The PLEXI sound

fenderbender4

Platinum Supporting Member
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2,479
What is it? I have heard this term thrown around with BF and Tweed. I know that it refers to amps that Marshall made with a Plexiglass front. I was specifically wondering what the sound is like though. Is it for breakup? Or is it for clean headroom? Thanks.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
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Breakup.

Clapton, Live with Cream. Hendrix, Jimi Page, etc etc. EVH used Plexi's
 

doctord02

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1,061
Cream, Hendrix, Zep.

non master volume, four input mayhem.

The '80's sound is preamped/processed/higher gain than the typical plexi sound.
 

fenderbender4

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2,479
What Zep recordings were done with a 'plexi'? I know he used a Supro for some stuff.
 

trisonic

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13,152
Originally posted by fenderbender4
What Zep recordings were done with a 'plexi'? I know he used a Supro for some stuff.
Always dangerous to be specific with Pagey 'cos he has a lot of small amps (and big amps) and know how to mic up and manipulate the boards to get all sorts of stuff. A lot of LZ guitar is his Telecaster. I'll swear to the cows come home that he prefers Tele's and only got back into Lesters when he had noise issues on tour.......

But as I say: What do I know?

Best, Pete.

PS I always think the archetypal "Plexi" sound is early AC/DC.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
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Pete's right.

Page with Plexi's....Song Remains the Same live performance.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
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Originally posted by Roccaforte Amps
Actually, there was a couple of metal panel
Marshalls on that stage.
Okay, I defer to the bigger page fan, and amp guru. :D

But I know I'm right on Live Cream.
 
Messages
6,116
Originally posted by fenderbender4
What Zep recordings were done with a 'plexi'? I know he used a Supro for some stuff.





Early days were;
AC30's,
Sound City 50+ (reverb),
Small 1 8"Supro used on the first three albums, and a
Rickenbacker Transonic (750watt SS) used on
the studio recording of HeartBreaker.

The Marshall's didn't come into play until
the early 70's, and as far as I know,
only on the live recordings.

On the Black Crowes tour;
Fender Tonemaster's, Wizzard's,
and a Pete Cornish pedal board.
 

fenderbender4

Platinum Supporting Member
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2,479
AHHHH!! High Voltage. I really liked that sound, but I don't think I could justify dropping the money on a good Plexi Replica right now (Not Yet;) ) Although I tried a Blockhead 50, and I'll admit, cranked it was pretty cool.
 

mattmccloskey

Silver Supporting Member
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5,755
The led zep live stuff on the DVD set has plexi sounds on it-the royal albert hall set in particular. Some of the other footage has metal panel or "ali" marshalls as well. They are a bit brighter than plexi's but still very much classic non-master marshalls and in the same family. You can hear his tone get a touch brighter and leaner in bass on the early 70's live stuff compared to the royal albert hall show. Like Doug said the studio material is all over the place with various amps and guitars.
Cream live would also be plexi - 'crossroads' is the classic example.
Angus has used plexis a bunch as well.
I believe the allman brothers live at the fillmore stuff is plexi's. I have heard different accounts of whether or not duane added a fuzz face as well, I don't know, but the amps were marshalls. The tough part to know with any specific player is whether they added pedals, board EQ and compression, variacs, etc., to pin down plain jane plexi sound.
I have an old friend who has a real plexi 50 watt, a 100 watt, a couple re-issues, and a bluesbreaker. Another guy I grew up with stumbled on to a marshall major for dirt cheap when we were in college. I have played all these amps quite a bit, and to me the only amp I have played that cops the sound (for new stuff)is my aiken invader. It adds reverb and a few other twists but the character is there. I had a reissue 50 watt and it was pretty decent but got a bit mushy compared to the real ones. (which,to be fair, were well maintained with NOS tubes, biased frequently, and serviced regularly).
 

Mark C

Member
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4,417
AC/DC is the definative Plexi sound to my ear, at least as far as cranked up humbucker sounds go. Live Hendrix, Cream and early ZZ top were also mostly done with plexis. A lot of people forget to mention that, unlike some of Marshall's later offerings, plexis often have a really nice clean tone.
 

fenderbender4

Platinum Supporting Member
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2,479
What's a 1972 JMP? Is that the right model? I heard that this year's model had a lot of gain on tap. Is this true? How much do they run?
 

JPenn

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1,809
I don't know if it's Plexi or not, but the definitive Marshall lead tone to me would have to be the solo in Cheap Sunglasses. Man that is just the tone to die for!! It was probably cut with a Blonde Bassman and a Legend R&R 50!!:D
 

Sudsysul

Member
Messages
361
All of you hardened Marshall historians must be biting your tongues. Plexi is short for plexiglass fronts that the early Marshalls had before they went to metal panels. So Plexi is a very specific and narrow time period of amps. Most people however generalize and include any of the 4 input Marshall amps, and they're not far wrong in doing so, since the basics remained very similar, and with a little tweaking, these amps can capture the "plexi" sound. I do not believe you should associate Plexi sound with an amp if it isn't Marshall or an amp based on a Marshall.

Check out Legendary Tones for more information.

Plexi Period
 

Gearhead

Member
Messages
313
The Plexi period was just that, a period. As per Pages tone on How the West Was Won (esp. Heartbreaker), I was emailing Germino just the other week on it. If there's one man that knows his Marshalls, it's Greg.

He said it sounded like an early metal panel 100 watt Marshall(s). Said he could get that tone by modding a Lead 55 with some diff component values. Uing a different trannie (club 40) would nail it.
 






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