Well, it seems that we've been waiting for Marshall to pull something out of the bag for a while now. Yes, we've had the Astoria range and other boutique / hand-wired amps but nothing in the 'amp modelling' category. Marshall tested the water a few years back with their JMD series amplifiers which allowed users to model classic Marshall sounds, but it never really took off. As technology progressed and progressed they just didn't seem to want to utilise it... Until now.
So, here we have the all new, for NAMM 2016, the Marshall CODE series. And, to be fair, they look pretty darn nice! They are all modelling amplifiers... Yes, it had to happen sometime as other brands such as Fender, Blackstar or Vox are doing well with their popular modelling combos. Could the CODE be a competitor to, say, the Fender Mustang, Blackstar ID:CORE or the Vox VTX? I think the answer could be yes.
Reading up on Marshall's website certainly gives you the impression that they're extremely proud of their latest creation. Read the quote below:
"FULLY PROGRAMMABLE, CODE COMBINES AUTHENTIC MODELLING OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY MARSHALL TONES WITH PROFESSIONAL QUALITY FX" - marshallamps.com
So, we can expect some decent amp models of their biggest and best since Marshall began! If I could get a JTM45, JCM800 and a JVM all in one small combo then I certainly would!
Some of the CODE's 'MST preamps' include:
- JTM45 2245
- 1962 Bluesbreaker
- 1959SLP Plexi
- JCM800 2203
- JCM2555 Silver Jubilee
- And more...
Already it's shaping up to look like an AMAZING bit of kit. You could cover any tone from AC/DC, Clapton, Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa and more!
CODE also lets you choose which type of valve you want to model and which classic speaker cabinet! Choose from EL34, 5881, EL84 or 6L6 power amp styles. Then choose a cab from 1960, 1960V, 1960AX, 1936V, 1974X and more!
If these babies sound as good as they look, Marshall could certainly be onto a winner here! But, it doesn't stop there with 24 pro quality effects it's got everything you could want including: distortions, compressors, wah, pitch shifters, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb and much more!
With Bluetooth and USB connectivity it becomes more than just a guitar amp but a music player, a recording interface and more! An excellent first look at what appears to be a fantastic line of amplifiers!