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Marshall Valvestate VS-65R Amp Review [How GOOD is this BAD Boy?]

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If you are a fan of music or guitar instruments, you must have come across the terms ‘amplifier,’ ‘Marshall,’ and ‘Guitar tubes.’ But what are they really?

Are amplifiers, like the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R, even necessary while playing instruments like a guitar? Should you really be spending all the extra money on an amplifier? The answer is yes, you should!

The Valvestate VS-65R is an amplifier that is often used with guitars, such as the Les Paul models, to enhance sound.

In plain terms, it is an electronic device or a combination of various components that strengthen the electric signal from the supply, a guitar in this case, and amplify it to produce a louder, cleaner sound.

Now you might think, why are these amplifiers necessary? Why can you not just play without an amplifier or get just about any amplifier and play your music?

The answer is that you may get the sound quality you want if you use any random amplifier. What matters most to a musician is the sound quality of his music or beats.

Therefore, amplifiers like the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R ensure that you get the beat you are looking for without having to supply your instrument with an excessive electrical supply or all high-quality, top-notch instruments since such options are not budget-friendly for all.

This brings us to our topic, what is the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R? Is the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R any good? What are the experts’ opinions about the Valvestate series?

And if you do not like the sound of the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R amplifier, are there any other options in the market? If yes, what are they?

A good option is the Marshall Valvestate 8080, which brings us to our next point, Marshall Valvestate 8080 vs. VS-65R. Which is a better option? Let’s find out together!

What is the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R?

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R is a hybrid amplifier released by Marshall. This audio amplifier uses both transistors and tubes, hence the name hybrid.

The tube circuits are responsible for driving current in the MOSFET transistors present at the output stage.

These transistors can generate more power while emitting lesser eat, which lessens electricity wastage and the probability of complications.

What the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R does is that it converts low signals into large amounts of gain, mostly with high noise levels.

The majority of the instrument amplifiers are mostly high-gain equipment with a common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR) along with high impedance. The CMMR helps eliminate noise and amplifies the input signal.

So, why does the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R is not named Marshall Marshall VS-65R simply? What is the meaning of the term Valvestate?

The term Valvestate refers to hybrid amps. The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R comes with one preamp tube only and a DSL sound property.

The primary technique for the Valvestate was to put a 12A x 7 valve in an amplifier’s preamp section while maintaining the solid-state technology throughout the rest of the amp.

This effect is basically called hybrid and results in a classic Marshall tone.

Marshall Valvestate VS-65R Review

Now let’s jump to the main topic and begin our review of the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R amplifier.

It is a legacy gear piece that has gotten quite some attention. It is not only used in home studios but is also liked for professional settings.

The model initially came out in the middle of the 1990s. Since then, Marshall has been the true soul of British rock music, so it is hardly surprising that Marshall came out with the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R.

In the 60s, Jimi Hendrix made the Marshall gear pretty popular. Next, Guns N Roses added to this fame by using the Marshall amplifiers.

In fact, the Marshall instrument amplifiers were so commonly used that they became the standard for rock music gear, and numerous record labels were made using them.

This was when Marshall knew their audience wanted something bigger and better.

They understood that they must bring the latest technology in that time together to bring an amplifier in the markets that give tough competition to the rest.

Marshall made sure that they introduced a model that emits high volume but has low energy consumption.

This concept led to several solid-state series and digital and hybrid amps, including the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R. Some of these models are still in use today, and some never say the light of the day again.

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R is a hybrid amplifier with a preamp and tube, an ECC-83.

Being a solid-state power amp, it allows users to play in a small bedroom as well as a studio without any tonal differences, a common problem that arose with the Marshall 100 watts tube heads.

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R amplifier is among the best practice amps since it gives a clean and crunchy sound and is affordable for most musicians.

However, it was pretty expensive in the 90s since there were very limited options. But you can now find it at affordable prices in brand new condition.

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R amplifier’s build quality is fairly incredible. You can play it indoors in high humidity or move the party outside in extreme conditions.

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R gives you full liberty to crack it at full volume at local concerts or practice the entire way within a small van. However, the more you take care of the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R, the longer it will last you.

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R amplifier combo is open back, on the heavier side (15 – 20 kgs), and comes with two channels with independent eq., spring reverb, fx loop, and headphone outputs.

You will also see external processors, like the multi-effect pedal boards, but you also have the option to use the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R amplifier with its original preamp.

The simplest terms you would find when looking for its sound quality are ‘typical solid-state Marshall,’ which is true. It produces a fine, clean sound with a considerable timbre that is recurrent in such Marshall models.

The sound is also somewhat bright with significant gain, but this is common with all the Marshall amps.

However, the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R has a larger gain than most of the other Marshall amps. With this one, you can play thrash along with fine palm muting, and you don’t even need an external booster.

If you do not believe us, search up Chuck Schuldiner of Death using the Marshall Valvestate amps for his records, including the famous Flames Clayman album.

So, Marshall has surely created something excellent when it comes to the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R.

You will notice that the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R produces a colder tone than the other tube components it features. However, this is compensated by decent volume and significant bite.

This makes it challenging to stand beside a live metal drummer using the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R without microphoning it.

Apart from rock, use the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R to play plain pop, pop rock, hard rock, power pop, indie rock, and some other genres, including Christian music, electronic, and hip hop.

While there are several options in the market with features similar to the Marshall Valvestate VS-65R, if you find it at an affordable price, we recommend getting the deal!

It is a good practice amp that will not disappoint and will last you for a considerable time.


Marshall Valvestate 100

Another Marshall model is the Marshall Valvestate 100 amplifier. It also boasts a solid-state power section with a tube amp. With a hybrid nature, the Marshall Valvestate 100 plays the tones of a classic Marshall power tube.

The Marshall Valvestate 100 also has overdrive and clean channel. The former comes with two voicings, while the latter features its own EQ.

It works with 100 watts of power with a high effect loop. Moreover, the Marshall Valvestate 100 has a bell-like fine tone with a gain higher than the traditional Marshalls.


The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R is a good solid-state hybrid amp with classic as well as modern features. It is reliable, easy to carry around, and only has a single tube for replacement.

It is ideal for playing rock music and other pop genres. The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R is a great buy for beginners looking for affordable amps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Marshall Valvestate a good amp?

The Marshall Valvestate VS-65R is among the best solid-state hybrid amps with clean, crunchy volume and a high gain.

Are Marshall Valvestate tube amps?

The Marshall Valvestate models have a low voltage tube fitted within the preamp section.

What does Valvestate mean?

Valvestate refers to the use of a single valve in the preamp section. This gives a good tone while all other controls are in a solid state.

Are modern Marshall amps good?

The Marshall amps are among the most popular amplifiers in the music industry.

They have been launching good-quality amps since the 1960s and improve their designs each time. The brand makes amps ideal for playing the rock genre.

Is the Valvestate VS-65R any good?

The Valvestate VS-65R is a good choice for anyone looking for a practice amp at an affordable price.