JTM45 vs 1959

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by pedecamp, Apr 8, 2021 at 9:52 AM.

  1. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Who has both to chime in here? I like my SV20H so much I've been wanting a 1959 for the longest time to compare it to, but got thinking I dont need a 100 watts maybe 30 is better and get a JTM45. Whats the tone difference between these amps, is it really that big.

    Paul
     
  2. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    The JTM45 is a darker, rawer sounding amp that is looser in the bass. The 1959 is tighter with a brighter voice.

    Yes, I do have both. The CLEAN sound of a JTM45 is absolutely majestic, but for overdriven tones I definitely prefer the Superlead.

    Eric Clapton, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, "beano" album...that's the sound of a pushed JTM45. (With the bass rolled mostly off.)

    The 1987 is the 50 watt version of the 1959. But that's only 3 decibels quieter than the 100 watt 1959.

    You may want to look at a master volume Marshall, a 2204 50 watter, instead. (Or 2203 100 watter.)

    The reason is because the 1959 and the 1987 don't have master volume controls. (Neither does the JTM45. It is the basis of all later Marshalls.) So...to get crunchy, you have to get LOUD.

    The master volume 2203 and 2204 will let you get similar tones at volume levels that won't get you evicted.
     
  3. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2204. From your description I think I'd like the 1959 better, plus I have an SV20H which should be close in sound. I'll get an attenuator for whatever I get.
     
  4. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    When I get a chance, I'll hook them all up and give you my impression. I can tell you that that the JTM45 was too clean and bassy, until I changed the bright cap.

    1959 SLP Reissue
    1987x Reissue
    JTM45 Reissue
    SV20
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 2:41 PM
  5. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I do have a 2203 as well. I'd say that the 2203/2204 sound is right off a 70s KISS album. (Particularly if the speakers are G12T75s.)

    The 1959 and the 2203 definitely do have different sounds, even taking into account the master volume control.

    With no restrictions on how loud I can play, my preference is for one of my 1959s. But which one? All three are different. My '69 Plexi sounds substantially different than my '73 Superlead. The biggest difference is that the '69 has a 47K negative feedback resistor, and the '73 has a 100K. Both are standard values for their times. But that one resistor alteration totally changes the amp's character. I know because I tried resistor swaps. It's just one part but it makes a big difference.

    I don't know which I like better. I like having the choice.

    And that there's your answer. Get a JTM45. Get a 1959. Get a 2203! Get another 1959 with a circuit from a different time period!
     
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  6. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest a Vintage Modern 2266, it's about 30 watts clean and maybe 50 watts completely dimed. It's circuit from my understanding is a hybrid of a JTM45/100 and a 1987. It really captures the vibe of the JTM45 amps but has its own thing going that you could say is a mix between JTM45/100 (solid state rectification) 1987 and a JCM800 2204.

    On LDR it sits in the ballpark of JTM but in HDR it gets your somewhere between a JTM/JMP/JCM.
     
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  7. AndyD

    AndyD Well-Known Member

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    Vs is perhaps a difficult question. They are both brilliant amps for different reasons which is why so many on here have a number of amps!
     
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  8. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I was looking for a late year superlead a 1981
     
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  9. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    You taking RI or originals?
    Had multiples of both.
    The 1959 RI and 1987x are more alike.
     
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  10. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    I find the differences to be minor. Aside from the obvious, bigger amps have more low end thump, all my non-master volume amps have a similar character. The JTM45 has a tube rectifier, of course, so it has a different feel, a bit softer in the lows, than the others. To be honest, if you can't play an SV20 at full volume, it would be a bit silly to buy a larger amp, even a JTM45. Once you have to start adding devices to bring the volume down, the amps start sounding very similar. They need to be run loud to hear the full character of the amp(s).
     
  11. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    But you dont know unless you have one in your hands to try, my 2204 at low volume sounds bigger than my SV20H at low volume, I suspect a 1959 will sound bigger at low volume than the SV20H as well. Bigger sounds better even if playing at home at low volume. :yesway:
     
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  12. lespaul339

    lespaul339 Well-Known Member

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    Cant beat that sag that you get from a tube rectifier in a JTM! Just sayin! It screams vintage tone.
     
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  13. _Steve

    _Steve Well-Known Member

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    I have both (clones) as well as a SV20H (that im selling!). If you already have a 2204 and an SV20H i'd suggest getting the JTM45 as its the most different of the three. However if you are into a lot of overdrive then it's probably not the amp for you.
     
  14. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there's really no substitute for big iron, so small amps will never sound as full as the big boys. Keep in mind, the JTM45 does not have a loop, even the Reissues do not have a loop. I will say, the JTM45 brings something different to the table, with it's tube rectifier and KT66's. The KT66's produce more lows, and are less "polite" than EL34's. It's got a gravel'y breakup that I like, and sounds real ballsy (IMO). So, if I were recommending an amp to compliment the SV20, I'd probably recommend the JTM45, unless you have to have a loop. I have to have a loop, so I added a Metro loop to mine. The 1959 and 1987x sound very similar to the SV20, only with an extended range of lows and highs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 4:48 PM
  15. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I was planning on getting a bad cat unleash due to its 2 volumes and loop.
     
  16. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    If you have two extra holes in the chassis, you can add a Metro zero loss FX loop to your amp for about 75 dollars. I don't think a 2245 (JTM45) has those extra holes in the chassis but they can be added if you want to. I would not do that to an ORIGINAL JTM45, but I'd add it to a reissue with a clear conscience.
     
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  17. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    One thing, on the Unleash. It's only got a 50w SS amp inside, so that's the maximum volume you can get out of the Unleash, no matter what amp you're running through it. It's plenty loud for indoor playing (about like the SV20 volume), but it probably wouldn't be loud enough for outdoor use, without mic'ing through a PA (which you'd probably do anyway).
     
  18. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Hmm........they advertise 1 to 100 watt output.

    https://www.badcatamps.com/utility-series-amps/unleash-v2-attenuator-amp-re-amplifier
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 10:04 PM
  19. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know. All I can tell you is that the internal amplifier of my V1 is clearly marked as a 2x50w module. I believe they are using one side for each of the volume controls, which is still only 50w per channel. How they get "100w" from that is beyond me, unless they've changed the module of the V2 to a 2x100w. As a reference, the maximum volume of my Unleash V1 is comparable to the maximum volume of the SV20. If it concerns you, I would inquire about the power rating, before purchasing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021 at 1:05 AM
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  20. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    My V1 Unleash is the same.
     

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