Series 1 1961 Bluesbreaker - What Do You Think?

Discussion in 'Let's Talk Vintage' started by Flano_mark, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Hello from Ireland!

    I have been lucky enough to get this beaut from an old friend. I haven't had the time to get right into the circuit yet, but feel its an amazing find. Unfortunately, the OT is blown and the baffle is rough, but other than that the amp looks to be in reasonably good shape. From quite a bit of reading and a lot of head scratching, I figure this amp is very early for a Bluesbreaker - possibly late 64. What I know so far:

    • Transformers are original. OT is Drake "Block Logo", which I will get rewound.
    • Mustard Caps all date 1964, and it looks that only one or two components have been replaced.
    • Grille cloth looks to be original RS white which has thrown me a bit, although I've seen old BB's with same.
    • Speakers are some kind of early Celestion 10 Inch Alnico, its difficult to say if they were original. I have had them beside a set of 7442s and the cone looks near identical, and they even have the small "Celestion" symbol on the connection tag. There are no date codes on any of the 4 speakers, only the stamps shown in the pics below.
    • There are some oddities on the board - unusually placed resistor between ground and input mix resistors, shouldn't be there but looks original. Also, the resistor feeding the output screen grid resistors is 380 ohm rather than the 1k I believe it should be. Possibly a repair job at some stage - and maybe responsible for the blown OT unfortunately. I found the amp with EL34s in there which was a sin to say the least.
    Has anyone any ideas, or experience with early bluesbreaker's this early? It really is a fascinating amp which I'm sure has some stories to tell.

    IMG-20180629-WA0022.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0021.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0020.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0017.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0013.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0012.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0010.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0018.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0019.jpg IMG-20180629-WA0014.jpg

    Any input or comments appreciated!

    Best regards,

    Mark
     
  2. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting.
    Looks good at first pass!
     
  3. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Thanks neikeel!

    Shame about the transformer though :shock:
     
  4. ricksconnected

    ricksconnected Well-Known Member

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  5. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Just done a little more reading in John R Wiley's great bluesbreaker book and seen the following. The earliest BB he references is the one below at late 64, which looks like it has the newer of the two Drake OTs (i.e. no selector on end bells). The S/N on this is 7241 wheres the chassis I have is 7071 - sometime before. Are these S/Ns to be trusted for date of manufacture?
     

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  6. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    Odd flanges installed on the ends of the chassis. What is the overlap cloth material on the top panel ? Curious to see pics of the inside of the cab.

    Good luck with the OT rewind and thanks for sharing !
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  7. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Thanks Tom,

    From what I see looking back through Amp archives some Series 1 used chassis side mounting and some were mounted onto the upper back board of the cab from the L lip, and then the back board (including chassis attached) were mounted into the cab. You can see this in the Wiley book as per the image in post above. Looks like the first amps may have been done this way, and then they changed to side mount possibly...

    I would be near sure that the amp and cab are matched.

    As for the angle flanges, who knows! They are pop riveted in place and seem to add a right bit of rigidity to the chassis. It dosent look like an afterthought or modification though - if it is a mod, its well done.
     
  8. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    Here is serial 7069 it is a block logo (reissue logo in the first pics old original one i the last) and it has clapton knobs. I never seen flanges like those before but some early tremolo models had these kinds of small angles flanges (probably to increase rigidity)

    18944614_767051646806784_1432581164_n[4].jpg 18944614_767051646806784_1432581164_n[4].jpg 18944734_767065800138702_1161661932_n[4].jpg 18985389_767675796744369_98080111_n[4].jpg 19191131_771586313019984_1189452644_n[3].jpg 19197670_772395029605779_1848221803_o[3].jpg 19204978_772394372939178_1568712208_o[4].jpg 19205137_772394932939122_1660746475_o[3].jpg 19212905_772393259605956_17880510_o[4].jpg 19213052_772395112939104_902543639_o[3].jpg
     
  9. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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  10. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 12.04.34[1].jpg
     

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  11. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Many thanks indeed for the pictures Pleximaster - this is getting very interesting!

    It is really great to be able to compare both of these amps. Incredible to see the subtle differences between the two of them given they were probably built within a few days of each other. What is most interesting is that they look to have the same speaker, only yours has a bell cover. I have seen this elsewhere and wondered if these were just excluded on mine - it looks so, you can even see the brass fixing bolt on the speakers without the bell cover that would otherwise hold it in place. Also, note location of HT fuse - different between the two amps.

    As above post, it seems they did indeed use different chassis mounting arrangements - as we see between the two if these amps. Gives credence to the thought that no two early Marshalls were the same.

    How does she sound? I think I have seen your video on youtube with this amp...
     
  12. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Just also seen the considerable differences between the PT's - hard to figure that one...
     
  13. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    Just mind that Marshall serial numbers were often not used in consecutive order...

    plexi
     
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  14. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    Tom could you post pics of your early 2x12 bluesbreaker here as well for comparisopn ?

    Best plexi

    å
     
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  15. London John

    London John Active Member

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    No, the earliest version cab the chassis was mounted to the back panel. There were no blocks inside into which "side screws" could be mounted.

    This changed relatively early, but that's how the first ones were built.
     
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  16. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    Flano_mark ~

    Please be aware that some of the amps pictured in the archives and the BB book are parts together from heads.

    Unfortunately, due to the considerable value of the amps, there are a few out there that assemble amps from parts for profit. Same thing happens with Fender guitars etc....so we all need to be careful and help each other spot the fine details that separate the ones assembled at the factory by Marshall and the ones assembled from parts after the factory by individuals.

    This thread from a few years ago covers one of the BB combos (pg 73) that you shared pictures of in Wiley's BB book.

    http://www.marshallforum.com/threads/carter-vintage-lash-ups.87785/

    One of our forum members writes :

    "Well, the amp was for sale at Willie's American Guitars before it went to Carter's. It was described as being 100% original, with no disclaimer whatsoever.

    It was then sold to a Joshua Rockwell. We corresponded about the authenticity of the amp, seemingly around the time he bought it from Willie's. He also talked to two other parties I know of, and we all told him the amp wasn't correct. He told one party that he was getting such a good deal from Willie's that he "couldn't say no".

    Mr. Rockwell then sold the amp to Carter's, but with a changed lamp and a set of 652's taken from a 2x12 cab, which he says he got from the owner before Willie's as part of the deal (while at Willie's, it had greenbacks).

    Predictably, Mr. Rockwell didn't disclose any of his correspondence about authenticity, or the changes he made to make the amp appear "more correct", to Carter's. He knowingly sold it as genuine despite being told by numerous sources that it wasn't.

    Mr. Rockwell was, once, a frequent visitor to the Les Paul Forum.

    Naturally, I have all the relevant email correspondence and photos filed to support what I'm saying " end quote.

    As none of us were working at the Marshall factory during 1964-1966 it is all somewhat a mystery. In my humble opinion ~ One of the greatest things (aside from how great they look) is the sound they produce !! :)





    From what I have read and seen the earliest combos had 3 handles and were mounted to the cab as shown in the picture below.

    My chassis (like plexi's) is also mounted to the cab with no holes on the outer lip. This assembly procedure leaves no doubt that they were matched during production. I would beware of any early combo that has a back panel mounted chassis with holes in the outer lip flange. Red flag that the chassis was previously mounted in a head.

    The previous owner of my 7032 removed the 2 outer leather handles and brackets which I will replace. IMG_1536 (1024x633).jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
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  17. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    Here are a few pictures of my 2 x 12 combo top and front.JPG back panel.JPG
     
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  18. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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  19. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    London John post -

    No, the earliest version cab the chassis was mounted to the back panel. There were no blocks inside into which "side screws" could be mounted.

    This changed relatively early, but that's how the first ones were built.


    London John ,

    Please share the pictures of some early combos with a back panel mounted chassis other than the lash up on pg 73 in the J. Wiley BB book. We would love to see some real photographic evidence :)

    The pictures provided by plexi and myself of amps that we own show 2 early versions where the chassis is mounted to blocks in the cab.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  20. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    I can only really comment on the amp and the electronics.
    This is definitely early '65. I have had two electronically unmolested JTM45s from 1965 (the one in my recent thread here and another that was sold). The mustard cap codes, mica cap type, resistor type, board material etc are all correct, it cannot be earlier than January 1965. The transformer types on the OP amp is also the same - Drake selector on the transformer type with a Drake choke, so that all fits. The fuse position is correctThe side flange reinforcement looks like it was done a very long time ago - original ex-factory? The cab features look good to me but I am pleased that London John has chipped in as he is much more up on this aspect than me.
    The one in the other pics 7069 is much more puzzling.
    It has an RS type PT, but the fastenings are different (long screws for the extra turret and fuse positions (Scandi model?) and Hammerite paint over the fixings is unusual. Wire colours are correct but the wire dress is also unusual.
    The board has been heavily reworked with different parts (caps, resistors, wires) the pots have all been touched up (maybe cleaned). The choke is an RS 20H type so fits with the PT. The OT is almost certainly a replacement (modern end bell nuts and bolts too). Would have expected an RS to go with the choke and PT but you do see them mixed (chassis has no RS cutout) so would likely have been one of the first selector on side types like the one in the OP amp.
    Really interesting to see.
    Who is going to do the OT rewind - hope they do it properly as they do sound really good.
     
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