simulate a 2 channel setup (Note: the level drop with an EQ is not the same as rolling the guitar pot down all the way - there are pedals out there that will drop the db of the signal even more to get even cleaner). I love the sound of the amp and the distortion is much more pleasant than the DSL20. I think if you are looking at both of these amps and wanting to play early metallica, megadeth etc then this is a better choice for the sound. You do need to hit it out front with the pedal though (cheap pedal for €23.90 ;-) works well here). Ok it's a lot dearer so there is that - but if you can afford either then I can say this is worth the extra cash. The sounds for classic rock are much nicer on this than on the DSL also in my opinion. Lastly on this - it's less bright. the DSL nearly took the enamel off my teeth with the treble. This amp is still on the bright side but way more manageable and pleasant. The other thing I can do, which I don't see many saying online is that I can use the EQ out front and drop the level on it to minimum while pushing up the master volume on the amp to drive the power tubes harder - without blowing my head off. This amp is very loud even on 5W mode at 1 on the master and 10 on the preamp. The proper way to do this of course is to purchase an expensive attenuator with a reactive load, but to be honest this is not a bad "poor man's way" of getting some more balls out of the amp in a much more affordable and simple way (another €23.90 gets you a perfectly good EQ pedal :-) [Note: I'm using this amp at home mostly, if you are gigging or practicing well then turn the thing up to 3 and they'll hear you in the next parish!]

The only (small) downsides/considerations on the functionality side are:
1. No reverb on-board. It's nice to have a simple way to bring in some reverb on an amp itself if you just want to plug in to the amp and play (even if it's digital and can be turned off & out of the circuit). However I will say that I don't miss the reverb much on this amp. It has a "vibrance" to it's tone. You would miss the reverb significantly on an amp with a very dry clean signal. You won't miss it as much here unless you specifically want a decent amount of reverb for your particular song/sound.
2. The FX Loop is not footswitchable. Not important for me but might be for others. The loop knocks the signal down -10dB to be pedal friendly in the loop, which is probably a good thing. Does it suck tone? I dunno, I'm pretty happy using the fx loop. you can take the fx loop out of the circuit with a switch on the back.
3. The FX loop is after the master volume. This is interesting because if you want to run into the FX Loop Return, bypass the pre-amp and just use the power amp you will need external level controls because your amps master volume is now useless. You are at full volume if you go into the return on this amp - well full volume minus 10dB!! - see above. Maybe this is not a downside as such - just thought it was interesting to know. It's how the circuit is designed - you probably have something with a level on it if intending to use it this way anyway. MT2?!
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Total
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JCM800!!
Xraiser, 30.05.2020
I was looking for an all tube amp that I could use at home to record. After tens of videos and comparisons between this one and the other 20w Marshall versions (silver jubilee and vintage) I realised this one was the best for me.
You really need an attenuator to play it at home. I got the Bugera PS1. While it can steal some of the tone, it still sounds brilliant.
Pro:
- Sound is great, for the price you cannot get a better classic JCM 800 sound.
- light weight compared to the 100W;
- sounds really good with pedals;
- it's a JCM800;
Cons:
- low switch doesn't really make it more practical so it's kind of useless. Still sounds loud and the tone suffers;
It has only one channel but you can easily get a clean tone by rolling off the volume knob on the guitar.
Mine cracks a bit just when powering it on. Not sure if it's a general or normal thing, sounds like some filaments are warming up.
I would recommend getting this if you are more into high gain playing style. If you play mostly clean, check the vintage.
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Just WOW!
Eternal Baron, 21.02.2020
Before i've buy this jcm800 I use to play to Orange, Peavey, Vox and Laboga amps. All have lots of different "sound" , but this jcm 800 is simple have a straight sound - very good sound. It's very inspirating little amp, but don't you think is "silent" amp - in 5watt mode and 212 cab with governon I can play with drummer on 4, everything past 4 is too loud.
Amp is made very well, like boutique amps, you can feel the quality.
You can play from beautifully ambient sound with reverb and dealys to a doomy, thrashy and others stuff with OD in front.
Great, great, great.
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Great for cutting through a mix
Erdna Eduan, 30.12.2019
You won't use this for solo clean guitar. Best with poke-a-stick-in-your-eye treble that cuts through a mix with a bridge humbucker engaged. Saving grace is the "Low" (5w) setting - 20W is brutal!
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