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.
Marshall’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.
A Brief Early History
As Marshall quickly grew in reputation as the new king of high-powered guitar amplification during the early 1960’s, Dave Reeves, who had been an employee of Mullard as well as a contractor for Sound City in London, began working on his own amplifiers that aimed to take the amplification construction quality and tonal designs to new heights. Reeve’s new Hiwatt amplifiers were born via his company, Hylight Electronics.
Ibanez began producing pedal effects in the mid 70’s. At that time, many of their products were remarkably similar in sound to one of the leading effects maker of that era, MXR. In the early 80’s, the first Tube Screamer, model TS-808, was introduced and became a success. In 1982, the updated Tube Screamer, model TS-9, was introduced and was even more successful. Acclaimed for its soft-clipping distortion characteristics that was fairly touch-responsive, especially for a pedal made in that time, the Tube Screamer became a favorite for both blues guitarists as well as rock guitarists that wanted to add more punch to their already distorted sound.
With prices of original TS-808 and TS-9 Tube Screamers literally going for hundreds of dollars more than they ever sold for new (As of this writing, TS-808’s have gone for $450+ on Ebay and I’ve seen original TS-9s in the $250-$300 price range), Ibanez decided to make the most of this demand and reissue the Tube Screamer TS-9.