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Every musician needs some form of amplification when it comes to guitar, bass, vocals, and keyboards. An amplifier does just that.
If you don’t know what an amplifier is, it’s a device that takes the low-level signal from the guitar pickup and increases it to a level that can drive a speaker and deliver sounds loud enough to be heard by an audience.
The Marshall JTM 30 is an amplifier that is considered one of the best Marshall combos by many guitarists. It is a small, portable guitar amplifier designed for guitarists of all skill levels. This 30-watt combo amp is known for its classic Marshall tone.
In this article, you’ll learn about the key features of the Marshall JTM 30, its advantages and disadvantages, its price, and whether you should buy this as opposed to other amplifiers.
The Marshall JTM 30 is a classic guitar amplifier. Here are some of its key features:
Valve Design: The JTM 30 uses three ECC83 preamp tubes alongside two EL34 power amp tubes. It helps deliver a warm and rich sound.
Simple Control Panel: It has three knobs for Volume, Tone, and Presence, making it convenient for every guitarist. You’ll find this amplifier easy to use, even if you’re new to playing the guitar.
Compact & Portable: This amplifier is small in size, and it provides a volume that’s suitable for small-to-medium-sized gigs and studio recordings.
Tone: The Marshall JTM 30 is well-known for its crunchy distorted tones, making it ideal for rock, blues, and other genres.
Versatility: The JTM 30 is a reliable amplifier that can handle many styles of music and playing techniques.
Iconic Design: This amplifier sports a signature Marshall look with its black and gold color scheme, making it an iconic gear.
Speaker Output: The JTM 30 features a speaker output of 30 watts into 16 ohms.
Inputs: The combo amp has two inputs, giving you the option to switch between two guitars or mix the signals of both. It has a footswitch input for switching between channels or turning effects on and off.
Power Switch: The JTM 30 has a power switch to turn it on and off.
Jacks: It has standard ¼” jack inputs for your guitars and speakers. It has an external speaker output for connecting to a large speaker cabinet.
Durability: The Marshall JTM 30 is built with high-quality components. It has a durable construction to withstand the wear and tear of touring and gigging.
The Overall Tone of the Marshall JTM 30
The classic tone of the Marshall JTM 30 is because of its high-quality build and unique circuit design. The JTM 30 delivers a punchy sound that suits many playing styles and musical genres.
Its tone is described as having a mid-range emphasis, giving the sound a sense of presence and clarity. It adapts well to genres like blues and classic rock, where the guitar needs to be heard clearly and cut through the mix.
Additionally, its aggressive sound is ideal for genres such as hard rock and heavy metal.
The JTM 30’s tone is not limited to mid-range frequencies. The amplifier has a smooth, rich low-end that provides depth and adds some weight to the sound.
The JTM 30’s tone can be adjusted by using the controls on the amplifier. For instance, by turning up the treble & bass controls, you can increase the fullness of the tone. Adjusting the presence control can add more clarity and definition to the sound.
The JTM 30 has a master volume control that lets you adjust the volume level of the amplifier. This can be useful if you want to dial in your tone for different stages and playing environments.
The Marshall JTM 30 is suitable for every guitar player due to its simplicity.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of the Marshall JTM 30
Here are the advantages of using the Marshall JTM 30:
- Suitable for any playing style and musical genre.
- Easy to transport and set up.
- Simple and easy-to-use controls.
- Has an affordable price.
- Delivers consistent performance over time.
Now, here are some of the disadvantages of using the JTM 30,
- Limited headroom: may not be loud enough for certain playing situations.
- Limited tone controls: offering only bass and treble adjustments.
- Not enough clean headroom.
The JTM 30 is a phenomenal all-valve amplifier, but its limitations make it less suitable for players who need more volume, tone-shaping options, or a cleaner sound.
The price of a Marshall JTM 30 amplifier can vary depending on the unit’s location, retailer, and condition. The amp has since been discontinued, but on average, you can find a used JTM 30 for $500 or its replacement model, the Marshall Origin 20W, for around $600 to $800, and that’s brand new. There’s also the JTM 45 head, in which the JTM30 was inspired, but that will be a lot more expensive.
Used or vintage JTM 30 amps can be found for sale. Their prices can vary depending on their condition and rarity.
They might be less expensive than the new ones, but it’s important to inspect and test a used amplifier before buying it.
Marshall JTM 30 alternatives
The JTM 30 is a good choice for those who prefer a clean blues tone, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Here’s a comparison with a few other amps to give you a better idea of what the JTM 30 has to offer:
Fender Blues Junior: The Fender Blues Junior is the same size as JTM 30, but it features a different tonal character with its all-tube, Fender-style circuit. The Blues Junior is well-known for its clean and articulate tone, making it an incredible option for players who prefer a clean sound.
Vox AC15: The Vox AC15 is an all-tube amplifier similar in size to the JTM 30. The AC15 is known for its British-style tone, making it an excellent alternative for players who want a classic, jangly sound.
Orange Crush 35RT: The Orange Crush 35RT is a solid-state amp that offers more volume and headroom than the Marshall JTM 30. If you want a more aggressive, heavier tone to suit your playing style, then this amplifier might be for you.
So is the Marshall JTM 30 the right amplifier for you?
Well, it depends on your playing style and tonal preferences.
If you want an amplifier that provides a warm tone, has simple controls, and is affordable, you should try the JTM 30. However, if you need a different tonal character, a different size or a different price point, one of these other models may be a better fit for you.
If you’re seeking that classic overdriven sound in a compact and affordable package at a reasonable price, you should definitely consider buying the Marshall JTM 30.
Whether you’re playing in a small club, a large venue, or a studio, the JTM 30 can deliver the classic Marshall tone you need. However, the JTM 30 has its limitations. Ultimately, you can decide if this amplifier is for you if it meets your requirements, but it’s worth trying it out.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.