Which is the best JTM45 clone kit?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rick Lee, Jan 3, 2018.


  1. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a hankering for a new project. I have all the Marshalls I ever wanted, but am a restless soul. Recently, I've started GAS'sing for a JTM45 or maybe 50 clone build. The Mojotone, Tube Depot and Valvestorm kits are all roughly $800 depending on components. I kind of want to source a few parts on my own, but am budgeting around $800. AFAIK, Mojotone and Tube Depot use their own transformers. Which are better? And are they as good as ClassicTone? I think Merrens and MM are too pricey for this totally unnecessary project, and I've been very happy with CTs in my other builds. Talk me down from this.
     
  2. Bucksears

    Bucksears Supporting Member

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  3. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, Ceriatone is a possibility, though shipping cost and time might be a deal killer.
     
  4. DrainBamage

    DrainBamage Member

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    Source parts from Valvestorm and use Classic tone. Better yet use Marstrans transformers.
     
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  5. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I would get the Valvestorm kit parts, then go with Mercury or Merren transformers. Don't scrimp on the caps, or the tubes. You can't get the best tone out of a 60's circuit with modern tubes. Get ANOS/NOS preamp tubes at the very least.
     
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  6. Dan40

    Dan40 Supporting Member

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  7. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    I have an old jubilee and a 1974x. Couldn't justify but have this inbound! With you in spirit!


    [​IMG]
     
  8. louis

    louis Supporting Member

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    I’ll second the Marstran thing !:D
     
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  9. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I've bought a lot of stuff there for my previous builds. Some places have much cheaper parts, so I always end up buying a mish mash of stuff from Valvestorm and then other places - Merren, ClassicTone, Heyboer, Sourmash, etc. Just can't decide if I want to buy a whole kit or buy it piecemeal, as I come across deals on components I need.
     
  10. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    Ok, tell me about this. Marstran appears to be about in between the cost of Merren and ClassicTone. I have both and they both sound fantastic. I don't know that my Merrens sound twice as good as my CTs, but they cost twice as much. Where do Marstrans fall in there, soundwise? I bought my Merren iron to throw Chris some business after he helped me out with something else. It took a while to receive them and then I could not reach him again when I tried later for another build. Never got a reply to several emails and vms. So I went with CTs and am very happy with them.
     
  11. les_paul

    les_paul Member

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    I did the BYOC kit myself. I did a pretty solid job on the build overall but I still had it checked by the most reputable tech in the state. He said my heater wiring needed a little help and asked about some of the parts layout choices. I told him that I built it to the schematic/instructions and provided him with them both. He told me that outside of a few parts it was a really good overall representation of an old JTM45.
     
  12. DrainBamage

    DrainBamage Member

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    Brian has them made to his spec by Heyboer transformers.. as far as I know they use the same core metals as the originals (like Merren). I also love how he get the power transformer lugs a bit more period correct placed than Merren. Merrens are boutique so you get that price increase I would assume.
    Never used Marstrans but I recommended them as a cheaper alternative to Merren and heard good things. I'm sure Brian knows his stuff.
     
  13. louis

    louis Supporting Member

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    Same thing happened to me with Merren , I only hear good things about CT’s but there is something special I like about Marstran .They always made my amps sound more organic for some reason just like my old ones did.
    All I can say !
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  14. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    I built a Mojotone JTM45 a couple years ago and love it.

    It's not the traditional, classic JTM45 circuit, as it runs on EL34s (instead of KT66s), but still has the tube rectifier. (Also has 270k mix resistors instead of 470K). Trannies are Heyboer.

    Last year I put it in a 2x12 Mather Bluesbreaker combo cab (purple), and matched it up w/a pair of WGS Green Berets. I clipped the bright cap and jump the channels when gigging it, and it's been my favorite amp ever since.

    It'll cover most anything in the realm of classic rock, funk and soul.
     
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  15. bluesky636

    bluesky636 Member

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    https://www.tedweber.com/6m45-c-kt

    I've built three Weber kits with my own tweaks and love the sound of them all.

    5F6A clone, Trainwreck Express clone, 5F1 Champ clone (with added tone control). Heyboer trannys are available for their kits.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks. Hadn't heard about Ted Weber or BYOC. Will keep researching.
     
  17. garret

    garret Member

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    The Tube Depot kit, while having really great instructions, is not a JTM45 circuit. It's got quite a few changes.
     
  18. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    Man, I'll grow old watching all the Youtube demos of these clones before I pull the trigger. How about a K66 vs. EL34 debate too? I just can't decide. The only amp I have now that I can part with to make room for this one, if it turns out good is my stock 1987xl. Every other time I play through it, I swear it's a keeper. But then I hear some of the JTM45 Youtube demos and GAS for that tone too. I should not be in any rush at all, but want another project to work on.
     
  19. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Id get the VS kit, use PEC pots, Mustards, and the Metro Spec, Heyboers.

    I would build it as George did when he was still building the LTD ED Version.

    Mustards only cost $98

    If no Mustards, Id use the Synergy caps. The Synergy are around $50.

    But for $50 more, Id go for what it originally had in it.

    Ive got the LTD ED Metro GMP45 head, its in my avatar. NOS KT66s,/Mullards. 4 Pulsonic G12H 25w. Mather TVB cab. EC Collins Pinstripe cloth.

    I believe Metros version is geared more towards the later 65- early 66 when they went to the Drake spec trans, and this is a retro engineered amp from Georges original.

    I just hate mucking with a formula. But everyone likes what they like, and want what they want.

    But Id got straight up Metro LTD ED design as close as I could.
     
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  20. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Silver Supporting Member

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    Just ordered the VS Barebones kit and CT iron. I'll assess getting Mustards when I get to the board. Now I can rest easy that this is on order and I have something to keep me busy.
     

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