It’s no secret that the editorial staff at LegendaryTones shares a passion about guitar amplifiers. While famous guitarists around the world are mostly known for their association with particular guitars, we feel the amps are the true unsung heroes behind any guitarist’s rig.
"Wait a minute, this amp isn’t a clone of a plexi Marshall?!"
That was my initial thought when plugging into this amp for the very first time. And that’s actually a good thing for many users who will enjoy the added flexibility of the many tonal options presented by THD Electronic’s new Flexi 50 amplifier. Though my initial idea really was to pit a ’68 50 watt Marshall against the THD Flexi-50 amplifier head, it was clear from both looking at and listening to the Flexi-50 that this would have been an apples to oranges type of comparison. The Flexi-50 offers quite a bit of tonal and feature-set variety and it would be inappropriate to simply compare it to one single amplifier.
Perhaps I subconsciously took the name "Flexi" and associated it mostly with a 1960’s plexi-era Marshall. In any case, Andy Marshall, THD’s President explained it best: "It’s named the Flexi-50 because of its flexibility in being able to capture vintage British and American tones."
"I want an amp that can nail the early Van Halen tone 100% but I don’t have $5,000+ (at the time of this writing – 11/05) for an original Marshall ’67-’68 era plexi." This is what many of you have written to us and asked for in the past. "What should I use?"
Some of you have even had more demanding requirements for your amplifier citing that in addition to the Van Halen tone, you ALSO wanted the ability for the amp to respond and produce tones as diverse as Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC, among others.
One of the most common questions we get here is, “What kind of Marshall amp should I buy?” We get countless questions not only about what type to get, but also questions about specific vintage vs. newer models, higher powered vs. lower powered models, types of speakers and how do they all sound, etc.
This past November, I had the pleasure to attend the Aerosmith show at the Shoreline in the Bay Area, with the added treat of being able to go backstage in the tech area prior to the show to get the full lowdown on what else? – the gear! I have to thank Brad Whitford’s personal guitar tech, Greg Howard, as well as Brad himself for taking the time out to meet with me and chat.
The stage sound during the show was perfectly mixed and sounded great. Joe Perry and Brad Whitford’s setups were both for the most part straightforward and based around the use of some of the best vintage guitars and amps along with a limited use of effects.