Vintage Modern upgrades?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Rufuskyote, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. Rufuskyote

    Rufuskyote Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey everyone...I joined about 6 months ago.
    I read the board regularly but don't post much.

    I bought a purple VM 2266 Head with matching 425A cab this summer and was wondering, what, IF any, upgrades would anyone recommend?

    I really like this amp and cab but noticed the High Dynamic Range side has some hiss when engaged. Can that be modded or corrected by an amp tech?

    I lke the LDR side with a boost or overdrive but also sometimes like the higher gain of the HDR side.

    I have also heard people say they put quality preamp tubes in V3 and V4 for an improvement.
    Mine looks to have stock tubes...probably originals

    I'm not looking to spend $$ unneccessarily, but if upgrading the KT66's or preamp tubes is a benefit, I would do it.

    This is the ONLY Marshall I have ever had...looking for knowledgeable advice.

    Thanks!
    Rufus
     
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  2. Rufuskyote

    Rufuskyote Member Silver Supporting Member

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    And as long as we're at it...any upgrades to the FX loop?

    Thanks
     
  3. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    Great choice for your first Marshall, and/or, your last Marshall!

    I think there's nothing that needs or should be changed in the circuit. And Steve Dawson, the brilliant amp designer who developed it, also said that in a forum post more recently, even after designing the Astoria series.

    But there could well be benefits from renewing the tubes, and differences from different types. The HDR mode adds a heap of gain, so its bound to add some noise too.

    There's also an enormous scope for adjusting settings, and working with different pedals. In the loop, I use all Digitech Hardwire which operate at high internal voltage and can deal with the high signal (+4db) loop setting. Other pedals may need the -10db setting.
     
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  4. Ufoscorpion

    Ufoscorpion Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think there’s anything that needs doing to a VM . I have to admit I’ve not tried the loop on mine , but regarding the hiss on the hdr mode , it’s totally normal it comes with the territory .
     
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  5. Rufuskyote

    Rufuskyote Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks...I'm used to Fender amps so wasn't sure about the hiss on the HDR settings.
     
  6. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    These days, I won't play through any of my amps without a noise gate in the loop. I don't like any noise, including noise picked up by the guitar pickups.
     
  7. Rufuskyote

    Rufuskyote Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I thought about that...But will a noise gate tame the hiss? Its inherent in the amp, not coming from an outside source, like a pedal.
     
  8. machinated

    machinated Member

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    if it’s hissy check your preamp tubes and maybe experiment a little there.

    The amp on low dynamic range mode is great for pedals; if you don’t have any already that could be a cool thing to invest in to get a range of different sounds. Something like a Timmy (Caline Pure Sky is great and cheap), a Klon style pedal, a RAT, and some fuzzes (and maybe a nice reverb) would be my shouts!
     
  9. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    The hiss can be tamed by putting a short plate ECC83 in V2. This is the tube that deals with HDR. I've found a vintage German RFT to be thr best, but a regular red label JJ will do in a pinch. Check your bias too. A lot of hiss is a sign the bias is too hot.
    When I'm recording mine I cool the bias off a little to reduce the noise to acceptable levels.
    Normally run mine around 40mv per tube for live work, but back this off to 32mv for recording. Just crank the master more to really get those KT66's cooking.
     
  10. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it will. "Hiss" is typically associated with gain. This can be easily determined by doing the following. First, remove any pedals from in front of the amp. Then, try reducing the gain, or switching to the LDR mode. If the hiss goes away, or at least dramatically decreases, it's coming from the preamp circuit. Placing a gate in the loop (post-pre amp) will eliminate the hiss (while not playing). Once you start playing, while the hiss is still present, it's at such a low level (signal to noise ratio), it won't be heard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  11. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    I like to put a 12AU7 V2 and it tames the HDR hiss , volume and gain
    making the amp sound more Classic Rock on HDR
     
  12. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Certified B.S. Launcher Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Some good tube recommendations up there^^^

    I have good luck with old RFTs in Marshall amps, and they haven't gotten expensive yet.
    Buy several so you'll have some for your next Marshall amp purchases (see what I did there?)

    :headbanger:
     
  13. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Where on earth are you finding Old RFT tubes that aren’t expensive?
     
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  14. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Certified B.S. Launcher Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    The last time I bought some I got a pair for $70 on Reverb. Right now there's a single NOS ecc83 up for $36

    Vivatubes has them quite often. They run in the $35 range for singles

    Sometimes I see pairs as high as $100 to $120. That's still cheap in the vintage toob realm where Teles and Bugle Boys can go for hundreds of bucks a pop
     
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  15. Rufuskyote

    Rufuskyote Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    First...I played more with the FX loop and it seems perfectly fine. Using the-10db FX setting for pedals, my Fulltone Deja Vibe and Boss GE-7 Equalizer were crystal clear with no problems. Using a quality Strymon Zuma for pedal power.

    2) I can try the preamp tube changes...I didn't want to lose any of the tube gain but its worth a shot. The overdrive and boost I get from pedals, anyway so its probably not a problem. I play mostly classic rock and blues, so don't normally need death metal crunch, but its nice to have on tap to screw around.

    Yes, the hiss does vary with changes in the MV and Detail (gain) settings on HDR. LDR is clear...occasionally get some 60Hz hum from single coil p/us but thats not the amp's fault.

    I may look for a cheap Noise Gate and will order some preamp tubes to try.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
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  16. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I guess I’m an old man...anything over $20 for a preamp tube is ridiculous to me. The guys I usually buy tubes from have RFTs at $60-80/ea so you are right $35 is pretty good.
     
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  17. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Active Member

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    The cathode components on V1 might need to be put to plexi specs. Looking at the schematic, they are different. For example, where there should be a .68 cap it's something way smaller (can't remember what it is right now). For somebody who is used to working with printed circuit boards - not me - it should be easy and quick. And if somebody can figure out how to mod that reverb, that really needs to be done.
     
  18. Gene 689

    Gene 689 New Member

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    I was lucky enough to buy the vintage modern 2266 with 425a cab in purple about 4 years ago, second hand for £400.
    I also only owned solid state amps up to this point. AVT 2000 100watt with built in effects. I know it has a valve in the preamp amp but it's not a true all valve amp.
    The guitarist in my ACDC Tribute band (he covers Angus'es parts) is a self confessed gear snob. He has owned JTM 45's, JCM 800 & 900 plus others looking for "THAT" tone.
    But you should see his face when those KT66's start to sing! he loves it!
    He owns an Artist 3203 as well, he admits it sounds great, even if it is part solid state!!
    I wouldn't even think about doing mod's on mine even if they were available, as the VM simply doesn't need any. It's great as it is in my opinion. His Artist head sounds great as well. The morale of this is that if it sounds good.....it is good!!
    Maybe those "Tone" chasers have heard the perfect tone...but just don't know it!
    :dude:
     
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