Tag Archives: super lead

Stories of The British Amp Invasion Come to Life

Dave Hunter’s latest book is entitled, The British Amp Invasion: How Marshall, Hiwatt, Vox, and More Changed the Sound of Music, and covers a span of the influence of British amplification from the late 1950s onward. As an industry, the companies behind the amplifiers are a fascinating study, not only from a design and sonic perspective, but also because of the stories themselves that surround their business success and growth (or for some, their bad deals and decline).
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The Legend of the Soldano Super Lead Overdrive

Purple SLO Michael Soldano had no intentions of becoming a guitar amp maker. Prior to the launch of the first Soldano Super Lead Overdrive (SLO), he dreamed of rock stardom and not amp building. But it was during these early days while he was on his tone quest that he realized he wasn’t fully satisfied with the amplifiers that were available at the time.
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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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Typical Early Edward Van Halen Studio Setup Diagram

  1. MXR e.q. set up as midboost (* only occasionally used depending on the guitar)
  2. Marshall plexi Super Lead, unmodified, although simple modifications such as a cascaded input stage or added gain through capacitor/resistor exchanges may have been made.
  3. Ohmite VARIAC set to approximately 90 Volts A/C
  4. Dummy Load
  5. MXR Flanger
  6. MXR Phase 90 (** This was sometimes put in front of the amp instead of after the dummy load)
  7. Echoplex EP3
  8. (***Equalization sometimes added prior to power amp)
  9. H & H power amp
  10. Various Marshall cabinets (sometimes two, sometimes four) used with various Celestion and JBL speakers

Typical Early Edward Van Halen Studio Setup

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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