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Marshall Class5 5 Watt Tube Head - 5 Watt Head Reviews

4.5 stars based on 20 customer reviews
  • from The High Plains April 4, 2016Music Background:

    "Baby Plexi" Class5 Marshall

    I think I'm in love again...this baby plexi offers the sweetest brown tone and sounds amazing thru my 100watt "M" 4x12 cab. Very cool amp!

  • from Martinsville, VA June 7, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Home Studio, Praise Band Leader

    Better Than A Time Machine

    Touring during the 70's it was a natural progression that I purchased a 50 Watt Marshall (Plexar) with the two cabinets. We played normal rock volumes, but in our smaller venues the 50 watts was so loud I could not play above 2 without flooding the stage with guitar. Many jobs I had to turn the cabinet(s) to the wall.. Loved the Marshall magic but eventually went to a much smaller (and lighter) tube amp (old Gibson). I ALWAYS missed the Marshall tone and spent YEARS looking for that unique tone in other (smaller) amps.. Although one came close, NONE could copy it. When I discovered the Class 5 my first question was, "Is it really possible to get that plexar tone is such a small package?" A few weeks ago I took the chance and this is the FIRST product review I have EVERY done and it's because this amp is all that it is advertised to be. I used a quality cabinet (my old 2x12 Marshall 16 ohm cabinet), set the tones to a little over half, the volume to about 4, and used my Strat instead of the Les Paul - and with NO effects I knew this was what I had been waiting for after stumming the first chord.. It only got better as I moved the volume up. I was taken back to the 70's with my "Marshall stack" filling the stage with sounds of the Allman Brothers, Robin Trower, etc.. that only Marshall can create. Stop looking.. Buy the amp. For us "mature" guitarists it's a true time machine.

  • from Illinois April 27, 2013Music Background:

    Mean little amp!

    Have owned this amp with matching extension cab for about 8 months now and haven't had one regret. The reason i bought this amp was because of the fact its a marshall haha and a mini plexi with no bells and whistles. Love the tones you get between the eq knobs on the amp and your guitar. From blues to rock and anything in between this amps the way to go and for 5 watts shes a hell of a screamer = )

  • from WI. April 16, 2013Music Background:
    20+ Years

    Marshall Class5

    Great little practice amp. You can play over a drummer with this head through a 4x12. Sounds best cranked like a Plexi. Use a clean boost to push the preamp tubes even harder. Also sounds great with a TS9, Maxon OD808, GT-OD, or your favorite green pedal.

  • from New Jersey February 22, 2013Music Background:

    Might be the Best Head Marshall has ever made!

    I have owned my share of Marshall and Fender amps down thru the years and I decided to try my very lasy head/cabinet pairing that was portable yet had enough guts to get the job done. Fellow pickers, this head coupled with a Marshall 1912 cabinet has no equal. Given that both the head and cabinet are made in the UK, the quality is excellent and the sound has no equal, none! Get your bucks together and buy this combo, it's a keeper and I wouldn't trade it for any of the amps I've owned previously and I've had some very good ones. BTW, the cabinet has a 1" x 12" Celestion and it's got that blusey, ballsy, gutsy sound right back from the 60's. This combo of head/cabinet can not only walk the walk, it really can do it all. Anti-up and you've got a dream amplifier that will hold you for at least this lifetime.

  • from alabama November 27, 2012Music Background:

    New class 5

    I am impressed with this little amp.

  • from Baltimore Md. March 9, 2012Music Background:

    Very Cool

    Aside from the 3 very expensive 'Handwired" resissue amps that Marshsall sells, this is the only amp they are making presently that i would buy. Its apt. Sounds great. and yet its usable. I cant say im impressed with the 1 watt toys they are producing now. I dont like the idea of Marshall becoming a toy maker.

  • from Washington State, USA February 13, 2012Music Background:
    Amature guitarist and hobbyist for 30+ years. Hard rock and acoustic.

    Classic Marshall Plexi Tone!!!!!!

    Not much more positive things to say that have not already been said about the Marshall Class 5 Tube Head. What a fantastic amp. Classic Marshall class A plexi tone in a smaller classic Marshall head package. I run my head through the standard Class 5 speaker cab that uses a nice vintage 30 Celestion and sounds great. But you could run this though a 4 x 12 or other combo, as well as headphones if you want.

    At low volumes the Class 5 releases a nice fat creamy clean tone. Crank it up and the tubes do all the work for you, breaking up into a classic hard rock distortion with tone and body that will blow you away. The amp responds to your play style and pick attack too. Pick gentle and the amp volume and distortion pull back. Pick hard and the amp responds with a "sassy" distorted attitude and volume. The tone is fantastic and the price is frankly hard to beat for the quality here. I would gladly pay twice the suggested retail price for this head. When I play this cranked, instead of complaining about the volume, my wife tells me the sound is fantastic.

    Given the quality of sound, not much could be improved here. However it would be nice to see Marshall come out with a deluxe version that includes built in reverb, an effects loop, a standby switch, and the volume split into a separate master volume and gain. The head version of this amp could also use the same low volume attenuator as used in the combo version, which by the way I also own and sounds fantastic as well.

    I love this amp head! Highly recommended. Buy with confidence.

  • from Iowa February 9, 2012Music Background:
    play in a band, play live, record


    This head is just awesome. It just oozes vintage tone. I run this head through a 2x12 cab loaded with Celestion Greenbacks and it is just so creamy sounding. If you're looking for that 60's and 70's Marshall rock tone, it's in this head. It's like a mini plexi. It's a very simple head with only 4 knobs, but the range of sounds you can get out of those 4 knobs are awesome. Don't be fooled because it's only 5 watts, 5 watts is still loud and you need to crank this head up before it starts to break up. This head is perfect for getting that cranked up tube amp tone at lower volumes for recording.

  • from Seattle, WA January 15, 2012Music Background:
    I play it

    Class5 Head with Class5 extension cab

    Was running through various 4 x 12" cabs. 'Sounded awesome. Bought the Class5 1 x 10' cab mainly because we needed to more easily isolate the speaker in a separate studio room for recording, but also because we were interested in learning how a Celestion 1 x 10" guitar speaker sounded. We've done several tests - - i.e., recording stereo guitar tracks using 4 x 12" and the 1 x 10". We could a slight, insignificant difference between the two. The each sound equally awesome.

  • from Washington State January 15, 2012Music Background:
    Casual player for 30 years (rock, blues, metal, etc.)

    This is the Real Deal

    Marshall's "Baby Plexi" is all its cracked up to be. Don't be fooled by the low wattage, this thing is LOUD! Pure valve tone that responds to how hard you pick and attack. The tone controls and volume provide sufficient variation on the sound and is all you need. Low volume is fat and clean. Crank it and the natural tube crunch takes over. I would pay twice the price and will never be without this amp. Perfect for bedroom, small gig, or mic it for large shows. I've played a lot of amps, both tube and solid state, and find myself playing this one most often. I'm hoping that Marshall expands the Class 5 line with a deluxe version featuring a master volume, effects loop, standby switch, and reverb. That would make an already great amp a bit better. But for now you can't beat this for a low watt valve tone amp at a nice price. Buy it.

  • from Texas October 18, 2011Music Background:

    Extension speaker

    I need a new extension speaker cabinet for studio use. Currently running into Marshall and Bogner 4x12's. It's too loud. I want a 1-12" v-30 loaded cab that can be easily isolated (and mic'd) in another room. Great tones, especially the wide open sound with a high-end Les Paul. Wide open with Strats/Tele's good, but they don't shine like they do going into a Bogner XTC or Marshall JVM 410H. However, with volume at around 9:00 o'clock (3) there is no overdrive and Strats and Teles have their usual magic. I love this amp!

  • from Houston Texas June 29, 2011Music Background:


    Well I got this puppy and played it and had a lot of fun but it wasnt quite there sonically. Put a vintage telefunkin in V1 and a Japanese mullard copy in V2 and it just sounds great now! Cant wait to pop a vintage Mullard in the output but for now Its just great for any classic rock or blues rock. It sounds so good I am reluctant to try the mods that are out there for it but may buy another just to try it out. This is the best product Marshall has introduced in a long time! Recomended!

  • from Fort Lauderdale, FL June 23, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Guitarist

    Great Marshall Sounds!

    Awesome 5W Marshall head! If you enjoyed the combo you'll love the head version. Lets me use different cabinets to achieve an assortment of sounds. Perfect for recording.

  • from Mpls/St Paul, MN June 23, 2011Music Background:

    Class5 Head

    This is the best tone machine out there! Why buy an overpriced 'boutique' amp that claims it sounds like a Marshall when you can own a real Marshall all tube amp for $350. Set the volume on 6 or 7 and you're there...period!

  • from McLean, VA April 17, 2013Music Background:
    Making music since 1964

    Mr Jim Marshall was correct

    Jim Marshall wanted the Class 5 to be a baby Plexi. The Class 5 head being class A responds quicker to picking than class A/B amps. Like the other have stated this head is great for what is does. It's not a four channel and requires knowledge on how to get different tones from a single channel. It has an honored place among my seven amps. I've connected the Class 5 head to my six different cabs and it sounds great with all of them. My preference is to match it with one of my Marshall 4x12 cabs. But that is me. It sounds good with one of my single Marshall 1x10. Know what you want before you get a baby Plexi. I haven't tried any of my pedals as I like the many tones the Class 5 produces without them. Maybe I'd try an equalizer and compressor but not much more. But that's me.

  • from New Orleans, LA September 11, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Gigger (40 yrs)

    "The Sound"

    This was more than I expected, it is the real sound. Easy to carry and play anywhere. Hooked it up to my original Sunn Concert Lead cabinet w/4 10's and it sang like a bird. Response was great. Perfect for practice and with a mic great on stage. Well worth the money. Thanks so much Jim, R.I.P.

  • from June 23, 2011

    Little Giant

    Got the class 5 two days ahead of schedule, way to go Sweetwater.
    Now for the class 5. Arrived in perfect condition in bubble shrink wrap by Fedex. I own a Haze 40c, a jtm 30 and the class 5 fits right in there
    for an alternative sound. Its loud for its small footprint. I use a overdrive with it when jamming to a bass guitar and drum machine
    to keep from getting to loud. When i'm searching for awesome-ness
    and turn to 10 its got a tight ,well define sound . There just something about that class a that stands out. Defiantly different than a/b class. Must be the second order harmonics we all read about. I like it

  • from Cumming,GA February 13, 2012Music Background:
    working musician


    This amp is an okay starters amp, but don't expect the "Classic" Marshall tone. They should have included a master volume to enrich the overdrive at low levels. Breaks up nicely at mid levels, but still lacks in the headroom and overdrive. Owed it for about a month and was disappointed with it during rehearsals. Drum levels were dominating the sound and I felt lost in the overall sound. Max out the amp trying to be heard, but it gets worse. Get a Laney!

  • from Portland, OR May 18, 2014Music Background:
    15 years strumming, drumming, and recording

    Bad Engineering, Bass 0 Treble and Mids Dimed

    This amp is poorly designed. It has a cathode-coupled follower after the first gain stage. This is a great circuit to have for an FX loop, but since this has no FX loop, it is a bad design. I play a guitar w/ two '59 PAF HBs and this amp is always set with bass at 0 mids at 10 and treb at 10. An awful sounding POS. If anyone wants to buy one, mine is for sale.

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