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I bought a Marshall LEM1992 Lemmy Kilmister Sig w/ Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by phishaholik, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    So, I've been looking at these since they came out as a dream amp. Like almost all rock fans, I love Motorhead and I've been dying to try one of the Marshall tube bass amps. I've always categorized this amp as "if I won the lottery and could buy anything I want," I never thought I would actually own one.

    I ended up finding a dealer that had a couple of B-stock amps that he was blowing out. I missed out on the first one he had for sale, but when another came up for an even lower price, I had to jump on it. I had just sold my DB to buy my fiance an engagement ring and I had a little money left over. When it arrived I was surprised to find a brand new, packaged from the factory amp instead of b-stock. I checked the dealers listing again and it seems that only the first amp he sold was b-stock and the others he had for sale were all factory firsts.

    I first ran it through my little practice cab in my bedroom, an Epifani UL-112 and I was blown away by the tone. It's everything I've always been looking for. I've owned a ton of tube amps, inluding a Trace V-4, a Peavey Classic 400, and a Mesa D-180 and I've never been quite happy with the tone. The Marshall is exactly what I was looking for!

    The tone has that low-mid punch that compliments my P-bass perfectly and I mean perfectly. Running the amp pretty much flat just kills. Just smooth, punchy tube tone for days. The richness of the tone surpasses any amp I've ever played through, tube or hybrid. One thing that really stands out is how good power chords sound through this beast. Super clear and it's full of overtones. I was in pure bliss the first time I played Rollins Band's Liar. I'm also shocked by how LOUD this amp is. I practice with the volume at 1 and if I push it up to two I can feel the bass running through the walls and floor throughout my house. If I push it up to four or five it starts to make my ears hurt. Now this amp won't give you almost any clean headroom past four and when I run my Modulus into it I even get heavy distortion from the preamp at low volumes, but the dirt just sounds wonderful! This is the kind of distortion you can't find from a pedal and I'm hooked. This amp seems to be louder than my D-180. This amp is very mid-heavy and the D-180 always sounds VERY scooped to my ears which I thing makes the Marshall seem louder. It takes a lot more power to make a scooped amp produce volume.

    Channel one has a bit of a treble boost, which Lemmy uses, and channel two is flat. I heavily prefer channel two for my uses and I'm looking forward to bridging the channels to see how that sounds.

    The first thing I had to do was find a cabinet to go with this monster. I loved the way the UL-112 worked with the head, but I knew I needed as much cone surface as possible to get the volume I needed and the amp wouldn't even come close to sitting on top of the cab. The Lemmy is a very wide head. I looked at the Aggie DB212 and thought that would match up great, but it's not a very sensitive cab and I wanted to get as much out of my amp as possible. Finally, after a bunch of research, I decided an a Bergantino NV610, a cab I used to have and always regretted selling. I found one local through the classifieds after some waiting and it is the perfect matchup with the Lemmy. I have truly found tone nirvana!

    I know there's going to be at least one TBer that always chimes in on these threads that's going to tell me that I'll never be able to gig with only 100 watts. This amp is definitely a one trick pony. It has GREAT tube tone, but it's always going to be gritty. I don't think I could just use this amp to cover a bunch of styles, but I could with PA support which I always have. I think I'm going to pick-up a Red DI to go with it. I can say I could definitly use this at almost any gig playing straight up rock with my P-bass and a pick. It just has a wonderful gritty sound that compliments pick playing and it has a lot more clarrity than playing fingerstyle. I've been wanting to start a hardcore band to do some originals and this is the perfect amp for that.

    So, this is my first long-winded amp review, but since I don't know of anyone else that actually owns one of these, I thought it would be time to write one. I have to honestly say, that it sounds soooooo good that I practice a lot more that I did before getting it. Also, I've never honestly gotten along with jazz basses and end up selling them. I have an 09 Fender Jazz that I've held onto because it's the nicest passive jazz that I've ever played, but I never go along with the tone. It sounds just SICK through the Lemmy/Berg combo and I'm super glad I kept it.

    Here's a crappy cell phone pic.


    BassMagilla likes this.
  2. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I figured this amp being 100watts and lemmy's signature amp it would be dirty and not very versatile as you said. It does look good though and I imagine that dirt sounds awesome. May you rock it and it serve you well.... Congrats
  3. MingusBass

    MingusBass Commercial User

    Sep 27, 2004
    Fort Wayne,Indiana
    We had one of those at work, and it was pretty sweet. More clean headroom than I had expected, for sure!
  4. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    congratulations! honestly I dont see why you should not be able to gig with those two little boys. Now u need a ricky.
  5. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    Rock on!
  6. That would look even more awesome with a 2nd Berg NV610.
  7. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Don't think I haven't been tempted! :D I actually really wanted one of the new tolex Bergs to match the amp, but I ran into a really good deal on one of the older rat fur cabs. A couple days later a tolex one came up for sale local and I almost bought that one too!

    (Edit: I forgot this amp doesn't do 2 ohms)

    The amp is actually very loud at low volume settings and it is clean before around four on the volume knob. It actually has a great motown vibe to it and I love to play I Want You Back.

    I could definitely gig this amp, but it won't work for all types of music. I wouldn't want to play Space Oddity through it, but it's PERFECT for Mississippi Queen.

  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    sounds excellent! been really into the marshall sound since i got this british pedal. not as good as your amp of course, but i won't ever get one so i'll settle for plugging my british pedal into the svt and living vicariously through you ;)
  9. Pretty sure Marshall has just the right cabs for that Amp...get the Lemmy Cabs! MF had the 4x15 used for 999.99 a few weeks back.....I almost bought it just to use as a dinner table.
  10. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Thanks for the great review. I saw Lemmy (Motorhead)back up Blizzard of OZZ back in 1983ish and have been a fan ever since. :bassist:
  11. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I'm jealous. I was running a Peavey Windsor a couple of years back to do something similar, although it was well into over the top distortion trying to keep up through my inefficient 210.
  12. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    It's only fair Jimmy, since I've been living vicariously through you in all of your SVT and B-15 posts! :D When I have some more cash to spend on gear I'm definitely going to pick up an old blueline for when I need some truly devastating volume.

    Man, if I had seen that I would have probably bought one. I almost bought the Lemmy 4x12, but there are no specs on it anywhere and I man anywhere. I checked all over the Marshall site and nowhere does it post the specs on it. The one review they linked to on their website said it was a guitar cab with bass speakers, so I passed on it.

  13. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings

    Motorhead's my favourite band. Lemmy's the reason I play bass (after having started out as a guitarist), and my style and sound are HEAVILY influenced by him. I play through early 70s Marshall Super Bass heads into early 80s Marshall bass cabs (4x12 on top, 2x15 on the bottom). If I plug my 76 4001 into that setup, run it into the high input of channel one and adjust my EQ, I NAIL his tine to a "T". :D For Exciter, I actually run my bass into the low input of channel 2, and I EQ in a lot more bass than Lemmy does. I still have a really crunchy sound, but not as heavily distorted and mid-rangey as Lemmy's. This rig has NO problem live.

    I've been thinking of picking one the LEM heads up, and your review has added to that desire. Thanks.

    BassMagilla likes this.
  14. Hi.

    Congrats on the NAD.


    Will mostly take care of this:

    Obviously, it won't take care of the early(ish) breakup that Marshalls are famous for, but it does wonders for the tone.

    Edit:As for the 412 being a guitar cab, it may or may not. There was (is?) two of them, one is the same size as the "normal guitar cab", the other is about 4" deeper, with "bass" speakers obviously. I had the latter, and while it was about 20 years ago, and even though the so called experts disagree ;), it was a fine bass cab for the purpose.

  15. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Nice score. I have a JCM 800 model 1992 and the tone is great. So warm and dirty, like a hot mud bath.
  16. That is awesome! Would love to get a Lemmy Marshall. Never see them in stores around here and the ones I see online are like $3,000.

    I can't imagine how big Lemmy's 4x15 cab must be. The 4x12 would probably be a wicked cab. Still need a small army to move though....I would guess.

    You know.....if one Lemmy head is not quite loud enough you could always get a second one.......;)
  17. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Congrats, bro! I love it!
  18. Gramatron


    Aug 5, 2007
    I have the same amp which I picked up with a 4x10 jcm800bass cab for less than £300.

    The sound truly is awesome. The amps been revalved with electro harmonix 6ca7's valves And biased to run slightly hot. I use it with an orange 410. It's a beast

    What's the difference between the Lemmy 1992 and the jcm800 ?
  19. Yeah, I'd be interested to know this too. I had a JCM800 SUPERBASS II & I DID dig it.

    That LEM Will be awesome thru the NV610 :hyper:

  20. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for all the kind words guys! I couldn't be any happier with this setup! I just got done running my Quantum 4 into this bad boy and I was shaking the whole house with distorted goodness with the volume on 2. I found myself playing the riff from Frankenstein over and over again without even thinking about it. Running a nice tube DI and miking the cab would make the perfect mix of clean and dirty.

    I'm not sure exactly what they changed from the original 1992. I read that they incorporated some of the features of the Super Lead, but that's pretty vague. I'd love to run another one of these with an NV412.


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