Series 1 1961 Bluesbreaker - What Do You Think?

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

  1. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    7069 also sports a perforated mains board that is typically earlier or later than 65, isnt that right? #Neil Tazin John?
     
  2. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to the mounting variations of the chassis of these old amps I remember an interview with Jim and Ken Bran talking about the early years and how the more or less made the cabinets custom for all aluminium chassis up till the block ends and later metal chassis. Sizes and mounting varied depending on the person building it. Jim was personally involved in the “carpenter” department building speaker cabs and head cabs for many years and even continued to do tolex covering of cabinets into the 70’s.

    The flanged alu chassis were both made in-house and sometimes outsourced and they vary a bit forcing the headcabs to do as well. You defiantly see trends but there are no true laws this is also true to placements of for instance feet, fitting screws placements and so on. Most obvious are the really early head cabs (coffin logoed versions) where the back panels almost seemed to have been totally ad lib.
     
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  3. chard

    chard Active Member

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    I bought the bluebreaker book for reference material. I later discovered many items were somewhat questionable.......should have kept my money really
     
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  4. Flano_mark

    Flano_mark New Member

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    Hi guys,

    First off, many thanks to you all for your help and information here - It really is appreciated and most helpful.

    Neikeel - I have been in contact with Brian of Marstran in regard to rewind, I would love to get this transformer back to its best so would like to leave it in good hands.

    I have read through the posts that Tom has put up regarding the the non-original amps and about the likes of what MG were up to in the past (which I was already aware of), and all I can say is that it's very unfortunate that there are those that would carry on in this regard - its downright poor form and places people in difficult situations. With this in mind, I want to make sure folk here understand that I present this amp as it came to me, and for information only. As someone that has spent many joyful years playing guitar and restoring amp's, I'm only interested in getting the amp to the best playable condition I can, enjoying the journey, and respecting the work that went into designing and building these lovely amps in the first place. The condition of the amp is such that it will only ever be a players amp, and not a collectors show piece - and if I happen to sell it in the future, it will be sold "as-is" and to someone that is fully aware of what they are buying. Hopefully this makes sense and outlines my thinking. I thank you nonetheless for this information Tom. I will note that you have heavily edited and changed your posts since we begun speaking, it makes your information quite hard to follow.

    So, with this in mind, some history and what I know of the amp so far.

    My friend that I got the amp from is a relation of a popular Irish guitarist who would have been well known by many over the years. This musician would have spent several years in London in the mid to late 60's and touring the world thereafter, and was involved with many of the big artists at the time. Out of respect and impartiality there is no need to mention names, however it is suffice to say that they would have had a considerable amount of gear through the years - and a number of items were likely procured directly from manufacturers themselves. I believe some of the gear would have been from the Irish Show band scene of the 60's and some from time spent in the UK and further afield. This amplifier (and story) aside, a point of interest here is just some of the gear that was circulating around in Ireland during this show band era. Everything from early vintage Marshall's through to early and late 60's Fenders among others. Up until around 15 years ago I remember some lovely old gear being easily available from a number of different sources in Ireland. I'm sure like most other vintage instrument markets, this has changed somewhat over the past number of years - vintage has become "in", or at least its gone this way here. The gear is now far harder to get, and far more expensive.

    With the above in mind, and getting back to the amp at hand - I think it may have either came directly from Marshall to the guitarist in the early days around 64/65 or it may have been bought through a dealer in Ireland (if there were any?) by a group on the show band circuit and passed on from there. Another guitarist friend of mine from the Dublin scene who was gigging at this time confirmed to me that he remembered a BB Series 1 4x10 in a practice hall in Dublin in around the mid 60's - it might be possible that this was it, however there is no way I can definitively say. My friend had vivid memories of the amp and said "it was everyone's first choice when we went to that hall". Either way, I have found the research so far very interesting, and quite plausible in either case. I have spoken to a few individuals in regard to the the possibly of the amp coming directly from Marshall, and although differing opinions exit and many agree its likely, one thing two people have noted is that Marshall used to regularly take finished chassis' from heads and build combos for them if there was demand in the early days. I am not sure if there is any credence to this, however it ties in well with what London John and Plexi are saying, and makes sense to me in regard to this amp. I know by looking at the cab and the work on the black plate that its highly unlikely that the cab was built at a different time, or later during the amps life. Also, the baffle screws, vent arrangement, tolex cuts, speaker bolts and other detail are identical to Plexi's unit pictured above. What is unusual is that although the White cloth looks to be original, it has been left uncut and overlapping at the back of the baffle - the excess was never cut away. I cant figure why, other than that it simply wasn't done in production. I have seen this once before in an early 70's black back loaded Marshall 4x12, but it was obviously not visible with the back cover on so it probably didn't bother the folks building the cab at the time.

    So there's were I'm at with it at the moment. It has been a very long time since this amp has been played, and I think the OT may have blown early on in its life. Before I was contacted about the amp, it had been in a garden shed for 20 + years so you can imagine its condition. Besides the transformer, the baffle ply has begun separate and warp so I need to think of a non-intrusive way of repairing that to get it back solid. It may need some bracing pieces on the back of the baffle to give it back some strength. It would be unfortunate to have to add anything, but may be necessary in this case.

    Again thanks and please keep the information coming, any help or guidance appreciated!

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
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  5. eastsidecincy

    eastsidecincy Active Member

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    Thanks for those awesome pics guys...I can almost smell the hot tubes...:jam:
     
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  6. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mark!

    I think your amp is an original marshall made amp that has not been to denmarkstreet... There are a couple of "classic" Denmarkstreet "trademark incorrect features" and they are not present in this amp. Which is good! My only real big question is if the grill cloth have been replaced at one time. This could not be assured from the limited pics that I´ve seen.

    Its a great amp and thanks for charing! Brian does great transformers and rewinds and I have personally used his services in the past with great outcome!

    please post sound clips when it is restored!

    plexi


    PS
    Then we have accept that Marshall had a lot of inconsistent in production and the use of parts. Unfortunately this have been used as an excuse by fakers to use almost any parts in Marshall lash ups saying they are original. But with especially the old ones you have to take a good look on each amp and also look at provenience. There are not only the notorious British fakers but also US made fakes that have their "trademark incorrect features". Be aware!

    As chassis being all over the place I think it was Cerrem (Chris Merren) that said on the old plexi palace forum that he once tried to measure up every chassis he got close to making the optimal blueprint for a jtm45 chassis but he have up as they were all over the place in both size and part placement. (Interesting though is that none of them were close to the reissue chassis or the main aftermarket chassis.)

    Marshall have since the start always been keen on satisfying their customers and have made much more custom work than most would expect, many one offs have actually been rejected as fakes. But some well known custom orders were
    - brian poole and the trembles white JTM45 half stacks that they wanted for one of their tours
    - Eric Clapton wanted a combo JTM45 that would fit in the trunk of his car. (This is the real Bluesbreaker combe the only one, style II cabinet but probably a little different in size than later production ones. It might not even had the tremolo section some people have argued.)
    - Pete Townshend pushed for more power driving the development of the 100 watt amps. And the famous 8x12 that later developed into the stack.

    Less known are custom made PA installations for music clubs and churches, amp heads and speaker cabinets is custom colours. For instans there is an original white and blue offset head, just recently (see another thread) there is a supposed original blue/greencoffin logo head on sale on reverb (lot of unanswered questions on that on though) and I know of a coffin logo 6v6 2x10 combo with elaborate custom front/baffle. 18 inch tremolo combo. There are also many other minor customisations like original early 4 output PA heads, two pairs of jacks both with silkscreen underneath saying "speakers". 12 input PA heads! (No-one would fake that!!! :) ) Original Lead model old JTM45 with dual outputs. PA cabinets with built in amps rear loaded, long before you seen any model descriptions and in any catalogues.

    Than we have the "Mod/service/repair/restoration" aspect on these old amps. Amps parts break down whether or not your using them or not over time. What level of would you except an amp as original?... the scale is wide but it most often boils down to how the amp is presented when it is changing hands, right?




    For Neil!:
    "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 extra turret strip and fuse could be some Scandinavian import thing, IIRC Hagstrom started to import Marshall 65 early 66...

    The MT on 7069 is rewound, sticker reused, its made either by Merren or Brian have to check...
     
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  7. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for taking the time to share pictures and the history of the amp !

    Neil and plexi and have covered every aspect and I agree with their take on your amp. The more information we have and share is how we all learn to know what we are seeing.

    I would echo the feeling that plexi stated regarding the possibility of the grill cloth being changed at one point.

    Does your amp cab have internal blocks ? Could you share pictures of the inside of the cab ?

    More detailed pictures will give the forum members a better chance to observe the fine details. The more pictures the better as one picture says a thousand words ! That is the great thing about this forum ! Your questions will be answered in detail.

    It is obvious that you have read all of the posts at great length and it is great that you are restoring it to the best playability and giving full disclosure on your journey with the amp. I am looking forward to seeing how the amp turns out and maybe hearing what the amp sounds like after the next steps.

    You are in good hands with Brian Wallace !

    Since none of us were at the factory in the early years we have to go by what we have seen , read about and owned.

    ps Thank you again for taking the time to read through my edits :) We share a passion for these amps !

    Please keep us posted :)

    Cheers, Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
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  8. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    Serial numbers druing this period are
    The 7241 amp has many issues and has been discussed at great length as not authentic in a few different forums.

    Please be aware that the book has a lot of misinformation.

    Pot date codes are better for dating purposes than serial numbers.

    Some internal pics of your cab will help.
     
  9. Ned B

    Ned B Active Member

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    7042 which I have is similar to the OP's. How do we post photos these days?
     
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  10. pleximaster

    pleximaster Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ned!!!

    You have to make them small enough (200-400kb i think) and than you can use the upload icon and select the pics you want from your computer

    Plexi
     
  11. TAZIN

    TAZIN Active Member

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    You do see a lot of perforated boards pre 1965 but I don't know if I would use that as a "gauge" to determine year of manufacture.
     
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  12. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    HI Ned,

    You have to resize to 1024 / 768 or smaller. :)
     
  13. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    Before, during and after '65. Just the solid boards with certain drill patterns are 64-67, component types vary.
     
  14. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

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    What are those shower cap-like things on top of those tubes?
     
  15. tomsvintage

    tomsvintage Well-Known Member

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    Those are cloth tube retainers
     
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  16. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I thought they were little Chinese straw sun hats.


    [​IMG]
     
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  17. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, made of asbestos, you can still get them NOS in sealed military packets. Don’t know which (ie how hazardous) this type is vs the face mask hazmat suit variety.
    Anyone know?
     
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  18. boola1

    boola1 Active Member

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    Not particularly hazardous if sitting undisturbed in an unused amp. If the amp is used, meaning you move the valve retainers for replacing tubes, biasing etc, you risk some fibres being dislodged.

    Personally I would get rid of them but if you really must keep them, it's up to you how much risk you want to take. I would recommend only messing around with them outside, using a mask and vacuum the amp when you're finished.
     
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  19. Clanger1

    Clanger1 New Member

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    Greetings All. Flano your amp looks pukka to me. AS others have said , serial numbers are all over the place, but having said that the first run of bluesbreakers was the range 7000 to 7099, so you are in range. Within that range there seems to have been a lot of variation in cosmetcis. The few block logo / RS cloth ones I've seen have all been in the upper end of that range eg. 7060 to 7090 or so. One I nearly bought was I think7087 or 7088, and it had started off like yours but been butchedred back into a home made head and two speaker cabs. wow what desecration. Interestingly it had clapton knobs rather than your conventional ones, but that doesn't worry me. I see one of my comments from years ago has lived on ' we werent there at the factory'.
     
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  20. Clanger1

    Clanger1 New Member

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    .

    I dont know how to post pics, but 7087 is an example, and 7088 would be an example but the cab was destroyed, however the chassis shows that it was mounted that way.
     
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