Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by DSL troubles, Dec 26, 2009.
Are the Marshall clones any good?
yes - Ceriatones are made with excellent components and are superbly wired and assembled. I have the 1987 Plexi clone and I certainly recommend it. If you want to order a new one from Ceriatone then here are some points I feel I should mention :-
1) Plexis are basic and if you are more of a modern guitarist covering more than just blues then it does not take long before you regret it has no fx-loop - make sure you order one.
2) Plexis are loud and not a lot happens until you turn them up - if want to play at a 'normal' room level then you need either a decent valve distortion pedal, or an attenuator (which are crap for the money IMO) or a master volume mod - the master volume mod is a 3 wire mod with a volume pot - spend the extra 15 Euros and order one. It is only effective at lower volumes, once you turn the amp up it is then redundant anyway...
3) One day my power transformer blew - I was a little set-back and suspicious... I ordered a genuine Marshall replacement from Tube-Town and now all is well again. The Marshall tranny is slightly more aggressive and better built (heavier = more iron). This was the only negative point about my baby Ceriatone Plexi...
Ceriatones might be good but a Metro Amp would be much better... and they're based in the US vs Asia for Ceriatone.
how about BLOCKHEAD amps?
I was about to order a kit from Ceriatone when I had the good fortune to acquire an old JMP50 chassis to restore, so I've done quite a bit of research on them. That included asking someone who really knows their onions to check them out and they got top marks.
Brett obviously has ownership experience, so while I can't comment on the trannies, I can agree with him that the Ceriatone circuit, materials and components used in the guts of the amp are well-sorted and top quality. I think his advice on mods is spot on too, but I'd also take a look at LP Power Scaling as on option if you don't fancy a master volume. LP's tube-buffered FX loop and Metro's SS-buffered one get great reviews also.
One of the great things about Ceriatone is there's a dedicated forum and you can also contact Nik directly via email. He's super-helpful and very quick getting back to you. He also offers a good range of pre-builds, from just the main board, thru chassis with no valves or trannies, to a complete amp. So you can pick your level of self-build or just buy the finished amp customised to your own spec.
I know Metro have a great reputation, but I liked the idea of Nik's cottage industry and also thought he was generally better value.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Ceriatone! I'm just going on my experience of a lot of research and pre-sales emails with Nik. Actually, I feel slightly bad that I'm not going to buy one in the near future now, because he was so helpful.
thank you guys! I just checked out the metro site, and they make a superbass clone. If I could have just one marshall, it would be the 100w superbass! Thank you guys!! I will keep you updated if I end up getting one. I am looking at old fender showman heads right now...you can get them cheap, and the clean tone is priceless.
Another +1 for the Ceriatone. I've played through a friend's 1987 with the PPIMV mod and it is pure Marshall tone, even at low volume. So far no transformer issues, either.
I just got a Ceriatone and its great. Unfortunately theres no descriptions of the amps on their site, so you have to rely on info from reviews or email them directly (unless you know how to read schematics).
After much research I finally settled on the Ceriatone British style 36 watt guitar amp. A lot of this decision was based on features and cost. I realized that what I really wanted in a Marshall tube amp was way beyond what I could afford, so I found a used Ceriatone online at a fraction of the cost. At closer inspection of the Ceriatone specs, I saw that this model was made up of many different features and components coming from different Marshall amps, in the end creating a unique configuration to any other Marshall that I’ve seen.
Being that Marshall never made any 36W amps (to my knowledge), Nik Azam from Ceriatone says it started as the 18W TMB (1974x), but the 36W is voiced a bit differently, not as gainy or too much crunch, and with some extra features. For a starter it has three 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL84 power tubes like the 1974x, and a GZ34 rectifier tube like the Bluesbreaker. He says it sounds like a good Plexi but with better bottom end. It has a post phase inverter master volume (PPIMV) on the front for good low volume crunchy play, and a negative feedback switch on the back that takes out negative feedback for a more open but looser tone during higher volume play. And finally it has a 1/2 power switch on the back to go between 36W and 18W. I thought this to be the most versatile of the British style amps offered by Ceriatone.
It is very loud. On the drive channel I put the volume on 10 and the master between 0 and 1, any higher it’s ear splitting (and this is on the 18W setting, it’s even louder on 36W). This gives me a good overdriven sound, more than Zeppelin or ACDC but less than anything higher (I can pull off some G&R or STP rhythms fairly well, but you’d need something to push you a little higher for solos). The clean channel goes from a very good loud clean and if you dime it you get a good Zeppelin overdrive. With the use of your guitar volume knob or a volume pedal you can get all the varying sounds in between on either channel, and you can jumper the two channels for even more sounds. To test the amp out at its full volume I set it up in my son’s room and stood in the hallway, closing the door in various degrees to control the volume, and ran it through its paces. I’ll definitely be getting an attenuator but for the moment I’m able to control the volume with a Rat pedal and get a fairly close sound to its natural overdrive. I did all my tests with a 2007 Gibson LP ‘57 reissue goldtop. This is by far the best amp I’ve ever owned.
My power transformer blew out a few weeks after recieving my Ceriatone. I got a replacement from them and some extra parts. This is interesting. Nik at Ceriatone told me I was missing a circuit protection that without it could blow the PT or rectifier. They've since updated their design, and he sent me the parts to update my amp. Its been a few months and it seems to be holding up.
I've got a Ceriatone jtm 45 clone and with TAD selected and matched tubes (KT66 powertubes) it is the best sounding amp I've ever owned and played.
I have a Ceriatone 50 watt Plexi head and its great.
Very well made point to point wiring, quality components and a great finish to the head. Puts a lot of boutique makers to shame to be honest.
Ceriatone built mine and the quality of work is excellent. The sound is exactly what you would expect from a Plexi.
I had mine stock, so no MV or FX loops etc.
So its pretty pure in terms of signal path, sounds fantastic and I'm very pleased with the whole thing.
i'm thinking of getting a ceriatone tweed deluxe kit to put in a gutted 112 ss amp
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