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Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by SirJackdeFuzz, Jan 6, 2016.
I've heard people compare 5F1's to marshalls.
IMho, those are people who are not listening closely... IF they are comparing a 5F1 to say the classic JTM45 sonic. IMe, there is no way that that cathode-biased, single-ended output section can yield what that fixed biased push/pull output section in the 5F6A Bassman(early Marshall) yields.
IMho, they are sitting listening to a low output amp yield distortion and thinking that that sounds like a Marshall...which is that 5F6A/5F8A type of amp.
Imho, from 1955 through 1960, there are at least 5 if not 6 different Fender Tweed sonics. The 5F6A and 5F8A amps yield something that is very different from even the next biggest tweeds...the Pro/Super/Bandmaster amps. These last 3 amps have a different voice ..especially when pushed hard. They saturate and 'sing' much more readily, ime, than do those two bigger amps. The 2 x 6v6 tweeds sit in two different classes as well....the cathode biased 5E3 versus the fixed biased Vibrolux and last tweed version of the Tremolux.....different sonics when one starts listening.
Other than the big Tweeds, the vintage Fenders that can yield something like those big tweeds/early Marshalls are the 6G3 Deluxe and the 6G2 Princeton, which can yield that edgy rip when pushed.
The best post-Tweed Fender at doing something like a Marshall, imho and ime, is the PRo Sonic...which is built loosely on that 5F6A platform. The Pro Sonic is an excellent 'test bed' for understanding what just different biasing does. IN the two fixed biased modes, the PRo Sonic yields sonics that are very much like the Tweed BAssman/early Marshall sounds. When one goes to the cathode biased mode, things get looser.....and one has left that tweed BAssman/early Marshall area of sound, ime. When people sit and hear the variations in this amp, their eyes go wide.....even the fellow who bought one new here in 1997 or so and let it go a year later in the late '90's. He sat a couple of months ago and listened to the various results of manipulation of the controls and told me: "Wow...I never could get anything like that out of it! IF I had, I would not have sold it.". lol......he never listened to what was going on in the amp and never learned how to manipulate the controls. He grew up hitting pedals to change sounds. So did I to some small extent....but I like to use all-tube signal processing if possible....and it is possible in some amps.
Nah....5f1's do not sound like the classic 'Marshall' amps, ime. Two different species.
+1000 on the Prosonic/Pro Sonic
Mic'd, a 5F1 can in some cases sound close to some varieties of 60's Marshall's. My little 6x9 Muchxs Champ certainly sounds relatively close to a solid state rectified modded old Marshall I saw once. Closer than even my Excelsior, which is basically a cathode biased 6G2 with a 15" speaker (I loaded it with an EV SRO - instant Cat Scratch Fever if you can take the volume).
IMho, a true 5F1 just has too much compression/sag when pushed to really do that tweed Bassman/Marshall thing. I could be convinced otherwise IF I were to hear one do something different from any other Champ type amp I have heard. And...yes, I have stood in front of an unassisted---no boost/distortion pedal--- MD. 1959 at full tilt.....flapping the pants type of thing....it certainly didn't sound like a Champ.
I once owned a 100-watt Marshal 2203 that sat on an 8 x 10 cab. I ran a Champ through that cab one day. Two different amps...no doubt about it. Big Champ, indeed! But....There was no way that that 2203 could yield the compression and softer attack that the little Champ put through those speakers. And there was no way the Champ could compare to the Marshall's sound...different attack, different breakup, different sustain.
Now....run a 5F1 circuit with a solid state rectifier, bump up the filtering considerably in the first stage...make a few other changes But....is that a 5F1???
IF...IF...the 5F1 does that Marshall sound, then those English players would not have led Jim Marshall to the 5F6A, but rather they would have said....'we want a 5F1 Champ but bigger'.....and the rock world would be playing parallel single-ended cathode biased amps. What is that rare, unobtainabale amp that runs 4 x EL-34's in parallel single-ended format??? Massive, massive big 'champ' sounds, imho. That would be like a big 5F1, maybe.
Or...maybe my ears are whacked out of my head and all amps sound alike??? Why do we need all of these different circuits IF they don't yield different sounds. One cannot get much different when looking at a 5F1 and a 5F6A/Marshall circuit. Question: Why did Leo Fender keep designing different amps? A 1952 Bassman does not sound like a 5F6A BAssman/Marshall. 2 x 6L6's in AB P/P in both amps....yet they are very different amps. And here we are talking about whether or not a little single-ended cathode biased amp sounds like a Marshall? Just because an amp distorts doesn't mean that it sounds like another amp that is somehow driven in to distortion. Puzzled, I am.
The black/gray tweed is not bad in person. And it's tweed--not a pattern printed on tolex.
They certainly look better in person than they do in a photo and aren't stylistically a clone of any particular Fender amp--however the chrome trim gives me a flashback to the SS Fenders from the late '60s
Joe Bonamassa had a fat Marshally sounding setup going with his
vintage twin and bassman
Note the mics are on those two 5F8A hi-power(80 watt) Twins. The big Twin and the 5F6A are much the same except for the output sections...4 x 5881's in the Twin versus 2 x 5881's in the Bassman.