Marshall SV20H VS SC20H (Comparison)
Our pick: Either, depending on your situation
The SV20H is a little better with lead and vintage tones (1959 Super Lead), while the SC20H is better suited for modern sounds and heavier playing styles (JCM 800). Your preference will depend on what type of music you want to focus on.
What's the difference between the Marshall SV20H and the SC20H?
The short answer is that they're amps developed by Marshall to model popular vintage amplifiers and put them in a casing with more modern features. Here's how the two break down:
- Marshall SV20H: Modeled after 1959 Super Lead
- Marshall SC20H: Modeled after JCM800
This means the SV20 is the Plexi tone while the SC20 is the higher-gain model, made for metal and heavier styles. The problem is that we don't get a ton of distinction on the specs sheet, as you can see via the comparison tool below.
It's more an issue of the style of the amp that each new version is made to imitate and a matter of which tone/style you prefer.
Marshall SV20H VS SC20H Comparison Tool
Basically, Marshall has taken the tones and styles of those two amps, and packaged them into a more manageable 20 watt amp head. Here are some more details we could pick out between the two.
The features set for each amp is fairly similar, though with a few differences that you can see in the comparison tool above. From a tone perspective, the SV20H is a bit more vintage and bluesy, doing a good job of capturing the Plexi tone that it's modeled after.
Both amps allow you to drop wattage down to a bedroom-friendly five watts, which is great for practicing in a quieter capacity.
The SV20H Vintage is brighter than the SC20H, with a little more bite and "gleam" on the higher-end notes. We'd think of the SV20H as more of a soloist's amp, while the SC20H is a bit more rhythmic and percussive.
In terms of capturing a more "Marshall-esque" sound, the SV20H provides that searing, high-end lead tone that Marshalls are most known for.
The SC20H sounds similar to the SV20H, though we like it a bit more for heavier tones and high-gain settings.
It has more of a modern edge that's smoother, with less of a searing quality when played over heavy distortion. The onboard gain is thick and full, allowing you to dial in percussive tones with or without a lot of saturation.
Clean sounds are similar in both amps, with a fair amount of sparkle and bluesy "wetness" that sounds really nice with low levels of gain.
Overall, there aren't a ton of audible differences between the two amps.
It's important to understand that the differences between these amplifiers are really subtle. In terms of both features and sound, the SV20H and SC20H are both extremely similar.
If you're trying to make a choice between the two, we'd recommend watching the demo videos by Marshall and focusing on which style you prefer. Are you into more of a lead vintage tone?
If so, go with the SV20H.
But if you're after more of a modern, percussive sound, the SC20H is going to be a better fit.
Either way, you're spending the same amount of money and sure to get an excellent amp head if choosing between the two.
Questions and Thoughts
If you have questions about the SV20H, the SC20H, or our comparison, feel free to drop those in the comments section below and we'll jump in.
We'll see you there.