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Marshall JCM 800 5210 Amp : Review

Marshall JCM 800 5210

Cheap, but with some qualities

This combo, rather interesting, if we consider the quality/price ratio, is the solid state version of the 4210. The only two main differences are the absence of the tubes and of the Standby switch. For a Marshall fan a solid state electronics isn't acceptable, obviously, but we have to consider the target of this amp and, like we have said at the beginning, the cost, really low.

A good job

The goal of the British company with this combo is evident: the same qualities of the 4210 at a lower cost, and the use of the transistors, instead of the expensive tubes, is the instrument to get the desired result. We will see, during the review, that the Marshall job with the 5210 is good, always considering the final price, obviously. The sound cannot be the same, this is clear.


Well. Now we can see, in a table, the main 5210 characteristics.

Price 400 Euros
Type Combo. Transistor technology.
Output (RMS) 50 Watts
Channels Two (Normal and Boost)
Normal Sensitivity: 1KHz. Maximum Input Signal: 0.8mV
Boost Sensitivity: 1KHz. Maximum Input Signal: 0.3mV
Effects Spring Reverb (Hammond with 2 seconds decay)
Equalization 3-band EQ + Presence
Treble 5KHz, 12dB (Mid full)
5KHz, 33dB (Mid down)
Middle 500Hz, 17dB (treble and Bass full)
Bass 150Hz, 18dB (Mid down)
Controls (Normal) Volume, Treble, Bass.
Boost Gain, Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass.
General Master Reverb, Master Volume, Master Presence.
Features Series effects loop with Send & Return, Headphone output (100mW)
Send & Return Send output impedance: 4.7K ohm
Return input impedance: 100K ohm
Footswitch Yes (Channel and Reverb)


The second channel is rather versatile and produces a remarkable Overdrive and a very pleasant sustain, above all if we consider the transistor circuit of the 5210. The response isn't very compressed, as it happens, for example, with the Valvestate Series. The sound is, certainly, Vintage and with many of the characteristics that have made Marshall famous in the world. Obviously, every reference with a tube amp of the JCM 800 Series is out of place, but the tone is perfect for the classic Rock and, anyhow, the overall quality is good.

A good compromise

The most important proof of the 5210 qualities is that this Combo, not more in production, obviously, is really rare on the market. Effectively, notwithstanding the solid state nature, it works very well.

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