Who here has HAD a “Plexi”…

V-man

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That is to say a Marshall (50-100w NMV Superlead, or a small watt variant, i.e. SV) or has had some plexi-derived amp from another builder or kit, and you now no longer have anything in the vein of the “plexi” with any plans to remedy that situation by getting some such amp in the future?

a person Never having had one with no plans to try one, I get. Having had one with no plans to return ever absolutely fascinates me. Having gone there, I don’t think I could fathom being without one indefinitely. If you are that person, why, and what have you gone off to instead?
 

Kinkless Tetrode

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My plexi doesn't get played as much in recent years, but I have no plans to get rid of it. I like higher gain, especially with strats, but I don't use pedals. So in most cases it gets used for cleans.

I'm thinking about building a John H attenuator.
 

jeffb

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They are impractical. And attenuators, IR's and similar digital trickery are all band-aids. Volume. Speakers flapping. There is no substitute.

However...

The impracticality (and exorbitant pricing*) might very well keep me from returning to a NMV despite my desire to do so.

*The Bugera and other reasonably priced clones are looking better day by day.
 

Deftone

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Modern attenuation at the various price points pretty much bypasses all this need.
What I am trying to say is I doubt I would be completely satisfied with the tone, attenuated or not. The Jose modded plexi's that were demo'd here sounded fantastic to my ears, but can you not find that tone in a Friedman?

Not to say I don't lust after a real plexi. Just saying sometimes I think the hype far surpasses reality, for some. As I said, YMMV.
 

rolijen

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Yes, I HAD one when I was just starting out. Then sold it. Then pursued that sound/feel again when I got older.

My story begins in late 1977. It was my freshman year in high school and my dad got me my first real amp for my birthday in November of that year. It was a shiny new Twin Reverb. I was one proud kid, but one month later my life changed when my brother gave me Led Zeppelin 4 for Christmas. I quickly became a huge Jimmy Page fan and set about learning everything I could about his playing and his gear. As luck would have it, a neighbor was going through he opposite situation. He had saved up and bought a Marshall 100 watt Super Lead and two straight-front cabinets but later changed his taste and desided the powerful clean sound of a Twin Reverb would suit him better. In what would turn out to be one of the best trades I ever made, this young man and I ended up with the following bargain--he would give me his Marshall stack + $100 in exchange for my Twin Reverb.

That evening, when my dad got home, he noticed the tall stack in the family room and was not very happy with me. He was sure that I had ripped off our neighbor. However, after talking with the kid and his dad, we all agreed it had worked out well for everyone. We both had what we wanted/needed for the style of music we were learning. Thus began my connection with the "plexi" sound (and feel).

I lugged my beloved Super Lead 100 and both cabs to band practices and gigs for the next 6 years. Lugging it and carrying cabinets up and down stairs and packing it into and out of my car ended up giving me a hernia needing an operation at age 18 (that's another story). Anyway, that was the amp and the sound I cut my musical teeth on and I always loved it until college, marriage and supporting a family became my priorities. After sitting unused for a couple years, I let the stack go in the late 80s.

Now that I'm older, I have re-acquired a plexi (this time a 50-watt model 19887x) and really love it. Like many of you, I also bought an SV20. I hoped it would be just like my old 1959 SLP which it is marketed as being a replica of. Well, I can say it is a great little amp. But a 1959 it aint. No bottom end at all. even plugged into my 1960bx it doesn't have the girth of a 50 or 100 watt amp. Do I love it? Yes. It has the snarly edgy quality the of the classic plexis for sure. But, it has nowhere near the shake-your-body, ballsy slam factor of its bigger brothers. You can't overcome physics. But, I love it enough that I also ended up getting an SC20 as well. I feel the same way about the SC--it sounds freaking great, but it has nowhere near the earth-shaking slam factor of it's 100 watt JCM 800 inspiration.

On the SV, I can get a little closer to plexi-ville by jumpering (which I never did on my 1959) and running both volumes at about 1 o'clock. That is my favorite sound on the SV. Thick and juicy, but not really great for crystline, edge-of-breakup playing. I love lots of different tones for sure (even Brad Paisley Vox tone), but there is something about that plexi tone that just soothes the soul.
 

V-man

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What I am trying to say is I doubt I would be completely satisfied with the tone, attenuated or not. The Jose modded plexi's that were demo'd here sounded fantastic to my ears, but can you not find that tone in a Friedman?

Not to say I don't lust after a real plexi. Just saying sometimes I think the hype far surpasses reality, for some. As I said, YMMV.

This to me is an understandable sentiment for anyone who has exposure to them (general idea of sound through recorded music, demos, etc) but has not owned one/played extensively through one. I completely understand someone who hasn’t owned one being perhaps casually interested, but not necessarily possessed to jump down the rabbit hole.

Most of what I cut my teeth on/prefer has much higher gain requirements, but the dynamics and feel of mine pulls me back into working with it and becoming addicted to what it does.
 

DaDoc

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Well, I don't own a Plexi per se, but I do own a '73 JMP 50 watt Super Lead. From my understanding, it's pretty much the same thing with a metal front. Before that I had a JCM 800 100 watter, but upon acquiring the JMP I never used it, and eventually sold it to finance another guitar buy. That old four holer is just THE BEST! :cool:

I also acquired a Soldano Hot Rod 50 last year, I love it to death but if I ever had to sell one or the other, I would sell the Soldano and keep the JMP. I would also love to score a 100 watt version, and if I could find a Plexi panel that would be awesome!
 

purpleplexi

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No plexi no fun. Sure they're a bit inflexible even the SV 20 but there's always a way. For me I don't want nothin else.
People on here must remember the old plexi palace. Their tagline under the main logo was 'the home of most high tone'. I can only agree.
 

Chris-in-LA

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Got my 1987x in 2004 and used it for about 10 years plugged straight in. I love how punchy they are but they are not very practical at home without an attenuator. The singers in the band always complained about the volume so I went back to my 2203. I then built a JTM45 clone, also great, more practical volume-wise, but less low end for sure. Using a closed-back cabinet helps enhance the lows. I alternate between plexi’s and JCM’s, anything with more gain than that sounds too modern to me.
 

Trelwheen

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The only Plexi type amp still sitting in my studio is a '94 1987x. It's got some mods, the Pandora MV mod which adds a gain stage to the preamp via an extra 12ax7, plus it has a saturation switch on the back which engages clipping diodes (I don't use that, it's too spongey and smeared-sounding). When I crank the master and dial back the preamp it sounds just like the unmodded 1987 I had here awhile back. I let the unmodded one go. The Pandora is SO much more versatile.

I still watch for an unmolested handwired 1959 though, and if I find one for under a million bucks I'll probably snag it.
 

DaDoc

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Is there something to the vintage Plexi that you can not replicate? Do the re-issues measure up?
Never got to try one, but from what I've heard and read they're supposed to be pretty darned good! If I got a chance to score a handwired Plexi reissue at a good deal I would go for it in a heartbeat.
 

Geeze

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I grew up in the 60's and 70's and find that tone to be my cornerstone. My first Marshall was a combo 2205 and I thought I'd found home. Then a combo JMP2204 popped up - home became a bit more beautiful. Then a buddy built me a 1987 metal panel spec and started to understand how much more my home could be. After a brief flirtation with a 2555X, a stock JMP2203 [loved the 6550's] and a JMP2203 with a Partridge OT somewhere in the middle of all of that a 90's 1959X drifted in and it became the standard that all others are measured by.

The 2204, stock 2203 and the 2555x are gone to good homes - I hope - the 2205 went to my mom.

I say all of this to frame the next evolution in my amp journey. The same buddy who built me the magnificent 1987 has agreed to build a 45/100 to run the pile of KT66's I have. After much back an forth with me hedging my bets in the form of SS rectification, higher filtering [turning it into a 1959 with KT66] I settled on a straight up JTM45/100 with the loose bottom and tube rec. I want to know why it was reputed to be Jimi's #1.

I don't drink, smoke, tend to run away from women and my son graduated college. I have time and some funds to fuel this passion.

To further set in your mind how much of a weirdo I am most of my use is 90dB with an attenuator. Why? After 15+ amps since 2012 I have determined that the NMV has the tone I want at any volume. Boost, compressor, OD pedals to suit the tone mood of the day. For the times when I get to run at volume home just became Heaven.

There are a wide range of amps and tastes to go with them - the plexi style NMV is mine. For now...

Russ
 


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