Early PCB board Marshalls ain't no red headed step children!!!!

CDaughtry

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2,992
A couple of months ago, I bought off of ebay, an early 73 PCB board Marshall. I know....I know....the knock on these things are that after they switched to PCB from handwired, they went to hell in a hand basket.
WRONG!!!! This friggin' thing ROARS....and is not the least bit harsh.
The bottom end on this thing makes your bowels rumble(yes it is a 100 watter).
I've always loved early metal faced Marshalls, even over many plexis. However, I now realize that even the early PCB Marshalls kick major butt!:dude
Any other PCB Marshall lovers out there?
 

big mike

Gold Supporting Member
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12,392
Nuttin wrong with PCB Marshalls.
Marshalls didnt start getting 'funky' until JCM900 IMO.

I always wanted a 72 50 watt like Grissoms. Got that tone another way, but if one presented itself whilst I had dough...it's probably snag it.
 

soldano16

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2,347
I think part of the knock is that the PCB amps are associated more with the 6550 tubes rather than EL34's.
 

Bigtone

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1,414
I've played plexi's, metal panels, metal panel pcb's, all in the same day,

Results? Listen with your ears a not your eyes, Some of the pcb amps were flat out better, Those early circuit board amps are of good quality,

More than anything, I think its the tubes and how there biased that can play a part, cause all those old marshall's can sound good, Its sad , but its getting hard to find one that hasn't been mucked with, A nice straight original is tough to find,

Good thread.... Bigtone
 

?&!

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1,712
I have a '75 50 watt Superlead, and it will take the Pepsi challenge with anything manufactured before or since.
 

big mike

Gold Supporting Member
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12,392
I have a '75 50 watt Superlead, and it will take the Pepsi challenge with anything manufactured before or since.
I think there's some current boutique guys that can hang in there or exceed those, but for full blown production amps, damn fine sounding rigs.
 

Pedro58

Supporting Member
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5,796
I agree. As long as it's pre-JCM900 and has EL34's, it can sound great! Also, there are some musical styles for which the 900's and 6550's work great. For my ears, tastes, and style; the former is it!
 

stump

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1,265
I love my 1983 4104. It's got 6550's and sounds great. My "only" issue with PCB is the board traces can lift pretty easy when soldering if you're not careful.
 

Unabender

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Messages
684
A couple of months ago, I bought off of ebay, an early 73 PCB board Marshall. I know....I know....the knock on these things are that after they switched to PCB from handwired, they went to hell in a hand basket.
Ummm... do you think they had robots build those PCBs in the 1970s :) ? Of course not, the PCBs were also handwired and hand soldered. They are just PCBs. They are an advanced form of turret board. There's nothing evil about them. Soldano SLOs for example are made with PCBs AND they are completely hand wired. This is because they are too complex to be built with turret boards.

Moving into PCB build allowed Marshall to make amps faster and more efficiently because the work could be divided into smaller tasks. If they made changes, it most certainly was not because of PCB construction.
 

Fireball XL5

Supporting Member
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2,864
I would take a healthy, well maintained & original early PCB non master volume Marshall over ANY of the current boutique Marshall offerings (and I've owned many of them) ANY day of the week. They are GREAT amps.
 

drewl

Member
Messages
8,564
I've had my '73 50watter for over 20yrs now, by far my favorite best sounding amp, all stock with EL34's.
Got it for $200 from some metalhead....it wasn't loud enough for him:tapedshut
 

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
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8,369
With most any amp it boils down to two things.

#1 The cabinet is crucial! If you have a great cabinet or three, all amplifiers stand a much better chance of sounding great. For me the great cabinet part of the equation is mainly filled by two mid '70s checkerboard 4 x 12" with black backed 25 watters. My 'b' cabinet in particular is highly complimentary to nearly any amplifier that can work with a 16 ohm load. I also have a Fane Alnico loaded, slot-backed 2x12 which fills the bill when I need a more compact setup.

#2 The amps deserve a proper setup from a savy tech who can play guitar, and has decent ears. This pertains to most tube amps too, but really matters with older Marshalls. Most of the JMP and earlier amps now need caps, but they will still run, but they are ghosted up more than necessary when you play sustained notes above the 10th fret. If the Tech is not a player, you have to find that yourself and show them. You don't want the amp over-filtered though, good bye magic. Also a lot of these amps were set up to run on 110 volts or 240 and will eat shoddy, or poorly selected tubes on today's 120 V. and up. The better techs will get the amps sounding so good it's ridiculous.

I totally concur on the wonder of aluminum panel Marshalls. I still harbor a Mark II Superlead 100 watter to this day. The only problem these amps pose is excessive volume, and thanks to THD and others, it's now much easier to solve that issue.
 

digital jams

Member
Messages
1,084
With all the stories of rifling through parts bins, good and bad examples, I have zero issues with the PCB years as the PTP models were not a lock for a good one.
 

fullerplast

Senior Member
Messages
6,781
A couple of months ago, I bought off of ebay, an early 73 PCB board Marshall. I know....I know....the knock on these things are that after they switched to PCB from handwired, they went to hell in a hand basket.
WRONG!!!!
Yep. They did them right with good boards, decent traces, and flying leads to the tubes, jacks, and pots. Still not as good from a repair/mod POV, as the board needs to be pulled to solder components from the back and traces are more susceptable to heat damage than wires...but overall, they did them right and the amps sound good.:AOK

It's good to see you buying proletariat gear once in a while Charlie....:D
 

Mark Kane

Gold Supporting Member
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3,746
I've had a couple of those. Plate voltage was low, 370v and they had a .68 cap on the presence pot which give's 'em more grunt. Really, really nice sounding amps with lots of girth.
 

Showman

Member
Messages
90
I have 78' JMP 2203 that sounds awesome :dude Different sound but quality-wise not worlds apart from my 69' Superbass :RoCkIn
 

Mike7

Member
Messages
556
Got a '74 and it roars, been messed with a little but still worth every penny I paid. looking to get an early to mid 70's super bass now.
 




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