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Does changing the brand of filter caps make a big difference??

6/14/1998 6:38 PM
Joe Minnick
Does changing the brand of filter caps make a big difference??
I'm dont like the attack on my marshall.. i've heard some opinions that overfiltering may be the problem?? does changing the brand or value filter cap make a big difference in the sound?? will it hurt to change it out??  
what parts besides the transformer and tubes make the biggest difference in the amps sound?? (marshall) ... I also want to reduce the flabby low end distortion,,,
6/14/1998 11:28 PM
Jim S.

What don't you like about the attack? Too much? Not enough? What model Marshall is it and how old is it? Are the tubes new or old? Are the filter caps original? Do you know if the output bias is properly adjusted? What type of speaker cab are you using and what kind of speakers are in it?  
Just about ANYTHING can affect an amp's sound, so I need more info.  
As for filtering, Marshalls are generally well-filtered (especially the older non-master 4-input models), but I've never heard anyone complain they were overfiltered. Using different brands or slightly different values of filter caps might make for subtle differences in tone, but usually not the difference between sounding good and bad. I suspect your tone problems lie elsewhere, unless you are running on old, dried up filter caps that need replacement (in which case the problem is more likely to be underfiltering).
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6/15/1998 3:37 PM
joe minnick

I have both an old 100 watt '71 Supertrem -- and a 50 watt Jubilee combo... '87 i believe..  
The super definitely has less attack -- but  
it still is too much - about half of the jubilee.. I've run them through different  
cabs 1/12 - 4/12 .. seems to only make a  
difference in the bottom end and the fullness  
of the sound... All the tubes are brand new  
and have just been changed... sovtek preamps  
and new el's.. The filter caps were replaced  
with new one's in the supertrem along with a  
few other worn parts.. Both have been biased  
by a technician and I never have probs with tubes burning out constantly... Overall the distortion sounds out of these amps are great, but they can be much improved.. As for speaker cabs.. I havent tried too many,, I've tried change the speaker a few times in the combo. not much of difference in the attack though.. jbl, v30, celestion..
6/16/1998 4:26 AM
If you've got too much attack try changing the first gain stage tube to a lower gain tube. I use a Phillips JAN 5751, which is a nice lower gain, low noise 12AX7. I too found the attack pretty harsh. This has worked well in a 70's MV100, MV50 and an early '70s Mk2 50 watt.  
I haven't been able to find too much that effects the tone other than tubes and speakers. Celestion vintage 30's seem to be the most pleasant speakers, but Simms and Fane also sound pretty good. I don't really like the sound of JBLs in a Marshall.  
Also, Svetlana EL34's really tighten up the bottom end in my experience. Worth a try.
6/15/1998 5:42 AM
This might sound a bit odd, but I've found the trick to getting rid of the flabby low end on my Marshalls (Mk 2 MV100 and 50) is to turn the bass down. There's still plenty of bottom end, it just doesn't sound nasty any more. It's not what you'd expect. If you've already tried this, let me know what model it is, and I'll think again.  
If the attack's weird, try changing the first pre-amp tube.
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