VERTEX Plexitone: The Ultimate "Marshall in a Box" (w/Video)

Discussion in 'Builder's & Retailer's Forum' started by Desperado, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    Many of us know the Carl Martin Plexitone for it's ability to turn a clean amp in to a Hot-Rodded JMP or Vintage Superlead as demonstrated by Pete Thorn and others. I always felt it did a pretty good job in creating realistic gain, presence, and feel for what it was intended, however the EQ always seemed to hold it back from being AMAZING. The unit suffered from a buzzy top end any time the tone knob above 50%, and too farty with the bass below 50%.

    It seemed to be difficult to get it right with most amps (I could get close to what I wanted, but couldn't quite get there). The problem is that the tone knob wasn't very well EQed to predict the type of roll of necessary to re-create the Marshall sound. Additionally, it wasn't that practical for a pedalboard because it required AC power through a hardwired power cord.

    The Vertex Plexitone modification includes the following improvements:

    - 3 tone controls for Treble, Middle, and Bass frequencies
    (all very interactive with each other and the volume knob)

    - EQ Shift to more accurately capture a Plexi, JMP, and early JCM era Marshall amplifiers
    (the fizzy top end is gone, and a thicker more aggressive mid-range is present with more dynamics and sensitivity)

    - Level reduction to make the pedal more amp-like and minimize the volume jump common in most overdrive/distortion pedals
    (the pedal is adjusted to have less overall volume to more accurately simulate an amp, it also gives players the "sweet spot" slightly after unity gain)

    - Removed the hardwired AC cord and added a 9VDC jack
    (the pedal with any Boss-style power supply and operates internally at +/-12V, same as the stock pedal)

    - Added independent LEDs to the DRIVE and HIGH GAIN channels to better indicate where the pedal is set
    (improves the visability and makes the pedal more stage and gig friendly)

    - Removes bleed and cross-talk present in the DRIVE section, adding a 3PDT switch for total bypass

    (NO tonal degradation and NO noise or oscillation when the pedal is bypassed)

    - Improved BOOST section
    (improves the tonal qualities of the boost by giving it a more clear sound, NO EQ change, NO compression, just more volume without a change in tone)

    PRICE: $200.00 (customer provides the pedal)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    VIDEO DEMO:

     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. crifasta

    crifasta Silver Supporting Member

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    Sounds great. How much for the mods? BTW the sounds coming from that video do not match the shoes and tan pants. :p
     
  3. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    The modification is $200.00 plus S&H (you provide the pedal).

    They definitely don't match. They person playing in the video (Boris) stopped by in the middle of his work day to check it out and we shot the video then.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  4. Hammered

    Hammered Supporting Member

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    I'll be sending you my plexitone soon and your in the bay area , perfect.
     
  5. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    Hmm.....might have to do this. I find the pedal works great with certain amps and not so with others and I think it has to do with the highs and the mids.......if your mod can allow for that adjustment it might make it the perfect marshal in a box.

    Suggestion on the vid......it doesnt show me anything. You might want to pick a couple of amps like a blackface, tweed, and marshal and show how the mod can help dial in and compensate on each!


    By the way, whats the turnaround time?
     
  6. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds AWESOME to me, Mason.

    Great job, thanks, Dana O.
     
  7. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Jeez Mason -

    I just listened to this video again. That mod in the Carl Martin pedal sounds absolutely FANTASTIC to me - really amazing.

    I'm bumping 'cuz I think other folks should hear this too.

    Really cool Mason, thanks again, Dana O.
     
  8. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place...

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    I'm looking forward to hearing a modded AC Tone!

    ..or a cross polination of the two would be amazing!
     
  9. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    Figured I would revive this thread since I just got my plexi-tone back......

    You can't really go by the clips so I will describe my findings........first the level doesnt have unity anymore at around 9 oclock......its now more like 1 oclock, but this is due to now having a tone stack that is very amplike! It would be like the reverse of having an amp with a boost that takes out the tones stack which then boosts it...... This really makes it a much more user friendly pedal for different amps......before it was great on certain amps but then others not so much because you couldnt dial it in. Now you can add or subtract mids to suit the amp your playing it through. Also the treble and bass are also interactive with the mids......just like a good marshal! You can also add more gain through the mids. It now runs off of a pedal power AND is true bypass!

    For those of you who like your Plexi-tone but wish you could get a little more or less in the EQ or would like it to work as well with Amp B as it does with amp A.........get this mod! It makes a really good pedal great!
     
  10. Rid

    Rid Senior Member

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    "Awesome".....modded with eq and true bypassed....
    Lost all that rawness I like:)
     
  11. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    Believe me the rawness is still there......
     
  12. Rid

    Rid Senior Member

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    After inserting one passive tonestack....that sure will steal alot of volume, plus minus 9v or did they jack it further up.
     
  13. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    It's an even more raw BEAST with the modifications!!! If you want the original un-modded sound, it's there, but if you want more control over the the pedal with different amps the tone stack is essential with the Treble, Mid, Bass controls. You can get more cut without a fizzy top end, which was characteristic of the stock version.

    Only the Drive section is true bypass to prevent bleed (the pedal has a ton of gain and there is some propensity for cross-talk within the pedal through some amps). I experimented with bypassing the Boost section, but it made no difference tonally. Both the Boost and Drive sections would need to be bypassed to be considered "True Bypass."

    The linear gain (Level) is brought down deliberately to make the pedal even more amp-like (inserting a tone stack can cause a drop in level, but the pedal could be made to have the same amount of level as the stock version if desired, that's as easy as a value change on the level control). For this modification, with the idea that I was replicating a Marshall amplifier in a pedal, it seemed to make more sense to have the overall level be closer to the level of your amp to avoid noticeable volume jumps.

    Pedals usually reveal themselves when you hear a volume jump once they are engaged, this is why the overall level was brought down on the mod, not because insertion of the tone stack. This does not change the amount of gain/distortion in the pedal.

    The idea with the modification is to seamlessly unify the pedal and your amp, and this mod makes the PlexiTone bond better with any amp and sound believable, like a Plexi or JTM era Marshall on "Crunch" mode, and like a JCM800 or JMP on "High Gain" mode. Listen to the demo video, it's all there.

    Lastly, the 9V is brought up and regulated at +/-12V internally, so there is no difference between running the pedal with the AC cord or off a power standard Boss-style supply. Zero loss in headroom, it's just a more efficient and pedalboard friendly way of powering the pedal.

    ~Mason
     
  14. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    That about covers it!
     
  15. Rid

    Rid Senior Member

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    555 chip??
    Any coils used?
    Switchmode like stuff???
    Frequency set high enough, so that it might not be heard if some other pedals with the same kind of powersupply is used?
    Anyways, the upcoming single channel(and that is going back to the first prototypes layout) is coming with 9v dc input, turning +-12v internally.

    The normal PT is also coming with a drive kill setup when bypassed now by the way, might be good for a few people out there!

    As for how it is setup soundwise, that is just different taste I guess....
    Niels
     
  16. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    Modification updated, plus new pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place...

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    How's the AC Tone mod coming?
     
  18. mayrandp

    mayrandp Member

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    Nice! Can't wait to have mine. The knobs change is nice.

    One question: for the boost section, is it stlll +20dB? For my use (slight volume boost for solos) it is a bit too much and I find it hard to find the right setting as the Boost pot is quite sensitive to slight change.
     
  19. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    I'll be finished this week buddy, hopefully have it out to you this weekend or Monday morning.

    The mod improves the boost quite a bit, it's more useable and not a spiky in the taper (much more even overall).
     
  20. Desperado

    Desperado Vertex Effects, Inc.

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    All done...it's working great! It has the same frequencies you'd find on an AC30 and can get great Top Boost and non-TB sounds. The CUT control is extremely interactive with the volume. It has BASS, TREBLE and CUT controls and aesthetically looks close to the Plexitone.

    ~Mason
     

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