Vintage deluxe memory man

JeffMac9121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
92
So I know the blue versions are the oldest. But I also know some of the vintage units were black which is what I’m looking for.

However, I know the reissues started in the 90’s and those are black.

so how can I be sure I’m buying an original vintage unit vs a reissue?
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,227
1st thing is to get the 5 control model. So forget the earlier 3 and 4 control models.
Perhaps the greatest sounding ones in my opinion are the two pronged power cord black and silver models from the 80's.
Forget the stereo memory man since it has half the memory and half the delay time.
Probably my favorite is the late 80's or 90's with the 3-prong power cord.
Another favorite is the early 80's with the external power wart. When I got it, it sounded really great but not as bright as the 3-prong machine. Was able to remove one resistor that was different to get it to sound as good as the 3-prong power cord model.
So my suggestion is for you to seek out a 3-prong power cord deluxe memory man with 5 controls.
Some good reading here.
Sound of Speed: Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe (vintage vs. reissues) – Growth and Brand (cornellazar.com)
 

JeffMac9121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
92
1st thing is to get the 5 control model. So forget the earlier 3 and 4 control models.
Perhaps the greatest sounding ones in my opinion are the two pronged power cord black and silver models from the 80's.
Forget the stereo memory man since it has half the memory and half the delay time.
Probably my favorite is the late 80's or 90's with the 3-prong power cord.
Another favorite is the early 80's with the external power wart. When I got it, it sounded really great but not as bright as the 3-prong machine. Was able to remove one resistor that was different to get it to sound as good as the 3-prong power cord model.
So my suggestion is for you to seek out a 3-prong power cord deluxe memory man with 5 controls.
Some good reading here.
Sound of Speed: Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe (vintage vs. reissues) – Growth and Brand (cornellazar.com)
 

JeffMac9121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
92
1st thing is to get the 5 control model. So forget the earlier 3 and 4 control models.
Perhaps the greatest sounding ones in my opinion are the two pronged power cord black and silver models from the 80's.
Forget the stereo memory man since it has half the memory and half the delay time.
Probably my favorite is the late 80's or 90's with the 3-prong power cord.
Another favorite is the early 80's with the external power wart. When I got it, it sounded really great but not as bright as the 3-prong machine. Was able to remove one resistor that was different to get it to sound as good as the 3-prong power cord model.
So my suggestion is for you to seek out a 3-prong power cord deluxe memory man with 5 controls.
Some good reading here.
Sound of Speed: Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe (vintage vs. reissues) – Growth and Brand (cornellazar.com)
Well right....that’s why I specified “deluxe” in the title of my thread. The deluxe has the chorus (5th knob) but my question was more about the differences between the oldest model (blue) vs the black one that came a little later.
AND how do you distinguish between a vintage black model vs the 90’s reissue which is also black. They look almost identical.
 

stagolee

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,982
Well right....that’s why I specified “deluxe” in the title of my thread. The deluxe has the chorus (5th knob) but my question was more about the differences between the oldest model (blue) vs the black one that came a little later.
AND how do you distinguish between a vintage black model vs the 90’s reissue which is also black. They look almost identical.
I always think of the blue ones as the ones that usually don’t have the modulation/chorus. Never knew they were necessarily oldest. I’m no expert, but everything I know I learned from the several threads on this topic. Not calling out your new post, just genuinely suggesting you check some of the “best DMM version” threads.
 

romo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
941
Well right....that’s why I specified “deluxe” in the title of my thread. The deluxe has the chorus (5th knob) but my question was more about the differences between the oldest model (blue) vs the black one that came a little later.
AND how do you distinguish between a vintage black model vs the 90’s reissue which is also black. They look almost identical.

They were referring to this one:

View media item 251920
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,237
1st thing is to get the 5 control model. So forget the earlier 3 and 4 control models.
Perhaps the greatest sounding ones in my opinion are the two pronged power cord black and silver models from the 80's.
Forget the stereo memory man since it has half the memory and half the delay time.
Probably my favorite is the late 80's or 90's with the 3-prong power cord.
Another favorite is the early 80's with the external power wart. When I got it, it sounded really great but not as bright as the 3-prong machine. Was able to remove one resistor that was different to get it to sound as good as the 3-prong power cord model.
So my suggestion is for you to seek out a 3-prong power cord deluxe memory man with 5 controls.
Some good reading here.
Sound of Speed: Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe (vintage vs. reissues) – Growth and Brand (cornellazar.com)
I agree with that link. I own a 90s DMM that has the external wall wart and it is perfecto.
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,227
First of all I haven't seen very many 5 control blue deluxe memory man's so they are very rare and may have the SAD chip which will likely not sound the same. Would I take one of those on a good deal, maybe, maybe not. The black deluxe memory man with five controls followed, and the key is to look for those with the two pronged 120VAC power cord hardwired (not removable) coming out of it which has the internal power supply. The two prong cord hardwired is the dead giveaway since that is the old way of electrically doing things, but maybe not the safest. It is impossible to find a 2 pronged 120VAC cord with internal power supply on later deluxe memory man's unless someone put one in and that is not going to happen. Next came the early 80's black deluxe memory man's with the 24VDC wall wart that has a thin cord that plugs into the top-back of the chassis into a barrel jack. You might wonder how to tell this one apart from the 2000's which also has a removable wall wart (made in China) but another giveaway is that the 80's is not true bypass. It is going to look older and the person selling it is likely to know whether it is from the early 80's or 2000's.
The late 80's and into 90's deluxe memory man is the only one that has a hardwired 120VAC 3 prong cord coming out of it.
I hope this clears it up. And we are talking about the big box deluxe memory man here.
 
Last edited:

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,227
I pulled out the early 80's to compare it with the photo's of sold 2000's on ebay and the differences are hard to find. My 80's has the barrel connector (not a 1/8 inch jack). The 2000's also have the barrel jack.
Here are a couple of differences found though and may not be absolute.
1. the 80's has the first letter e on electro-harmonix tucked closer into the black painted corner.
2. the 80's (90's also) usually come with the wooden box if the owner still has it. 2000's examples do not come with the wooden box.
3. the 80's has a silver screw on the bottom cover plate located closer to the barrel plug while the 2000's has the silver screw located diagonally at the opposite corner of the cover plate (again from observation of photos on sold listings on ebay). Both 80's and 2000's have the six black screws on the bottom cover also.
4. the 80's are not true by-pass while the 2000's are true by-pass. You can see the triple pole blue footswitch in the gut shots on the 2000's.
You can not go by the knobs because I have seen both types (pointer and cylindrical) appear on older models and 2000's.
Shop carefully and diligently. I'd try to find unmodified examples. You may or may not like the modifications.
 
Last edited:

JeffMac9121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
92
First of all I haven't seen very many 5 control blue deluxe memory man's so they are very rare and may have the SAD chip which will likely not sound the same. Would I take one of those on a good deal, maybe, maybe not. The black deluxe memory man with five controls followed, and the key is to look for those with the two pronged 120VAC power cord hardwired (not removable) coming out of it which has the internal power supply. The two prong cord hardwired is the dead giveaway since that is the old way of electrically doing things, but maybe not the safest. It is impossible to find a 2 pronged 120VAC cord with internal power supply on later deluxe memory man's unless someone put one in and that is not going to happen. Next came the early 80's black deluxe memory man's with the 24VDC wall wart that has a thin cord that plugs into the top-back of the chassis into a barrel jack. You might wonder how to tell this one apart from the 2000's which also has a removable wall wart (made in China) but another giveaway is that the 80's is not true bypass. It is going to look older and the person selling it is likely to know whether it is from the early 80's or 2000's.
The late 80's and into 90's deluxe memory man is the only one that has a hardwired 120VAC 3 prong cord coming out of it.
I hope this clears it up. And we are talking about the big box deluxe memory man here.
I found a black/silver with the cord hard wired...but it’s 3-prong. Is it possible that the previous owner just chose to replace the 2-prong cord?
 

Strat_lover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,065
I found a black/silver with the cord hard wired...but it’s 3-prong. Is it possible that the previous owner just chose to replace the 2-prong cord?

Possible, but extremely unlikely.

Are you looking for a collector’s piece, or one to play? The audio circuit has remained virtually untouched throughout the DMM’s life. The 90’s big box with the detachable cord and MN3005 chips is going to sound as good as any vintage example, once calibrated by a professional.
 

whateverdude

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,267
I love my DMM with non-true bypass and 3 prong attached cord. Sounds gorgeous. I’m the second owner. Lots of great info provided in this thread.
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,227
I found a black/silver with the cord hard wired...but it’s 3-prong. Is it possible that the previous owner just chose to replace the 2-prong cord?
It is possible that the cord was changed but not usually likely. People get 2 pronged cords changed to 3 pronged cords on amps but this doesn't usually happen as often on the deluxe memory man. Ask questions and try out the pedal if you can.
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,227
90s reissues were initially with internal transformer, only after some time they switched to external power supply, great site with tons of info here:
https://sites.google.com/a/davidmor...le/troubleeffects/electro-harmonix-memory-man
According to the web site listed above, there are 3 pronged deluxe memory man's from the early 2000's that I wasn't aware of. These are probably very good but I'd bet that the 90's machines sound better. So again it is probably a good idea to ask questions. As a guess these are possibly true by-pass too. This web site also suggests that the 90's 3 pronged corded machines came before the wall wart machine. Either way, I'd probably go after the 3 pronged corded from that 90's erra, unless you are thinking of powering it with 24VDC from your pedal power supply.
 

stagolee

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,982
1st thing is to get the 5 control model. So forget the earlier 3 and 4 control models.
Perhaps the greatest sounding ones in my opinion are the two pronged power cord black and silver models from the 80's.
Forget the stereo memory man since it has half the memory and half the delay time.
Probably my favorite is the late 80's or 90's with the 3-prong power cord.
Another favorite is the early 80's with the external power wart. When I got it, it sounded really great but not as bright as the 3-prong machine. Was able to remove one resistor that was different to get it to sound as good as the 3-prong power cord model.
So my suggestion is for you to seek out a 3-prong power cord deluxe memory man with 5 controls.
Some good reading here.
Sound of Speed: Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe (vintage vs. reissues) – Growth and Brand (cornellazar.com)
Unfortunately it seems this article is no longer available online. I remember reading it and finding some good details.

I’m trying to find a non-true-bypass 90’s or earlier DMM. I’m confused by the knob changes and power supply - does everything with the smooth, round knobs and external transformer fall into the later true bypass category? Did that revision happen in the 90’s or the early 2000’s?
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,227
Unfortunately it seems this article is no longer available online. I remember reading it and finding some good details.

I’m trying to find a non-true-bypass 90’s or earlier DMM. I’m confused by the knob changes and power supply - does everything with the smooth, round knobs and external transformer fall into the later true bypass category? Did that revision happen in the 90’s or the early 2000’s?
The first thing to know is to not totally rely on the type of knobs for identification. The older Dmm's tend to have the pointer knobs, but I have seen the cylindrical knobs on old ones and the pointer knobs on later true bypass Dmm's too, and some people might have changed them. So you must look at the other features, in particular the cord. If the power cord is two pronged (two conductor cable like lamp cord) (with internal power supply, usually with pointer knobs) then that would be amongst the earliest with those that come with chorus (five knobs). These machines sound particularily good to me on recordings. I have not owned one of these but wouldn't mind finding one. They sound very beautiful and rich. These are likely from the early 80's are maybe even slightly earlier. Don't bother buying one without chorus since chorus adds a lot to the Dmm character. Some earlier ones from the seventies come with the reticon chip (4 knobs no chorus, blue graphics and lettering) instead of the Mn3005 chips. I personally would stick to the Mn3005 with chorus machines and would not take a chance on a reticon machine.

After that two pronged lamp cord Dmm from the very late seventies or early eighties (don't hold me to the dates), the next really great ones are likely fromt the late 80's and early 90's or something but these have the 3-prong rounded (cylindrical) cords with internal power supplies, not true bypass. I have one of these and it is a really beautiful sounding Dmm and would have the Mn3005 chips. These are very very fine sounding, and usually with pointer knobs.

Also from likely the late eighties or early nineties are the Dmm machines that come with external power wart and usually with pointer knobs. I have one of these also and it too is a very fine sounding machine and not true bypass. I did notice after I brought it home that it didn't sound quite is lively as the one with the cylindrical cord and so proceeded to take them both apart to look for any differences. I noticed that this one had one extra disc capacitor and removed it, put it back together and then it had the same beautiful sound as the Dmm with the cylindrical cord. I believe that the extra resistor was bleeding off some of the highs to hide some of the whit noise. But I don't mind the white noise since it is part of the character. How can you tell one of these from a newer true bypass? Likely the fact that the non true bypass (older)ones have a volume control that controls the volume both when the effect is on and also when it is off. Likely the true bypass machine volume control only takes effect when the effect is on. This assumes that the older machine was not modified for true bypass. Another giveaway for an older machine is that it comes with a wooden box for the Dmm. I don't know everything about Dmm's since I only have two of them and never have had any of the others. You can learn quite a bit just by looking at them on ebay and it is here where you can see some of the different features that I am talking about. There are a couple of the two pronged corded Dmm's on ebay right now, and also a couple of the 3-prong rounded cords too. As usual, it is best to try before you buy if you can but I can generally easily recommend the ones with the rounded cord since that is one I have and it came with that sound. I hope this helps.
 
Last edited:




Trending Topics

Top Bottom