Vintage Marshall vs Handwired Replica?

breakfastbuddy

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its not about the transformers , you can get quality , but why is a hand wired amp better ? to build a amp is like tuning a guitar , the parts have 20+- acurency . so if you dont change the curiut and tune it it will never sound the best , most of the sound is also in the speakers , so forget about the old marshalls , a lot of them dont sound that good , the really old ones have just a few gainstages , and you buy a pedal platform ,
 
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AustinPaul

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Well, I plan to keep all the gear I buy! Things don’t always work out, though.

I mostly agree with you. I do believe, though, that individual vintage amps take on a personality of their own as they age. So, if you’re lucky, you might get to play several amps and keep the one that sounds the best to your ears. And maybe it’s not technically “better” than a clone, but it’s maybe a better fit for your ears and your playing style. Of course, I haven’t had the opportunity to play several old JMPs, so I don’t know how true this belief might be.
Yep - exactly what I mean but didn't articulate well enough. It's the aging thing that is a massive variable. Every amp lives a certain life and one that is unique, just like us.

I mean, imagine how much fun it would be to gather around a table with some pints, grogs, mugs, or whatever - and come up with a list of all the things we think affect an amps tone over its lifetime. Would be looooong!
 

Plexitim

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Well, I plan to keep all the gear I buy! Things don’t always work out, though.

I mostly agree with you. I do believe, though, that individual vintage amps take on a personality of their own as they age. So, if you’re lucky, you might get to play several amps and keep the one that sounds the best to your ears. And maybe it’s not technically “better” than a clone, but it’s maybe a better fit for your ears and your playing style. Of course, I haven’t had the opportunity to play several old JMPs, so I don’t know how true this belief might be.
I have to agree. To my ears no two of the same model sound exactly the same.... And over time the musicality changes through use. A personality of their own as you mentioned - that sums it up nicely.

In my case I am fortunate to have a great Marshall tech who understands when I describe a certain song or amp characteristic, and he can apply mods to shape the sound to come forward. Don't need radical surgery cuz the core Marshall sound is the ultimate to me - just tweaks along the way.
 

sct13

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I have built 13 chassis of various Marshall clones I kept my first 1959 build with a Mercury Magnetics Iron install, and my first JTM 45 build, with Marstran clone Transformers, the rest were sold as commissioned amps of various models of marshal builds....almost all Marastran .....One or two Classic Tone (Which I did not recommend, and I was right) so no warranty......

I have to say that with all the available "vintage like" and Vintage parts out there, there is Nothing like the real thing.... And its defiantly the Iron calling out the tone (OT especially). The older drakes are clearer on the top end and are tighter on the bottom, ....the problems become pots and their values, Tubes and their manufacturing specs, some caps I had fell apart over time ....crap like that...

Overall, however my 68 Plexi is aggressive and slices through any band .....My 77 2203 will make your ears peel and bleed.....it s a fire breather and is very dangerous in the wrong hands, again the original Iron,,,,because I rebuilt the entire tag board due to a crack in the original ...it's more aggressive with newer parts, but the flavor comes from that OT.....
 

LoudStroud

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I've played thru a couple of Germino's that made my head turn. On one occasion at The Amp Show, I was sitting next to Earl Slick, who I think we'd all agree knows a Marshall tone, and we both looked at each other with that "Damn... that's it" look. If he thought so, then there ya go. But otherwise, the real thing (vintage) is hard to beat for all the reasons everyone has listed in this thread.
 

FleshOnGear

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I have to say that with all the available "vintage like" and Vintage parts out there, there is Nothing like the real thing.... And its defiantly the Iron calling out the tone (OT especially). The older drakes are clearer on the top end and are tighter on the bottom, ....the problems become pots and their values, Tubes and their manufacturing specs, some caps I had fell apart over time ....crap like that...

Overall, however my 68 Plexi is aggressive and slices through any band .....My 77 2203 will make your ears peel and bleed.....it s a fire breather and is very dangerous in the wrong hands, again the original Iron,,,,because I rebuilt the entire tag board due to a crack in the original ...it's more aggressive with newer parts, but the flavor comes from that OT.....
I believe you. I just recently got a ‘72, my first vintage Marshall, and the top is clearer than any other amp I’ve owned. It sounds and feels quick and responsive.
 

79 2203

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I’ve not played that many Marshall clones, and none from the likes of Germino, Metro etc, but I’ve not heard any amp that sounds as good as my 71 1987 and 79 2203. The Ceriatone 1987, 2203 and 2061 I owned were close though. You might even prefer the Ceriatone if you want a slightly tighter, punchier tone.

I feel the same way about my 68 and 69 Greenbacks and 77 Blackbacks. They just have a sound you’re not going to nail with a modern clone.
 

Tele.4 amplifier

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I'm wondering about the tone of vintage Marshall amps vs handwired replicas done today by experienced amp builders. I've seen the schematics for vintage Marshalls posted online. So, that makes it seem like a current day builder could 1:1 reproduce a vintage Marshall and build an amp with the exact same sound. Then again, perhaps not. Is there anything that makes a vintage Marshall tonally superior compared to what an amp builder could make these days with a remake/clone? I wonder if there are certain parts, materials, etc. used back then that aren't available anymore that make the old amps somehow sound better, or if the replica would sound essentially the same as the original.
Vintage tones are a mix of sweet tones and quick responses.
A good builder can make an amp with a good balance of tones, even with a new reissued amp.
However, the builder must be one of the very few real technicians.
 

Whatwhatringrang

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I have to say i have a amp I am just amazed by . This is called a Park LTD PMC100 made by Mitch Colby. This one you put in a old box or chassis you would think you have a extremely fine tuned original .

I have a handful Of old Marshall’s right now. I think this Park here is a amazing one. A great sounding/playing amp is a great amp ,no matter of age . I don’t care what it is new ,old whatever. Play a bunch or as many of you can of remakes and also new replicas.

Really I guess it is like a 67 4b 100 amps but with little tweaks to it. This as nice or better than old ones I have found (i do not have that exact small little time period amp as this was made shortly back in the day). It however has a few to me desirable tweaks to it that came a little later in Marshall history. That is type I have old one before and one right after that era change type(so I similar old ones in this range). Maybe that is why I like it . I like the combination of those type of transformers and voltages. I should take apart a couple old ones and make this from the transformers lol. So I compared directly to those models the 45/100 and a pre blackflag dual rectifier .

It uses mostly old parts,except for pots,Tramsformers,electrolytic filters. Same as many other builders out there. I would say that old Evolution of the 100 watt or (ROE )thing is right on the money for that the sound differences in the first 3 100 watt single transformer amps.

He changed Just a few resistor values in spots that matter like they did on slightly later amps . That even using with a attenuation(to levels most probably Way to loud but imo manageable /workable in band context still shakes things). It is one of my all around favorites amps old or new. It does More than just hang in there with old ones. However it has a lot of old nice glass I have in there also. That can give You nice results if you screw around with it much. I think you can really get amazing results.

Play as many as you can of the remakes and old originals . Some with play better for your style also sound more like you hear in your head,

I am in no way affiliated with Park and never chime in pitching remakes names (well maybe Park but i do not think they make this currently? . He is great guy to buy new amps from.

As far the thread topic ,Just try to play as many as you can old and new as possible . That will answer the question maybe 🤔

I do notice new replicas tend to be louder,more distorted ,have more bottom and a different top end in general. The good old ones tend to be more natural lol what ever you interpret than as. Old tubes and speaker play a big part. This is excluding that as I think there are lots of options out there .
 
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C-Grin

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A quote from my fave amp guy. “All amps are a collection of uniquely decaying parts, that will sound best right before something fails, fix it and it will never sound exactly like it did again.”
I just play them, but I can attest to two of the finest sounding amps I ever played “blew up” not too long after I played them. Coincidence?:hmm:
 

FleshOnGear

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A quote from my fave amp guy. “All amps are a collection of uniquely decaying parts, that will sound best right before something fails, fix it and it will never sound exactly like it did again.”
I just play them, but I can attest to two of the finest sounding amps I ever played “blew up” not too long after I played them. Coincidence?:hmm:
Haha! I hope it was a coincidence, because I hate to think my ‘72 is on the verge of failure. Of course, I might not know the level of tone you’re talking about. If my amp starts to suddenly sound better than ever, I’ll definitely be worried!
 


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