Skip to product information
1 of 5

8100 Gold

8100 Gold

Solid State Preamplifier

Regular price £129.00 GBP
Regular price £199.00 GBP Sale price £129.00 GBP
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Summer Sale! - All Guitar pedals are 35% off as we clear out stock and make room for new and exciting products.

Based on the Marshall* Valvestate 8100.

This preamp is based on the OD1 and OD2 channels of the original amplifier. Producing a very thick, saturated high gain tone, it was popular amongst metal bands in the mid-90's.

The original amp was a "hybrid" tube/solid-state design, but upon analysing the circuit, it quickly becomes clear that the tube functions as a simple hard-clipper stage, easily replaced with a set of clipping diodes, as lon as care it taken to match the clipping levels. As an added extra, we've added a second "Post" gain knob, which controls the signal strength going into this clipping stage, giving even broader range of sound possibilities.

* Marshall is a registered Trademark of Marshall Amplification Plc.

View full details

Product Details - 8100 Gold


  • Bass, Mid, Treble - A classic 3-band tonestack.
  • Contour - Love it or hate it, this mid-tone control takes your sound from a fluffy mid-boost to ultra-scooped. There is a secret sweet spot around the 1.0-1.5 mark, be sure to look for it!
  • Gain - The main gain control for the preamp.
  • Post - Controls the gain in the hard clipping stage. When set low, gives a lower gain, fuzzier sound. At its maximum, the gain is significantly increased, and the high end increases considerably. Set to around 2'o'clock to match the gain and tone of the 8100.
  • Volume - Controls the output signal amplitude.
  • Channel Switch - Switches between the OD1 and OD2 channels.
  • Active Switch - Engages or bypasses the pedal with a relay (true bypass).

The original

The Valvestate series from Marshall was a big seller in the mid-to-late 1990s, popular among younger bands in the metal scene, both in America and Europe. It was affordable, high gain, and offered a "modern" sound, thanks to its (much debate, hated and misuderstoof) Contour tone control.

The defining feature of the Valvestate 8100 was its "ValveState" technology, a hybrid design that combined a solid-state preamp section with a 12AX7 dual-triode tube in the signal path. This approach sought to capture some of the warmth and harmonics associated with tube amplifiers while maintaining the durability and cost efficiency of solid-state circuitry. In reality, the inclusion of a valve in the circuit is mostly a sales gimmick. Acting as a simple hard-clipping gain stage, the effect is easily replicated with a pair of diodes, without the need to add high-voltage circuitry into the mix. But it sure did help the sales numbers.

In recent years the amp has been re-discovered by tone-chasers, recognizing that the amp was a critical component of the mid 90's metal bands, such as Meshuggah, In Flames, Death, Dimmu Borgir and many, many others.


  • True Bypass with Relay switching.
  • Soft-touch footswitches.
  • Internal voltage-boost mechanism ensures circuit runs at same voltage as the original amp.
  • Aluminium enclosure with durable powder coat finish.

Technical Specs

  • Power Requirement: 9V DC, 190mA
  • Power connector: 2.1mm center-negative barrel jack
  • Dimensions: 155mm (W) 125mm (D) 61mm (H)
  • Dimensions (with packaging): 185mm (W) 130mm (D) 70mm (H)