Vintage JTM45: Deal or no deal?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by zerocharisma, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. zerocharisma

    zerocharisma Member

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    Hey all, I have someone who is offering me a '65 JTM45 block logo for $5999. I've only seen a single photo of it but I'm gonna get a better look tomorrow. I'd give it a 6-7 out of 10 for physical condition just from its exterior shot. I have no idea what the condition is like inside. But let's say it's all original (I know, fat chance yeah?) and looks its age. Would this be a good deal or should I put into use my exceptional bargaining skills? What kinds of prices are these fetching today?
     
  2. rkstarr

    rkstarr Member

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    well im no expert but it better be original
     
  3. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    That seems to be right.

    I was in the market for one a while back BUT-

    I just can't do it. I played one...it was great. Really great. So, I sold stuff to go and buy it. I asked about it's condition before all this, I was told by the guy who's serviced the amp for 10 yrs it was 100%. So I'm thinking OK...maybe I wont get killed if I need to sell it down the road. Then I come to find out that the amp blew, caught fire, had a replaced tube socket and blew the OP tranny and that it was rewound or replaced. Suffice to say with the abundance of M style clone/kits out there I just decided to pass. I'm still looking, but I'm not sure.

    If yours is all straight, that is the going rate- good luck.

    JD
     
  4. zerocharisma

    zerocharisma Member

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    Saw the amp today and took a few photos:

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    The guy says it's all original, as far as he can tell, with the exception of the tubes. I'm no Marshall conoisseur but I'm hoping someone can help me determine if it is. Oh btw, this thing sounds incredible! BUT....is it worth $6K?
     
  5. hogy

    hogy Member

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    It's very close to original. Electrolytic caps have been replaced, and a few other minor things. Screen resistor added, which is a necessity for modern tubes. Looks really good, I see nothing worrisome.

    It's a PA model, meaning both channels will sound the same. Nothing wrong with that, but very easily changed if you want a Brilliant and a Normal channel. As is it's going to be a bit dark sounding.

    Looks like it still has the original Radio Spares H.T. fuse. That's very good news, meaning the amp has never suffered from a shorted power tube, so the tube sockets are going to be in good shape, OT as well.
     
  6. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    If you pass on the amp, let me know. :)
     
  7. zerocharisma

    zerocharisma Member

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    Well, I just spoke to someone who really knows about these ol' JTM45s. After reviewing the photos he told me a few things were unoriginal: the pilot light, the power switches, a few caps and resistors, among other minor things. But then he revealed what really killed me--the power transformer was definitely replaced--he even said it was probably a Mercury Magnetic or something.

    Here are a few photos of some genuine JTM45s:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The one I'm eyeing:

    [​IMG]



    If this is indeed true, I am completely heartbroken as I really did enjoy playing through this thing. My guy has serviced many JTM45s in his day so I really have little reason to doubt his assessment. Although he was really pushing me to forego the vintage route and give one of his clones a spin. Anyone else with a second opinion?
     
  8. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    No offense to your tech but I'd probably defer to this opinion or at least ask Hogy to give a second look.
     
  9. zerocharisma

    zerocharisma Member

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    Yeah, for some reason I don't completely trust my tech. He's not actually "my" tech--he services amps, especially Marshalls and is pretty well-known. Anyway, I'm just trying to get as many opinions as possible as this a consideration for a potentially substantial purchase. I appreciate the feedback from everyone so far. Hogy sounds like he knows his stuff too. What'd be really great would be to find someone in the SoCal area who could check this out with me in person. :BEER
     
  10. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    Please excuse my ignorance .......I'm confused.I thought the tranny on the left by the rectifier and power switches was the PT and the one with the six screws in front of the power tubes the OT?

    There is no way I would pay 6K for this head..I'd rather have a pair of Komets...
     
  11. chris_d

    chris_d Member

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    You would be correct. In descending order by size, from left to right, PT, OT, Filter choke.

    -chris
     
  12. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Who's the builder/tech who has a knockoff?
     
  13. zerocharisma

    zerocharisma Member

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    My mistake. You're right and I stand corrected. But I still I can't tell the difference between the original PTs in the photos above and my "replacement" PT. Oh and hell yes, 6K is a lot. Don't get me wrong, Komets are nice...but I've been chasing the tone only this amp offers for a long time. Plus it'd be a decent investment.
     
  14. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    Well if you have played a lot of Marshalls and only this one does it for you then maybe it is worth it.
     
  15. soldersucker

    soldersucker Member

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    I'd post this on the plexi palace those guys love to pick this stuff apart and they are Very good at it.
     
  16. Rumblefish

    Rumblefish Silver Supporting Member

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    In case you don't know who HOGY is,he works for(is)a certain boutique amp maker who's product has already been mentioned in this thread.He's serviced hundreds of Marshalls through the years as well.
     
  17. hogy

    hogy Member

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    The guy's wrong. Those transformers are original. The pictures you referenced show an earlier amp, still with Radio Spares transformers. "Yours" is the second generation, different transformers as it should be. Switches are original, too. Pilot light is not typical, but I've seen this variation.

    Too bad your tech is confusing you like this, you'll miss out on a great and very rare amp. This isn't your typical JTM45, block logos with folded aluminum chassis are very hard to come by, especially this original and unmolested. Please let me know where the amp is if you decide to pass on it.


    You don't say? :D




    Hogy
     
  18. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    What does it sound like, does it have it?
    Of course, should you buy it then you'll need to find a period correct Speaker Cabinet with the right speakers......
    Too many pals have gone before with the "if you don't want it pray tell where it is", vibe.

    Looks nice to me.

    Best, Pete.
     
  19. zerocharisma

    zerocharisma Member

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    Well, after getting some additional input from other sources my "expert" may be seriously mistaken or just plain inexperienced. He was a nice fellow but I'm going to take any further advice from him with a grain of salt. Hogy, thanks for your assessments so far. If this is as original as you are describing it to be I will most likely pull the trigger on it.

    Just a few other concerns, though. The chassis looks like something has been spilled across it. There's that brown residue on the the power tranny too. The "expert" says something must have been spilled all across it. But wouldn't that damage the entire amp? Have you seen this sorta thing on the older Marshalls you worked on? Oh and someone else mentioned that the front plexi panel may be a repro, not an original.

    As for its sound...honest to goodness the BEST tone I've ever heard in my life. Cranked it with my LP through one of those limited edition Marshall Hendrix 4x12 cabs loaded with greenbacks. It was like someone said, "stepping through a time machine." Played it side by side with a '63 Blonde Bassman w/matching 2x12 cab. No contest...this JTM45 had beef, clarity, and a rawness that was unmatched. Sounded nearly identical to this '65 JTM45:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8kfI8H-XOg&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfCLYlzYO68&feature=related

    Barring any other major issues, soon this baby shall be mine...:JAM
     
  20. Luke Gibson

    Luke Gibson Silver Supporting Member

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    ...if it sounds like the clips you posted, you better jump on it!
     

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