Yngwie Malmsteen’s signature Marshall has gotten a lot of interest, seemingly more because people like the idea of a 100w Marshall plexi with attentuation (power scaling) than because it’s a signature amp.
With the recent NAMM trade show now over, some more details of the amp have come out. Some are on the web, some are in the February Guitar Player magazine with Yngwie on the cover. So here we go:
1. Despite years of using and coveting early ’70s Marshall Mk II heads, particularly 50w, it seems he equally likes 100-watters. According to the GP interview, on the road Yngwie “requests 100w plexi reissue heads and two Marshall cabs loaded with 75w Celestion G12-T-75 speakers for their clarity, higher headroom and low-string punch.”
1a) In this vid, the YJM designer, Marshall’s Santiago Alvarez, answers the 50w vs 100w question starting at 2:10. The rest of the interview is interesting too.
2. Also from GP: “I told [Marshall] I wanted the amp switchable between 50 and 100 watts. I like 50-watters for their creamy characteristics whereas 100-watters are like a fist to your nose. I also wanted the boost that I get from the DOD overdrive [see his effects below] built into the amp, and I wanted digital reverb built in. And there’s a power soak instead of a master volume.”
3. The Marshall website now lists the amp, and says it has 4xECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes and 4xEL34 power tubes. Four preamp tubes – I’m no amp tech but I assume at least one of those powers the stuff built into the head. Otherwise that’s a boatload of gain on tap. And EL34s match with old Marshalls.
4. Other tidbits from the Marshall site:
> Marshall’s new Electronic Power Attenuation technology works “by modifying the power stage parameters, while automatically adjusting the bias circuitry to suit.”
> All rear-panel stuff is bypassed by the circuit when not in use, as in a “true bypass” pedal.
> “Booster and Gate functions together are available only on the Channel I high sensitivity input (top left), but can be accessed on Channel II by using the included jump cable back to Channel I.”
Here’s an interesting comparison between the 6550-powered Slash AFD amp and the YJM.
5. Other tidbits from the GP interview:
> He wanted the head to be as thick as the old 200w (ish) Marshall Major heads.
> Here’s how Yngwie says he can make any Marshall sound like he wants: “I just take all of the gain and distortion off, and turn up the master – basically crank them up without any preamp gain.”
More YJM Tonal Tidbits
All from GP:
> Yngwie on strings: “People have an illusion that heavy strings will give them more sustain. Bullsh*t. I use a hybrid .008-.048 set because thicker unwound strings don’t make much of a difference, yet they’re harder to play. But thicker wound strings do make a difference for chunky low-end.”
> He also likes heavy picks (now 1.5mm nylon Dunlops) to get better synchronization between his picking and fingering.
> Effects: DOD YJM308 reissue boost, Boss Chorus, Boss NS-2 Noise Supressor, rackmount Dunlop Crybaby, Roland DC-10 analog delay.
> His new Seymour Duncan pickups are hotter than the DiMarzios “yet they till retain all of the clarity, harmonics and dynamics without any noise,” he said.
> He said that he once tried guitars with humbuckers – a Les Paul, a FLying V and an ES-335 – but found they didn’t sound fatter than a Strat through the Marshalls. “A Strat through a Marshall isn’t the typical twang. It’s very fat-sounding.”