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Unread 03-30-2009, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Which Marshall Head should I get?

So far...I have come to the conclusion that I am in desperate need of a new head (I have a valvestate 8100...lol). I am really in to the tone/sound that Marshall makes so I know I want another marshall. I like to play classic rock the most and I am looking for an older head like 65-79. I really want to get something that I will adore for the rest of my life. Right now I'm looking into the super-leads. Does any one have any other amp suggestions? Keep in mind Classic Rock tone. Oh and also I want a tube amp.

Thanks in advance,
Fred
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Unread 03-30-2009, 07:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Super Lead...
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Unread 03-30-2009, 07:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oilpit View Post
Super Lead...
What is a good year?
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Unread 03-30-2009, 07:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
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What is a good year?
A JTM45 or JMP Super Lead will do it for you. The year's you should look for are 64-74.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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A JTM45 or JMP Super Lead will do it for you. The year's you should look for are 64-74.
Wheres a good place to look I've checked ebay they don't have much.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 08:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

You won't find much. The people who have them tend to keep them. But JMPs do pop up from time to time.

By the way, it's all very well to say, 'Yeah! Super Lead Duuuudde!!!' but what are you going to do with it? These old (and old-style) amps like JTMs and JMPs are excruciatingly loud. I'm not saying they're useless, but I AM saying that I think you need to unpack this 'classic rock' thing a bit more.

These amps don't have a preamp gain control. So they're clean until you turn them up so loud that they (and the speakers) start to distort. On my old JMP, and on the JMP of a guy I know, that ovedrive doesn't kick in until you've got it up to 6 or 7 on the vol. That's mind-****ing loud, and most venues will not tolerate a guitar player who does this.

You might get an attenuator of some sort so you can get your drive at lower volumes. My experience of these is that they're OK at best. I use a THD hotplate, and it definitely colours the sound. It's also expensive. I understand there are newer speaker emulator / reactive attenuators that are much better, but with these you will still miss the sound of the driven speaker. This is a big part of the classic tone.

But the bottom line is that you will either have to use some pedals or an attenuator to get your 'classic rock' sound.

The alternative is to go smaller. I'm not really an advocate of 'small' amps in the 5 Watt range. But 18 to 30 Watts is quite enough to gig with, and you'll be able to turn it up to get that classic sound of overdriving power section and speakers.

And you'll still need a pedal in all likelihood. Either an overdrive / distortion or a treble boost. Simply turning the amp up loud is likely to produce a waffling, flabby sound. An EQ, boost or clean overdrive can help tighten that up.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splattle101 View Post
You won't find much. The people who have them tend to keep them. But JMPs do pop up from time to time.

By the way, it's all very well to say, 'Yeah! Super Lead Duuuudde!!!' but what are you going to do with it? These old (and old-style) amps like JTMs and JMPs are excruciatingly loud. I'm not saying they're useless, but I AM saying that I think you need to unpack this 'classic rock' thing a bit more.

These amps don't have a preamp gain control. So they're clean until you turn them up so loud that they (and the speakers) start to distort. On my old JMP, and on the JMP of a guy I know, that ovedrive doesn't kick in until you've got it up to 6 or 7 on the vol. That's mind-****ing loud, and most venues will not tolerate a guitar player who does this.

You might get an attenuator of some sort so you can get your drive at lower volumes. My experience of these is that they're OK at best. I use a THD hotplate, and it definitely colours the sound. It's also expensive. I understand there are newer speaker emulator / reactive attenuators that are much better, but with these you will still miss the sound of the driven speaker. This is a big part of the classic tone.

But the bottom line is that you will either have to use some pedals or an attenuator to get your 'classic rock' sound.

The alternative is to go smaller. I'm not really an advocate of 'small' amps in the 5 Watt range. But 18 to 30 Watts is quite enough to gig with, and you'll be able to turn it up to get that classic sound of overdriving power section and speakers.

And you'll still need a pedal in all likelihood. Either an overdrive / distortion or a treble boost. Simply turning the amp up loud is likely to produce a waffling, flabby sound. An EQ, boost or clean overdrive can help tighten that up.
Good point. I didn't even consider the volume factor. But any tube amp that is unattenuated will sound loud in a bedroom environment.

If you go with an old Marshall head, see if you can get a 2x12 cab. That will reduce the amount of air being pushed thus reducing how loud it sounds to you. The best 2x12s are discontinued but if you check Craigslist/Ebay often, finding them shouldn't be a problem. I believe the model's are 1961 and 1966. The newer 2x12's(1936) are decent from what I've heard. I've also heard that you should stay away from the 1922's.

And there's always the other option: Buying something other than Marshall. I've seen old Fender Bandmasters go for pretty cheap. Be careful with old Vox's though.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splattle101 View Post
You won't find much. The people who have them tend to keep them. But JMPs do pop up from time to time.

By the way, it's all very well to say, 'Yeah! Super Lead Duuuudde!!!' but what are you going to do with it? These old (and old-style) amps like JTMs and JMPs are excruciatingly loud. I'm not saying they're useless, but I AM saying that I think you need to unpack this 'classic rock' thing a bit more.

These amps don't have a preamp gain control. So they're clean until you turn them up so loud that they (and the speakers) start to distort. On my old JMP, and on the JMP of a guy I know, that ovedrive doesn't kick in until you've got it up to 6 or 7 on the vol. That's mind-****ing loud, and most venues will not tolerate a guitar player who does this.

You might get an attenuator of some sort so you can get your drive at lower volumes. My experience of these is that they're OK at best. I use a THD hotplate, and it definitely colours the sound. It's also expensive. I understand there are newer speaker emulator / reactive attenuators that are much better, but with these you will still miss the sound of the driven speaker. This is a big part of the classic tone.

But the bottom line is that you will either have to use some pedals or an attenuator to get your 'classic rock' sound.

The alternative is to go smaller. I'm not really an advocate of 'small' amps in the 5 Watt range. But 18 to 30 Watts is quite enough to gig with, and you'll be able to turn it up to get that classic sound of overdriving power section and speakers.

And you'll still need a pedal in all likelihood. Either an overdrive / distortion or a treble boost. Simply turning the amp up loud is likely to produce a waffling, flabby sound. An EQ, boost or clean overdrive can help tighten that up.
You are so right...I was wondering that myself. The other amp I was looking at was the JCM 800 what do you think of those?
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

But I am in a somewhat rural area so I don't have to worry so much about noise complaints. I'm still thinking the superlead so far but I'm really going to factor in the whole sound issue. Another thing is how much of a hit in the wallet am I going to be taking for buying one of these?
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

like $1000? (I already have 4x12 cab)
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

I bought a 900 series SLX and it sounds good,has an extra preamp stage to my knowledge. picked up the head and 412 cab for $850cn. Considering I was looking at buying just the head on ebay for around that much plus shipping etc. I think it was a deal at the time. Maybe their cheaper now.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Mark's Guitar Loft ~ amps
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

try a vintage reissue. the slp59 is available, but that is stupid loud. The 1987xl is wonderful - and the RI has an fx loop - but it is loud too. Or you could look at a 1974x - but only get a recent one as they were plagued by transformer failures early on.

A real vintage marshall will cost a lot of money and it's not like a vintage guitar. The electronics in an amp do not all age well (capacitors, and sometimes valves, resistors and signal caps too) and it can be very hard from photos to tell how much of the insides are still stock.

The reissues are far cheaper, easier to obtain, have modern touches such as an fx loop, etc.

My $0.02 if you love the idea of a vintage super lead, then a 1987xl is a great today solution.

With that head, you could also consider getting a custom 2x12 combo cab built and put the chassis into it. Kind of like making your own 1987xpw except it wouldn't be hideous to look at (and they're unobtainable anyway - only 50 were made). Only 4 screws to remove the chassis and put it into your combo cab.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
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try a vintage reissue. the slp59 is available, but that is stupid loud. The 1987xl is wonderful - and the RI has an fx loop - but it is loud too. Or you could look at a 1974x - but only get a recent one as they were plagued by transformer failures early on.

A real vintage marshall will cost a lot of money and it's not like a vintage guitar. The electronics in an amp do not all age well (capacitors, and sometimes valves, resistors and signal caps too) and it can be very hard from photos to tell how much of the insides are still stock.

The reissues are far cheaper, easier to obtain, have modern touches such as an fx loop, etc.

My $0.02 if you love the idea of a vintage super lead, then a 1987xl is a great today solution.

With that head, you could also consider getting a custom 2x12 combo cab built and put the chassis into it. Kind of like making your own 1987xpw except it wouldn't be hideous to look at (and they're unobtainable anyway - only 50 were made). Only 4 screws to remove the chassis and put it into your combo cab.
Do the Reissues sound anything like the vintage ones?
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

I'm thinking about this one
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Unread 03-30-2009, 10:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

One other suggestion......the real deal....



Buy Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Amp | Tube Combo Amps | Musician's Friend

Quote:
The Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Amp is just like the one used by Eric Clapton during his stint with Mayall's Bluesbreakers and famously on the Beano sessions. With 30W output and 2x12 speakers, it produces a gutsy bass and vibrant top, coupled with an overall natural warmth. The valve rectification output stage, pioneered by Marshall in the early 1960s, is responsible for helping achieve the famed compression and sustain exhibited uniquely by both the JTM45 and 1962. Though somewhat tonally similar to a JTM45, the 1962 combo is loaded with 2 Celestion Greenback 25W speakers and also comes with a footswitchable tremolo effect.

If you're looking for that sensuous, creamy early Clapton sound, we guarantee that you'll find it in this beautifully reissued Marshall combo. The natural tone and overdrive of the 1962 Bluesbreaker Amp will quickly become a fundamental ingredient in your overall sound.

Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Amp Specifications:

29-1/4"W x 23-3/4"H x 10-1/2"D (740 x 600 x 265mm)
66.6 lbs. (30.2kg)
Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Amp Features:

30W output
2 - 12" 25W Celestion Greenback speakers
Valve rectifier
Footswitchable tremolo effect
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Unread 03-30-2009, 10:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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One other suggestion......the real deal....
damn - yeah I forgot that one. The 62 bluesbreaker RI should be added to the list. One just sold on ebay a few days ago for around $1300 too.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 10:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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yep, that one's the bomb. If 100W is practical for you that is "the" marshall imho. you could try ebay for cheaper second hand ones. I just bought a 1987x on ebay a few days ago.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 10:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Bluesbreaker...I want one!!!
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Unread 03-30-2009, 10:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

The 100 W and 50 W versions sound quite different. There is not much difference in volume, but the tone is worlds apart. The 100 W JMPs are bright to the point of harshness. When combined with Brit voiced speakers this is a recipe for ice picks through the ears. If you go this route you may want to do the 'bright cap' mod.

However, once you've tamed the treble the 100 Watt heads have more bass than the 50 w versions. This is just a function of power loading.

The 50 W JMP head sounds warmer straight up. Once you've got it cranked it won't be quite as boomy as the 100 W head. Also, at any given volume you're running the 50 W harder than the 100 W, so you're getting more of that harmonic distortion. This creeps in above 4 on the volume and appears as nice consonant overtones even though the sound is still 'clean'. As the volume gets higher it turns into full blown distortion.

You get this on the 100 Watt head, too, but it's louder when you get there.

I like the 50 Watt version best. Your mileage may vary.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 06:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Buy Marshall 2061X Handwired 20W Amp Head | Tube Amp Heads | Musician's Friend
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Unread 03-31-2009, 08:02 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Mostly schematics and not a lot on sound but kinda cool notes along the way and good links at the bottom.
I thought that the 800's were best until reading about how you lose out on some sound without the main power tubes being driven...as in 6 and up as stated here above.
http://www.drtube.com/marshall.htm#JCM800
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Unread 03-31-2009, 08:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretboard View Post
I think one of my uncles friends just got something similar to that. I'm not sure if it was the same, but the name rings a bell and it looks the same. I heard from him that it was pretty good. I've heard more good things about that blues man too. I think I'm about to pull the trigger on a JVM. I'd go for a TSL, but I keep hearing bad things. Also, no one seems to want to ship a TSL;they all keep doing pickup only.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 09:21 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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You are so right...I was wondering that myself. The other amp I was looking at was the JCM 800 what do you think of those?
Sorry, I only just saw this.

I like the JCM 800s. They're the last of the Marshall line that I really like. Before the Marshall posse mugs me, I haven't tried a Vintage Modern and a lot of people who like the old amps say the VM is the shizznit. I make no comment on that.

But the JCM 800 sounded to me like a JMP with a master volume. This was good, because you can dial in your distortion level with the preamp gain, and then set your master vol.

I still preferred to run these loud. Get them up to that point where its still clean but there's overtones ringing through, and then turn up the preamp to get some crunch. At that point it just about plays itself, which is how I like it.

But make no mistake, that's still loud. I did this with my JMP, too, after I had the JCM 800 mod done to it. It worked beautifully, but the best sounds from that amp still came when it was cranked to 5 or above. In the big rooms we used to play (or outdoor) that was great. But in some of the smaller night clubs it was too much.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 10:53 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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Bluesbreaker...I want one!!!
Yeah...me too. Awesome tone, and I can't imagine needing anything bigger for most bars or clubs....
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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:04 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Damn...that is nice. I'm trying to figure out if I should go with that combo or get a head because I already have 4x12 cab. Does the bluesbreaker sound really good? Also will it be loud enough for little gigs?
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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:08 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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But the JCM 800 sounded to me like a JMP with a master volume. This was good, because you can dial in your distortion level with the preamp gain, and then set your master vol.
+1. I love them.

JCM800 was a series of amps rather than an amp. The most popular master volume JCM800 models (2203/2204) were also available as JMP versions. Early JCM800 and late JMP are internally identical. You can get a JCM800 1959 and they are a MUCH better thing than they ever seem to get credit for.

I think the 75-77 master volume JMP 2203/4 (PCB, but with mustard caps) were among the finest amps Marshall made. Starting to fetch a bit of a premium, especially in the USA, but still very affordable compared to plexi panel Marshalls.

You still have to turn them up to get the best out of them!

(I've got a 1962 Bluesbreaker reissue as well as couple of JMP 2203s. Not sure if I could choose between them.)

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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:09 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

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Damn...that is nice. I'm trying to figure out if I should go with that combo or get a head because I already have 4x12 cab. Does the bluesbreaker sound really good? Also will it be loud enough for little gigs?
That amp would probably keep up with a 100 watt solid state. That was Clapton's amp for years. And, yeah, it cranks, but you wouldn't have to crank that half as loud as a 100 watt head to get some nice tone out of that.

IMHO that's one of the greatest amplifiers ever made, right along with the Fender Twin Reverb.....
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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:22 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Why does there have to be so many choices...that bluesbreaker has defiantly gone up to the top of my list. Will I able to get a modern sound out of it if I have the right pedals and etc...?
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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Which Marshall Head should I get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretboard View Post
Why does there have to be so many choices...that bluesbreaker has defiantly gone up to the top of my list. Will I able to get a modern sound out of it if I have the right pedals and etc...?
Certainly. They have all kinds of effects these days that offer killer tones. You'd probably have to get the same thing if you went with the handwired '59 anyway....

Found this demo of it....

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