Thinking about a Ceriatone TMB + ef86

Gasp100

Supporting Member
Anyone own one of these? Nik's reputation and designs are well regarded and the prices seem pretty sweet. I am a novice tweaker/solder-er (and I have two small kids with another on the way
:BOUNCE
so time is more important than money at this juncture. I like the idea of the 18 watt TMB + ef86 in theory, but I wonder how close it really gets to a great Marshall 18 watter AND an ef86 Voxey vibe.
A MV is essential, I guess this does have one but only on the Marshall TMB side? Does it sound good at basement/bedroom levels?
How about the ef86 side? I love that tube, but I don't trust it much lol!
I guess "I want it all" as they say in High School Musical 3"! So, once I count up the full build + head cab <never will I get a combo with an ef86> + shipping (any idea of shipping costs?) it starts to get a little pricey.
BUT, the only amp that seems to come close to this is the Gabriel Voxer which is WAY out of my price range.
Is the ef86 side even useable for home use (edge of breakup tones) without the MV? Thanks for any insight!
NOTE: what the heck is the Klein-ulator? Is that an attenuator or outboard FX loop? (both of which I might need)?
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
Wow, no one? I KNOW there are Ceriatone 18 watt, TMB owners out there... speak up! Especially if you've got the ef86 channel.
Anyone have the Lead / Bass 20? It looks cools and simple. Two discreet channels, Volume / Tone on each. Are they both useable? Is this useable a sane volumes? C'mon, someone sell me on Ceriatone!
 

xcycle

Member
A few years back I owned one for about 6 months. It was a non-MV but it didn't need a MV for my needs. Sounded great but had precious little headroom. I couldn't get enough vol to get over a drummer and stay clean. If you like all things crunchy it may be your cup of tea.

I have played an 18 watt Suhr Badger that had lots of headroom so it isn't the low watts its the circuit design.

The EF86 side was my favorite and did have a bit of chime. Rarely used the TMB side.

For the record I don't like squeaky clean and like my clean to have a bit of grit.

What I ened up gigging with is an Allen Accomplice at 35 watts or a JTM45 Clone at 45watts. The Allen is my main and it also is not a headroom champ but it has just enough to get over the band and be fairly clean.

Cheers
Eric
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
Thanks for that info. I had the Suhr Badger (GREAT AMP), too expensive for my current tastes if I want to hang on to my other gear.
I also had an Allen Accomplice Jr, that was sweet but total Fender BF in my eyes (although the RAW control was pretty cool). Also even too loud for my situation.
So, this might work (or be too loud still!). I might have to factor in the cost of an attenuator with any of this stuff as well.
 

xcycle

Member
As far as bedroom levels, my 5 watt Epi Valve is too loud for my wife! So it depends on your situation but the TMB/EF86 will start breaking up early and isn't a super loud 18watts. I would think a MV will give you what you need but I don't know if the Ceritone MV is a good one or not, Nik didn't even offer it when I got mine.

By the way shipping was about $100. You might go used and do better, especially in light of resale value.

Eric
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
I saw a Ceriatone 2061x on ebay, don't get me wrong the ceriatone is a bang for your buck.
haha, yes in my sights. But I have no experience with the 2061x circuit (or maybe I do :) I don't really know my Marshall's to be honest with you. I do know I love EL84's and I love old(er) school marshall tones (JTM, plexi, etc...) What does the 2061x circuit sound like?
It's funny, I actually played a Vox AC15HW about 15 minutes ago at lunch. I really do like that amp, but it's freaking loud... I mean, no real chance of creamy breakup (even using the low inputs) until it's cooking a bit.
I have also used Weber Mass 50 attenuator - that was actually pretty cool but when it got REALLY low volume the fizz began. I might just suck it up and look at a Gabriel Voxer 18. Of course I'd have to sell even more gear, but I think it has built in attenuation, no?
I posted on the ceriatone forum as well, maybe I'll get some traction. Thanks fellas.
 
It's like you're on a mission to try every single Vox-flavored amp out there south of /13... heh. I'd certainly be curious to hear whatever you find... we're clearly hunting for a lot of the same stuff these days.
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
It's like you're on a mission to try every single Vox-flavored amp out there south of /13... heh. I'd certainly be curious to hear whatever you find... we're clearly hunting for a lot of the same stuff these days.
WAY SOUTH OF /13 :)

I did see some of your posts for the Vox search. I would definitely consider a Vox AC## handwired edition if you are gigging alot. The AC15HW sounds great, loud as b*lls as far as I'm concerned. Non MV though, might need an attenuator.
 
I think I'm pretty much decided on the Bad Cat Cub IIR. Flexible, but it's got the chime and the grind too. And I can get a wicked good deal on a new one.
 

FJTurner

Member
I had one and sold it after about 6 months. I also had a Marshall 2061X, which I liked better. In retrospect, I would get a vibrato channel with vol/tone, like a Marshall 1974X and the EF86 channel. Then you would have a Ceriatone version of a 65 amps London. I thought the TMB channel was a bit dark.

YMMV
 

MarkAdam

Member
Gasp,

I've got one of Nik's first TMB ef86ers...almost 3 years old now. Also had the very good fortune to have Gabi (the Voxer18 builder) lend me two of his ef86 builds, each for a few weeks.

So...Nik's work is 1st rate. The OT is good and stout. You may want to tune the TMB side to your speakers...I needed a little more treble so I switched out a couple caps. The ef86 side...needs no adjustment. But ya gotta have a very, very good ef86 tube...no skimping here. The TMB needs a very good V1, a stable PI tube and an excellent rectifier tube. JJs are just fine for the output. This amp just rawks!


Gabi's work, however, is even better than that...rarified air...the ef86 side pushing a Blue and a Greenback will take your breath away...:drool

So there....
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
"rarified air"... ha, that is awesome. Now, I have to decide how much rarified air is worth for me :) Thanks man, everything sounds good no matter which way I go. I guess for the cost of a ceritone and great attenuator (like the UA supposedly is) I would end up in used Voxer land anyway (although, they don't seem to surface that often).
 

wyatt

Member
...I like the idea of the 18 watt TMB + ef86 in theory, but I wonder how close it really gets to a great Marshall 18 watter AND an ef86 Voxey vibe.
Well, since no one has mentioned this, you aren't getting the "great 18 watter" with a TMB/EF86. The class 18-watt tone isn't generic Marshall, but nice bright, with plenty of bright clean tone until it really starts to grind, like a Tweed with more chime. The TMB is a modern circuit hack, an amp deisgn that never existed, it takes the tone stack from the larger plexi's and inserts it instead of the tremolo channel; this is an attempt to create a small, low output Plexi and it does a great job of it. But it is an entirely different animal, less headoom, darker sounding, etc...."Marshall tone." On a normal TMB, you still get traditional 18-watter tone on the other channel, which is left intact; but this you would be giving up for a EF86 channel.

The EF86 channel has a lot of the warm tone and grind that the old EF86 AC15's had. The power amp doesn't quite respond the same, but...it's not supposed to be a Vox.

A Klein-ulator is output and input buffer for a simple interrupt FX loop. It's a SS version of the tube-base D*mble-ator effects buffer.
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
Well, since no one has mentioned this, you aren't getting the "great 18 watter" with a TMB/EF86. The class 18-watt tone isn't generic Marshall, but nice bright, with plenty of bright clean tone until it really starts to grind, like a Tweed with more chime. The TMB is a modern circuit hack, an amp deisgn that never existed, it takes the tone stack from the larger plexi's and inserts it instead of the tremolo channel; this is an attempt to create a small, low output Plexi and it does a great job of it. But it is an entirely different animal, less headoom, darker sounding, etc...."Marshall tone." On a normal TMB, you still get traditional 18-watter tone on the other channel, which is left intact; but this you would be giving up for a EF86 channel.

The EF86 channel has a lot of the warm tone and grind that the old EF86 AC15's had. The power amp doesn't quite respond the same, but...it's not supposed to be a Vox.

A Klein-ulator is output and input buffer for a simple interrupt FX loop. It's a SS version of the tube-base D*mble-ator effects buffer.
Thanks for the clarification. Do you have any experience with (or knowledge of) Nik's 2061x design (or the original design)? That looks pretty cool and simple, but it's just Lead with volume/tone on one side and Bass with volume/tone on the other side. I guess the lead channel is brighter and breaks up quicker with more gain. The bass channel is clean and is supposed to be nice for clean tones?
 

wyatt

Member
Thanks for the clarification. Do you have any experience with (or knowledge of) Nik's 2061x design (or the original design)? That looks pretty cool and simple, but it's just Lead with volume/tone on one side and Bass with volume/tone on the other side. I guess the lead channel is brighter and breaks up quicker with more gain. The bass channel is clean and is supposed to be nice for clean tones?
It's been a while since I played an original.

The only real difference between channels is the voicing, the Lead is brighter, the Bass is darker, I don't recall a significant difference in gain between them and Nik's layout doesn't really show that there should be one. People like to jumper them to mix a little of each in. The SS rectifier gives a more aggressive attack than the 18-watter, but there is still plenty of clean on tap. Tone-wise, very much a smaller '70's JMP type tone.
 

Gasp100

Supporting Member
Hmmm... maybe I should just hang tight and wait for a used Winfield to show up. That is based on something called the "November" circuit. The Loudness 1 (darker) and Loudness 2 (brighter) were jumpered internally and blendable - that's a very cool design (and amp). Winnie is great as well.
 


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