Tag Archives: marshall

Finding Your Distortion Tone (Hint: Mids)

1976MarshallheadftIf only things were so easy that we could buy the guitar we felt comfortable with, plug into an amp, maybe add a pedal or two, and then be done. Tone Nirvana. It usually doesn’t happen this way however. The problem is that there are numerous choices for gear and, and even more options for putting together the whole rig, to create an effective system that is optimized. And just how we use the equipment (whether for live use or studio recording) also makes a difference in finding what works for guitarists.

We recently wrote about the challenges with the Internet and its opinions. You can find as many people who will love or hate any particular piece of gear. This can become frustrating when trying to dial in a tone you’re interested in capturing.
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Marshall Super Lead Tone Tips and Tricks

The following Marshall Super Lead tone tips and tricks will enable you to get much more versatility out of this legendary amplifier. Some of these may even surprise you. One thing to note – NONE of these involve modification to the original Marshall circuit. Those looking for the true Marshall sound only need use an original, unmodified Super Lead.
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Marshall JTM-45 Reissue Modification – Part II

In part I of our Marshall JTM-45 transformation process, we installed a point-to-point board from Metropoulos Amplification and began to hear the positive results of our test Marshall as it came to new life.

Now, in Part II of our continued Marshall JTM-45 transformation, we move forward with two additional changes in addition to having the opportunity to compare the final results to an original 1964 badge-logo Marshall JTM-45. The two changes that we decided to perform were to swap out the stock output transformer to a Mercury Magnetics Axiom O45JT-C model as well as to upgrade the board’s capacitors to those made by SoZo Amplification. To say that we were excited as well as just plain curious about the final results, especially when we could now compare it to an original JTM-45— is an understatement.
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Marshall Hand-wired Reissue 18 Watt Combo and 20 Watt Head/Cabinet

Introduction

Marshall Handwired Reissue SeriesMarshall’s long-awaited handwired series reissue amplifiers are finally here with the debut of the company’s 1974X model 18-watt combo and 2061X model 20-watt head with 2061CX cabinet. These first reissue models are based on the originals produced in the ‘60s and ‘70s and Marshall has assured us that every attention to detail has been made. And these are not limited-edition reissues, but are part of Marshall’s regular production lineup!

Even the included manuals proudly cover the story of the many detailed aspects of the design and development. From the cosmetic finish to the construction details of the transformers and customized speakers, it is clear that Marshall team set out on a mission to create the ultimate reissues.
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THD Electronics Flexi 50 Amp Head

"Wait a minute, this amp isn’t a clone of a plexi Marshall?!"

THD Flexi-50That was my initial thought when plugging into this amp for the very first time. And that’s actually a good thing for many users who will enjoy the added flexibility of the many tonal options presented by THD Electronic’s new Flexi 50 amplifier. Though my initial idea really was to pit a ’68 50 watt Marshall against the THD Flexi-50 amplifier head, it was clear from both looking at and listening to the Flexi-50 that this would have been an apples to oranges type of comparison. The Flexi-50 offers quite a bit of tonal and feature-set variety and it would be inappropriate to simply compare it to one single amplifier.

Perhaps I subconsciously took the name "Flexi" and associated it mostly with a 1960’s plexi-era Marshall. In any case, Andy Marshall, THD’s President explained it best: "It’s named the Flexi-50 because of its flexibility in being able to capture vintage British and American tones."
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Metropoulos Amplification ’68 12000-Series Plexi 100 Watt head

Introduction

"I want an amp that can nail the early Van Halen tone 100% but I don’t have $5,000+ (at the time of this writing – 11/05) for an original Marshall ’67-’68 era plexi." This is what many of you have written to us and asked for in the past. "What should I use?"

Some of you have even had more demanding requirements for your amplifier citing that in addition to the Van Halen tone, you ALSO wanted the ability for the amp to respond and produce tones as diverse as Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC, among others.
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100 Watt Marshall Super Lead

The 100 Watt Marshall Super Lead was THE amp that started it all for the greatest rock and roll tones achieved – or I should say, the greatest LOUD rock and roll tones of the 60’s. Yes, the Vox AC 30, Fender Bassman, and even the Marshall JTM 45 came well before Marshall’s famous 100-watter, but it was the Super Lead that upped the ante for high-powered rock performances and really is the standard by which all rock guitar tone is judged. With generations of guitar greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Edward Van Halen, and countless others all using the Super Lead with stacks of 4 x 12 cabinets, there is no wonder why this amplifier is legendary; especially the very earliest models, known as the "plexi" heads.
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The Marshall Shopper’s Guide Part 2: Metal Panel JMP to the JCM 2000

"Vertical Input" Master Volume MarshallsWe love our Marshall amps! The purpose of this article is to recognize the various changes in the amplifiers from the “metal panel” era of the JMPs from to the JCM 2000 series so that the potential buyer can be better educated. Some deliver the goods better than others and I’ve owned many Marshall amps over the years and had to learn the hard way after plenty of dollars spent. Ultimately though — use your own ears and compare. Enjoy the next installment of our Marshall Shopper’s Guide.
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The Marshall Shopper’s Guide Part 1: Marshall Plexi Era

One of the most common questions we get here is, “What kind of Marshall amp should I buy?” We get countless questions not only about what type to get, but also questions about specific vintage vs. newer models, higher powered vs. lower powered models, types of speakers and how do they all sound, etc.
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THD Electronics Hot Plate Attenuator

It’s not a secret that nothing beats the sound of a great guitar tube amp cranked up. When a tube amp is driven to overdrive, rich and musical even-ordered harmonics flow in abundance and the amplifier seems to take on a new sense of dynamic character that responds better to a player’s touch. It is this feel that gives a tube amp an organic and natural sense, while solid-state amplifiers are considered more sterile in sound because of the lack of this response or harmonics.

The age-old problem has been getting the great tube amp sound at lower and more realistic levels. As the majority of musicians play relatively small clubs and in even smaller practice rooms, only the minority (i.e. those famous guitarists!) get the real opportunity to play these tube amps at the volumes that they sound best. As a result, many of our classic and much beloved Marshall, Fender, and Vox amplifiers are often seen used with distortion and fuzz boxes to compensate. While my personal belief is that these distortion and fuzz boxes are useful in some applications, they are certainly not the best way to achieve great tone when used strictly as the sole source of distortion.
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