Marshall''s Haze 40 is a low-gain amp with classic tones at a manageable price
|Download Example 1|
Haze Clean channel: Treb 1 o'clock, Mid noon, Bass 1 o'clock, Presence 2 o'clock, Vol 9:30, Bright switch engaged; Delay Depth 1 o'clock, Adjust 12:30. Gibson Les Paul Studio.
|Download Example 2|
Haze OD channel: Treb noon; Mid 11 o'clock, Bass 11 o'clock, Presence 2 o'clock, Gain 11 o'clock, Volume 10:30, boost engaged; Fender Road Worn Tele; AQDI ZeroCap cable.
|Recorded in Sound Studio on a Mac using Digidesign MBox2.|
With a name like Marshall on the grille cloth, I figured a good Les Paul would be the right tool for this job. I used a 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom with Tom Anderson pickups to put the amp through its paces. Starting with a basic clean (and all of the tone knobs at noon) and just a hint of reverb, the Haze 40 produced a great clean tone right off of the bat. It’s not that I had any doubt it would sound good, but I was startled at how easy it was to achieve a great shimmering tone. Some more tweaking and a 2008 Fender American Stratocaster helped even more. The amp has a generous bass response (probably due to the closed-back construction), so I had to be careful not to go overboard with that control. The portholes, which are a common design addition in bass cabinets, give the Haze combo an extended bass response, allowing the tone a wider, more focused low end instead of a boomy one. For such a small combo, the Haze 40 had an unexpectedly three-dimensional feel to it, especially with the boost engaged. The boost raised the volume, of course, but it also caused all of the right frequencies to shine through without any sort of ice-pick highs (or the dreaded “jump out of the chair” effect).
Since a good clean tone is essential to testing effects, I left the Haze still set in this glistening, transparent clean to give the built-in ones a listen to hear how detailed and useful they could be. Easily the most impressive was the Echo effect. I’ve always liked Marshall’s delay pedals (I think they’re highly underrated), and the Haze’s Echo effect shares a lot of the common traits of those effects; smooth top end, clear but not harsh repeats and great decay. The Vibe effect performed admirably well, but had a very digital edge to it. It’s certainly usable, but no replacement for a good dedicated pedal. Lastly, I found that the Chorus is a little too shallow for me. Even with liberal settings of the Effect Depth and Adjust knobs, it still seems to only affect the upper registers of the tone. Marshall had the foresight to include an effects loop in the Haze 40 (another difference between it and the Haze 15 head), so if the effects don’t gel with you, external ones can be added.
Plugging back in with the Les Paul, I eagerly moved to the overdrive channel, excited to see what Marshall had cooked up in this model. Starting with a basic low-gain tone with the mids boosted to the 3 o’clock position, the Haze 40 poured forth a great ’70s classic rock tone a’ la AC/DC. The classic Marshall attack and upper-mid punch was all there, as it should have been. However, as I started to push the gain even higher, the tone became more congested. I had hoped it was because of my guitar’s hot pickups, so I switched to a Gibson Les Paul Studio with ’57 Classics. While the congestion was lessened, it was still noticeable. The channel just seems to lose some definition and bite as the preamp gain is set higher. It really started to exhibit this when set past 12 o’clock. Players looking for a Marshall combo that can cover higher-gain modern tones might want to look at Marshall’s newer Vintage Modern series, or the fantastic new JVM line. While those amps can definitely be turned into fire-breathing monsters, the Haze 40 really excels at low gain tones, and it serves those up with ease.
I’m also a firm believer in the idea behind the saying, “Don’t throw a riff away,” which I would here I would modify to, “Don’t throw a tone away.” One player’s throwaway tone is another player’s Live At The Fillmore East. With that in mind, I’ll say that the Haze’s higher gain settings really lend themselves to Billy Gibbons-esque double stops, with a lot of meat and grind on single notes as well. In retrospect, I can’t help but wonder how well the Haze 40’s preamp would handle a first-stage preamp tube with a lower gain factor, such as an ECC81. A simple preamp tube change might’ve helped tame the higher preamp gain congestion I experienced.
The Final Mojo
The Haze 40 is a great low-gain amplifier. For those players looking for a great gigging and recording tool that’s portable and affordable, the Haze 40 is certainly a great option. Some players might not feel that the built-in effects are up to snuff, but they’re definitely usable for a quick jam session or pick-up gig. High-gain modern players might want to look at other options, such as the Marshall JVM215C or Vintage Modern 2266C, but for blues and old-school rockers, the Haze is a future classic.
you’re looking for a smaller Marshall with classy looks and great low-gain tone.
you need a crisp, clear modern high-gain tone.
Street $699 - Marshall Amplification - marshallamps.com
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more!
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.
Dunable announce new Minotaur model featuring Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners.
The Minotaur's DNA is rooted in their classic Moonflower model, which Dunable discontinued in 2017. However, they have long since wanted to create a fresh take on a carved top guitar design, and various attempts to rework the Moonflower led them to a brand new concept with the Minotuar.
Dunable's goal is to give the player a guitar that plays fast and smooth, sounds amazing, and gives maximum physical ergonomic comfort. The Minotaur's soft and meticulous contours, simple and effective control layout, and 25.5" scale length are designed to easily meet this criteria.
- 25.5" scale length
- Dual Humbucker
- one volume, one tone, push pull for coil splitting
- Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners
- Grover Tune O Matic bridge with brass Kluson top-mount tailpiece
- jumbo nickel frets
- 12" fretboard radius
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA