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Marshall Tone

12/5/1998 6:59 PM
Marshall Tone
Hoping to find some good advice out there, and this place seems to have plenty of experienced players.  
I wanted that 'late 60s early 70s' tone, so I aquired a re-issue Marshall 1959SLP and sold the Boogie. I play a Les Paul that is loaded w/ 57 Classic pickups. I also use a PowerBrake to drive the power tubes without killing everything in a 50yrd radius.  
Here's the rub - setting all controls to 10 isn't what it's cut out to be. But I've tried nearly every variation in between without 'getting there'. I jump the two channels and usually plug into the Channel 2. Driving Ch2 a little more than Ch1 offeres up a warmer sound, but the bottoms get farty. Going the other way gets too midrangy and bright(according to other band members).  
Do you suppose there is a problem with the Plexi?? Are the great settings a trade secret?? Are there mods required even with these great amps??  
Would appreciate any input.  
12/5/1998 7:52 PM

The only Plexis that sound good with all the controls on 10 are the very early ones. These had the shared cathode resistor/cap on the first tube, the .022 cap instead of the .0022, and a tone stack more like the JTM-45. The Plexi that the 1959SLP is based on, is an extremely bright sounding amp. I personally think Marshall chose the wrong circuit to reissue, the earlier ones sound much better.
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12/6/1998 11:41 AM

thanx for your assessment of my situation. I've been fighting with this  
beast for 2 months now wondering why this 'tone machine' is so bright.  
Any thoughts on correcting it. I'm not very fluent in electronics, but think  
now is a good time to start. I'm hoping I at least have a good platform  
with the Plexi to start with.  
12/5/1998 8:22 PM
Michael Sullivan

I'd always heard that most of the "name" guys turned up all the tone controls except the bass, which, on average, ran at three to five on a scale of ten. Nigel Tufnel fans will tell you four to six on his "scale of eleven" amps.  
As an aside, a friend who worked at Sunn, in, I believe, Tualatin, Oregon, in the late '60s, swore that when the first BIG Sunns were auditioned by Jimi Hendrix, the volume controls were labelled to a max of eight. JMH complained that the amps needed to be louder, so a second audition was set for the next day. The silkscreen folks ran off a bunch of new faceplates, these labelled to a max of ten, and those faceplates installed on the audition amps. Hendrix was back in the plant that afternoon, played them, and bought six stacks.....  
Not having been in the States at that time, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of that claim. I can say that Fast Eddie told me some other outrageous stuff that has since been proven true.
12/5/1998 10:07 PM

Al; I agree with T Miller, I guess most have heard that with just about any amp,if you put ten of the same kind side by side,you'll have one out of the ten that just kills the other nine!I guess its the + or - of tolerences of components or how it was set up. I like to change all my marshalls to bass amps, and change a few other things to suit my taste,others may like the lead amps,but to me they are just to bright sounding,and take the 470pf cap off the bright channel.Their are a few things you can change to get a sound you might like. [Richie]
12/5/1998 10:11 PM

I forgot to add,the speakers make alot of difference of how the amp will sound and react to your playing.You said you use a power brake, you should look into building a plexi jr, [Richie]
12/6/1998 6:44 AM

Regarding the speakers, I use a 4x12 w/ Greenbacks. You feel taking the 470pf cap off the bright channel will tame it some?
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