Marshall/Bray Hybrid or How my Marshall 2205 became a Bray 4550 Hybrid

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by Minion531, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Minion531

    Minion531 New Member

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    I will get to the details in a minute, but I want to start by saying this is the amp I always wanted. It seems this amp can do anything. Has a great clean sound. Has that musically gainy sound like Page. And those kickass Marshall Plexi tones we've all come to love, as well as completely nailing the brown sound. So far I played it with a little slap back delay and nothing but a cord. I don't use the delay much. I've never had an amp that was so responsive that I didn't need any effects, reverb included. Because with my Les Paul, I can get limitless sustain. Even at low volume. But man, that classic Plexi sound I love so much and I never realized how it actually makes playing the guitar so much easier because the amp is so dynamic. So enough about that. Here's how it happened.

    In 1983 I bought a new Marshall JCM800 2205 50 watt Marshall amp with a 1960A cabinet. It was a great amp and over the years I had a few upgrades done to it. But over the last few years I started hearing a high pitched almost whistling sound coming out it. Eventually it just stopped working.

    So I sent it to David Bray Amps, who had modded my amp before, to see if he could fix it. Once he got the amp, he let me know he had it. About a week later we talked on the phone. He told me he could fix my amp, but it would cost more than to buy one of his new amps. He said my amp was made with the pots built right into the circuit board, and many other parts were just worn out and old. He could replace them all, but it would be labor intensive and would not be very wise of me. He said he was sorry he didn't have better news. I thanked him and told him I'd get back to him.

    At this point I really didn't know what to do. I didn't really want to pay shipping to get the amp back if it were not fixable, but it still had good parts like the box, the reverb box, the transformers, etc. But was it really worth it or was it just going to take up space? But then I got another call from Dave. He said he could fix my amp, but not in the sense I was thinking.

    He said he would gut my amp, put in a Bray Hand Wired circuit board, new pots, and I would basically have a Bray 4550 minus the tube rectifier. He said it would cost me $1000, plus the cost of tubes, and new filters if I needed them. He would re-use my Marshall Transformers, but after that it would be like a Hand wired 68 Plexi voiced by Dave Bray. While I would likely never have been able to afford a new Bray 4550, I was able ot afford to have my amp modded into something similar. I now I have this amp that is the amp I always wanted. It's been a long time since I have played this much and had so much fun playing. It's really re-newed my interest in playing again. IMG_20191108_165519_564.jpg
     
  2. liontato

    liontato Well-Known Member

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    Let’s hear it! I’ve always liked the demos I’ve heard from anything he mods.
     
    stringtree likes this.
  3. Minion531

    Minion531 New Member

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    I'm not really a good enough player to show off what the amp can do, but he has a clip he sent me to hear it before he sent it back to me. I didn't save it, but I'm sure I can get it again. I'll post it as soon as I get it.
     
    stringtree likes this.
  4. stringtree

    stringtree Well-Known Member

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    :welcome: to the forum Minion531! :dude:

    Great back story of your current amp!

    I'm a big admirer of Brays amps!
    Also, would love to hear a clip of this amp in its new glory!! :jam:
     
    solarburnDSL50 likes this.
  5. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    That seems nice and welcome. It is good you are having fun. :yesway::)

    Moral of the story, it is a lot cheaper to get your old amplifier modified by Bray to a somewhat 4550 than it is to buy a Bray 4550 outright. :scratch: :squint: :noplease:
     
  6. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    David will definitely get my business when I'm ready to spend the money. From the many clips of his amps that I've heard, I know that he's got this "tone" thing nailed down at every corner. What I hear out of some of his amps is very, very close to the sound I imagine in my head.

    I'm not going to put down any other builder's amps. There are some amazing amps to choose from these days. But for my personal tastes, I think a Bray amp will suit me best.

    As for posting sound clips, you don't have to attempt to shred. You can learn a lot from an amp just by playing a few simple riffs and chords. Keep it simple, give the amp time to sustain some notes, let it ring, play some stacatto so we can hear how quickly it response, do volume swells, etc. No need to try to convince anybody that you can play like George Lynch. Demo the AMP, not your playing.

    Look at how Johan Segeborn does his demo videos. It's all simple stuff but it's effective at revealing the sound of the equipment.
     
    stringtree and J Saw like this.
  7. Minion531

    Minion531 New Member

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    I'm 58 and disabled now. I used to be a pretty good player, but no so much lately. I don't want people to get a bad impression of the amp, because my skills have diminished so much. I'll get the clip and post post it
     
    stringtree likes this.
  8. Minion531

    Minion531 New Member

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    I really don't remember the last time I had this much fun, just playing by myself. And from the price perspective, I'm poor. I live on Disability. A new Bray was just out of my range. But I've wanted one for a long time. So this worked out great for me.
     
    stringtree likes this.
  9. mantrasky

    mantrasky Well-Known Member

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    It's Great to have an Amp you're "Inspired" and fun to play! Plus now it's a hand built Custom Marshall that you're proud to own!
     
    stringtree and solarburnDSL50 like this.
  10. stringtree

    stringtree Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear of your health issues.

    Didn't mean to pressure you on the clip, not my intention. Sharing clips and pics just gives us an opportunity to enjoy it from your perspective, in a non judgemental kind of way.

    I'm just happy your enjoying such a great amp! :dude:
     
  11. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Well for that price it has to be a great geetar amplifier.
    Lite it up and record us some tunes if you will.
    :thumb:
     

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