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Unread 07-16-2008, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I love the little underdog amps. Bang for the buck little 5 watt tube amps (both head and combos). Fractional watt tube heads (ZVEX, Songworks, Bumbox, Cricket, etc.). Big wattage in little packages(tube or SS).
I've been thinking about getting a low mantainance great sounding SS practice/recording amp to keep in a basement level living area. I really don't like the idea of my GA-5 down there with climate and humidity changes and stuff. So, SS it is!!! Cheap, easy, sound good at low volumes! I was thinking of the spring reverb, tremolo 15watt VOX pathfinder, Roland Micro Cube, or now a Marshall Lead 12. I've heard great things about these. These were made in England, 10" Celestion speaker (also made in England at the time), 12 watts, and very warm sounding and feeling, like a tube amp. These are about 25 to 15 years old now, fairly hard to find, but only about $100-$150 when you can find them. The construction seems to be about the same as the more expensive JCM's and what-not. Anyone every used one? Seems to be a great practice and recording combo!!
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Unread 07-16-2008, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

no one? no lead 12?
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Unread 07-16-2008, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Dont do it !!! They sound like ASS !!! Had one when I was just a lil dude and there are alot of better amps !!! I'd say increase the budget a little and get a small tube amp !!!
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Unread 07-16-2008, 09:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

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Originally Posted by BOBBO View Post
Dont do it !!! They sound like ASS !!! Had one when I was just a lil dude and there are alot of better amps !!! I'd say increase the budget a little and get a small tube amp !!!
Thanks for the reply man. I actually allready have a Gibson GA-5 tube combo, which I really like. I just don't want to bring it in the downstairs living room (finished basement, dry/to humid issues, not great). Just more for something to hack around on, not worry about tubes or it being too much of value. So you didn't like the Lead 12??? I've seen so many good reviews! Clips I've heard weren't bad at all.
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Unread 07-16-2008, 09:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I had one of those when I was about 19 ...It's so small and solid state sounding !!! If you enjoy the sound of a good tube amp , You'll be disappointed by it !!

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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

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Originally Posted by BOBBO View Post
I had one of those when I was about 19 ...It's so small and solid state sounding !!! If you enjoy the sound of a good tube amp , You'll be disappointed by it !!

http://onkoudou.hippy.jp/ITEM/amp/marshall-lead12.jpg
Wah, rats. And its not like I'd be able to try one out at any time either. I like a couple different solid state amps that I've owned and played (older H&K's) , Roland Cube (Black Panel setting is great, you should try it), and that Vox Pathfinder 15R is intriguing. I like tubes overall the best, but I just want a cheapie that I don't have to worry about and get a versatile range of tones for practicing.
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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

And thanks for that pic by the way!!!
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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

zvex nano tube amps, are actually really really really good sounding.
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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

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zvex nano tube amps, are actually really really really good sounding.
Oh I know!! I saw a great demo last year and have since been a believer!! I don't have any cabs right now though, thats another issue......
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Unread 07-16-2008, 11:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

if only i had one -_-, i love all zvex's pedals.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 06:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I have one, the stock speaker sucks. I use a Vintage 10 in mine and it sounds a lot better. Rig the amp up for a output jack and run it thru a 4x12, you'll be surprised.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

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Originally Posted by lexluthier View Post
I have one, the stock speaker sucks. I use a Vintage 10 in mine and it sounds a lot better. Rig the amp up for a output jack and run it thru a 4x12, you'll be surprised.
The stock Celestion in it sucks? hmm. Thanks for the feedback Lex. If I come across one I just might buy it for the hell of it.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 01:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

This is actually the amp that Billy Gibbons used for My Heads In Mississippi. I have one and it is a decent practice amp. Running it into a 4x12 cabinet does make it sound a lot better. Here's mine...




Here is what Vintage Guitar Magazine has to say about them:

"Lead 12: The Little Screamer - Greater distortion at low volumes was also the goal of one of the most interesting amps Marshall released in the early '80s - the model 5005 Lead 12. A 12-watt transistor practice amp with a 10" Celestion, it retailed for under $200 and for many came surprisingly close to capturing the great, warm sound of the distorted Marshall amps of years gone by. It was a favorite of many working musicians, including luminaries like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. The Lead 12 proved to be enough of a hit with consumers that Marshall has continued to make transistor mini-amps. The '80s and early '90s saw the introduction of the tiny one-watt MS-2, the popular 3005 solidstate Micro-Stack (based on the 5005), and the 10-watt 8001 Valvestate Micro-Stack (part of a series of Marshall amps launched in '91 where all models with 40 watts or more used a 12AX7 tube in their preamps, to drive a solidstate power stage designed to sound and feel like an all-tube power amp), as well as numerous more high-powered combo amps, and even separate transistorized heads."

Quote from "The History of Marshall" by Michael Doyle

"...Naturally there are many modern Marshalls that can come close to approximating the Bluesbreaker sound but the most surprising one is the old 5005 (Lead 12) solid-state combo so beloved by Billy F Gibbons. He recorded such guitar greats as "My Head's in Mississippi" with this amp, and I am eternally in his debt for bringing it to my attention!."
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Unread 07-18-2008, 02:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! Cool thanks for that article MM!! Awesome!! Seems like a really cool little amp!!!
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Unread 07-18-2008, 03:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Glad to help. It is a cool little amp - some times I just like to plug into it and jam away (no pedals or anything)... you know, back to the basics!
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Unread 07-18-2008, 03:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Thats all I'm doing right now with my 5 watter. It's pretty much my style of playing, half the time I only play finger-style. Wouldn't mind eventually building up more of a major rig though. For now, my living situation dictates small powered amps. I'll never throw a good SS amp out of bed! In fact I think I need one.
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Unread 07-19-2008, 04:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

My lil' red 1/2 stack sounds just fine, thnx.
Plug in a p90 Les Paul, run it thru a greenback 4x12 and
it is a REAL hard sound to beat. I get great tones thru the
stock 10" Celestion equipped cab also

Plus....she's real cute

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Unread 07-19-2008, 05:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I still have one...I mic'd it up and ran an MXR Distortion+ in front of it, and it screamed.

I gigged with it for about a year.

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Unread 07-20-2008, 11:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdy View Post
My lil' red 1/2 stack sounds just fine, thnx.
Plug in a p90 Les Paul, run it thru a greenback 4x12 and
it is a REAL hard sound to beat. I get great tones thru the
stock 10" Celestion equipped cab also

Plus....she's real cute

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p...y_029/5005.jpg
Man i want one of those for my bedroom just
because it looks so dang cool!
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Unread 07-20-2008, 11:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldsteal2 View Post
Man i want one of those for my bedroom just
because it looks so dang cool!

i just sold my white mini stack, the 80's vesion ,made in the u.k.
i've had a few , but never keep them. they sure look cool though.
stay away from any version made anywhere else but the u.k.
replace the speakers helps, but in the end , it is solid state ,and sounds it.
but if your after that sound, good amp.
i think the billy gibbons claims are false , but what do i know
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Unread 07-20-2008, 12:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdy View Post
My lil' red 1/2 stack sounds just fine, thnx.
Plug in a p90 Les Paul, run it thru a greenback 4x12 and
it is a REAL hard sound to beat. I get great tones thru the
stock 10" Celestion equipped cab also

Plus....she's real cute

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p...y_029/5005.jpg
AWESOME!! I want one!!
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Unread 07-20-2008, 06:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Mines UK made. Awesome little practice amp with a huge tone.
Headphone input makes it very late night friendly....but I always
over do it with them on and hear "waves on the beach" for most
of the next day
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Unread 11-27-2009, 01:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I saw one of these little guys in the window of a pawn shop today, for $189, i didnt have time to check it out, but im curious about it. are they decent amps? is that a decent price?
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Unread 11-27-2009, 01:22 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I still have my white Microstack that I bought some 20 years ago and it's fine sounding amp - when it works. Over the years, I've had issues with the signal cutting out and it's been in the shop at least three or four times for the same problem.

Now, before you go making fun of me, let me preface this photo by telling you that this was a joke band that me, my brother and a few other guys put together at the last minute so we could play in a battle of the bands show at the local college. We all played in metal bands but, at the time, were between bands so we learned some KISS covers, wrote a few goofy originals, teased our hair up to the moon and wore as much spandex as we could round up. It was the 80's metal scene and we basically parodied ourselves; if you weren't around during that time, you won't get it.

I used to use the Microstack head as a preamp with a silverface Fender Bassman head and a 50w Marshall JCM 800 combo (that I never liked the sound of) as a speaker cabinet. A real rig for sure but it sounded great; the Bassman had a lot more balls than the JCM 800. You can see it in the photo.

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Unread 11-27-2009, 01:44 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I use a couple in stereo for home practicing.
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Unread 11-28-2009, 12:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

I have one, the mini stack. It sounded pretty darn good for an SS, but I purchased it to gut it and install a little 5 watt tube amp in the head. Sounds WAY better now but I wouldn't throw a stock one out. And BTW, I still have the original components to convert it back to SS if I so choose.

I got mine for about $175 at a pawn shop and I think the stock Celestions are GREAT!


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Unread 11-28-2009, 12:38 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

The stock speakers are great on those little buggers. Clean tones on the stock amp aren't mind blowing, and it's not versatile nor loud enough to play with a band. But, it does what it does very well and it looks cool.
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Unread 11-29-2009, 11:54 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

This thread has been brought from the dead lol!!!!!!!!
Ok, yeah still interested in this little amp after seeing this thread again lol!!! For 80's Marshall novelty alone, but also to bust out in recording and find some cool tonal recipe's for some new tunes!
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Unread 11-30-2009, 07:20 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

For under $200, It's worth owning just as a decoration. It's a tiny Marshall stack!
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Unread 12-20-2009, 12:12 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: MARSHALL LEAD 12 anyone????!!!

Something to watch for...

I'm giving up one of my secrets here…

There are 3 versions of the 5005 Lead 12. The way you can tell them apart is the number of outputs on the front where it says "Lead 12"

The first one (the one I like) has no outputs. It is unlike the others in that it has a pair of back to back diodes making a fuzz circuit in it...
The other two versions sound OK I guess... But the first version is a monster!
They don’t do clean worth a darn… But turned up…
I swapped a “no output” 5005 into a mini stack head box and replaced the speaker with a Celeston Vintage 10.
It’s the only solid state amp I’ve ever loved…

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