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View Full Version : What is the best sounding Marshall Plexi clone?


Glaze
03-15-2006, 12:38 PM
A Victoria Bassman is hands down one of the best sounding amps I have ever played through tonally. The Victoria Bassman is magic sounding and it is the best Tweed Bassman clone I have ever played through. I'm trying to find the same Victoria quality in a Marshall clone.

I'm looking for the best sounding non master volume Marshall Plexi clone. The one that sounds better than all the others and the amp that sounds as good as the very best Marshalls. You guy's can post here or e-mail me if you prefer not to say certain things on this forum. What have you vintage Marshall tone fans been buying and actually keeping?

Thanks

Mike

myles111
03-15-2006, 12:43 PM
Mike

Here is a nice one if you are into plexi amps ....

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/jw1.html

You can disable the master or have him leave it out altogether.

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/sitebuilder/images/purplexing_100-2-354x259.jpg

Don L
03-15-2006, 01:09 PM
Cornell Plexi 45/50 is pretty nice.

trisonic
03-15-2006, 01:18 PM
I like the Maven Peal Ganesha - very flexible.
Problem: Dave doesn't make them any more. Look out for one in emporium, incredible value for money.

Best, Pete.

Woodshed
03-15-2006, 01:49 PM
What is the best sounding Marshall Plexi clone?

Greg Germino. He even offers different flavors of Plexi, be it Jimi, Clapton, or Duane. Nothing else has the combination of look, sound, and vibe that Greg's gets with all his amps. I've had several (5) and they all killed. I wish he would start making Masonette's again, cool little amp!

P.S. I'm a huge fan of Victoria also, have had several Deluxe's and a Bassman, all killer with vibe to spare.

Scott

Fireball XL5
03-15-2006, 02:01 PM
I'm looking for the best sounding non master volume Marshall Plexi clone. The one that sounds better than all the others and the amp that sounds as good as the very best Marshalls.

I think you're going to get as many different opinions as there are Marshall clones on this one :confused:

stratofied
03-15-2006, 02:12 PM
I'm looking for the best sounding non master volume Marshall Plexi clone.

Another vote for Germino (http://www.germinoamps.com/).

Glaze
03-15-2006, 02:14 PM
I think you're going to get as many different opinions as there are Marshall clones on this one :confused:

You are right because several companies are making Plexi Marshall clones. People are having tone partys and amp shootouts with vintage Marshalls, so what is winning and impressing people more? What is the guy with two vintage Marshalls at home buying because he does not want to take his vintage Marshalls out to the clubs?

I want a non master volume Marshall clone. No bells or whistles. Just a magic sounding head that nailed the tone down. I don't want to buy a 35 year old Marshall due to dependability.

Mike

Jerrod
03-15-2006, 02:20 PM
You are right because several companies are making Plexi Marshall clones. People are having tone partys and amp shootouts with vintage Marshalls, so what is winning and impressing people more? What is the guy with two vintage Marshalls at home buying because he does not want to take his vintage Marshalls out to the clubs?

I want a non master volume Marshall clone. No bells or whistles. Just a magic sounding head that nailed the tone down. I don't want to buy a 35 year old Marshall due to dependability.

Mike

I have 3 vintage Marshalls (OK, LATE vintage... 74, 74, and 75) and I just bought a Germino Monterey Classic... but I haven't heard any more than the clips on the web site. :o

Jerrod
03-15-2006, 02:21 PM
I think you're going to get as many different opinions as there are Marshall clones on this one :confused:

+1.5

telebuck
03-15-2006, 02:24 PM
There is always the Marshall Marshall Clone... 2061x head. Supposed to be a baby-plexi. Used they can be had for fairly cheap... around 1300. I love mine, though I've never played a real plexi, so YMMV.

Woodshed
03-15-2006, 02:25 PM
I think you're going to get as many different opinions as there are Marshall clones on this one

True. There are tons of boutique builders making Marshall clones out there but a good indication of quality and authentic tone could be which ones are being used by pro musicians. I have seen Germino's on stage at the Grammy's, on tour with with Aerosmith and The Black Crowes, many others. Greg is too cool to deal with, will help you out way beyond the call of duty and continually improves his products. He has grown a ton over the short few years he has been doing it and I am sure will continue to grow as long as there is a need for reliable, well built boutique Marshall Plexi circuits. Go to his site or Steelbender to hear clips, see video of the amps in action as well as construction info and background on the company.

Scott

Jerrod
03-15-2006, 02:25 PM
By the way, I like Marshalls that have some...

http://m.2mdn.net/844751/160x600_eBoostButttop.gif

Ed DeGenaro
03-15-2006, 02:26 PM
You are right because several companies are making Plexi Marshall clones. People are having tone partys and amp shootouts with vintage Marshalls, so what is winning and impressing people more? What is the guy with two vintage Marshalls at home buying because he does not want to take his vintage Marshalls out to the clubs?

I want a non master volume Marshall clone. No bells or whistles. Just a magic sounding head that nailed the tone down. I don't want to buy a 35 year old Marshall due to dependability.

Mike
Mike you know my take on this...want an old marshall...get an old Marshall now that said.
I'd pull out my THD Plexi just as soon as my 50 watt JMP. And when folks ask me what I use i couldn't use my 100 watters...I send them to Germino.

Jerrod
03-15-2006, 02:27 PM
And when folks ask me what I use i couldn't use my 100 watters...I send them to Germino.

This is true. :eek:

And my Germino costs more than my "vintage" pieces.

Ed DeGenaro
03-15-2006, 02:30 PM
This is true. :eek:

And my Germino costs more than my "vintage" pieces.
Another victim of Ed marketing...wonder how many customers I have to send his way before I get a freebie. :)

hawkeyeinexile
03-15-2006, 02:59 PM
i get tweed bassman, jtm45, and 100w plexi in a 50w package w/Heritage Colonial (http://www.heritageamplifiers.com/colonial.html)

(Cornell 45/50 & Germinos are great, too)

:cool:

Ed DeGenaro
03-15-2006, 03:04 PM
i get tweed bassman, jtm45, and 100w plexi in a 50w package w/Heritage Colonial (http://www.heritageamplifiers.com/colonial.html)

(Cornell 45/50 & Germinos are great, too)

:cool:
I'm sorry but there is NO 50 watter that does a 100 watt JMP. Period.

Fireball XL5
03-15-2006, 03:13 PM
You are right because several companies are making Plexi Marshall clones. People are having tone partys and amp shootouts with vintage Marshalls, so what is winning and impressing people more? What is the guy with two vintage Marshalls at home buying because he does not want to take his vintage Marshalls out to the clubs?

I want a non master volume Marshall clone. No bells or whistles. Just a magic sounding head that nailed the tone down. I don't want to buy a 35 year old Marshall due to dependability.

Mike

Hey Glaze...

I know what you're saying...I've been down that road before :o ... and I should have offered a more constructive comment.

So here's my take and completely meaningless opinion to your question. :D I'm not claiming to be an authority on this so take it for what it's worth (just my opinion) as I'm sure plenty of folks around here will disagree....

I've owned and played a lot of old Marshalls over the years and currently own a '71 small box 50 watt Lead, a '73 50 watt Bass, and my pride and joy...a '67 100 watt plexi Super Bass. IMO, all three of these heads sound KILLER with the '67 Super Bass being hands down the best sounding Marshall I've ever played. I'm only stating this because a lot of guys will say that a certain amp is a great Marshall clone....yet they have never played (or in some cases ever owned) an old Marshall amp! :Spank

I haven't played all the clones out there but these are a few that I've owned over the past several years:

Aiken Invader
Blockhead JTM 50
Roccaforte Custom 30
Germino Massonette
Germino Lead 55
Germino Classic 45
Top Hat Emplexador
Cornell Plexi 45/50

I did not own the Top Hat or Cornell but they belonged to a buddy of mine and I was able to play through them extensively.

Of all the amps on that list the one that IMO sounded closeset to my old Marshall amps is the Roccaforte Custom 30....and it runs 6V6's and has a Master Volume!! :eek: :eek:

Bottom line for me though...I have to agree with Ed on this one "Want an old Marshall > get an old Marshall."

Third Stone
03-15-2006, 06:46 PM
Want a vintage Marshall>get a vintage Marshall(and keep that techs phone number handy...you may need it. ;-) My '68 smallbox was great, but I couldn't depend on it. Get a Germino Club 40, you won't be dissapointed.

smilefan
03-15-2006, 09:36 PM
Here's my solution:

Get a good basic clone, like a Rockytop, and load it
with the best tubes you can afford (Mullard EL34's
and CV4004's will make a good Marshall clone into
one of the best amps you've ever heard).
I did this exact thing with a used Rockytop 45-H
I bought in the Classifieds. Turned a fairly cool
amp into a sonic masterpiece.

Do the same with a cab. Best cab, best speakers
for the vibe you are after. This way you can tweek
and test as you go, until you've got exactly what
you heard in your head.

John55
03-15-2006, 10:25 PM
I've owned many vintage Marshall plexis, from '67 thru '69 periods in both 50 and 100 watts. Some were not the best and others were fantastic...IMO if you want a great sounding clone then buy a BlockHead. If you want a Marshall fanatic's take on the plexi tone, buy a Germino. Both companies build a great amp.

bvmjethead
03-15-2006, 11:27 PM
:)


This guy! (http://www.metroamp.com/)


:)

hawkeyeinexile
03-16-2006, 02:09 AM
I'm sorry but there is NO 50 watter that does a 100 watt JMP. Period.

...and it (http://www.heritageamplifiers.com/colonial.html)won't overheat & blow a gasket every time you like at it sideways or cross-eyed...:D

Glaze
03-16-2006, 02:54 AM
Greg Germino. He even offers different flavors of Plexi, be it Jimi, Clapton, or Duane. Nothing else has the combination of look, sound, and vibe that Greg's gets with all his amps. I've had several (5) and they all killed. I wish he would start making Masonette's again, cool little amp!

P.S. I'm a huge fan of Victoria also, have had several Deluxe's and a Bassman, all killer with vibe to spare.

Scott

Woodshed

I mention the Victoria Bassman because that is the best Bassman clone I have tried. Just trying to find that type of quality and magic sound with a Marshall clone.

Mike

Glaze
03-16-2006, 03:06 AM
Hey Glaze...

I know what you're saying...I've been down that road before :o ... and I should have offered a more constructive comment.

So here's my take and completely meaningless opinion to your question. :D I'm not claiming to be an authority on this so take it for what it's worth (just my opinion) as I'm sure plenty of folks around here will disagree....

I've owned and played a lot of old Marshalls over the years and currently own a '71 small box 50 watt Lead, a '73 50 watt Bass, and my pride and joy...a '67 100 watt plexi Super Bass. IMO, all three of these heads sound KILLER with the '67 Super Bass being hands down the best sounding Marshall I've ever played. I'm only stating this because a lot of guys will say that a certain amp is a great Marshall clone....yet they have never played (or in some cases ever owned) an old Marshall amp! :Spank

I haven't played all the clones out there but these are a few that I've owned over the past several years:

Aiken Invader
Blockhead JTM 50
Roccaforte Custom 30
Germino Massonette
Germino Lead 55
Germino Classic 45
Top Hat Emplexador
Cornell Plexi 45/50

I did not own the Top Hat or Cornell but they belonged to a buddy of mine and I was able to play through them extensively.

Of all the amps on that list the one that IMO sounded closeset to my old Marshall amps is the Roccaforte Custom 30....and it runs 6V6's and has a Master Volume!! :eek: :eek:

Bottom line for me though...I have to agree with Ed on this one "Want an old Marshall > get an old Marshall."

Fireball XL5

An amp builder I know told me all the Marshall clones out there have new transformers that sound too bright compared to the old Marshall transformers, so there is something to be said for just getting an old Marshall. The heart of an amp is the transformer.

Mike

rockstah
03-16-2006, 03:09 AM
metroamp.com

Glaze
03-16-2006, 03:20 AM
I've owned many vintage Marshall plexis, from '67 thru '69 periods in both 50 and 100 watts. Some were not the best and others were fantastic...IMO if you want a great sounding clone then buy a BlockHead. If you want a Marshall fanatic's take on the plexi tone, buy a Germino. Both companies build a great amp.

John55

I've heard Germino makes a Marshall clone with his version of improvements. Blockhead always sounded like they wanted to make the most authentic Marshall clone. What you are saying makes sense to me.

Mike

Glaze
03-16-2006, 03:49 AM
This is true. :eek:

And my Germino costs more than my "vintage" pieces.

Jerrod

My favorite overdriven tone is a cranked Marshall Plexi by itself and/or with effects. I'm considering buying a Komet 50, but that amp is going to be around $3,500.00 and for that kind of money there are not many amps you can't buy new or vintage. I'm really going to heavily consider the Marshall clones before I buy a Komet 50 because I prefer the Marshall Plexi tone and the Komet is not going to be a Plexi clone. Once I decide to spend $3,500.00 I might as well heavily consider buying a vintage Marshall Plexi again also, but I'm not that excited about actually buying a 35 year old amp due to dependability. You can have problems with the new stuff also if you are really using it all of the time.

Mike

pfrischmann
03-16-2006, 06:19 AM
Let me take a stab at this: First off, every body has a different opinion of what a good sounding Marshall is. Especially since every Marshall sounds different. So the first thing I'd want to know is which circuit you are into.

Then,
I'd go to www.metroamp.com and get a kit. I bought a beater Marshall and started tweaking. It would have been easier and cheaper to buy a kit. Regardless of that, I've been tuning this amp to my tastes and I've learned tons about what I like in amps in the process. I finally found a slope resistor, neg feedback combination that works for me.

I sat in GC a while a go with a couple of guys that work there. We all felt my amp held it's own with the new hand wired Marshall. Several of us liked mine better.

I say this because if you've been playing a while, you know what you like, you just have to find it. This was the best way to find it for me.

I should also mention that george over at Metroamp is a Marshall nut and has several pro endorsers. He also has a very helpful forum with some clips that compare old iron to new in the same amp, very helpful.

I found that I liked the Mercury magnetics stuff. It has this greasy quality I really like.

pfrischmann

pfrischmann
03-16-2006, 06:22 AM
BTW,
If I had to buy a Marshall type amp, I'd pick up a Roccaforte. Can't really explain to you why, you'll just have to play one. I played one a while ago and just knew it was special.


BTW,
If you don't have one already, a good (preferably vintage) speaker cab is as or more important than the amp to get that sound. I'm using a basket weave 4x12 and I'm bummed everytime I have to use something else. It's just not the same.

YMMV

Roe
03-16-2006, 06:31 AM
Cornell Plexi 45/50 is pretty nice.

yes, but it's no marshall clone. In a email, Dennis cornell writes:

"I must admit that Germino amplifiers sound very good.
You will find that most stuff from The USA will be made to a good quality
and they seem to go to great lengths to copy what was made many years ago.
There was lot of information about there amps most of it I did not quite
agree with.
I did not understand just what they were saying about the output transformer
I have an original R[adio]-S[pares] on my shelf but would never copy it today.
[...] The thing is that our Plexi is not a direct copy down to the last nut a bolt
we like to think we have moved forward for example we have the rectifier
switched from valve to SS, we have our own power reducer design taking the
output down to 15 watts on the 45/50,
the tone stack is different and designed to work better. Note that the
original presence control was designed with DC on the wiper making it noisy
why would anyone wont to copy it ? this is true for other parts of the
circuit things were made then that I would not make like to-day. [...]"

badtoneno
03-16-2006, 07:40 AM
BTW,
If I had to buy a Marshall type amp, I'd pick up a Roccaforte. Can't really explain to you why, you'll just have to play one. I played one a while ago and just knew it was special.


BTW,
If you don't have one already, a good (preferably vintage) speaker cab is as or more important than the amp to get that sound. I'm using a basket weave 4x12 and I'm bummed everytime I have to use something else. It's just not the same.

YMMV

+1. After owning a ton of amps, its still my favorite single channel amp.

John55
03-16-2006, 08:31 AM
I owned a Rocca custom 80 and it was a kick-ass amp for sure, but in no way was it anything like a typical plexi paneled amp from the mid to late '60s. IMO, it was sonically much closer to a '73 metal paneled amp I bought new in '73 or a '78 JMP 100 MV. Very bright and aggressive with a lot more gain compared to the originals. Great build quality and Doug is a great guy, but our concepts on "vintage" Marshall tone are apparently different!
I've got a new Budda SD45 here now and it is one great sounding amp, but in no way does it compare to my '65 JTM45, not even remotely close. Much louder, tons more gain and the overall tone is just brighter and more in your face. I love it but it isn't representative of what a real JTM45 sounds like. Like I said earlier, if you're truly after a dead on copy of a great sounding plexi, Block Head or Germino are the ones to consider from my own experience. I have a custom JTM50 BlockHead and it absolutely nails the tone my old tube rectified JTM50.

Kiwi
03-16-2006, 08:48 AM
An amp builder I know told me all the Marshall clones out there have new transformers that sound too bright compared to the old Marshall transformers, so there is something to be said for just getting an old Marshall. The heart of an amp is the transformer.
- Mike

Greg Germino, by all accounts, is a serious student of old Marshall circuits as well as a meticulous builder, and he looks at the whole equation. He spends a lot of time getting the transformers right. Heyboer builds them to his specs.

As you know, the term "Marshall Plexi" is sometimes used loosely, to cover a range of pretty different-sounding amps. Greg knows them all, and can tweak an existing model to meet your specs, as he did mine.

Call him up when you're ready to move, and chat with him about any aspect of the Marshall amp you'd love to hear. == K-wey (from the old HCGF)

Pentode
03-16-2006, 09:09 AM
My choices for would be Rockytop or (if funds are no issue) Blockhead.

Roccaforte Amps
03-16-2006, 09:18 AM
Fireball XL5

An amp builder I know told me all the Marshall clones out there have new transformers that sound too bright compared to the old Marshall transformers, so there is something to be said for just getting an old Marshall. The heart of an amp is the transformer.

Mike




Its the capacitors and resistors that make a new amp bright,
that is if you're comparing vintage to a clone.

dosmun
03-16-2006, 02:56 PM
www.metroamp.com (http://www.metroamp.com)

Nuff said

Glaze
03-17-2006, 03:00 PM
Its the capacitors and resistors that make a new amp bright,
that is if you're comparing vintage to a clone.

Roccaforte Amps

I have not played through a Roccaforte, Blockhead or a Germino. The only new amp I've played through in the last few years that sounded vintage was a Victoria. I know it's the sum of all the parts he puts in those amps that make it sound the way it does.

People argue about the best sounding Marshall replacement transformer all over the net. I've read some of those posts, but I do not want to build amps. People who build amps have told me what they thought about certain Marshall replacement transformers. Some people on the net are just going to flat out tell you none of the transformers out there now will sound exactly the same as the vintage Marshall transformers while others have found one they do like or is close enough.


Mike

KLB
03-17-2006, 04:31 PM
Sound is subjective. Which amp sounds best?

Not mentioned is style of music, type of speakers, how loud, etc.?

Like Pfrischmann said, you need to discover which circuit you like best, then go from there. (All else being equal...)

I have not owned/played nearly all that is available. However, I am happy with a Germino Club 40 (1x12 combo) and Heritage Colonial (head/2x12.) Both sound wonderful to my ears. I like dealing with both companies.

The Colonial lets me adjust the circuit and power supply dynamics to cover most, but not quite all variants in Marshall "Plexi" circuits. Depending on guitar and music style, I don't always want to use the same circuit -- sometimes changing things during a song. IMO, it is the best value in this type of amp.

jkr
03-17-2006, 05:36 PM
I've a/b a bunch of "plexi' clones with the real-deal and the clones do always sound brighter somewhat and have a slightly less "musical" mellowness to the notes and chords. I own a plexi knock-off, so I'm not knocking them, but I've yet to hear any knock-off have the illusive "magic" that a top notched vintage plexi can sometimes have. I wish I'd held on to some of the old Marshalls I use to have or re-purchased one or two again before their prices started to run wild.....