magnatone anyone ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gregsguitars, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. gregsguitars

    gregsguitars Member

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    Recently aquired a 60 era magnatone custom M 15 , anyone know baout these old girls?
     
  2. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    Anything by Magnatone has terrific cleans. The early ones are the most valuable (especially if they have the famous pitch-shifting vibrato), but later ones like the M15 are great amps as well. Here's a page about them, though I've been warned by more knowledgable people that the site isn't always accurate. For an example of the vibrato on a recording, check out The Beatles' "It's Only Love" from Help. Probably not the same model, but the classic Magnatone tone.
     
  3. phatster

    phatster Member

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    I got the M14,M15,and looking for the M13.They are so mellow but a bit fragile and the electronics are a a mess of wires{not hiwatt here!}
     
  4. CBD00001

    CBD00001 Member

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    I recently purchases a 421 with both vibrato and tremolo. Some of the tubes Magnatone used are rare and expensive and I am looking forward to get it back from my amp tech.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    The M15 is one of only 4 models with stereo vibrato (and one of only two with reverb and stereo vibrato) so in my book it's one of the very coolest. It isn't that durable (thin metal chassis attached to plastic?) but it sounds really good at home or in the studio. Until I bought the M15 Custom I thought the Gibson GA79RVT was the greatest amp of all time, now I'm afraid it's a little on the back burner to the mighty Magnatone. BTW, top of the M line was the M20, with two extension speakers for truly MASSIVE stereo separation!
     
  6. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    PANaramic, made by Esty (ie: Maggie) bought at a thrift store for $39

    Its the one in the middle (this is an old pic)
    [​IMG]

    This one does have the stereo Vibrato.

    Love it though I hardly ever play it.
     
  7. clamdip7714

    clamdip7714 Guest

    Great amps, fantastic Vibrato and at least on my old 460 I once had a great reverb too. They are a mess of wires. :D REAL point to point, nothing but wires, resistors and caps.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I just played my Twilighter 260 for an hour or so. Like all maggie types, it sounds like nothing else. And that's before you turn on the vibrato ... Strange, wonderful amps. Until recently I owned a maggie M10A, one half of the stereo M15. Even for maggies, the suitcase amps are surpassingly strange. I got a lot of strange looks and laughs when I dragged that one out to jams. It was all thumbs up after the power went on. I only tried an M15 once. If it's twice the M10A, you are a lucky guy.
     
  9. brads

    brads Supporting Member

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    Have a Panaramic 440 with reverb and pitch shift vibrato. Turned up to 10 and controlled from the guitar, it is tone beyond tonefulness.




     
  10. pcutt

    pcutt Member

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    What's that wedge below the PANoramic?
     
  11. macheesmo3

    macheesmo3 Senior Member

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    The pic above me looks like the inside of a nuclear silo circa 1963!!! Extra cool!
     
  12. mrmax

    mrmax Member

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    I have a Custom M10a and a M13 Custom Imperial . Both very unique sounding amps.
     
  13. Axekisser

    Axekisser Member

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    I just picked up a M195-5. Single ten speaker. Looks to be early 50's. When I get it, I'll check out the electronics. I'm sure I'll need to re-cap it etc. Looking for something unique! Any help on this particular model would be great.
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=451284
     
  14. justinm

    justinm Member

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    I wrote this up a few months back and posted it to the Magnatone-yahoo list. Great amp- it's one of my favorites. We were abusing it at the LA Amp show a couple of weeks back. They sound GREAT when you turn them all the way up too!

    I've been working on my 260 over the past couple of days and I've
    found some interesting things with the design and operating points.

    1) First off this thing only makes about 20watts @ 4-ohms before any
    kind of signal distortion. To most guitar players this is not a big
    deal since we live way over the distortion limit. I've biased a new
    set of 6L6WGCs(Tube Amp Doctor) to about 70% of full plate
    dissipation (20 Watts per tube) so I figure that I'd be getting more
    out. I have not checked the turns ratio of the transformer so I
    don't yet know what the primary impedance is for a 4-ohm secondary
    connection. Anyone check this?

    2) Most of the preamps in this design are fixed biased rather than
    cathode biased like every other amp I've seen. Crazy. I always
    wondered why the 260 was quieter in terms of background noise than my
    other old amps. I think this is why. When you fix bias a triode
    this way, you are letting the cathode see some of the power supply
    ripple that exists. This ripple noise is transferred to the plate
    180 deg out of phase so in cancels out the ripple at the plate
    induced by it's own connection to the power supply through the plate
    load resistor.

    3) The gain on each preamp is about 60 (measured) where in most Fender amps the gain is down around 45. This is the highest gain I've seen any 12AX7 setup to work at- even more than Vox. This is a major contributor to the bright singing quality to the sound when these things are really
    pushed.

    4) The tone stack in indeed flat. You can actually get a little dip
    in the midrange (about 3 dB at 900Hz) if you roll both the treble and
    bass all the way up. You also get more gain as you increase the tone controls.

    5) I like channel 1 with the Vib. off better than channel 2. Ch 2 on
    mine bottoms out however- it sounds as if it's asking the power
    supply for too much current, and will even cut out a little if you
    really dig into it. Channel 1 is fine.

    6) It likes Celestion Alnico Blues-

    For those that do not know, I design amps and have access to a bunch
    of test equipment and parts for experimentation.

    Justin
     
  15. es137p

    es137p Supporting Member

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    I have a Troubadour 213, just put a Weber 12A125 speaker in it. My tech put a capacitor in the second channel for a bit more gain and high end cut. You can also "jumper" the two channels. Great small gig grab and go amp. Also has the Vibrato. Bill
    Also Magnatone guys have a yahoo group, lots of knowledgeable folks over there.
     
  16. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    That is a Sunn0)) PA that I also got at a thrift store for about $10 . . for a while I used it as an outboard reverb, through the passive-outs. I still have it.
     
  17. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    My Twilighter 260 has Cannabis Rex speakers, a most worthy addition. I used the NOS Jan Phillip 6L6WGB for a long time, these being some of my favorite tubes, then tried JJs. Another nice sound, definitely louder. The channel volumes on mine are quite interactive. Jumpering does not work as well as just turning up both volumes. This amp with a 335 is some kind of sound.
     
  18. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got a few Maggies. Sold my M15A several months ago. That's a crazy wild amp, particularly under the hood! Amazing stereo vibrato when you plug in two extension speakers and separate them a bit. I still have a PANaramic 1220 (same as a Maggie 260) and a Maggie 213 Troubadour. Great sounding amps.

    Justinm - way cool info! Are you in the LA area or were you just here for the show?
     
  19. Magnatone1960

    Magnatone1960 Member

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    I used to own a Custom 250 that I still regret selling to fund a GAS addiction last year. It was 100% original and never had any problems with the caps, tubes or anything else. Not bad for a 47 year old amp.
     
  20. justinm

    justinm Member

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    Leonc,

    I was in town for the show- I work in South SF and live in Oakland.
     

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