Drake and Solid State.

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Neptical, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Y'all.

    Upon cleaning the in and outs of my 3210s and my 3315, I can't help but wonder how much ( if any) of the tone in these amps relies on these old Drakes. I must add that all my models (3210s) do tonally have a little bit of different feel in each one - a few a little bit tighter, a few feeling a little bit of a sag. I always find it interesting in these models.

    Anyhow, for you pros out here, what's the consensus on this? Thank you in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  2. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure the 3210 doesn't have an output transformer, just a main powertrans. Never had the other amp you mentioned but most solidstate amps have no opt.
     
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  3. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    @Gunner64 Thanks for your input my friend. Still curious however. Does this statement not hold up for PTs in SS..?

    "The audio circuitry of your amp is completely dependent on the quality of its power supply. The very first component in this food-chain-of-tone is the power transformer. It makes the necessary connection between your amp and the power company. How it behaves sets the standard for your amp’s performance. The PT has a profound affect on your amp’s sonic characteristics especially its ability to handle musical dynamics. What this means to you is crisper note attack, better note separation, and added sparkle in the upper mids and treble frequencies. And keep in mind that with a properly-designed power transformer you’ll hear all-around higher definition with the amp’s clean and dirty tones."
     
  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    When you wrap a lot of wire around a chunk of iron you have a big magnetic field that does a lot more then just ramps up voltage .
     
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  5. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    Marshall Forum doesn't appear to be very fond of Solid State discussions. It's a shame as I feel these amps sound fantastic for their price.
     
  6. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know about that. Probably more tube amp discussions for sure, just because that's what most of us use, but there are s.s. threads here.

    The lack of reponses maybe just lack of experience as it pertains to your question.

    Ime solid state devices are not as forgiving as tube devices with variances in their power supplies.

    I do own and have owned several s.s. amps including the 3210. I have a couple lead 12 stacks, avt50h, mg100hdfx and honestly I can get a decent tone out of any of them...I 'm not anti solid state.
     
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  7. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Happy Valvestate user here.
    I've just never had your amp either.
    You do say the Drakes are old amps.
    Are they hand-wired?
    That could introduce a whole lot of variables to alter their comparative tones.
     
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  8. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    I figured this could possibly be the reason. I'm just as much a tube guy as an SS guy as well.

    Good question. I'd be curious to know if these models were.
     
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  9. Chris-in-LA

    Chris-in-LA Well-Known Member

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    A hand wired SS amp? Do they exist?
     
  10. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    Very curious about this especially on all the Marshall SS built in the 80s.
     
  11. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    The thing with SS amps, is that they're high current...low voltage.
    Where tubes amps run some seriously high voltages.

    Does a PT contribute to the sound or feel of a SS amp?...maybe.

    Both tube and SS amps have DC filtering caps, that will have a noticeable effect on feel.
    Along with background hiss, noise floor, and other artifacts in the sound.

    I like SS amps. Especially the old Marshall ones.
    The 3210 is fantastic.
    Also, own an 8100 & 8080 currently.

    The Artist series are real sleepers, with 100% SS preamp section.
     
  12. johan.b

    johan.b Well-Known Member

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    Tube amps, due to the balanced out of phase nature of the power amp, can use a loose, low filtered power supply. The hum gets cancelled at the output transformer.

    Solid state amps are fundamentally different and need a stiff and hum free power supply. Any hum on the supply rails will get out and be heard on the speaker.

    So on a tube amp, the transformer can have an impact on the feel and sound of the amp

    On any conventional solid state amp, it will be big enough or eventually fail... that's all.
    J
     
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  13. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    My solid state amps as of now, are a pair of 3210’s but we have had the MG 100 fx, a pair of AVT50H’s and a pair of MG 30’s, plus a Orange 35 watt, all of them in my book where great amps, but I do tend to play my tube amps more, and my 2 separate rigs , the DSL40C’s and the Origin’s both get used with the 3210’s whenever I turn them on .
    Cheers
    Mitch
     
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  14. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree with Johan, with SS it's mainly a noise issue. Look at the filter cap values in the SS Marshall's much higher than you see in tube heads, anywhere from 2200uF to 4700uF. This is for noise and elimination of AC ripple which can wreak havoc with MOS-FETs.
     
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  15. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    Solid info @wakjob , @johan.b , and @anitoli - you guys are great. I wish there was more good rants around here about these tone machines.
     
  16. Clockworkmike

    Clockworkmike Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, theres a bit of tone there because if you have a good transformer thats delivering a steady voltage to your circuit, its going to make everything work optimally vs a cheap unstable transformer, thats going to cause signal issues. The 3310s like you mentioned carried the Drake 789-66/5 transformers and in my opinion, Drake's are some of the most reliable and best trannies to have. Dagnalls arent bad either but the Drake was a lot more reliable.

    Id say the most important part of your 3310 was the Hitachi 2SK134 and 2SJ49 MOSFETs, which are a MASSIVE part of the Lead Series circuitry and thus its tone
     
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  17. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    And prone to dying................
     
  18. Clockworkmike

    Clockworkmike Well-Known Member

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    I got 4 drakes, played them to death from both a 93 and a 98 amplifier. Not one single failure
     
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  19. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Not talking about the Xformers but those friggin MOS FETS.
     
  20. Neptical

    Neptical Well-Known Member

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    I have a few from 84' and 85' so I guess any day now..
     

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