Plexi- Old Marshall or Modernized variant?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by fatbagg, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Hello everyone. For whatever reason, I’ve got this itch over the past year to get an old Plexi style amp and a good attenuator for some live classic jammin’. At first, I was thinking about a Suhr SL-67/68 then I started thinking maybe I’ll just source an old Marshall, but with that comes it’s own issues.

    My question is, what are some good alternatives that actually sound like a plexi (broad, I know) that may not be so expensive, or should Injust save for a while and get an old Marshall or Suhr, or maybe Friedman? There’s so many out there, Metro, Ceriatone, etc...

    Or, is the crunch channel of the SLO close?

    Not sure how close the Friedman SS100 is, but that amp has a spot in my heart!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
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  2. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    Technically Friedman doesn’t build any plexi amps. At least not now. They are all pretty much based on modded 2203/2204 circuits.

    I would look at used Germino Lead 55/Headroom 100 or the Suhr 67/68

    Crunch channel of the SLO is basically a 2203 as well.
     
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  3. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Shh, ok. I thought the SS was a plexi channel or something, just hotrodded...which I guess changes it! Yea, the SLO crunch is excellent!
     
  4. Shoprocket

    Shoprocket Member

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    I think the best arguments for getting a modern Marshall (plexi style) amp like the Friedman, Smallbox, as opposed to an Old Marshall is: DC voltage on the heaters, and Shielded leads on the grids. These features will make the modern style marshalls much quieter.
     
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  5. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    I found a '73 Marshall 100 watt Superlead cheap on ebay a couple of years ago.

    It came to me like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It needed a little work---- I did the work and now I have a wonderful sounding 1973 Metal Panel Superlead.

    It sounds to me as if you don't really know the difference between a "Plexi" and 80's modded MV Marshall circuit.

    So just get the amp that sounds best to you and don't worry about getting a "Plexi".
     
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  6. In Absentia

    In Absentia Supporting Member

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    Suhr SL68 is my current fave. Lots of good ones out there.
     
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  7. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

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    You can get a mid-70's 4-hole metal panel Marshall for just north of a grand which is less than most decent quality new production amps and a lot less than most new boutique builds. And a 70's 4-holer is about as close as you're going to get to a Plexi sound without getting a real 60's Plexi and shelling out several grand. Makes it a no brainer to me. Just gotta find a decent specimen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  8. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Yea? I’d be worried about the condition and caps and things like that, but then again that’s part of the territory.

    Ad for knowing the difference, I’ve never been a big fan of modern Marshall amps, for the most part (sound good in a mix), but I always like the tone of an old Superlead amp turned up and used in a rig, sounds awesome and natural, but I’ve never owned one myself. I’ve owned a million 800 type circuits and hot rods, that’s not really what I’m looking for at this time.
    I am, admittedly, not too knowledgeable on the years and tonal difference. I believe the ones after about 68/69 got more aggressive, but I
    I’d also love to get my ya FS on a Dilver Jubilee, THAT I don’t know mich about.
     
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  9. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Oh nice! I’d have to research the tonal difference I suppose. I THINK the 70s variants were more aggressive and brighter, but I could very well be wrong. And I’m no vintage Marshall expert, so I probably wouldn’t know any better either way, but I would research and shoot for the warmer eras, unless they are all stupid close, then The $1000 sounds better than $2500-4000
     
  10. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Right. The SS Friedman Drive channel is outstanding, I’m pretty sure it was made after one of his old Plexis, just souped up. That being said, I couldn’t tell you if it’s accurate or not, but I can say it’s badass!
     
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  11. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

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    Below you'll see a photo of a 50-watt lead from 1976 that I bought about 10 years ago for $900. Cost me $75 to add a PPIMV, and I've spent about $200 on maintenance since then.

    Is it brighter than earlier models? Probably, but that also depends a lot on the speakers you're using. Is it more aggressive? No doubt, but it's so insanely loud that unless I engage the MV I cannot get it to break up at any sort of reasonable volume, and I always play at drum levels. But it does not do metal tones, so it's not that aggressive. With the MV down, the volumes at drum levels, and some tweaks of the TMB so that the treble is down and the middle and bass are up a bit, I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference between this and an early 70's or even late 60's version in a blind taste test.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

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    And just for fun, it was signed inside the cab by the man himself:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Nice! Excellent deal, and no doubt it sounds glorious. The signature inside increases sustain.
     
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  14. Vanyu

    Vanyu Member

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    Keep in mind that the 1959 has seen continuous production since the very beginning, so if you’re wanting to avoid some of the ‘vintage’ maintenance you could look for one slightly newer. If you’re looking for a good deal, seek out a JCM800 variant of the 1959, they’re usually a bit cheaper than the JMP’s, and they’re pretty much the same amp. They’re pretty easy to modify too, if you want to try out different era specs.

    Pretty much any vintage Marshall you’re gonna be able get reasonably will have the same circuit, unless you get lucky and find a pre-72 for reasonable coin, so I wouldn’t fret too much over the year of the particular amp. Just keep your eyes peeled for the right deal :)

    I wouldn’t overlook Ceriatone either! $1150 or so for a handwired 1959 spec of your choice is a real tough deal to pass up IMO. They also offer some modded variants that are Plexi-minded that you may find interest in.
     
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  15. fatbagg

    fatbagg Supporting Member

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    Ah, good info here, thank you! I have been considering the ceriatone route, heard great things. If I go that route though I need to try and decide whether I’d go the plexi route or Jube!
     
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  16. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    The Friedman SS is my fave Friedmann, it was made to sound like his old plexis, plus some steroids. :)
     
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  17. twotone

    twotone Member

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    Based on what I've heard, here's how I would describe the overdrive of each type of Marshall amp:

    Plexi type (e.g. 1959 and 1987): when cranked full blast the amps tend to have a squishy rounded off kind of clipping, smooth yet somewhat uneven (a wavering oscillating kind of overdrive, not a straight buzzy overdrive like a distortion pedal).

    Master volume type (e.g. JMP and JCM800 2203 and 2204): more on the buzzy side (sharper clipping) at low volumes and a more uneven 'all hell breaks loose' kind of distortion.

    JCM 900 series: the overdrive is somewhat similar to the JMP/JCM master volume amps but with more gain. The amps also have a fat midrangey tone like earlier Marshalls.

    JCM 2000 series: closer to a straight buzzy overdrive (maybe intentionally designed that way to suit 'metal' guitarists) and a thinner upper mid / low treble kind of tone like a Fender amp, especially when used with Celestion G12T75 speakers.
     
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  18. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    The crunch channel of an SLO isn’t that sound...
    The Germinos are great reproductions of old Marshalls
     
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  19. Badstrat

    Badstrat Member

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    I just picked up a Ceriatone 100 watt Super Lead Plexi on sat. Got it for $800 aud/$540 USD off flea bay. Sounds great. Hand wired with good components to original specs. Mine has a PPIMV and bias points and pot. I did need to change pre tubes for some Anos I had as the JJ s weren’t very good. Always wanted a plexi but could never see myself paying thousands for something.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  20. magnex93

    magnex93 Member

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    Ceriatone Plexi
     
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