NAMM 2013: Marshall And Slash Unveil The SL-5 Class A Amplifier

Marshall Unveils Slash’s New SL-5 True Class A Amp

Slash SL5 Marshall 5 Watt AmpThis amp is the product of much work between Slash and Marshall. It’s not exactly been a secret so the unveiling comes to actually being able to hear it and get some real specs on it.

The amp sounds amazing. There were a few things Slash had in mind when dreaming this amp up.

  • Obviously, it had to have the sound that he wanted. Even when practicing, writing, and recording, that inspirational feedback is important.
  • He didn’t want solid state.
  • He wanted to be able to practice quietly and still have that sound.
  • He wanted it to be bigger, and have a real speaker in it.

I’m sure there was more, but these are great starting points for a practice / recording amp.

The Amp shimmers with plenty of clarity when on the clean channel, and on the dirty channel, you’ve got that Slash sound that we all know so well.

I heard it demoed with an Epiphone Les Paul, and the sound was fantastic.

While the SL-5 comes with 5 watts of power, it’s switchable to 1 watt. Slash practices with this on the road, in 1 watt mode, because he really doesn’t like people listening to him while he practices. It’s also been said that he has recorded with the amp as well.

SlashSound Production

The sound this amp produces comes from three important elements. Real Class A valves, a top-notch speaker, and a roomy cabinet.

Tubes

As far as tubes, the SL-5 comes with 12AX7 (ECC83) and a 6CA7 (EL34). It’s true Class A tube sound.

Speaker

While designing practice amps, even smaller wattage ones, some manufacturers go for a small speaker to keep the unit light and small. Slash opted for the Celestion Vintage 30 – which is a large speaker for a practice amp. It delivers in a big way. 5 watts can get pretty loud when combined with the right speaker and circuitry.

Cabinet

To fit the Celestion Vintage 30, Marshall obviously made the cabinet much bigger, which provides a sort of thumpy attack that you can hear Slash making use of with his larger amps. It doesn’t sound at all like a practice amp.

Inputs

Slash’s new SL-5 has two inputs, high and normal.

Outputs

The amp comes with 8 and 16 ohm speaker outputs.

Knobs, switches and effects

The usual bass, middle, treble, and presence are included, as well as foot-switchable digital reverb. There is a standby switch on the front, and the 1 watt / 5 watt switch is located on the back. The two channels are foot-switchable as well.

Overall

This is an amazing unit, much more than a practice amp – and this is reflected in the price, although it’s not out of range based on comparisons to other similar practice / recording amps.

The street price is expected to be around $699.

You could say with certainty that Slash knows Marshall, and Marshall knows Slash, and the result is a very high quality and well thought out amp.

 


Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

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