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NAD: Ceriatone Plexi 100 Super Lead

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TonyAsh, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh TDPRI Member

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    I found this on Craigslist and couldn't resist. It's a Ceriatone Plexi 100 Super Lead head, the '73 circuit, with an added PPIMV and bright cap bypass switch on the bright channel volume pot. What can I say? This amp is the sound of 70's rock. Boosting it with a Piedmont Aluminum Falcon takes it firmly into 2203 territory. I couldn't be happier with this amp. Build quality is superb. Now, someone please buy my Tweed Double Deluxe 2x12 combo so I can reimburse myself the money I spent on this, haha.

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  2. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    Congrats on the amp. Many Marshall users praise Ceriatone and if one popped up locally I'd check it out too.
     
  3. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Holic

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    Wow, that will be loud. Great amp. I hope you enjoy it with some earplugs. It matches the cab perfectly.
     
  4. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Nice! I picked up a used Yeti, and it's terrific. What I really wanted was a Plexi like yours, but I can throttle the Yeti back enough to get those clean-ish Plexi sounds. Used Ceriatones don't come up often, but I'd definitely jump on one if I found it.
     
  5. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh TDPRI Member

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    It can definitely get just stupidly loud. But the MV on this amp really works great. I can dial it down significantly and the amp still sounds great, not brittle or shrill as is the common complaint when playing Marshalls at low settings.

    Plus, I have the Weber attenuator on the Bassman as you can see in the photo. The whole setup can be cranked and enjoyed at totally reasonable levels. Still need to try the Weber on the Ceriatone with the master cranked. I bet that'll be incredible.
     
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  6. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    Oh, the Brutality!!!!!!!!!!!!! A beast for sure.
    Enjoy OP
     
  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice!

    I was looking for a beast to match my Super Reverb's beauty and ended up getting a Ceriatone plexi too. Mine is a 50 watter. It rocks. I have the same attenuator too. The Ceriatone plexi sounds good with either the attenuator or the PPIMV. The PPIMV is brighter and hits the power amp less, so it's a matter of taste on which is preferred.

    What speakers are in that 212 to handle that amp?

    By the way, how does that blackface Bassman sound in comparison? Those are cool amps too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  8. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh TDPRI Member

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    The Avatar cab has a Celestion G12M-65 Creamback and a Weber Legacy 65 watter. I'd be a little skeptical of running it wide open through that cab, but I figure with the master at about 7, which is as high as I'll ever need volume-wise, it's probably okay.

    The Bassman actually sounds pretty similar, maybe a little looser in the low end. They complement one another really well when run side by side. The Emperor cab has two Eminence Redcoat CV75 speakers.
     
  9. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    It sounds like a nice dual amp setup you have there.

    The build quality of the Ceriatone makes me think that I will own mine for the rest of my life. And the price was actually lower than the big 'M' pcb constructed same circuit style amp, even with the Ceriatone having more features. I'm glad that I went that way.

    Congrats on the new amp!
     
  10. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh TDPRI Member

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    Agreed. My eyes were all over the 1987x reissue, but every one I looked at seemed to be at least $1500. Same with the JMP 2204's, which I was also checking out as I used to own a 1980 one many years ago and have always regretted selling it (bought it in 2002, for $500). This Ceriatone sounds every bit as good as my old 2204, maybe better. Like you, I feel like I may have it forever.
     
  11. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    Nice. I’ve really been wanting a 1987x also. But I’m thinking about a 50 watt Ceriatone with the 73 circuit.
     
  12. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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    Beautiful.
     
  13. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Great score! I've heard nothing but good regarding both sound and build quality when it comes to Ceriatone.

    I looked at Ceriatone when I was looking to buy a Marshall clone of some sort. I liked that they had models that reflected the different circuits that came out between 1967 and 1973. The owner, Nij, was very helpful.

    I ended up with a Rockitt Retro 50 myself (68 Plexi circuit).

    Enjoy the amp!
     
  14. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh TDPRI Member

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    If I would have been buying new, I definitely would have gone with the 50 watt '73 circuit. The 100 watt is overkill. Luckily the MV works great and it still sounds good when using it. There is a pentode/triode switch on the back for 100/50 watt operation, but I've found that I don't like it in 50 watt mode. Not surprising, as my AC30HW2 has the same feature and I hate it in the half power mode. Sounds dull.
     
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  15. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I was looking for an old 1987 or 2204, but with prices having climbed for any models I was looking for that are in good shape and having watched out for months for one at a decent price, I started looking at the 1987x too. But then I got to looking at Ceriatone's stuff, which seemed like a better all around current production option for less money. After seeing some gut shots of 1987'x's compared to Ceriatone's stuff, I couldn't make myself pay $1500 for one. And getting one converted to handwired furthers the gap and likely wouldn't have ended up with similar build quality to the Ceriatone. So I started hitting up Nik at Ceriatone with a bunch of questions, and he was always very responsive (and still is when I have any questions). Anyway, the amp is built really well and is chocked with features that I wouldn't have got with a 1987x for more money. The cab cosmetics are on the budget side, but I can live with that and recover the cab later if I want rather than having bought a cheaper made pcb amp in a nicer covered head cab. The only real downside with going with a Ceriatone was the extremely long wait because of Corona.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  16. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree that the half power mode doesn't sound as good, but it can be decent enough with a higher bright cap value. But half power mode isn't a giant drop in volume anyway. Mine has a 3-way toggle with 2 bright cap values, and the center position is no bright cap. I got the Plexi 51 with all the switching options, which supposedly covers circuit changes between 67- later 70's, bass circuit changes, and the JTM50. This is what the manual says on it:

    Maybe some of that is more marketing speak than reality of faithfully covering all those circuit changes (I'm not up on Marshall circuit history to really know), but I can get a variety of good sounds out of this amp. I would think that filtering and voltages changed over the years, too. And of course, different speakers over the years likely had a big impact on the overall sound of the different circuits.

    What was significant about the 73 changes? The only thing I have ran onto is the change to pcb from turret board.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  17. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    I was going to start a thread about my interest in Ceriatone, but this one has answered most of my questions. I may contact them after I start back to work from my two month “vacation”.
     
  18. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh TDPRI Member

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    I'll be honest, I don't really know. The one I found on Craigslist just happened to be a '73 circuit model and that was good enough for me, haha. Looking at the Ceriatone site though, it looks like the '73 metal face has higher filtering and is brighter and overall more aggressive than its predecessors. Mine definitely has plenty of gain. I've been running the bright channel volume at about 7 and the normal channel at about 3, jumpering them with a George L patch cable that the seller included. At those settings it's more drive than, say, AC/DC, but less than Van Halen. Disengaging the bright cap mellows it out significantly.

    I bet that Plexi 51 All Access is sweet. Should I ever for any reason need another Marshall-esque amp head, that would be at the top of my list just for the options.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  19. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Congrats, rock on.
     
  20. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    If I had ran onto one locally at a decent price I definitely would have bit too. It looks to me that component changes are few between different years, so those could always be tried out if wanted. To my ears, the biggest differences in switching options on the Plexi 51 are split/shared cathode and the bright cap value. Shared cathode sounds more loose and bass spec to my ears, and split is tighter and more lead spec. The 1000pF bright cap is super bright, but surprisingly it can work really well with a strat with the tone knob on the guitar wound down for an SRV sound that can get more aggressive and more gain if wanted. The rest of the switching options are either adding gain or are minor. So if reading about any of those switching options sounds like something worth trying, it shouldn't be any big deal to swap some component values to try them out or to even add the switches for doing so.

    I have changed up how I'm running mine a few times, but I'm still exploring what it can do. I started out with how you are running and lately have taken to running the channels more even and and at lower settings. Mine tends to be bright and aggressive too. With either the lower bright cap value (100pF) or no bright cap, it can get more mellow and creamy.

    Something that I would like to try at some point is variations of lowering the B+ overall and in the preamp. I have heard some really nice examples of 1987's with lower voltages and it's definitely something I want to explore.
     
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