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VanHalen I Sound?

6/7/1999 11:08 PM
BIG Dave
VanHalen I Sound?
What would be the best way to bring my 50 watt reissue plexi-front Marshall closer to the VanHalen I/II sound? Would upgrading to a Hoffman circuit board help? Different output transformer? Just some simple changes to the current PCB? Or is it just plain impossible?
6/8/1999 3:02 AM
MJ Harnish
Biggest difference is the well-known fact the EVH was running his amp on a variac to brown out the sound; problem is that it's liable to eat tubes (and potentially other parts)  
6/8/1999 3:23 AM
Dave Chun

Check the archives for a thread with the header "brown sound" (or those search terms in general.) I remember a discussion about a month back on this very topic.
6/8/1999 4:49 AM
Re: VanHalen I Sound?...Dave
I've worked on a few of these and I would DEFIANATLEY recommend getting a NOS tranny for this beast. The ones they used are pretty whimpy in my opinion.  
When ever you alter the parts and design you will inevitably get a different tone.  
Perhapes trade it on a Metal face Marshall from 69-76. They are mightly close to a plexi and can easily be converted with ease.  
6/8/1999 8:56 AM
anonymous Re: VanHalen I Sound?
Call A and V there is an anp tec getting a rep for getting VH1 tone in Orange Co.714 841 8224.
6/8/1999 9:50 AM

AS far as I know, Eddy used a stock amp but biases it way hot. On top of this mister van Halen dropped the volts a bit by using a variac. Won't recommend this unlesss you got lots of cash. Expect tubes and transformers to go. There was a dutch amp tech that restored Eddy's famous '69 plexi. It had a burnt out power transformer and various other parts gone. He said there was nothing special about the amp, just all original.  
I'd go for an early 70's 100 Watt head and bring down the plate volts by inserting zeners or resistors into the power supply. I don't think your resissue will cut it.  
Oh yeah, almost forgot, you do have to turn it up to '10 !!  
Good luck and start saving up for an hearing aid,  
6/8/1999 1:18 PM

Hey all;  
As the story goes Eddie had several people try and reserect his amp with little luck. I think alot of the tone was the original tranny that it had.  
Eddie and that Dutch amp tech both stated the amp was all original. Who knows what parts drifted off value from 1969.  
One thing that seems to get people closer to the "brown" sound is to replace the pair of 220K resistors that are going from the PI to the powertubes to 100K's and then rebias the amp. It makes a REALLY nice difference. I think Ken Fisher is the fella who ran across this?  
For what it's worth  
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