Favorite 50 or lower watt marshall with strat?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Impetus, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    Hi, right now I have 2 amps built up. A jtm45 and a black flag jtm50. I have enough components and stuff laying around to build a 50 watter and I'm thinking a 1986/jmp50 bass might be overkill since I have the jtm45 and 50 already. So I guess I'm leaning toward some kind of fire breathing 1987 build for my strat as I've learned to embrace the 4700 or 5000pF bright cap in those builds anyway. Any particular year or schematic I should look at? Would you go '68, '69 or even '72? I couldnt imagine getting better cleans from something other than the 2 jtm's so I'm specifically wanting this amp for dirty marshall stuff.

    One day I might sell the 2 jtm and build a jtm45/100 though lol
     
  2. Spanngitter

    Spanngitter Active Member

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    My favorite Amp for a Strat: 50W Vintage Modern 2266 (NOT the 100W 2466) on the white Channel...bold, sparkly, fat...everything that attributed also to old JTM45/100 but at an acceptable level (even bedroom level, just adjust Body and Detail accordingly) and very good to articulate using the Volume on the guitar...and you get it for a few hundred bucks...
     
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  3. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    Do you really think it would be closer than the jtm45 or black flag jtm50 I built for jtm45/100 tones at lower levels? To me the only differences separating me from that tone is bigger iron and to a less extent the solid state rectifier at higher volume which the jtm50 has the SS rectifer as well as bigger PT than the 45 too. Other than that, they are really spot on though. I'm gonna check out some videos on it though, never heard of it!

    Edit: unless I'm looking at something else they mostly seem to be around 9 to 1000 bucks
     
  4. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking build the 1987 and cascade the channels and put a ppimv in it and also a metro loop, youll have a cool high gain amp to complement the classic amps you already have. :yesway:
     
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  5. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    Every time I ask about versatility, or being able to get "this" sound while still being able to get "that" sound, the answer always seems to be THE VINTAGE MODERN, though I have yet to ever plug into one! I'm not certain what has put me off about them? Maybe the confusion of the terms/controls "body" and "detail" along with how reports of how crucial the settings of those controls are? Or maybe just fearful of Marshall's poor track record with switching systems that utilize low quality, difficult to source components, compounded by the woeful lack of schematics/documentaion! If I could understand how the amp worked and how to possibly reapir it (when/if necessary) maybe those fears would be alleviated? It's my considered opinion that while Marshall views their secretive approach to documentation in the long run, they are actually shooting themselves in the foot!

    With all that said, most reports claim that THE VINTAGE MODERN can do it all!

    Just My :2c:,
    Gene
     
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  6. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    I am confident in that whatever you decide, you are on the right track to meet and exceed your future plans! :yesway:
     
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  7. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    Right on! Yeah, I had never heard of them until the person above mentioned it but it looks like they've gone up a bunch in price maybe? Secrets out? Lol.

    I'm not really looking for a do it all amp, I think I just prefer to have one amp do a particular thing exactly how I want it to if that makes sense. I've got the marshall cleans and edge of breakup sounds I want with the jtm's and now I'm wanting that fire breathing untamed monster that is the lead circuit with the 5000pF cap. I bet that vintage modern amp is just as good as everyone says but there is definitely a difference in sound/feel/response between iron size, rectifier and a few other parts of the circuit that I dont think can be replicated with a control but I could be wrong as I've never used it. I mean you can always use switches to swap tone stack etc but changing filtering, iron size and to a smaller extent rectifier (which can easily be put on a switch) with a switch or pot on the amp doesnt seem like it would really be the same but I've been wrong before lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  8. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    Hmm. Never even considered a loop. That's a cool idea! I do have an effect that's like a comb filter and needs to go into something cleaner..
     
  9. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    Ha! Thanks, I hope so! I've got just enough NOS parts left to put together one more amp. Not that I have anything against current production stuff but why not have fun with the old stuff if ya can? I still think I like the old high voltage ceramics more than lemco or RS silver micas, theres a grainy-ness in the gain that sounds more "vintage" to me and when really cranked does the "falling apart or about to fall apart" sound better than silver micas IME. But my god the difference in some of those old vintage ceramic caps...some are awesome and some are downright terrible. I've just tried to stick with CRL, mallory/rmc and stuff like that and have had good results. But I might go with silver micas in the 1987 for a smoother tone to combat some of the inherent toppy-ness of that amp...guess I'll just have to see
     
  10. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I like the loop for lead volume boost. Also good for time based effects which I dont use like reverb, delay, chorus, etc.
     
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  11. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    What ppimv do you use? To be honest I've not had a great experience with them and honestly am not crazy about attenuators either. I would rather just barely turn the amp up and use a pedal than attenuate an amp and run it hard for the speakers to be barely moving any air anyway, you know? I had the rockcrusher and fryette but maybe I just dont "get" the attenuators. Like it sounds good and does its job but I feel like a can get just as good sounds with low amp volume and a pedal as I can with an attenuator unless its gotta be whisper quiet I suppose

    A lot of people recommend the ppimv though that I take notes from so maybe I need to try one again!
     
  12. Spanngitter

    Spanngitter Active Member

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    Its out of both worlds.
    I have a JTM 45*, a JMP 50* (<= Avatar), a JMP 100*, an 50W Vintage Modern and an Astoria in my Men's cave accompanied by an 18W TMB*, a TSL60 and a Realtone Eddie MkII which route thru either a Kustom 4x12 equipped with Tayden True Brits, the mating VM 4x12 Cabinet with the G12C25, a TubeTown 2x12 with G12M65 Creamback or an 1x12 Astoria with G12H75 Creamback. For Strat the VM + its Cabinet are really the favored match, i can play that even at night, at bedroom level with still balls and (if going into Blue channel) enough Plexi grit in Sound. The other Amp/Cab combinations more favor my love for Humbuckers, e.g. JTM or JMP into the VM Cab for the Koss Tone whilst best classic rock is more any of the other Amps in either the Kustom or thru the TT 2x12 but all of them need then to be turned up (and maybe attenuated). The Eddie does what it's name suggest, preferrably on the Kustom but sounds also Killer on the other Cabs and its absolutely controllable, something most Marshalls do miss.
    The Astoria is a thing of its own, it's somewhere in between, has fairly identical sound in Low and High Level and the Cab matches the Amp best and therefore my quick grab and go.

    * denotes my own builds
     
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  13. Impetus

    Impetus Member

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    Brotha. Why you wanna give me gas? Lol.

    At around 1000 bucks I'm not sure I could pick one up without trying one. Maybe my locals have one in the store.
     
  14. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I have a LarMar ppimv on my 1959 and it works great. I agree about the attenuator, I'm still gonna get one to try with my amp to see which I like better, ppimv or attenuator.
     
  15. gregr

    gregr Well-Known Member

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    http://musiciansroadhouse.com/viewtopic.php?t=11594

    I wouldn’t say it does it all. It’s unique. The midrange voicing on this amp is very different from other Marshalls but not really necessarily in a bad way. It’s not neutral; it’s either scooped or has a pronounced hump. The bottom end is bloated and the high gain mode is very raw/buzzy. The schematic tells the tale.

    It wasn’t my cup of tea. I was hoping for a poor man’s Plexi. Mine was turned into an entirely different amp. It’s basically now a Friedman Smallbox, which is a 1987 at its core though it still has KT66s in it.

    The FX loop and reverb are crap. I will go to the mat on this.

    …but people love them and I respect that. Consider this post as merely a list of caveats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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  16. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I played a VM combo when they first came out, I thought the gain was synthetic sounding so I never really liked it.
     
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  17. Spanngitter

    Spanngitter Active Member

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    With the uppermost respect I have to say that you sound like you did not understand this amp. It simply doesn't work with everything on 10, it requires some work and knowledge on how to adjust Body and Detail and this way you get it sounding right and the designer of this Amp also mentioned this (there was even a sticker with recommended settings on the Headshell which work quite well saying that you should follow these recommendations first.
    However, there will be still people out there who cannot cope with more then 5 Pots on the front so your voice is heard and taken and it's ackowledged that the VM wasn't built for your requirements...
     
  18. gregr

    gregr Well-Known Member

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    I understand the amp quite well, actually. From another post of mine a while back in a thread dedicated to mods.
    https://www.marshallforum.com/threads/marshall-vintage-modern.104813/

    "Les Paul w/Duncan 59/APH. LDR with Mid-boost disengaged, master: 6 or higher, (4 being the absolute minimum), presence: 6.5, treble: ~7, bass: ~3. Dial detail to the desired gain. Dial body and mids to fill out the tone (to the best of the amp’s ability) and then readjust bass, if necessary. Go back and adjust treble against presence, if necessary. I'll sometimes use the mid-boost with cleans. This was when it was stock. I use my tone and volume controls to clean up or cut."

    This was with the 2x12 combo with the very excellent stock speaker pair. The open back obviously won't handle the bloated bass as well as a 4x12, though I wasn't impressed with the bass response through a 4x12 either.

    I realize Strats are a bit different, but it isn't like the approach will change much other than the obvious differences between singles and humbuckers. The tone stack is the standard one found in most Marshalls (33k slope, 470p bypass, 22nF caps to the bass and middle), so that part is pretty simple.

    My first round of mods basically changed the body control to a growl control. I say it's worth a shot if you don't like the stock control but still want to keep the amp. People say the price on these is going to go up. I kinda doubt it. I got my combo for $700 on Craigslist. The listing was in San Francisco and had been up for months. Maybe if I payed more I’d feel more revenant.

    PS: I'm willing to provide frequency response graphs for the body and detail controls for those who don't hear the obvious (to me) mid scoop or hump.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
  19. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    And then there are the Vintage Modern detractors, who become the voice of reason in the storm of GAS induced insanity! @gregr mentioned a schematic. I would so appreciate seein one, even if you felt the need to only share it privately. If not, do the DETAIL and BODY controls each have their own separate triode for their operation? :hmm:
    Thanx 2 @pedecamp , @gregr 4 A Reality Check,
    Gene
     
  20. gregr

    gregr Well-Known Member

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    I provided the link to the schematics in a previous post, but here it is again:
    http://musiciansroadhouse.com/viewtopic.php?t=11594

    I really encourage you to try this amp if you're interested. It just wasn't a good fit for me. As I've said recently, people love this amp and believe it or not, I do understand why. Beautiful clean tone. Because it emphasizes a higher frequency range than the bright channel of a Super Lead Plexi, the detail control has an aggressive edge that works great for '70s hard rock. The KT66s are smooth and compress nicely, but that goes without saying. The JTM45 has that bright and scooped Fender Bassman tone stack. The VM basically gets that action from the body and detail controls instead and uses the standard Marshall tone stack (1959/2203/JVM/DSL/TSL/4500/...), so there are some similarities.

    Check out Leon Todd’s demos. He does the amp justice. The guys from Zilla Cabs do too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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