Marshall Major - OMG

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shadven, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    9A54D3C2-B8E8-4A3E-A86C-DD3AD63279EB.jpeg Somehow I got it into my head that I need a vintage Marshall bass rig. I jumped on a great deal on a 1971 “Marshall Major” bass head (Model 1978). This a hand-wired 200 watt beast. I set it on 4 ohms and plugged it into my Ampeg 8x10 cabinet and it roared! It’s a crazy loud and powerful amp. It seems much more powerful than my 300 watt Ampeg SVT VR... no comparison, from sheer power and volume... the Marshall blows the Ampeg into next week. I’ve never played through anything like it in my life. And in addition to being stupid loud it sounds really good, warm, deep and thumpy. So, now to complete my Marshall fantasy I need a Marshall speaker cabinet or two. Marshall bass cabinets are pretty hard to find and they are very expensive. I think my best option is to buy guitar cabs a re-load with bass speakers or buy Marshall clone cabinets. From what I can tell, the only difference between Marshall guitar cabs and Marshall bass cabs are just the speakers.
    Does anyone have experience with Marshall bass cabs? I am starting to research speaker options. I think I can do better than the original Celestion speakers that Marshall used back in the 60’s and 70’s. I like the size and look of the typical Marshall 4x12 cabinet. Any speaker suggestions?
    Note: the cabinet in the picture is a 4x12 and it will not work.
    The Rage, chadds, mikewalker and 5 others like this.
  2. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    I don't recall Marshall bass cabinets having any particular rep back in the day. You might be better off constructing a new face for your Ampeg using Marshall grill cloth!
  3. black cat bone

    black cat bone

    Aug 15, 2017
    I used to have a loan of a marshall major in the late 70s earlyeighties.fantastic amp but it got sold without my knowledge otherwise i would have bought it and probably still had it.not many around here in the uk
    shadven likes this.
  4. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Late ‘60s very early ‘70s Marshall bass specific cabs or the 100 cabs handled bass fine and had their own sound. Not a 15” JBL sound but a choice many of us liked. I used a Major on one 100w cab and loved it. I used a Major on an SVT flatback regularly and it was amazing.

    The 4x12 cabs were 1935 a slant or b straight. If intact they say Bass in upper left hand corner. The 100w cabs say 100 in left upper corner and were 1982 a or b. You’ve heard a lot of proper British bass played through these cabs.
    The 1960 a/b were guitar cabs and sound bad.

    If you can’t find keep enjoying on the Ampeg.
  5. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    Thanks for the good information. The 1935 cabs are on my radar for sure. The few I see on the interwebs are pretty expensive. Some people are calling them the “Jimmy Hendrix” cabinets.
    I just found a VBC412 400 watt. It’s the more modern Marshall Bass cab that came out in the 1990’s (I think). I am going to go look at it tomorrow.
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The JH is often a stack and the 4x12 is taller than the top cab. He used those infrequently.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Went looking for a SuperBass and come up with a Major. Nice Score! :thumbsup:
    SactoBass likes this.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Pretty sure the main difference between and 1960 and 1982 cabs is the drivers.
  9. Edword

    Edword Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Are the modern Lemmy rig cabs any easier to find than the ‘70s ones? Or do you have to buy the amp with them?
  10. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    The LEM line had a 415 too.

    Ive seen the LEM head for sale without the cabs. No reason to believe the cabs werent sold individually.
  11. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The 1935s as well. Three different drivers. The 100s and 1935s did bass with the 1935s giving the best bass performance but lower power handling.

    Wish I had two stacks right now. :)
    Okay one would do.
    Ron Wood, Beck Ola, single coil P through two Majors and four 100w cabs. Delicious.
    Jim C and Wasnex like this.
  12. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The Major was designed to be more hifi hence the headroom and clarity. The 100w Superbass/lead start to compress way earlier.
  13. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Probably safer with 8 cabs if you're pushing a Major :woot:.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019

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