Germino Classic 45 owners, what OD and dirt pedals blend well with your C45

Messages
37
This is my first thread attempt on TGP. I have been a spectator for many years!

I recently purchased my first Germino and went with the Classic 45 (Lead 55 was also on my radar and plan to pick one up at some point). To the Germino Classic 45 owners or past owners, what OD and dirt pedals blend well with your C45. With my guitars straight through the amp I'm comfortably covering 70% of my needs. I'm looking to push this head into the Germino Lead 55 JMP crunch area with a pedal or two on some songs. Might even want to get close to a modded JMP Plexi/JCM 800 zone with a pedal if possible.

my Germino rig: The C45 is a used 2012 with stock Gold Lion KT-66's, Mullard reissue 12AX7’s... I'm playing the C45 through a borrowed Germino 2x12 large cab with greenbacks and per Gregs suggestion I set the amp on 16 ohms. To get the level of crunch I like from this amp I run through the top of channel 1 with the volume on 8 or 9. This might be too loud for some places I play so am considering having Greg to add a MV. He is only an hour drive away from me!

my guitars: 2013 Les Paul traditional with Lollar Imperial humbuckers and a 1999 Les Paul R6 with Lollar Imperial P90's. I went with the normal wind on the bridge pickups and 5% under wound on the neck pickups. I play both rhythm and lead, so I use the volume knobs and pickup switch's a good bit. One thing I noticed with the C45 is that I can go from rhythm to lead with less effort than other amps. I use to have to do a lot of pedal tapping. Now I just crank the volume from 3 to 9 for most situations.

basic guitar tones I like: Zeppelin, ZZ Top (early to mid era), Aerosmith, Black Crowes, Fu Manchu, Blackberry Smoke (best live tone was Charlie's Germino Lead 55 rig when I caught them at the Charlotte Fillmore in Feb 2014). Also there is a Leppelin tribute band called Zoso I saw in 2013 and the guitarist was rockin a Germino. Those 2 show's set me on my Germino path.

bands I cover in my current band situations: ZZ, Foo Fighters, Motorhead, Skynyrd, Tom Petty, Clapton, Stones, Beatles, Dire Straits, Marshall Tucker, CCR, Joe Walsh, Allman Brothers, ACDC, Doors, Clutch, Zeppelin, GnR

My current pedals trials:
Timmy - I have used this pedal for years with my Mesa Mark IV on the clean channel. It was my primary tone. Then kick on an EP Boost or Maxon OD808 for lead. It's pure magic with a Mesa Mark IV, Fender Deluxe Reverb and Twin. To my ear the Timmy is removing some of the touch sensitive magic from the C45, it does add some great crunch however. I think it's the compression that is killing it for me. It is not as transparent to my ear with the C45 as I initially wanted. (revision 7/2/15 - been working with the EQ; bass at 11 o'clock and treble at 9 o'clock and brought the gain down to 11 o'clock. Getting much better response. working on light to mid gain. it has a warmer tone with the C45 than an OCD for example and took my ear time to adjust)
Maxon OD808 - It does push the amp, but adds some tone suck to my ear.
EP Boost - Great pedal and blends well with the C45. Very transparent, not loosing any of the playability of the amp, but can be too much of a volume boost. Volume is not really a problem with this rig. Now with a borrowed American Tele the EP Boost blended well! Its a keeper.
Wampler Plexi-Drive (borrowed and looking for a used one now) - I was shocked that I would like a plexi pedal with a plexi amp. Just seemed redundant to me, but this pedal really pushes this head into a tighter and more crunchy place and very transparent to the guitar/amp magic. This might be my solution, but want to hear about other players experiences.
 
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grb718

Member
Messages
249
1. Use the amp without any pedals for a week, use your guitar tone and volume knobs on the the those Les Pauls.
Use the tone knobs on that Germino.
Playing with just guitar and amp for a while will get you to really appreciate and
understand the beauty and versatility of this amp.
2. You can also use impedance mismatch on this amp ( it changes dynamics and tone of amp)
but just check with Greg G. on which way the the mismatch goes with ohms ( he will explain it, there is confusion on this topic, just search it and you will find different answers, but Greg knows)
3. you can do the 4 holer jumper thing with cables ( some dont think this is needed with the classic 45 amp, because its not as loud as say a lead 55, I have both and can tell you the lead 55 is way louder to my ears than classic 45 if run through same speakers).
4. you can run 6l6 tubes in amp ( again it will change the amp, but rebias is needed, again talk to Greg about this to be sure)
5. master will give it some more flexibility too
6. you can play around with different speakers, Scumbacks are really good ( I did this but ended up back with the celestian reissue greenbacks that I started out with) They just work well with these amps.

You got a great amp, great guitars
and I just gave you 6 options to shape, change tone all without any pedals, so try these things first if you can.

To answer your question though I have used an OCD pedal that works well with this amp.

But I dont think any pedal really improves the tone of this amp, whenever I was thinking that way I stepped on the pedal
to kick it off and said
" damn it just sounds better with nothing in front of it"
That's my experience with the classic 45, alot pedals have come and gone but I still have the classic 45.
 

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,316
My favorite overdrive/boost for Les Pauls (or 335s, or SG's) into a JTM45 is a Colorsound Overdriver-type pedal. I happen to own an old ProAnalog Power Driver (which is great), but have had good results with other similar pedals (I think the ThroBak Overdrive Boost is excellent, and has some nice added features). I think the eq controls on these pedals meld well with JTM45s and other plexis, as does the extra harmonic content at the top end of the "gain" control. These type of pedals are the easiest way I'm aware of to add crunch and a tighter feel to a JTM45 type circuit and get you into the JMP zone and a little beyond.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,420
If you can, also audition a BB Preamp (xotic), Analogman King of Tone, or a HBE power screamer. I like all for different reasons.
 
Messages
37
Thanks grb718, all great suggestions. I had not considered experimenting with a jumper cable, swapping tubes or impedance mismatch on this amp. Will give that a shot. I have been doing a lot of knob twisting on the amp and guitars. I see that cranking the treble up to 7 and 8 increases and tightens the crunch factor when the main volume is over 6 and the guitar is in the top hole.

I know someone with an OCD I can borrow. Thx.
 
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Messages
37
My favorite overdrive/boost for Les Pauls (or 335s, or SG's) into a JTM45 is a Colorsound Overdriver-type pedal. I happen to own an old ProAnalog Power Driver (which is great), but have had good results with other similar pedals (I think the ThroBak Overdrive Boost is excellent, and has some nice added features). I think the eq controls on these pedals meld well with JTM45s and other plexis, as does the extra harmonic content at the top end of the "gain" control. These type of pedals are the easiest way I'm aware of to add crunch and a tighter feel to a JTM45 type circuit and get you into the JMP zone and a little beyond.
Benny, exactly what I'm looking for. I'll see if any of the local player's in my area have these in their arsenal to try out.
 
Messages
37
If you can, also audition a BB Preamp (xotic), Analogman King of Tone, or a HBE power screamer. I like all for different reasons.
big mike, I saw a used BB a few weeks ago at Sam Ash near me. Will give it a try. I've been happy with the xotic EP boost. The KoT has been on my wish list for a while.
 

Trotter

Member
Messages
6,676
The Lumpy's Albion works great with my C45. It takes it into Superlead territory and still keeps that old school Marshall vibe going.
 
Messages
37
Thanks all for the suggestions! I'll post feedback on various pedals and amp/cab configurations as I get to test. Checking out a friends OCD in a few days. This C45 has some serious mojo with just a guitar-cord-amp configuration!

FYI, I forgot to mention that I have a Dr. Z 1x12 cab with a V30 and have the back closed. The clean and mid crunch tones are incredible, thick, sparkly with nice bottom end and no offending highs. Very balanced and easy to go from rhythm to lead with little adjustment. The Traditional sized Germino 2x12 cab with greenbacks I tested it through does more of what I want. I was able to get more breakup at lower volumes (around 7) in the channel 1 top hole. With the V30 I'm getting about the same crunch at 8-9. This little Z cab is loud with the C45!
 
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Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,095
Congrats! I have a Monterey and it honestly works amazingly well with every OD I've put in front of it. It's probably the best pedal amp I've ever owned or played (in 44 years of wanking and many dozens of amps owned/one). But, I like it best with the amp (and ANY used with pedals) at the max clean volume with my neck SC (crunchy with the bridge HB) and then whacked with OD pedals. That requires an attenuator. The best I've used is the Fryette Power Station. Highly recommended over any MV solution.
 

Stormin

Tele's and Plexis
Messages
4,115
I don't have the Germino, but from the Marshall side of things I have both a JTM45 and a Bluesbreaker. If you're playing the amp on the cleaner side, the Barber Direct Drive sounds amazing! I prefer it to my OCD, BB Preamp and Klon with the JTMs.
 
Messages
37
I don't have the Germino, but from the Marshall side of things I have both a JTM45 and a Bluesbreaker. If you're playing the amp on the cleaner side, the Barber Direct Drive sounds amazing! I prefer it to my OCD, BB Preamp and Klon with the JTMs.
Stormin, that's a pedal I keep hearing about but have not had a chance to test drive. Will give the Barber Direct Drive a shot.
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,983
My favorite dirt pedal to use with my vintage Marshall amps as well as with the Classic 45 that I used to own is an '02 pre-mosfet Fulldrive 2 with the 3-way toggle set in the Flat-Mids position. Not transparent, but much more open (especially when set in the FM setting) than a TS/808 type drive, and the color it does add works really well with Marshall's IMO - and I greatly prefer it to the Timmy, King of Tone, Klon, OCD, and various Tubescreamers which I also own. Here's a clip of a Fulldrive 2 into a JTM45 set at low volume...

 

bkatx

Member
Messages
989
I have a Classic 45 and Masonette (which is essentially a 25 watt Lead55LV with 6v6s) and they aren't that far apart gain wise. With my Classic 45 I jumper the channels plug into the top left and run the volumes around 7-8. I also have the treble and presence set higher than normal (around 8). With those settings and a Les Paul it's classic hard rock all day long. My Classic 45 got a lot more gain when I set the treble high (around 8) This isn't the case with the Masonette, I leave it's treble around 5 and if I max it it doesn't have much affect on the gain. So try setting the treble and presence higher than normal on the C45 and you might get more gain.

My go to OD pedal is a TS 808 clone. I set it up as a boost (overdrive knob around 7-8 o'clock, level around 2 o'clock) and it sounds great. It adds just enough kick that I can do 80's hard rock and metal with ease. I also use a RAT2 and Big Muff but they color the sound more (still sound good though). If I just want more gain I use the boosted TS

I also run the C45 into a 8ohm cab even though it's wired for 16ohm. I asked Greg about it and here is what he said

-------------
You can safely use 8 ohm cabs with the Classic 45, not an issue at all. The early model are hardwired to 16 ohms. The OT plate load is 6.6K and drops to 3.3K when using a 8 ohm cab. Amp will put out a bit more power that way and feel firmer. Completely safe.
-------------
 
Messages
37
My favorite dirt pedal to use with my vintage Marshall amps as well as with the Classic 45 that I used to own is an '02 pre-mosfet Fulldrive 2 with the 3-way toggle set in the Flat-Mids position. Not transparent, but much more open (especially when set in the FM setting) than a TS/808 type drive, and the color it does add works really well with Marshall's IMO - and I greatly prefer it to the Timmy, King of Tone, Klon, OCD, and various Tubescreamers which I also own. Here's a clip of a Fulldrive 2 into a JTM45 set at low volume...
Nice playing there Fireball XL5. That tone is about as good as it gets!
 

garret

Member
Messages
1,052
My favorite dirt pedal to use with my vintage Marshall amps as well as with the Classic 45 that I used to own is an '02 pre-mosfet Fulldrive 2 with the 3-way toggle set in the Flat-Mids position. Not transparent, but much more open (especially when set in the FM setting) than a TS/808 type drive, and the color it does add works really well with Marshall's IMO - and I greatly prefer it to the Timmy, King of Tone, Klon, OCD, and various Tubescreamers which I also own. Here's a clip of a Fulldrive 2 into a JTM45 set at low volume...

Very nice.
 






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