Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rockyrollercat, Feb 7, 2012.
How long did you own your Fargen Mini Plex and why did you sell it?
Had it for almost a year.
Sold because I moved over seas, and didnt want to ship out a 1x12 combo amp half way across the world. I wish I still had it!
I had a MK1 and a MK2. Sold the MK1 because it didn't have enough gain for me. Sold the MK2 because I wasn't blown away by the power scaling, I still had to boost it to get the gain I wanted, and it didn't have enough volume for one of the drummers I played with. Great amps, but I preferred the Olde 800 series.
So the 800 has more gain? Is it still plexi-ish? I thought I read that it still had a plexi sound despite the 800 in it's name. I had a Jcm800 combo and it was so loud and punchy that I didn't like it-it still needed to be boosted for enough gain for hard rock/metal at reasonable volumes. It was the single channel one though/the two channel has plenty of gain.
The Fargen videos of the Mini Plex seem to have a lot of gain though-what style are you playing?
I like hard rock and top 40 of the late 70's mostly. I want to buy a mini plex so I can jam after everyone's in bed.
It's a high quality amp so I'm sure it will sound fantastic at some level but, I thought it might give me the gain tone at whisper quiet levels through a 1x10 then with 12 watts give me gig levels through my 2x12. That's a tall order.
I had the Mighty Plex Mk II for less than 6 months and sold it. I sold it because I didn't like the power-scaling, or the parallel FX loop. The power-scaling made the sound too spongy -- the amp sounded better without it, IMO. The interaction between the 2 volume knobs, the FX loop knobs, and the power-scaling drove me nuts -- try to make 1 adjustment to 1 control and everything else seemed to get of our sync. Too much knob twisting. Overall, not a real high gain amp either -- low to mid gain.
Now I own an Olde 800 Mk II which has a series FX loop with no power-scaling -- and I like it way better. It has more gain than the Mightly Plex on all decade settings, gets into ACDC "Back in Black" gain levels when cranked but not beyond. Overall, I'd say it sounds more Plexi than JCM800.
Not in the "ex" camp; I still have my Mini Plex MkII with matching 2x12 (almost 4 years now) and play it nearly every day. I can't comment on the gig volumes you're looking for, but at everything from whisper quiet to loud, neighbors-call-the-police home volumes it excels at everything I want it to do. In terms of gain, it can go up to 80s hair band levels in 80s mode with no boost. It can definitely do 70s stuff, no problem.
In contrast to ronmail65 (and I realize he had a different, more powerful amp) I actually love the power scaling feature. It takes a bit to dial in when you first get the amp, but now it's second nature. The master volume is excellent, too, but to me, the difference between just using the MV (i.e., no power scaling) and using it in conjunction with the power scaling is pretty dramatic --- even at low volume levels. The depth, harmonic richness, and ballsy-ness of the tone is greatly increased in my experience.
I also have a tube-buffered series loop in mine, and for me it's a set it and forget it thing. It can be bypassed and taken out of the circuit, but I leave it on with a Skreddy Echo and a looper in it at all time.
My only complaint is that I don't have one of Fargen's new Retro Classic amps to go with the Mini ...
What does that decade switch do, give you some kind of eq boost or does it change the pre-amp somehow?
I had a MK1. To get a good tone, I had to turn it up far too loud for practice volumes.
Had a MKI. No power scaling. Had the decade switch. Sounded absolutely phenomenal. My favorite speaker with this amp was a Greenback, which I usually don't like.
It wasn't louder than my drummer, unfortunately. At least in its 1x12 config. Would have kept it if I was a person that records in the studio.
Also had a Fargen Custom Blackbird (40w). It also sounded great - had a very unique tone to it.
I owned a MK I. Unfortunately, it wasn't loud enough for the classic rock band that I was playing with at the time.
The Decade Switch...
Ben Fargen created the same circuit paths that Marshall used in their amps for each of the respective Decades. As I understand it -- this is not simply an EQ adjustment -- he created 3 distinct circuit paths exactly like Marshall used. So the idea is that you pick up the character of these amps by choosing the Decade. Now I believe he also overlaid additional gain stages for all these settings. It's a great feature, they sound excellent, and it adds a lot of dimension to the amp.
In terms of exactly which model of Marshall amps he used for these decades... I'm fairly certain the '80's is based on the JCM800, but I'm not sure about the '60's and '70's.
6-9 months, still own it and probably always will
Had one for about 6 months.
Personally, I thought the Power Scaling was poorly implemented. Also, the amp was super picky about speakers/cabs.
Really wanted to love the amp but just didn't... on paper it sounds amazing... this amp really taught me the tough lesson to try before I buy.
Got a V1 that sounded amazing....traded for a V2 to get the loop.....
Didn;t care for the extra gain stage as the older circuit had a killer vintage vibe....most will probably like the higher gain V2...
So what did I do .. Sold both and bought a Retro Classic !
I had a Mk II Miniplex for several months and I definitely liked it. I just had too many Marshally options and I decided to keep the Badger and Reinhardt 18 (still have them and really like them). The scaling was very impressive and I probably didn't give this amp enough time as I had trouble dialing in gainy tones that I liked. I also had a chance to get something else and so I sold the Miniplex II...we all know how that goes...
I have a Fargen Bastage and I love the tone on that amp...
My MKI kept me happy for about two years, but I eventually sold it because it lacked clean headroom and was a tad too compressed. It sounded best with the 6L6/KT66 tube combo into a G12H30 loaded cab. BTW, every sound man loved the way it fit in the mix.
I had a MkII for a couple months but found that I could couldn't get loud enough to keep up with a full band but couldn't get the volume low enough for bedroom levels. The power scaling got it pretty close but I just did care for the tone with the high levels of attenuation I needed for bedroom use. I also found it to be much brighter than I anticipated. Thought about keeping it for a bit longer to see if I could dial in some better tones but I hit a rough spot financially so the Fargen was the first to go.
The power scaling is actually not poorly implemented, it may be the best that I have encountered, but it is really complicated. Every small change of any of the 3 drive knobs changes everything a ton. This is not an attenuator where is lowers the volume, thinning it out some but not changing the gain. You need to understand what you are doing and that takes a while...often a real while. The options are really all there though.With enough experience you can emulate or replicate a JTM or JMP on 10 in the room below your sleeping girlfriend at 2 in the morn without seriously endangering your relationship.
I, in no way, believe that the PS was poorly implemented. My ONLY issue is that I find the whole a bit too thick (probably intentional) at low levels when using a ton of gain (the opposite of most low powered Marshall options) I prefer my YJM when shredding at conversation levels.
After much consideration, I will keep the Mini and my YJM, they are actually very different animals in the long run...cool, awesome animals.
I am very surprised about your perception of brightness. Have you played actual PLEXI amps? No offence intended I am just trying to find out if my experience is vastly different.