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Dean Markley Signature Series Amp Thread

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by nrand, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. dblues

    dblues Tele-Afflicted

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    Stephan

    When I bought it in the the mid 80s my band did country and rock from the 50s,60s,70s up to some of what was then current. I used the clean channel a lot with my Les Paul jr. The overdrive channel cranked up was a bit much for the Moose and Vets clubs we played a lot but it came in handy for the Chuck Berry,Stones and other more current rock stuff. It could do all that and keep up with the steel players Session 400 and other high powered amps that everyone seemed to use back then. I like the versatility of the amp. The clean side reminds me of a few brown era fenders I've played;not as tight as the later black or silver face amps. The over- drive channel cranked with the master volume down really sings but my favorite setting is to turn the master volume up and bring up the gain and drive just enough to get some good power tube crunch. I've experimented with different tubes and I like a lower gain (6072) in v1. That seems to alleviate the one short coming of this amp which is the clean channel is voiced with more bass then the drive channel. The lower gain in v1 seems to bring the two channels closer together tone wise. One of the original Phillips 6l6gc went bad about 12 years ago and I'm currently running jAN Phillips 6l6wgbs' that I reply like the sound of. I've tried some newer production power tubes and they all were fine, just like to experiment. Sometimes I play it with the one original Phillips power tube and that is a different cool sound. Also replaced the speaker with a Weber
    ceramic Chicago which is a little brighter then the original speaker. All in all it does a great job of covering the blues and rock tones I need for playing around the house and on the patio for the neighborhood.

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  2. Bugsville

    Bugsville Tele-Meister

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    I picked up an old CD60 from local Craigs List about a year ago with a blown speaker and bad power tubes for $100. I have since cut it down to a head and recently the output transformer has gone on it :(
    [​IMG]
     
  3. mondogenerator

    mondogenerator TDPRI Member

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    Signature series 120R is great, if shabby ;)

    Hello! I ought to say hi, as its my first post here!

    I inherited a signature 120R, in fairly used state, in fender rack, and Im looking to refurbish it. Not restore, but bring it back up to speed.

    I should tell you that I got no cab with this and bought, (very cheaply), and perhaps strangely, a Hartke 4x10" Bass cab. I used this for a while but although the combo didnt sound AWFUL, it wasnt quite right really. So I bought 4 of the 10" Celestion G10R 'greenback' and replaced the bassdrivers.

    I should talk about the amp....It has 2 pair of valves of different makes and I think theyre due for a replacement, since one pair seems to run hotter than the other. It has the voicing switch, but i dont know if thats an earlier or later model. It also has the original GE/phillips (have to look...) 12AX7 in the preamp section. Ive been recommended winged C type 6L6s, and read something positive about the 6L6WC, and STR variants. Given that my Cab, being 'greenback'-like at least, i.e. WARM, perhaps too warm, a tight bass response is probably what im after...playing with a Fender in Bridge, or middle it sounds balanced, with the Les paul its wallowing....

    Is my amp to blame or the cab? I tend to need the bass control backed off to 10 o'clock with the Gibson.
     
  4. dblues

    dblues Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to TDPRI Mondogenerator. I'm not certain how similar the eq voicing of the 120R is to my CD60 but if it is similar you may find like I did that tone setting for mids and treble need to be up and bass down. I had read awhile back that Buddy Guy runs his Bassman with treble cranked and bass off. Seemed kind of extreme but I tried it and found I could use the full range of the guitar tone control more easily. I still keep the bass on about 9o'clock on the amp and sometime roll the treble back from full on. I've also found using a Rangemaster style treble boost helps when playing the amp overdriven. I'm sure lots of other boost or OD pedals could also help push the mid and high frequencies. I don't have any HB pickups, just single coil fender and p90's. The p90 s seem to like the bright switch, gives them some nice bite. I would experiment with the amp tone settings and maybe try some pedals before chasing after different speakers.

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  5. mondogenerator

    mondogenerator TDPRI Member

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    thanks!

    Thats actually helped alot, since that sounds like the tone I would use, bass at 9 or 10 oclock, mids at 3 to max and same for the treble, the only thing im real careful with is the presence control.

    With a strat, much less bass cut and mid and treble lift, plenty of clean attack, but most definately need a OD pedal to get more than heavy blues/light rock OD. Ive tried some pedals and theyve been awful. Ive got a Vox tonelab pedalboard, but with this there is some impedance matching issue since the sound is thin when used with the DM 120.

    Im considering getting a blackstar fuzz pedal or similar, and giving that a shot with the amp.

    Once again, Thanks alot.
     
  6. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

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    I had one of the old tan 50 watt Markley amps. I loved the reverb. Once I went into my room and found smoke coming out of the input jack. I took it into the yard... I guess it blew a transformer or something. It wasn't even on.
     
  7. camatillo

    camatillo Tele-Meister

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    Hi everyone, I am the proud owner of a RM 100-mt. It is completely mint. Used it for about 2 hrs. Bought it new in the 80's, had it paired with a chandler tube drive. Somethings wrong with it, Cuts in and out, at first it was the B+ supply, filter caps were cold soldered. Worked for a while. At this point I'm giving it to my tech and asking him to go over it totally. It's brand new still! So after I get it sorted out I plan to pair it with my HD 500. and or some stomp boxes, of which I have many. I think the original tubes are GE's (6l6's) and yes they are still in there. I have always wondered what it would sound like in complete working order, I think it was for about 10 minutes once and it sounded really good, so I have hope yet. Wish me luck, I'm on a mission now that I've heard all these great reports about the Laul designs. I have carried this amp with me from one place to another for almost 30 years and it hasn't worked right yet, I must be crazy for Tone !!
     
  8. nrand

    nrand Friend of Leo's

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    Hi

    Sorry I just noticed your reply. Yes - I love the amp for all my electrics. the presence setting is not an issue for me as I tend to have it set quite low and leave alone. I bought it from the Swop Shoppe as I used to live in Melbourne and bought gear there. I only recently came across the Dean Markley site myself- the site seems to be fairly new with upgrades along the way. I was very impressed with the circuitry history - someone has been doing their homework:

    "T-120 / T-120R Circuit History
    The very first Marshall amps were called the JTM45 amps introduced in 1962, which were based on the Fender 1959 Tweed Bassman circuit.
    Hiwatt, Laney, Orange, Rivera, and Soldano amps all were initially based on Marshall schematics. Marshall amps themselves were based on Fender Bassman 50s era amplifier circuit with enhancements .

    The Ampeg V5 is an almost an exact duplicate of a Marshall JCM800 - Master Volume Lead 100 (Model 2203), which has 100W output via 4 x EL34 (USA market: 6550) power tubes and 3 x ECC83 (12AX7) tubes in the preamp section. The Dean Markley T-120 was also based on Marshall Model 2203 with the T-120 circuit modified to use 6L6GC power tubes in place of 6550 or EL34 tubes."

    http://deanmarkleyvintageamps.weebly.com/t-120--t-120r.html

    it was kind of strange seeing my/our amp on the page . . . its all getting a bit circular! And yes there is a little extra room allowed for venting the fan, although I need to replace it as it is a bit noisy.
     
  9. SemiHollowGuy

    SemiHollowGuy TDPRI Member

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    Well it looks like there hasn't been much activity on this thread for some time. But I'll pick it back up.

    Hi. I'm a noob to this forum. So "Hi" everyone. This forum seems to have some very good threads on 80's amps. This being one of them. So with that in mind...

    I just picked up a Dean Markley RM-80-DR. Got it from the original owner. The thing still looks like it just came out of the music store. PO said the amp never left his house the entire time he owned it. (I'll post a couple of pics later)

    Only thing wrong is a few of the pots are sounding scratchy. Any solid suggestions on the best way to go about cleaning them? As in "Is there a particular cleaner that works best?" or "Is there a special technique that works better than something else?" Just curious as it seems so many of those here have had significant experierence with cleaning pots on 80's vintage amps.
     
  10. EdMan57

    EdMan57 Tele-Meister

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    Welcome,SemiHollowGuy! Often,just rotating the knobs back and forth several times [complete turns,quickly] will take care of the issue. Others used compressed air while rotating such. There are also sprays that do such,but I can't recall the names at the moment. Good luck.

    Ed
     
  11. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I have an old Spectra 120-T 60/120 watt switchable amp that was my main gigging amp for 20+ years. It now needs some work and one of our cats tore up the grille cloth, but one of these days I will refurbish it. It is a great sounding little amp with power to spare.
     
  12. bluzbrkr

    bluzbrkr NEW MEMBER!

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    Hello nrand, if your still out there and are interested I happen to know the person that owns the Clapton Sig 120's from the auction, if you would like I can see if I can get a pic of the chalk mark settings for you?

    Not one of my favorite Clapton songs by a long shot but here he is playing thru the DM sig 120's at the Princes trust in '86 @2:10 you see the 2 Dean Markley's sitting on top of a Marshall cabinet behind him.

     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  13. bluzbrkr

    bluzbrkr NEW MEMBER!

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    see above (dont see the delete option)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  14. Mr Perch

    Mr Perch Tele-Afflicted

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    I have been playing a CD30 for the past 8 years or so. It's a lovely amp. Here's a demo I made when I first bought it:

     
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