I have to rant. Vintage parts and new builds...just stop it.

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Matthews Guitars, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I have a lot to learn, particularly about the older Marshalls. I've learned a lot in a fairly short time but there's much I don't know.

    I subscribe to the Japanese philosophy of ownership: A durable product may last centuries. Despite the ordered destruction by General MacArthur at the end of the war with Japan in WWII, of thousands of Japanese swords, many of which were 500 years old or even older, many of those ancient swords still survive today and most are in excellent condition. Some are as pristine as the day they were made, due to being cared for and maintained regularly. The Japanese philosophy is that we are just one of a string of people to possess a durable product. We last decades, but the item of interest can last many centuries with care. You are not its only owner, but just the owner for now. It is our responsibility, should you accept it, to be a custodian of that item who does no harm to it, and allows the next generation to appreciate it as it was originally made, as much as possible.

    When you realize that someone else is probably going to have that old amp after you're gone, it might make you ask yourself what state you want it to be in when the next owner gets it.

    My attitude is the opposite of the "throwaway culture" that seems to define most consumerism today. I appreciate products that are built to last. I take care of them and try to keep them in good condition.
     
  2. stickyfinger

    stickyfinger Well-Known Member

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    These NOS Mustard caps and resistors are really not all that scarce. Every time the pond dries up more show up soon or latter. Its a niche market anyways.. so why not build with them? I cant afford a 10k JTM 45 so I build them with original parts from the 60/70s and believe it brings me one step closer to chasing that tone. Next we have the question of how many amps out there really need these parts and how many owners really wish or care to bring back to its original condition?

    What I think is silly is trying to "restore" basket case amps with next to nothing left of original parts and using up the supply of Nos parts. The sad part is the actual amp resto build, wiring, soldering, tolexing is mediocre at best. Might be a good idea to build some clones, learn how to read schematics, do actual amp tech work and learn clean solder joints before wasting all those NOS parts.
     
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  3. Ivan H

    Ivan H Member

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    I know diddly squat about Japanese philosophies & honestly, I don't need to know anything about them to also believe, as I do, that a well designed & built product that is properly taken care of & maintained can last for very, very long periods of time. It's why I own Aussie made (General Motors Holden) cars rather than imported Japanese cars.

    I don't need to "realise" that someone else is going to have the JMP50 after I'm gone, I KNOW they will (it'll be left to a family member or close friend). I also don't need to ask myself what state I want it to be in when they get it as I know it'll either be as it is now, or, if between now & then any components need be replaced, it will be with period correct replacement parts (I already have practically all of the circuit components). Should, God forbid, a transformer fail, it will be sent to Chris Merren or Brian Wallace to be rewound rather than replaced with a new one.

    My attitude & beliefs are also in opposition to the "disposable & throw away" culture. That I plug a 40+ year old Gibson Les Paul through a 53 year old Marshall would be testament to this fact, wouldn't it. I also appreciate them & take care of them to keep them in the best condition I possibly can.
    I also believe that there is absolutely no reason why the amps that I have built using NOS components can't also last 50 years & more given they are taken care of & maintained. Cheers
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  4. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    So putting NOS parts in my solid state Crate was a waste?
     
  5. AndyD

    AndyD Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that your restoration of this amp helps your cause, I'm afraid! At the start of your restoration, what percentage of the chassis had original parts???? I don't really see a problem with people making their dream amp from NOS components. Project amps seem very difficult to find in the UK and the values of genuine vintage Marshalls are increasingly expensive to buy in the first place. i don't agree that "good quality" components equates to a great sounding amp. Mustard caps, Phillips (?) chiclets, Piher resistors, Iskra etc etc all have a sound of there own. Alexander Dumble is the master of choosing components for their sonic qualities. JMPs sound different to JCMs and so it goes on. I admire your passion, but Im not convinced this is an argument you will win! Atb.
     
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  6. shredless

    shredless Well-Known Member

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  7. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    So basically people should stop buying stuff because you want to buy it.

    I hear you man. But that's not how life works. :lol:
     
  8. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Just save enough for the restoration projects, OK? I mean, really, no collector of vintage Marshalls wants to find an original offset chassis JTM45 that's full of orange drop coupling capacitors, IC filter caps, and NTE resistors.

    Yes, different styles of components, and even ones made by the same manufacturer at different times, can have a different sonic signature in an amp. Not every capacitor of the same value as another of a different type is going to sound the same. We KNOW they have their own signature sounds. Same goes for resistors.

    But if you want the Mustard cap tonality, buy SoZos. They sound the same. Piher and Iskra resistors you can't get (new) anymore are replaced by a variety of Vishay and Yageo resistors that are sonically identical. And cheaper. With these parts being available new, you don't have any good excuse for spending more for "vintage" parts when you can get sonically identical, IMPROVED quality parts for less. If you make a new amp, there's no need at all for you to adhere so strongly to "vintage specs" that you actually have to use 50 year old components.

    If such great amp builders as Dave Friedman and David Bray can make their great amps using non-vintage rare parts, you don't have any compelling reason to dig into the very limited supply of vintage correct parts. Are you out to make an amp that sounds great or are you more into displaying your collection of vintage parts stuffed into a board? If great tone is your goal, use the new parts. I don't actually know anybody who's going to be impressed that you made a new amp with 50 year old parts in it. They'll be impressed by good workmanship and good tone.

    Besides, those "vintage" parts are all decades old. Marshall stopped putting mustard caps and piher and iskra resistors into their amps about 40 years ago. How good do you think those parts are going to be in another 40 years? Components age and drift and humidity can get into them if they're not perfectly hermetically sealed. What do you figure the failure rate is going to be in 20 years, when the amp you made today with vintage parts is now full of 60 to 70 year old parts?

    For an old amp I accept the risks of using old parts to repair/restore it. I believe there's value in maintaining "vintage correctness". But even then, if the amp is going to be worthy of a travelling road show, maybe when parts fail it's better to put in new parts. A working amp needs to be reliable. While these old Marshalls have been generally very reliable, today even the best of them is still a box full of 40 to 55 year old parts. I'd carry a spare.

    If you can build a great amp, you can build it without having to dig into the dwindling inventory of NOS parts that are valued by servicemen and collectors who want to keep original amps as original as possible.
     
  9. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to restore vintage correct, make sure to use NOS produced from the right year ;-) whats the point of putting e.g. '62 mustard in a '71 super lead
     
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  10. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Emotional Support Animal Gold Supporting Member

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    No comment on this? I guess they must be shit then..
     
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  11. alpha al

    alpha al New Member

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    Those are Carbon Comp, USA made, probably Ohmite. Allen-Bradley made them, also.

    They're quite good, but subject to be off tolerance.
     
  12. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    as the great wiseman once said:

    [​IMG]

    I have no clue why using electronic components made 70 years ago would make any amp sound better.

    Tubes, maybe... but that´s it.
     
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  13. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to have to go back to post #1. You've appointed yourself the components police which, "and I may be preaching to the choir here", I'm going to guess 99% of the guys on this forum don't like cops. AT ALL.

    Pointing out egoism was the big fail though, because you're restoring amps to please no one but yourself, because you like doing it- as do some of us. You've developed an arrogance along the way by developing a set of notions as to what's cool and what isn't, and then you have the audacity to espouse it here, have been disagreed with politely. Rock climbers do this, surfers do this, guitar builders do this, snowboarders do this- "I do it this way, your way sucks, ergo, MY wave, MY cliff, MY ski Run, MY NOS components. Fistfights in the parking lot ensue.

    If you want to snarf up all the components for YOUR projects, sell a few of the what, 10 Superleads that you quite very often mention, take the money and buy a shit ton of old amps and pull em yourself. Put all your hard egoless work back in the hands of those who truly deserve it: THEY WHO GIG. Or at least will pay 15-20k regardless.

    I've stood in a shop and begged a guy not to drill a giant hole in a utterly superb 50 year old kick drum to put an Japanese aftermarket bracket on it. But you know what? He was going on tour w Maceo Parker the next day. So he did it anyhow. HE OWNED THE DRUM. And he was going to actually tour with it, not jerk off in his garage over it and post pics online about it.

    Whose ego problem is it when other peoples build styles are invalid? Whose ego besides your own appointed you to your position of authority?
    Get over yourself, dude.
     
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  14. Sustainium

    Sustainium Well-Known Member

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  15. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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  16. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    :duel:

    Whatever, man. You have your opinion, I have mine. And I speak my mind. I don't expect everyone to agree with it.

    I happen to really enjoy having a project to work on. And if it's a restoration of an old Marshall that's been victimized by some hack of a technician in the past, then I'll really enjoy the process of unfucking it. It's easier when I can get the right parts to make it what it was made to be again.

    Just don't use up ALL the vintage parts, OK? Leave some for the guys like myself who want to be able to restore the amps to their original build spec. That's really all I'm going to ask. Well... I might consider asking a few people if they might be willing to part with some of their parts stash so I have some inventory to work from.
     
  17. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    Remember just playing through a magical amp and basking in its atmosphere? Good times! I love it, some of my amps are probably unhealthy but so am i.
     
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  18. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    As the recipient of a new 1987X i can assure anyone that NOS parts equaling "the TONE" is internet dogma.
    This amp will hang with the oldies anytime, anywhere, and it's new. :D
     
  19. Ramhead

    Ramhead Member

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    Riiight.. I'm sure this will bump in people's mind next time they see some vintage Amp parts for sale. Maybe they'll buy them, use only what's needed and then sell you the rest at a bargain price or maybe even give 'em to you, because your restoring work is the only valid thing to use those components.

    How's the weather in your universe?
     
  20. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    It's the same as in yours, because it's the same universe. I'm not even looking for "bargain" prices on the correct old components. Just fair market prices.
     

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