Marshall 1987X Shootout
How will the Splawn Nitro Compare? 

Classic Marshall 1987X Amp Head
      Click HERE for Pictures
      Click HERE for Pictures
 Marshall 1987X - all in mp3  Nitro Sounds - all in mp3
Clean Sound
Rhythm Sound
Heavy Rhythm Sound
Lead Sound
Clean Sound
Rhythm Sound
Heavy Rhythm Sound
Lead Sound
 Specifications  Specifications

There are little other specs about this amp online and even when you own one - it's a basic amp reminiscent of the original units - but it IS made with a regular PCB and not the original point to point wiring.

New Splawn Nitro 100 watt Head
Splawn tone with more saturation
Voiced for bigger low end and lower midrange
Clean w/ Independent EQ, Rhy and Lead channel
Solo boost and Resonance control
Overdrive channel has an OD1/OD2
footswitch function (which gives you a gain setting for rhythm and lead sounds)
Effects loop
Half power switch
Three button footswitch w/ LED's
F/S functions
#1 Clean & Overdrive
#2 OD1 & OD2
#3 Solo Boost
Heyboer Transformers
with choice of Mullard EL34's, Tung Sol EL34B  or Sovtek KT88's
 Our Views  Our Views
What can you say about an amp that is an icon among amps...  if you don't mind the volume of this amp or play in stadiums every day than this amp could be for you. It's not really designed for the modern death metal guy, but if you want classic Marshall sounds they are in here - and this amp has a really great tone cranked up - easily controlled by the guitars volume knob, you will achieve perfect karma.

That is, unless you play the modern stuff. It's not that you maybe could not get those modern tones - you could coax them out of this, but if that is the case there are better amps to do it with.

Choose this to get really classic tones - a la AC/DC style and you will need probably a Tube Screamer or similar for the really good sounds.

The effects loop some say sucks tone - we did not particularly notice - so its probably one of those comments that some audiophile thought up somewhere along the line.

The amp works with EL34 and Bias is inside :-( and awkward to do. There is no midi at all, although the amp can be switched for different mains inputs so that's a plus.

There's great warranty on Marshall kit (at least here in the UK) and I suspect the same from the USA - 3 years is generous, although like most suppliers there's a 90 day warranty on the tubes...  stingy... as all tube amp makers are in this respect.

There are no vinyl options on this amp from the Manufacturer and they will only recover amps out of warranty - you have to send it back to be done...

Negatives: It's not that cheap and some complain about the effects loop.








for the price of the 1987X it is a veritable bargain, and has many of the features of the Splawn Nitro - but it comes from a different era. It can be very hard to emulate modern kit on an old style amp such as the 1987X, but it can be relatively easy to emulate a 1987X on the Modern Nitro - one reason why in this shootout the Nitro wins for me.

The Nitro packs a punch - of that there is no doubt in my mind. This amp was developed for the guitarist that needed that extra drive and more importantly that bottom end that this amp just loves to deliver.

Each and every one of these amps is custom made for the user by Splawn based in Dallas, North Carolina, USA and there is a waiting list - always a good sign of a hot product.

The one on this site was bought towards the end of 2008 and was delivered a few months later in awesome condition which oozed quality right out of the box. There were absolutely no issues whatsoever with this amps pedigree and build quality.

The options when buying enable you to buy an amp customised for you and a unique product. Fortunately, most guitarists have never heard of Splawn amps - and that's a good thing if you are in the market - firstly because the wait time is kept reasonable (and quality will matter at production) but secondly that you will be buying one of the worlds premier manufactured and designed products for what is really an awesome price and extremely hard to beat.

The Nitro is a 100 Watt head which utilises a few tubes (which you can specify at order time) such as EL34, KT88 etc and likely there are more options if you contact Splawn directly.

Basically it's a two channel amp with extra 'solo' options residing on a foot pedal. It does not have all the bells and whistles of some amps on this site, but it does have a effects loop which is switchable, it does have a mains voltage switch for different countries and it does have an awesome tone.

There's also a handy half power switch if you want to be half soaked ( :-) ).

The amp features a great resonance control that can change this fire breathing monster in to somewhat of a pussy (in the nicest sense of the word) so that it is quite tame - for other styles of music than just modern heavy rock.

This amp comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner of the amp, but tubes and transformers are just 90 days... it seems every manufacturer wants to semi warranty those parts...  yet in law they would be liable for failure (at least here in the UK they would).

In any case - it is very unlikely you will need the warranty - or indeed the manual - this amp is as easy to play though as you can get.

This amp is one of the best kept secrets and the best priced top end gear amps available anywhere in the world today.

Negatives: None.

Price: £895.00 around $1350  Price: $1950 ($2250 Export)
 Commercial Track with 1987X HERE - in mp3  
The 1987X at least sounds the way they used to do things, a rich harmonically awesome tone of that there is no doubt - rather like the Nitro, but the Nitro is a very powerful tone, the 1987X is more shall we say, elderly and as such is not of the same era as a Nitro. Neither are the features - they are meagre on the 1987X but silly as it sounds the Nitro is higher specified here - The 1987X is awesome for that old tone, but too loud for most these days...  the 1987X therefore loses out to the Nitro in this battle...
The Nitro is also based on (in my view) Marshall technology and enhanced accordingly - as they say - the Nitro is what Marshall amps should be these days - solid, awesome modern tones, build quality really as good as it gets, great pricing, great aesthetics and other things...  to be fair the 1987X is a cool amp, but in today's music especially the heavier stuff the 1987X has little chance of cooling down this powerful beast - the Nitro wins this one.....