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Marshall’s latest offering, the JVM 210C, is
a 100-Watt, 2x12” speaker-equipped package
with some very cool features. Marshall
continues to draw from their long heritage
of iconic tone machines—from the earliest
models, such as the JTM-45, the Super
Leads, and Plexis to the JCM 800 models. All
are represented in the spirit of this amp; the
modern modified Marshall sound is found in
abundance here as well.
Power for this fairly small-sized beast is
created by four EL34 output tubes. The
preamp section contains no less than five
12AX7 tubes. The speaker compliment
is an interesting combination of a 12˝
Vintage series speaker and a 12˝ Heritage
speaker, both 8 ohms and wired in series for
a total of 16 ohms.
Straightfowardness is the name of the game on
the front panel: two sets of controls, each with
Gain, Treble, Middle, Bass, and finally Volume.
The channels are designated Overdrive and
Clean/Crunch; each is governed by a small rectangular
button equipped with a three-colored
LED in the center. The colors indicate the mode
that comes into play when that LED is lighted:
green is the least gain, orange is medium gain,
and red is the high gain selection.
Of course, the Clean/Crunch channel selections
are for the cleaner side of things. When
the green LED is selected on this channel, the
volume is bypassed effectively, putting it on 10
for the most clean headroom (like a JTM-45).
This is the only selection in which this volume
control is bypassed. The orange selection is a
great Super Lead/plexi tone, and can be overdriven
very well with higher gain settings—
though it probably has a bit more available
gain than a real Plexi or Super Lead. I took the
liberty of putting a BSM Rangemaster pedal in
line here to see about producing the Clapton
“Beano” tone. There it was! I didn’t need a
very high gain setting to produce it—maybe
about 4 or 5. The red selection yielded the
JCM 800 tone; I felt it was a bit smoother and
bluesier on the low end than the JCM 800 setting
on the other channel. Marshall wants you
to be able to overlap the JCM 800 settings, so
that two different types of gain structure are
available, making the transition between the
two channels quite seamless.
The Overdrive channel starts where the Clean/
Crunch channel ends, with its green LED setting
at another JCM 800 type of sound. This
version has a bit tighter bass, and more gain is
certainly available if needed. The orange LED
setting (which was my favorite) was a highgain
Super Lead or plexi, reminiscent of the
older, modified Marshall amps I have owned.
Finally, the red LED setting of this channel has
all the gain anyone would ever need, but with
a tightly focused low end. It preserved pick
dynamics and had incredible harmonics. There
was sustain for days, and the overtones were
musically pure, so octave sustain was easy.
There was so much gain I felt guilty playing it.
On the right of the control panel are the master
volume controls. These two controls may be
assigned to adjust the overall loudness of any
selected tone. It’s possible to set these up as a
lead volume boost control through either MIDI
control or the supplied foot switch—a very
convenient feature. Just to the left of these two
controls are the Presence and Resonance controls.
The resonance enables adjustment of the
low frequencies to compliment the speakers
used. The Presence, as on all other Marshalls,
sets the upper high harmonics and brightness.
Both of the controls operate in the power section,
so their function is global.