Question on Germino early version Classic 45

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by StompBoxBlues, Jul 28, 2006.


  1. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Hi, I'm considering buying a used Germino Classic 45 head.
    The person selling it says the serial number is 006.

    What I'm wondering is, I read in the User reviews that earlier models, though they sounded great had a slight problem with the tone stack, and there was a mod that came after (well...rather than a mod, actually they changed it for all models after) that made the thing fantastic.

    Question I guess is, anyone have the earlier mode, or both and can tell me how much of a difference it really made, and also anyone know how difficult the mod is ?

    THanks!
     
  2. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    Well I have #008 but it's the only one I've played...

    What exactly did you hear about the tone stack (changes)?

    Regards
    chris

    If there's anything specific you want to ask, fire away.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Well, I'd love to hear your review or view of the amp. Also what are you running it into speaker-wise. How it sounds, how you think it compares to other similarly voiced (JTM style) amps.

    Mainly, I think I read this several places but this one snippet from a User Review I read on Harmony Central is what I am trying to evaluate...I have an email into Germino and am waiting for a reply (I just sent it). But in the meantime, this is what I am wondering about, your (or other owners) experience with the bass on the earlier modela versus the later?:

    Features: No Opinion
    My amp was made in late 2003 are early 2004.A very accurate take on the JTM-45 mid 60s Marshall.Features are of little issue with me.For years i fell into the black hole that included amps with so many bells and whistles (features)that i was tweeking for different amplifier tones more than i was playing.I came quickly to the conclusion that all i needed was one great kick ass tone ,then i would shape this tone with my guitar volume ,tone and my hands.This is just me and what i like.The kt-66 power tubes are a thrill to play and complement my EL-34 Lead -55 head that i also own.

    Sound Quality: 10
    I have been at play with this amp for almost a year.When my amp arrived ,and at first play, i found out very quickly that i had to have the bass e.q.down all the way (0) all other e.q. 3/4 way up.this was nessesary because the bass on this thing was unbelievable.A few months later i found that Greg had done some modifications on this amps circut.These included changing out the 16+16 capacitor for another 30+30.And also installing a 250pf cap at the volume control for channel one.This modification is what changed this amp from very good to amazing.The amp is a lot tighter more in your face, more focused with more definition at low as well as high volumes.I use channel one if playing the amp alone on around -8- on volume.If i A-B the Classic with my Lead -55 i use the Classic for my lead amp and bridge its channels pushing it around -8- are -9- on volume.This produces a very articulate flowing overdrive.It never goes into all out distortion ,this is good because it fits my needs well for the blues rock and progressive rock that i play.There is an unsurpassing amount of great hand made guitar amplifiers that have a tone that could melt the average production amp.
     
  4. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I did the bright cap mod in my Club 40, I wasn't in love with that amp when I first got it, wat too much bass for me. The bright cap changed that, and it is simple to do.
     
  5. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    Ok here goes...

    I play mine into a Germino 2x12 open back with Scumback SA12H-75 HP. Great match and more my thing than the RI Greenbacks the cab came with.

    Yes, there is a lot of bass on this amp and depending on guitars, I have to set the bass v. low (off for a Les Paul, around 08.30h to 09.00 for Tele/Strat) but the tones you get at those settings are still really big and round.

    The amp has a very sparkly, lively feel to it. I usually just use the bright input and have the volume form 01:00 to 03:00 and then use the guitar volume. the C45 does the clean via guitar volume thing very very well IMHO. I was playing it a couple of weeks ago at a small Tone Fest with some friends in Holland and they commented on it being the Marshall amp with the most Fender in it. (We had an early 70s 50watter to compare to...). The clean sounds are very detailed and full of harmonics and the crunch (mine runs KT66 the GT-HP version) is a very nice full yet tight style.

    So, yes, the bass is an issue and if you did the everything on 12:00 eq thing to try this amp it would probabyl sound strange, but if you are perpared to live with the "strange" bass setting, it sounds killer. Greg told me I could try the 250pF volume cap but my understanding of that is that it won't reduce bass but rather add highs when the volume is not cranked, won't it? I didn't like the idea of more highs as the amp is lively enough.

    Speaker choice will be important. The Scums hold the bass tighter than the RI Greenbacks as well.

    Hope that helps.
    Chris

    PS do let me know what Greg has to say - even tho' I love mine, there is always "better2 right? :)
     
  6. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    No, from what he told me it doesn not just add highs, at least that is what I remember. Maybe I'll call him today and ask again since I am not certain.

    Regardless I liked it a LOT better with the bright cap mod, but I play LP's with 11's tuned down a whole step, that is an important factor!
     
  7. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I think he also changed out the caps to a different manufacturer (Solen fast caps??). My C45 was modded along the way.
     
  8. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I don't mean to be a bother, just that I am in the critical, embyonic GAS stage and wondering if I ought to splurge or not.

    Any others with experience with the old style, newer version (with the brighter caps), or hopefully...both?

    Thanks again all, so far really good information!
     
  9. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    If the price is good I wouldn't worry too much, as the mods won't cost much, and you may not even need them.
     
  10. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    Stompbox - what guitar(s) do you play?

    Chris
     
  11. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    I have the newer version running EL34's but don't have any experience with the older version. On mine, the bright channel really can be very bright. I usually run the presence at around midway or so and the treble just over it. This gives me plenty of cut with either single coils or humbuckers. I find the normal channel to be a bit dark for my needs unless I crank the treble and / or presence. Not sure if this helps.
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Also for Mr. Hanky and sws1 especially...I highlighted some points (in bold-blue and also just bold) you guys all brought up, in his informative response.

    I got the replies on friday from Greg, but sent a reply back asking if it was okay with him if I posted his responses, saw today that he has no problem with that so I have permission to share the email...
    He's been very generous with information and his time typing it in and all.. so here goes ( I highlighted a few key points in blue) :

    First response:
    Actually the Classic 45 has remained unchnaged as far as the
    actual circuit values on the board. Tone shaping values have always
    been a 250pf cap/56K slope resistor as original models. What did
    change was the amount of filtering in the phase inverter and cathode
    follower sections. Originally these were both 16uf. I later
    increased these to 32uf each at s/n 012.
    Much later I began to add a brite cap to CH 1's volume control.
    Either a 250pf or 100pf cap is good here with 250pf being the most
    used in original examples despite the fact Marshall listd this as a
    500pf value in their reissue.
    There has also been a change in the taper of the Treble and Midrange
    pots. Previously linear taper I changed these to audio taper for a
    broader sweep. The values 250K (treble) and 25K (mid) have remained
    the same. This gives a bit wider sweep for the controls. A linear
    pot on 4 is like a audio taper pot on 8 basically. The range is
    still there but at early settings there is a broader adjustment to
    fine tune the controls.
    Over the course of several years coupling caps have changed in all
    models. Currently I am using a Mustard cap replica made by TAD of
    Europe. There are made in China to exact specs of the old Phillips
    mustard caps. Early amps used Mallory 150's which I also feel are a
    very good coupling cap.
    The filter values should be changed and a brite cap added. These two
    items alone will make a noticable difference in the performance of
    the amp. Changing the Treble and Mid control will make some
    difference in being able to better dial in lower settings on these
    controls. With the amount of low end that the Classic 45 has lower
    settings are not normally used that much. I find with the audio
    controls I tend to always have the treble and mids up around 6.
    This is a bass circuit and there is plenty of low end.
    Brite cap will make the biggest improvement and the most noticeable.
    These are easy to perform updates and you should not have any
    problem in doing the work.
    Hope the info helps.
    Regards,
    Greg G.


    second response:
    That would be fine for you to post the changes. The brite cap
    does not add highs, rather it strips out the low end giving the
    impression that the amp is brighter since no low frequency info is
    passed thru the ciruit. This is happening prior to the tone control
    network so it does effect how the tone controls work to a degree. As
    the volume is increased the cap is less active in the circuit. If
    you need more low end removed at higher settings then it would be a
    simple matter of using a larger value cap.
    The majority of later Marshall amps designated "lead" used a 5K pf
    cap on CH 1.
    You see this post mid 68 on any 50 or 100 watter with the lead
    circuit.

    250pf brite cap is the value on all early JTM-45's that I have had
    the pleasure working on. Many did not have them at all. These were
    mostly PA and Bass versions. If it was intended as a "lead" version
    of a JTM-45 it should have a brite cap on CH 1.
    The Solen caps used were the tin foil variety and not the fast caps
    as noted in the GP thread. They became very pricy and difficult to
    obtain on a regular basis, plus import duty was high also.
    The TAD mustard replica's compare favorably with the Sozo's and are
    actually made in the same fashion. Truth be told you may find it
    hard to actually hear in band setting difference between a Classic
    45 with one brand cap or the other.
    All the best,
    Greg G.


    Anyway, I bought the amp just now :) and it'll be here in a few days I think, so I'm really looking forward to it.

    Just to be a pain, I'd also love to hear any views on how well the Classic 45 can do older (or newer, Warren Haynes) Allman Brothers slide and leads sounds,

    and ALSO....is there any chance this amp also will do some of Hendrix like Band Of Gypsys style??

    Just trying to get a bearing on the possibilities with this amp.

    Thanks for all the responses, Greg is incredibly helpful too!

     

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