"These heads were at Woodstock. I repainted them for some other show back then. We call these the Dookie mod and also the Bradshaw Gain mod. This gauge is the front end and puts on the master volume. The SE lead mod adds a tube to it for even more gain. The way we run the heads is really all the knobs pretty much straight up and the master and gain at 10 o'clock. You turn it up any louder or any more gain it doesn't really sound that great. And Billie's tone is really not about tons of gain. It's actually cleaner than you would think it is. His technique playing and using the pick is more about where the sound is coming out of. I mean he'll turn the guitar down and clean it up then pop it back up," explains Hans, the tech for Billie Joe Armstrong.more
"We have two Marshall Plexis, one is a '69 and one is a '70. The '69 Plexi has the KT-66s in it. I listen to them every day and determine which one I want to use. This is his main and the other ones are his backup. The '70 has the EL-34s. This is the backup Plexi," says Joe Perry's guitar tech. (These Marshall Plexi amps are the 1959 model,but were built in 1969 and 1970, respectively).more
For quite a while now I have been using the Marshall JCM800s, the re-issues and even some old ones if I can get my hands on them. We have been using the Kerry KIngs as well, just for the clean setting. It has just a little bit of a different sound, but it’s really cool. Joel has been using the 1959 SLP and the re issue one, plus we take a couple of DSLs on the road with us too.more
I had one of the '88 RI's as an integral part of my touring backline for years thru a tall cabinet with great old celestions in it. What a fine amp. I tweaked mine a little to sound better with a strat, but I recommend this amp stock for anyone who needs a lot of stage volume and plenty of treble on tap. She wasn't as reliable as a vintage blackface fender, but she never failed at a show and always sounded pretty solid unless the wall voltage was outta control high (I eventually started power conditioning or even running a variac). While I typically deplore working on PCBs, Marshall does a great job with their layouts and spacing. This amp was easy to repair, rebias and modify. Not the holy grail as some attest, but very very good
I have one more thing to say.... this amp will not be what you expect at less than theater-filling levels. If you do not tour then get a 50 watt JCM800 2204 or maybe an 18 watt. Still, this is THE Marshall sound you've always heard about. You may not find that sound easily, but its in there if to start in the right place. If you don't use overdrive or fuzz pedals, here is my advice:
Try setting the amp fairly flat (dime the mid and crank the treble to 10 or until it hurts your ears, add bass to suit your taste and cab) but keep the presence below 5. Don't jump channels like Hendrix, plug in the bright channel and dime it out, then add the normal channel to taste (there's crosstalk and subtle ghosting, but beware nosie and squeals at high presence settings). Then use your guitar volume control (yes, the knob next to the tone you don't use either) to vary between clean, crunch and lead. This amp does not respond like a hot rod deluxe or even the venerable tweed bassman that's in its DNA. I prefer an Amperex bugle boy ecc83 in V1 and an rca or ge 12ax7 in v2. The phase splitter sounds fine with ost any well made tube. In a pinch V1 sounds good with a well-tested tung-sol RI 12ax7. Alright, TMI
I own a 1997 35th Anniversary 1959SLP. Super Leads are "the" Marshall sound. Many say a one trick pony but responds great to your guitar controls and pick attack to give you quite a bit of variety. Paired with a 1960AX with Celestion Greenbacks - one of the greatest rock tones ever.
I've owned a few marshalls (JTM and JCM800) and without doubt this is the best one. Mine is slightly customised in that it's permanently jumpered.
My drives come from pedals so I need an amp that takes these well and provides spanky clean headroom when required. This has it spades.
The only downside is that the headroom comes at a volume cost...it's difficult to get this amp performing well at low volume levels.
I've been wanting one of these for a very long time. Straight up power and has a very strong tone. These have been used by so many musicians and it's a tone that will never go out of style.