Steve Vai Australian masterclass venues confirmed

Below are the confirmed venues for the Steve Vai Australian masterclass tour. Note that the Perth venue is still TBA. Pick up your tickets from Thump Music. And if you’re going to the Melbourne masterclass, I’ll see you there!

Brisbane – Thursday 13th of October – 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Conservatorium Theatre – Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

Sydney – Saturday 15th of October – 12.00pm – 3.30pm
Wesley Mission Centre – 220 Pitt Street, Sydney

Melbourne – Monday 17th of October – 7.30pm – 10.30pm
The Besen Centre Theatre – 87 – 89 Station Street, Burwood

Adelaide – Wednesday 19th October – 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Norwood Concert Hall – 175 The Parade, Norwood

Perth – Thursday 20th October – 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Still TBA

REVIEW: Marshall Class 5

Marshall’s famed 1959SLP (otherwise known as the Super Lead Plexiglas or simply “the Plexi”) is the backbone of rock as we know it – hell, maybe even life as we know it. This legendary amp has a great clean sound for the first few clicks of its volume knob, but once you get past room temperature it really starts to scream. The problem is, it’s friggin’ loud. The Plexi has claimed many an eardrum in the pursuit of rock perfection, and even the great Eddie Van Halen had to do all sorts of unorthodox tricks to tame its volume. Marshall itself has made various attempts at a version of the Plexi tone at lower volume levels (such as models in the legendary JMP-1 preamp and the newer JMD:1 amp), but one of the most intriguing is the Class 5.

The Class 5 is not exactly a shrunk-down Plexi – and at 5 watts of Class A power it doesn’t exactly claim to be a mere miniaturised version of the 100 watt Plexi – but Marshall’s engineers have been careful to funnel as much of that classic Plexi mojo into this little bruiser as they could manage. Instead of the Plexi’s quartet of EL34 power valves, the Class5 rocks a single EL84, along with a pair of ECC83 preamp valves. The controls are ridiculously simple: Volume, Treble, Middle and Bass. No presence, no input gain, no reverb, no channel switching, no bright switch. If you want a clean sound, keep it low. If you want it to distort, turn it up. And there’s no effects loop, so what you hear is what you get. As with other non-effects-loop amps, if you want to add reverb or delay you’ll have to find a way around it. Either pedals through the front end (if you don’t need too much amp distortion), or outboard effects at the mixing desk would do the trick nicely.

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