Considering a Ceriatone Plexi 51

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by What?, May 10, 2020.

  1. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    ampeq, since it seems that I came across to you in this thread as not liking this amp so much, let me say that putting aside some minor issues so far, this amp is a winner. It has the old school sounds of ac/dc, zeppelin, zz top, thin lizzy, and so forth. Mellower sweet blues to more brash and aggressive 70's punk rock tones. Tighter crunch to looser sing. Exactly what I was looking for. Now I'm gushing. For my playing and taste, it smokes my DSL50 for anything but metal, which is off my radar these days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  2. iwuk78

    iwuk78 Member

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    Really appreciate all the detail you are going into with your experiences here.
    Your latest descriptions sound like a plexi to me :)

    It has definitely been my experience with 4 holers that they take some time to "get" if you are not familiar with them. Kind of more than an amp, you play IT as much as you play the guitar if that makes sense.

    Glad that you are starting to enjoy it. Can't wait for mine!
     
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  3. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    The honeymoon is on! This is my new baby. She's the beast to my vintage Super Reverb's beauty, and that is what I originally set out for finding. But there is some overlap there too. Neither is better, just different. The DSL50 on the other hand is going to be finding a new owner. ;) The badge might not say it, but the 51 is the much truer Marshall.

    How do you know when you're playing the right sort of amp? When stuff just starts coming out from seemingly nowhere that you didn't know you had in you and you feel every bit of it. Now I'm really gushing. Embarrassingly so.

    To you fellas who bought this amp: If what I'm saying here rings any bells, you're going to dig this amp.

    And in the moment of playing, I wanted to give myself a little 'feeler' test. I gradually made the changes of turning off the attenuator, turned down the PPIMV, turned on half power mode, switched the rectifier to solid state, and it still sings, crunches, and sounds great at moderate volume, as in no louder than say a full tilt 5 watter. It does still sound very good down lower, but volume alone has an emotional impact too.

    And I look forward to some of you getting yours, because I could probably learn a thing or three from some discussion and other's experiences.
     
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  4. 2203xman

    2203xman Well-Known Member

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    When I first tried a Marshall 4 hole I had a tough time with it .Then,over time I saw the light,and learned how to manage the beast.I have over mentioned it,but the v1 cap change made the plexi my amp of choice.Happy for you What?.I look forward to mine.Nik has replied to my texts pronto,and is quite the friendly guy.
     
  5. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Sorry no recordings today. I'll get some more up soon. One thing to note on recording. An sm57 isn't getting the brightness across that this amp is capable of. It just gets rolled off and by quite a bit. I feel like the low end suffers with an sm57 too. An sm57 does give a decent sort of pre-eq'ed sound to work with for a mix but not so much for presenting an honest picture of in person sound.

    Playing with this amp at low volume (bedroom volume) using the PPIMV and half power switch, it's not bad at all, as in better than any modeler, solid state amp, or tube amp that I have ever played at low volume and without a single pedal. At higher volume it does compress and smooth out some, responds nicer, and gets that singing feedback going on, but at the moment this is very much satisfying my previous want for a 1 watt Marshall. And that is through a 412. I might end up getting a 112 or 110 cab for lower volume use. I already have an 8 ohm reissue greenback here, so I might as well put it to good use. I would say here though to anyone new to a plexi type amp, get some familiarity with it at higher volumes first, then work your way back down to lower volume, not the other way around, thinking about various aspects of the higher volume sound; the brightness, mids, low end, gain, and so forth. Some of that higher volume sweetness and character does get lost at lower volume, but it's still satisfying to play at lower volume after dialing it in for such.

    Also, what i thought was tube rattle before turned out to be a nearby set of drill bits vibrating against one another which sounded remarkably like tube rattle. Nik shipped the thing with non-rattling tubes.

    If I could only have one amp right now out of my other amps, this would be it. It is very satisfying to play, allows me to get expressive from clean to mean without any external help from other devices, and it does well from full on to bedroom volume, only requiring changing some settings to optimize it for low volume.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  6. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I think it sounds excellent! No doubt from my ears. I would have a blast too.:agreed:
     
  7. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    Now it sounds more like I expected to hear. I was worried it was not up to what the Chupacabra is but it sounds closer now. So glad to hear it.
     
  8. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

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    But can you get a good early EVH tone with it?
     
  9. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a Van Halen tone aficionado. I never even learned a Van Halen riff or lick. Here is a stab at low volume. You tell me.

    https://app.box.com/s/vf4k7pgznywglo144qzlbhn7db1w06r6

    3 sections there. All have been dolled up a bit with the same eq, delay, and reverb.
    1) No pedal, treble channel on full, PPIMV at bedroom volume.
    2) OCD clone added as a clean boost
    3) Same pedal used as an overdrive

    That pedal adds a pretty big low mid hump that I don't like, but my graphic eq recently bit the dust, so I had to use something. For someone who knows that sound well and knows about getting it, I bet it's in there.
     
  10. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Buzzard, if you have any suggestions on dialing in closer to that sort of sound using what I might have on hand, let me know.

    Another stab at it with some changed settings and more processing (feel like I'm leaning too bright at the amp):

    https://app.box.com/s/qzwwm2j80tcxwu5ehgef911xfnsdglr1

    That is using the same pedal with the level up pretty far and some gain added. Still around bedroom volume, but a bit louder than before. Lots of noise there. I'm under fluorescent lights, on the same circuit as a pool pump, and sitting right in front of the amp.

    And yes, I feel a bit ridiculous doing this. I'm not a shredder type, and I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground concerning Van Halen tone. But this seems to be getting in that neighborhood of crunchy bright saturation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  11. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Seems like with that sort of sound it could do the old Metallica Kill Em All sort of tone. Let's see...back in a few.
     
  12. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I'm being lazy here. Just brought down the gain on the pedal, and changed the eq a bit in my daw.

    https://app.box.com/s/yr1scuqjf3a7zoeds7ncmplrdjnwdqy1

    Same delay and big ass reverb. Lazy... And you'll have to forgive my shitty playing. I very rarely revisit that stuff, so I'm hella rusty on it.
     
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  13. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what you fellas think, but I'm thinking today that the Plexi 51 is a badass amp for all things old school Marshall. Lots of sounds in there. I don't think it is going to do any modern djent sort of stuff, but I personally don't like that sort of stuff anyway. I would have loved to have this amp as a kid for sure, playing old school metal.

    And I'll say it again. If I could only have one amp, it would be an old school style plexi like this one. 1987 or 1959. And I love that this amp has lots of tweaker switches to help dial things in without having to do tons of reading, getting some handholding, and breaking out the soldering iron.

    I'm laughing a bit here too. That is a $40 set of pickups from ebay (new price) and a cheapy used Charvel that I think I paid $180 for just because it looked kind of neat. Once the threshold of crappy to decent enough is crossed, the guitar and pickups don't matter nearly as much as the amp. Same goes for my crappo partocaster with with $35 ebay pickups. When I get the thing restrung I'll post some clips using it. And that cab was a $150 special that the guy had posted for months and no one would buy it because it says Peavey on the badge and it's old. I plugged my dsl50 into it full tilt to see what it would do, and it swallowed it up like a whale eating a tic tac. The guy was getting up in age and was tired of lugging it around after decades time. Said he used to muscle it down and back up a couple of flights of stairs when he was younger to go play gigs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  14. iwuk78

    iwuk78 Member

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    Sounds great man. :hbang:
     
  15. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'm looking forward to hearing other people's experiences with this amp. In the meantime, I'll be exploring this thing for whatever it's got.
     
  16. 2203xman

    2203xman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the demo! Sounds very good definitely Marshall tone.It's going to be a long wait,but I will try to return the favor.I ordered mine without tubes,and am planning on something from TAD.I already have a low value cap for v1,but sounds like I may not need it.Enjoy!
     
  17. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for going through the trouble recording the VH stuff. I like the 1st clip best w/o any pedal.Sounds closer to evh,and actually brighter may be better for that tone.Not a metallica fan but that sounded very close if not dead on to me.VH pretty much ran all knobs on 10 even vol 2 and plugged into upper left input and not jumpered. Would love to hear it with tube rectifier and with solid state rectifier.
     
  18. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    I like it best without the pedal too. A clean boost would be a much better tool for the job here. I was using my graphic eq for that job, but it gave up the ghost. Listening through some Van Halen stuff, he actually had something of a variety of different sounds on that first album. Some of it very saturated, some quite a bit less so. Some on the stiff side, some with more give. Common traits that I hear in his sound from that first album are very soft attack (not ever getting icepicky), nice low mids, rich highs (not high mids) without being annoying. Some of that softness could be in the production via saturation from the mixer, tape saturation, and nice compression.

    I remember reading at one time about plexis having some channel bleed even when not jumpered. I'll have to give that a try to see how much difference it makes and compare it to having the normal channel up just a bit when jumpered. A relative point here on the Plexi 51 is that the normal channel (or bass channel, whatever you like to call it) has a pull pot for internal jumpering. No need for a patch cable for doing that. With the treble channel (even alone) on 10, this amp does get on the mushier side, where I think most of that early Van Halen stuff tended to be tighter.

    On the rectifier, I really don't hear a difference either way so far. I do feel just a bit more give when set for tube rectifier, and it seems to have more effect with the amp running harder. At bedroom volume, I probably couldn't pick out one from the other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  19. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Yea... I'm pulling myself right the fuck away from sliding into that Van Halen tone rabbit hole. That seems like a tough nut to crack, and it might crack your nut trying to get there.
     
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  20. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

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    Lol. That’s why I got a suhr sl 68. Figured it was closest to the real thing. I still like the idea of a 50w plexi 51 though. My Mesa stiletto deuce 1 has switchable tube/solid state rectifiers and it’s a huge difference between the two
     

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