Best first tube amp build for a Marshall guy

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by jem7sk, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Cruisin Home

    Cruisin Home Tele-Meister

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    i like the Master Volume model 2204. 50 watts more than enough to blow out your ear drums, particularly with modern "high sensitivity" speakers.

    I just refurbished one for my wife's uncle. 1978 mfg date. Just re-capped the electrolytics, replaced a pot, cleaned, re-bias. The thing was mint! I instantly nicknamed it "Slash", for good reasons. Classic heavy hard rock sound.

    I really was impressed with the build quality and design for manufacturing. As opposed to the CBS fender years, Marshall did a real good job with keeping quality but also getting cost reduction. All passives on circuit card, rest is point to point wired.

    At same time I was refurbishing his Fender 1973 silverface deluxe reverb. What a quality disaster. I found 5 production screw-ups, including some missing components, a filament wire not soldered at all, etc. Amp never ran right and would only stay alive a week. its a wonder he kept it. I now brought it back to originality with high quality parts and it sounds amazing. I should create a post for this refurb.
     
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  2. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Tele-Afflicted

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    Have a good look at the 18 watt schematic. See how it compares with the 5E3 circuit. If you look at the preamp tubes, you will realize just a few changes with cathode capacitors and coupling capacitors could make either one sound similar to the other. With stock parts the two circuits sound different.

    The 5E3 is often modded to marshall specs to have a "lead channel". Likewise the 18 watt can be modded to have more bottom end.

    The great thing is... you are the builder and you have choices. It does not have to be exactly stock. You might want to order a few spare capacitors and resistors to try out some options.

    (I am sure you are aware J Marshall used the 5F6A circuit when he started the Marshall amplifier kingdom.)
     
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  3. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    2203 then throw an xtra tube in for SLX then wait..revamp it again to a DSL then make it 4 channels & label it a JVM..

    really, i would build the 800 circuit exactly as it was in early batches. Appreciate the power & girth, the more i play the less gain seems to be involved & it all sounds bigger, clearer, meaner ect
     
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  4. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Marshall? I have a Winnie Thomas Winfield 18 watter, based on the old November 18 Watt Marshall Plexi. It's the amp I have owned the longest in my life (Well that and my trusty Vox Pathfinder... lol). The Normal and bright channels are internally jumpered which makes it amazingly flexible. With Teles I set the normal channel volume a little higher. HBs the Bright. Just a great versatile amp, chimey cleans to dark grungey beauty and everything in between amp. Has presence, treb/mid/bass controls and the two jumpered volumes. I bought it as a 1x12 combo for easy gigging and it was never to little power (it's a LOUD little sucker). The only thing I might change would be to do it as a head so I can run 2x12's at home and just lose myself in the depth of that.... lol. And maybe 4xEL84 version of a little more headroom with hot HBs.
     
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  5. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Tele-Meister

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    No, I don't think so. I was lucky it ran right.
     
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  6. Cruisin Home

    Cruisin Home Tele-Meister

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    LowerleftCoast has a good point, the first Marshall was a Bassman derivative (5F6A). As the owner of two Bassmans (original and DIY) it is my favorite amp. I did "marshalize" the DIY Normal channel. Great sound and gives me two amps in one. But in my opinion the speaker is also a significant part of the tone equation. I suggest you do some speaker research before you DIY and find a good match to what you want from your sound. I've debated to replace two of my Bassman Jensens with Celestions and have a Marshall/Fender/Marshall&Fender switch. (good to have multiple OT secondaries).
     
  7. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    Good advice.
    I feel compelled to say the guy desgined the amplifiers was Ken Bran, Jim Marshall only designed the cabs.

    I interviewed Ken Bran when I was younger, he did say the overdrive of the bassman was a key part of the sound they were looking for. Which is incredibly forward-thinking for the time. I wish I'd known enough to question more about aspects like the much smaller input caps, etc. A bit like Leo, they seem to have designed an amp to make a sound that no-one made until later.

    /diversion
    Has anyone here built tube-town's Jim? Based on the Class 5, it's a pretty cheap kit.
     
  8. elpico

    elpico Tele-Afflicted

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    By the time you've added all these bells and whistles (tmb, presence control etc) to an 18w there's really nothing "easier" about it than a jtm45 or jcm800.

    I recommend you just build the amp you want and not worry about easy-ness. The resistors in the jcm are just as easy to solder as the ones in an 18w so it's not really more "difficult", it's just more time.
     
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  9. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey! Thanks for pointing this out.

    I have built an 1974 model 18W amp and the 2061 model 20W amp. The 18W and the 20W didn't have enough gain for me with one triode section prior to the phase inverter. I did like the clean on the 2061 model, though.

    In the end, I built something much like this - a 20W channel swithing amp with "3" channels - the 2061 "clean" channel with its tone and volume controls, and the 1987 model's (50w) Normal and Bright channels - wired permanently on ten.

    I may have pick up one of their TMB faceplates as the 20W facelplate that I have been using doesn't have enough room for all my jacks (added a footswitch jack) and knobs.
     
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  10. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I built their Lummerland Express. Stinkloud, gainbeast most of the time, but roll back the guitar volume and get some rather nice menacing cleans. Bear in mind the price shown doesn't include the chassis, knobs or faceplate. Good quality in general, but no valve retainers or shields. Hammond OT, generic toroid PT, PSU is a stock PCB, and none the worse for it.

    Musikding make some good kits too. Their excellent G3 Blues is soon to be joined by the G3 Rock. Youtube sound clips make it sound like a 60's Marshall, to my less than stellar hearing. I built the G3 Blues, and it is nothing short of wonderful sounding. Again, no shields/retainers, but a very good screen printed chassis.
     
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  11. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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  12. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    TMB means Treble/Middle/Bass. The normal 18 watter doesn't have a tone stack, just a treble cut knob. The TMB replaces the Tremelo channel with a Plexi-style preamp.

    When you have a full tone stack, you are throwing away anywhere from 50-90% of your gain, so one stage of gain won't work. It uses the tube usually used for tremelo as a second stage of gain and a cathode follower to drive the tone stack nice, nice.

    They are great sounding amps, actually giggable and pleasant enough at moderate volumes for home use. They are a much, much easier build than a JTM or 2204 style amp, and easier to troubleshoot.

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  13. wmprivett

    wmprivett Tele-Meister

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    If UK tubes is your thing, I'd suggest Hoffman's Schedule 40 as a first build. It's a single ended amp that has one EL34 power tube. The troubleshooting and safety techniques you pickup in your first build are invaluable, and potential issues in a first build grow exponentially as you add tubes and pots.
     
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