The particularities about Eddie Van Halen plexi 12301

wakjob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Messages
5,823
Reaction score
4,545
Location
C-137
Lets not forget both Reinhold Bogner and Mike Soldano have been inside that amp too, and have confirmed 'No mods', but questionable component values.

Gotta love the internet... no more secrets.
 

TAZIN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
846
Reaction score
691
I don't think the chances are high that a split cathode would have been stock on a 12XXX, though maybe a small percentage were.
Actually from what I've seen the vast majority (about 90%) of the 12 series Super Lead amps were split-cathode. Most of the share-cathode amps tend to be early within the 12 series and become more sparse as the series progresses.
 

pittbull

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
1,594
Reaction score
632
Suhr,Fryette,Friedman,Bogner,Soldano,seen the amp in the very early 1990s ,Jose Arrendondo was Eddie’s main amp guy in the 70s until Joses death if you look at the famous Van Halen II studio photo you can see the back Eddie’s plexi you can see a pot/knob in the back of the amp which was the removed in the late 80s there is a photo of the amp in the 1990s guitar player magazine which shows a screw was inserted to cover the hole where the pot/knob was
 

TAZIN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
846
Reaction score
691
Here's an excerpt (with additions) from a post I made back in Feb. 5th 2022 on a topic very similar to this...

So, this is your 'typical' stock specs for a '68 Super Lead (split-cathode) built around the same time as Ed's:
Split Cathode V1a - 820 ohm/250uF-6v; V1b - 820 ohm/0.68uF-250v (C281 series)
All coupling caps are - 0.022uF-400v (C296 series)
Bright channel coupling cap - 0.0022uF-400v (C296 series)
Bright cap on Vol pot - 0.005uF (ceramic disc; RS)
470K mixer resistors
RS 500pF 1% tol. mixer bypass cap; Some had a LEMCO 556pF 10% tol.
V2a cathode: 820 ohm/ 0.68uF-250v (C281 series)
33K/500pF 1% tol. (RS) tone stack combo; Some had a LEMCO 556pF 10% tol.
47K NFB resistor from Speaker jacks; Except for #12267 has NFB from 4 ohm tap
220k bias splitter resistors
0.1 uF-400v cap on presence control (C296 series)
47pF 5% tol. ceramic disc (Murata) or a 41pF 10% tol. tubular ceramic cap (gray clr.) Phase Inverter plate balancing cap (Fizz cap)
Bias caps - 10uF/150v (Marcon/Chemicon) OR 8uF/150v (HUNTS)
Bridge rectifier - four BY127 diodes OR 10DB10A bridge (International Rectifier)

Mains filtering - two HUNTS 100uF/350v
Screens filtering - two DALY 32uF/450v
PI filtering – HUNTS 50 - 50uF/450v
Preamp filtering - HUNTS or TCC 32 - 32uF/350v; OR two SYNCRO 20uF/450v

So, the current deviations from 'stock' would be the following:

100K NFB.
50K Middle pot...Even though it maybe be 'stock' from the factory.
Additional V2a cathode bypass cap (220uF - 470uF).
560pF LEMCO tone stack cap.

Also worth mentioning:
It's unfortunate that Dave Friedman didn't state the component values of the parts he removed/replaced since that could have hinted at dates when the amp was serviced in the past. Additionally, it would have been nice to get a confirmation from Dave Friedman that the alleged EVH amp photos posted years ago were indeed the same amp he serviced.

Someone mentioned earlier about the dark red coupling caps seen in the alleged EVH amp photo. Those are not stock and they appear to be El Menco brand caps. In addition, the 0.68uF yellow box 'chicklet' caps were used in Super Lead's, along with Mullard 'mustard' 0.68uF/160v caps, in 1968 and are Mullard C281 series.
 
Last edited:

FleshOnGear

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
1,009
Reaction score
1,824
Location
Virginia
I appreciate the knowledge base here but I'm also of the opinion people tend to overthink it.
It’s funny to me that 1) people keep getting into these discussions and that 2) I will read all of it. I think it’s fascinating, yet I have no inclination to sound like EVH. I will say that I wish more players would seek their own tone than try to chase EVH’s.
 

william vogel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2016
Messages
1,128
Reaction score
1,397
From what I understand Eddie got the amp from a club he worked at and who’s to know that it was original unaltered when he got it. I read somewhere it had been sitting and when he took it home and plugged in, he flipped it on and the smoke came out. I can’t prove any of this but I read it somewhere.
 

matttornado

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Messages
1,736
Reaction score
1,326
Ed had his amp sent to that Dutch guy in the 90s and he rewired it back to stock. that’s why all these amp builders say it was stock.
 

junk notes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
4,424
Reaction score
6,289
oh hi y'all doing :drunk:
*There are other amps that some could be referencing?

From what I understand Eddie got the amp from a club he worked at and who’s to know that it was original unaltered when he got it. I read somewhere it had been sitting and when he took it home and plugged in, he flipped it on and the smoke came out. I can’t prove any of this but I read it somewhere.

His second 100 watt Marshall; that when he got it plugged it in, and thought it did not work, but left it on..
He did not look at the back of the amp until later, but what he had not realized was that it was from England and 220 volts, so when he plugged it into the wall, it was set to 220v, so that took a long time for the amp to warm up at half voltage. Picks up his guitar, and the sound was incredible.


All the fuss and over hype . Back then it was simple . Ed knew . 100 watts great tone - too loud . Simple . Starve the beast with a simple light dimmer / switch . Yup , the old fashioned rotary ones . No " sh-variac " needed . Evereyone thought over-volt , nope . Undervolt it .." brown " it out . Hense the brown sound . Simple as that . $4.99 . Dont mod your amps . Stop over complicating .
That is when it had dawn on him that he could control the level of the amps output by voltage.
So then proceeds to hook it on the light dimmer at the house, and blew the power out. (after that, is about when the variac comes in.)


(*His first 100 watt Marshall was from the music store that he worked at, and the second was from an ad had seen in the paper.)

Cheers! :cheers:
 

cccc

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
83
Reaction score
140
I have said before Eddie used many effects that cost way more than any of the amplifiers in his sound.

So did Jimmy Page and others.

All you have to do is listen to their final recorded or live sound.

That is why I would never modify any amplifier to achieve a specific sound.

A good effects loop in a good amplifier is better than any other amplifier voicing modification in this realm.


Eddie DID NOT use many effects at all actually , especially compared to other players of his era . That's why live recordings of Van Halen in 1978 sound just like the album.
 

cccc

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
83
Reaction score
140
I don’t think PPIMVs are the ticket to Plexi paradise at bedroom levels, personally. They mess with the feedback loop around the power section, changing the feel and the EQ of the amp, and making the presence control useless. I think a good attenuator is a better solution.
Marshall already made the ultimate Plexi bedroom amp and they also made the perfect JCM 800 bedroom amp the problem is they only made them in 2012 .


If anybody is not convinced this super low watt Plexi delivers early VH sound to perfection than listen for yourself :


JMP 1 WATT SOUNDS BELOW:

Lonely is the night



Running with the devil



Jamies Crying



Lay it down








JCM 800 1 WATT SOUNDS BELOW:




If Marshall made these a year round stock item like everybody has been wanting them to they would sell tens of millions year in year out . The current DSL 1 watt SUCKS in comparison to these 50th anniversary models.
 

pat_rocks

Active Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2022
Messages
128
Reaction score
176
Marshall already made the ultimate Plexi bedroom amp and they also made the perfect JCM 800 bedroom amp the problem is they only made them in 2012 .


If anybody is not convinced this super low watt Plexi delivers early VH sound to perfection than listen for yourself :


JMP 1 WATT SOUNDS BELOW:

Lonely is the night



Running with the devil



Jamies Crying



Lay it down








JCM 800 1 WATT SOUNDS BELOW:




If Marshall made these a year round stock item like everybody has been wanting them to they would sell tens of millions year in year out . The current DSL 1 watt SUCKS in comparison to these 50th anniversary models.

I think those are nice but come on... they could have improved them by a lot. Adding more controls giving the 4 inputs to the jtm and jmp models... Fx loop and so on...
 

eastwood6

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
563
Reaction score
498
Location
Northeast USA
I don’t chase EVH tone (Eddie’s playing is like jazz to me. Love to listen, have NO IDEA what he’s doing) but I came across this YT video when looking for amp demos.

Besides having monster chops, this guy is playing an EVH replica guitar through a stock 1974x 18-watt combo (!). Sounds like legit Van Halen tone to me.

Just another example of how wildly different components in the signal chain can still achieve a signature sound.

 
Last edited:

chocol8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
263
Reaction score
545
Besides having monster chops, this guy is playing an EVH replica guitar through a stock 1974x 18-watt combo (!). Sounds like legit Van Halen tone to me.

[sarcasm] Gee, I wonder what brand bright cap he is using to get that tone?[/sarcasm]

Off the shelf MIM guitar, a few simple effects, STOCK Marshall circuit. If you aren’t getting the same results, it’s your technique and no amount of gear purchasing or modding will get you there.
 

eastwood6

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
563
Reaction score
498
Location
Northeast USA
[sarcasm] Gee, I wonder what brand bright cap he is using to get that tone?[/sarcasm]

Off the shelf MIM guitar, a few simple effects, STOCK Marshall circuit. If you aren’t getting the same results, it’s your technique and no amount of gear purchasing or modding will get you there.
While I don’t disagree with this sentiment, I do appreciate the research, investigation and knowledge imparted by those who have “done the math” trying to understand why these iconic amps and the players who use them sound like they do.

Like another poster said, I’ve read this entire thread even though I’m not looking to replicate EVH tone. It’s fascinating!
 

chocol8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
263
Reaction score
545
While I don’t disagree with this sentiment, I do appreciate the research, investigation and knowledge imparted by those who have “done the math” trying to understand why these iconic amps and the players who use them sound like they do.

Like another poster said, I’ve read this entire thread even though I’m not looking to replicate EVH tone. It’s fascinating!

I repair, mod, and build tube amps purely as a hobby (for myself and friends at no charge). I have an engineering background plus I have spent a lot of time studying tube circuits and reading up on tube amp design. Again for fun, not profit.

On one hand, I totally get the interest in how Marshall circuits evolve and how third party mods evolved. On the other hand, I have enough experience making a change, listening, changing it back, and listening, changing again in a different way, and listening etc. to have a pretty good idea of how subtle some things are and how significant others are. IMHO, what people talk about inside EVH's amp are not the keys to his tone on the early albums.

How many people who looked at that amp said something to the effect of "basically stock 68 circuit" and how many people have used various stock and non-stock circuits to essentially nail the sound? Can't we safely dismiss the idea that the secret to the tone was some modifications to the amp?

In this case, the "known history" suggests the amp was only 9 years old in August and September 1977 when the first album was recorded. We have limited insight into mods and service performed in those first 9 years. We have better evidence that it was modded and serviced multiple times over the next decade plus before most of the amp builders mentioned in this thread got a look inside. I don't think any of them really know what the amp was like in 1977-1978, only what it was like when they saw it much later.

That leaves our ears as our best guide. My ears tell me there was nothing unusual about that amp that is the secret to unlocking EVH tone. A decent 68+ NMV circuit clone will get you what you need from the amp, and heck, so will a 1974x!
 

chocol8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
263
Reaction score
545
The EVH Wolfgang pickup in that guitar(the clip listed above)play a big part of that sound

Absolutely. Pete Thorn and Friedman did a couple videos during the pandemic that will give you a good idea of what really matters. One is just on pickups.



 

Latest posts



Top