#1
Are they good? To be more specific, I'm looking at the 1987 50 watt kit (6M45P), JTM45 (6M45), JCM800 2203 (8CM100), and 36 watt TMB (6M36). I'm looking for VH1, 2, and 1984 tones, and Randy Rhoads Blizzard of Oz, 70's Alex Lifeson, and Eric Clapton (the Bluesbreakers and Cream). Which would be the best for me? I can't afford a vintage Marshall, or a Metro, so Weber is probably the best thing in my price range. And don't say Ceriatone, they charge $150 for shipping, which puts them out of my budget. Any better suggestions, kits or complete amps? For the whole amp (including the cab), I can spend about $700. I really want a stack, but a combo is fine too.
#2
I also need some help with the cab, would 2 25w greenbacks be enough to handle 50 watts? And how would I wire that for 4,8, or 16 ohms? 2 8 ohm speakers wired in series would be 16, wouldn't it?

BTW, what is the 6M40 kit? I don't know of any 2 channel Marshalls that are 40 watts with tremolo and reverb.
#3
Two 25W speakers will handle 50W

I know some people will say its alright, but NEVER wire speakers in series in a speaker cab. If one of the speakers in the series fails you are instantly left with an open circuit on the output of the amp. Without any protection on the amp you'll burn your OT up.

If a speaker fails in parallel then you still have a speaker there, and you will likely notice when it fails so you will be able to save the amp before it fails completely.

As far as which kit I can't help you much there, I don't have much experience with Marshall style amps.

EDIT: The 6M40 looks like it is a Fender Super Reverb that has been tweaked to give a more Marshally type sound.
Last edited by XgamerGt04 at Mar 13, 2011,
#4
I've built the 6M45 Kit and it works great. All the parts i got from weber are great quality and the amp's still going fine after 2-3 years.
#5
Quote by matt154
I've built the 6M45 Kit and it works great. All the parts i got from weber are great quality and the amp's still going fine after 2-3 years.

How does it sound? The 6M45 is the JTM45, so I'm assuming it's good for early AC/DC and Eric Clapton, right? What about Van Halen or Rush? How complicated was the build? Was it your first? Would you recommend it as a first build?
EDIT: I've build pedals and modded guitars, but is it a good first amp build?
#6
Quote by XgamerGt04
Two 25W speakers will handle 50W

I know some people will say its alright, but NEVER wire speakers in series in a speaker cab. If one of the speakers in the series fails you are instantly left with an open circuit on the output of the amp. Without any protection on the amp you'll burn your OT up.

If a speaker fails in parallel then you still have a speaker there, and you will likely notice when it fails so you will be able to save the amp before it fails completely.

As far as which kit I can't help you much there, I don't have much experience with Marshall style amps.

EDIT: The 6M40 looks like it is a Fender Super Reverb that has been tweaked to give a more Marshally type sound.

Thanks! Good point about the series wiring. So in parallel, what is the impedance with two 16 ohm greenbacks in a cab? 2 8s? And I'm not so sure I would like a Super Reverb tweaked into a "Marshally type sound". I'm really looking for a specific tone: late 60's or early 70's cranked Marshall (I will obviously be using an attenuator.

EDIT #2: I looked at the schematic for the 6M40 and it's way too complicated for me.
Last edited by plexi123 at Mar 14, 2011,
#7
Quote by plexi123
How does it sound? The 6M45 is the JTM45, so I'm assuming it's good for early AC/DC and Eric Clapton, right? What about Van Halen or Rush? How complicated was the build? Was it your first? Would you recommend it as a first build?
EDIT: I've build pedals and modded guitars, but is it a good first amp build?

It sounds great. It was my first build and it wasn't all that hard. Once you learn what all the components are and what they do it's pretty logical. Biasing was an issue for me, but it wasn't all that hard to fix. The amp still runs great.

As you said it's good for a warm early AC/DC, Clapton overdrive sound but i've put pedals on it and it does distortion well. I'd go with the 1959SLP clone if you want a rush, van halen sort of sound. It's a bit more complicated than the 6M45 but it's still not that hard. You'll need a decent soldering iron, lots of wire, plus a solder wick helps a lot too. They're great first builds because they teach you alot about how amps work and how to maintain them.

Edit: My dad's got pics of the build on his photobucket account here: http://s263.photobucket.com/albums/ii127/Ozzygazza/JTM45/ so you can get an idea. Excuse the messy wiring.
Last edited by matt154 at Mar 15, 2011,
#8
In series impedances add, but in parallel its a bit more difficult.

If you have all of the speakers with the same impedance then its easy. Two 8s in parallel is 4. Two 16s in parallel is 8. See a pattern here? Four 16s in parallel is 4. Four 8s in parallel is 2.

If you want to know the actual formula then look here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_circuits#Parallel_circuits

Its best to use the same impedance speakers in amps so that they stay balanced, otherwise you have to start worrying about whether one speaker is seeing more of the power.
#9
Quote by matt154
It sounds great. It was my first build and it wasn't all that hard. Once you learn what all the components are and what they do it's pretty logical. Biasing was an issue for me, but it wasn't all that hard to fix. The amp still runs great.

As you said it's good for a warm early AC/DC, Clapton overdrive sound but i've put pedals on it and it does distortion well. I'd go with the 1959SLP clone if you want a rush, van halen sort of sound. It's a bit more complicated than the 6M45 but it's still not that hard. You'll need a decent soldering iron, lots of wire, plus a solder wick helps a lot too. They're great first builds because they teach you alot about how amps work and how to maintain them.

Edit: My dad's got pics of the build on his photobucket account here: http://s263.photobucket.com/albums/ii127/Ozzygazza/JTM45/ so you can get an idea. Excuse the messy wiring.

Thanks, looks good! Interesting tolex choice. Did you make the speaker cab? And the logo, is that legal (I'd want to put it on if it is, it would look awesome at concerts)?

I have a soldering iron, and solder, but I thought the wire came in the kit? And can you explain the biasing problem? I don't have the money to get it biased professionally, so I'm gonna have to do it.

I noticed you used the KT66's in your amp. I love the clean tones from those, but EL34's have more crunch, so wouldn't the 1987 with EL34's have enough gain? I really don't like using distortions in front of Marshalls (or Orange, Vox, or Hiwatt, I really want a DC30, AC30, and DR-103, but prefer Marshall) because it takes away some of the response, feel, and tone of the amp, so I need it to have enough gain plugged straight in, like Angus Young (I'll just need his SG, the Marshall, and some really long socks...) or Eric Clapton when he was with the Bluesbreakers.

The 1959 Super Lead kit is about $135 more than the 1987. I don't think they have a lot of differences other than more headroom (which I don't want) in the Super Lead, a little more volume, and the tone difference (not huge, but definitely noticeable).

Did you use a multimeter? I don't have one, so I want to know what I'm going to need to buy. And my soldering iron is 25 watts, and it's kinda small, but it works. Am I going to need a better one? It worked for guitar mods and pedals.
#10
Quote by XgamerGt04
In series impedances add, but in parallel its a bit more difficult.

If you have all of the speakers with the same impedance then its easy. Two 8s in parallel is 4. Two 16s in parallel is 8. See a pattern here? Four 16s in parallel is 4. Four 8s in parallel is 2.

If you want to know the actual formula then look here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_circuits#Parallel_circuits

Its best to use the same impedance speakers in amps so that they stay balanced, otherwise you have to start worrying about whether one speaker is seeing more of the power.

I think I figured out what to do now, thanks. Is it the impedance divided by the amount of speakers?
#11
Quote by plexi123
Thanks, looks good! Interesting tolex choice. Did you make the speaker cab? And the logo, is that legal (I'd want to put it on if it is, it would look awesome at concerts)?

I have a soldering iron, and solder, but I thought the wire came in the kit? And can you explain the biasing problem? I don't have the money to get it biased professionally, so I'm gonna have to do it.

I noticed you used the KT66's in your amp. I love the clean tones from those, but EL34's have more crunch, so wouldn't the 1987 with EL34's have enough gain? I really don't like using distortions in front of Marshalls (or Orange, Vox, or Hiwatt, I really want a DC30, AC30, and DR-103, but prefer Marshall) because it takes away some of the response, feel, and tone of the amp, so I need it to have enough gain plugged straight in, like Angus Young (I'll just need his SG, the Marshall, and some really long socks...) or Eric Clapton when he was with the Bluesbreakers.

The 1959 Super Lead kit is about $135 more than the 1987. I don't think they have a lot of differences other than more headroom (which I don't want) in the Super Lead, a little more volume, and the tone difference (not huge, but definitely noticeable).

Did you use a multimeter? I don't have one, so I want to know what I'm going to need to buy. And my soldering iron is 25 watts, and it's kinda small, but it works. Am I going to need a better one? It worked for guitar mods and pedals.

The tolex was a mistake actually. I ordered the cab for the head with black tolex not knowing it was tooled and had a pattern. I was after the 'elephant' skin one to match the speaker cab. I've slowly gotten used to it, i don't mind it now. I bought the logo off ebay, it probably isn't legal, but i like it. I'm not exactly a threat to marshall.

I can't say about the EL34s. It's mostly down to taste. I like warm the sound of the KT66s and you can compensate for the boominess by having the bass turned down most of the time. They start distorting around 7-8 on the gain and by then it's pretty loud. The EL34s should start distorting sooner, giving you less headroom, but letting you play slightly quieter and giving you more distortion flavours to choose from.

You'll definitely need a multimeter to check your voltages and to set the bias. Plus the kit does come with wires but it's always good to have spare stuff. You'll also need some wire strippers.

I just remembered that the power switch was a bit of a dud on mine and i had to get a new one, plus the LED indicator was a bit crap too. Other than that all the other parts were good quality.
#12
Quote by matt154
The tolex was a mistake actually. I ordered the cab for the head with black tolex not knowing it was tooled and had a pattern. I was after the 'elephant' skin one to match the speaker cab. I've slowly gotten used to it, i don't mind it now. I bought the logo off ebay, it probably isn't legal, but i like it. I'm not exactly a threat to marshall.

I can't say about the EL34s. It's mostly down to taste. I like warm the sound of the KT66s and you can compensate for the boominess by having the bass turned down most of the time. They start distorting around 7-8 on the gain and by then it's pretty loud. The EL34s should start distorting sooner, giving you less headroom, but letting you play slightly quieter and giving you more distortion flavours to choose from.

You'll definitely need a multimeter to check your voltages and to set the bias. Plus the kit does come with wires but it's always good to have spare stuff. You'll also need some wire strippers.

I just remembered that the power switch was a bit of a dud on mine and i had to get a new one, plus the LED indicator was a bit crap too. Other than that all the other parts were good quality.

I'm gonna get the low headroom OT, I think that would give me what I want. Which did you use?

Multimeters aren't expensive, and the LED thing and switches are cheap too, so if they need to be replaced, there shouldn't be a problem. I have the wire strippers. So I just need to buy a multimeter and then I'll have everything I need? What's the difference between the $5 multimeters and the $100 ones? I don't think I would be using it a lot, so would a $5 one work for me?

I love the warm cleans of the KTs too . But my main focus is distortion and I can only afford one kit so I can't have both and the EL34 has the best crunch, IMO.

How does your amp compare to a real Marshall JTM45? Do you think anyone could tell the difference in tone?
Last edited by plexi123 at Mar 15, 2011,
#13
If all you are going to do is read voltages then there isn't much difference in what you will see. I would spend a bit more than $5 though. You can get a pretty good meter from Radioshack for around $20, the cheapest one they had seemed to have some issues for me.
#14
Quote by plexi123
EDIT: I've build pedals and modded guitars, but is it a good first amp build?



Noisy Cricket An AX84 also looks pretty easy.
#15
Quote by samhell
Noisy Cricket An AX84 also looks pretty easy.

The Noisy Cricket is solid state, I need something tube, and thats a little cheap. And AX84 doesn't have anything for me, I prefer EL34 and really want a Marshall. I would never use either one. Matt seems to like his Weber, and that was his first build.
#16
Quote by plexi123
I'm gonna get the low headroom OT, I think that would give me what I want. Which did you use?

Multimeters aren't expensive, and the LED thing and switches are cheap too, so if they need to be replaced, there shouldn't be a problem. I have the wire strippers. So I just need to buy a multimeter and then I'll have everything I need? What's the difference between the $5 multimeters and the $100 ones? I don't think I would be using it a lot, so would a $5 one work for me?

I love the warm cleans of the KTs too . But my main focus is distortion and I can only afford one kit so I can't have both and the EL34 has the best crunch, IMO.

How does your amp compare to a real Marshall JTM45? Do you think anyone could tell the difference in tone?

I got the high headroom OT. It gives me great cleans and i occasionally use it for recording. It's up to you like i said

I haven't played a real JTM45 because the damn things are hard to find and expensive, none of the local guitar stores have any, but it sounds pretty close to recordings i've heard. I can get the perfect AC/DC tone if i use my SG, i haven't tried a clapton 'Beano' tone yet but i recon it could do it. Most of the tone comes from the tubes and transformers and the circuitry is pretty simple..
Last edited by matt154 at Mar 16, 2011,
#17
Quote by matt154
I got the high headroom OT. It gives me great cleans and i occasionally use it for recording. It's up to you like i said

I haven't played a real JTM45 because the damn things are hard to find and expensive, none of the local guitar stores have any, but it sounds pretty close to recordings i've heard. I can get the perfect AC/DC tone if i use my SG, i haven't tried a clapton 'Beano' tone yet but i recon it could do it. Most of the tone comes from the tubes and transformers and the circuitry is pretty simple..

I decided not to make one of these kits, I'm afraid it won't work and I'll have wasted all of the money I have on it. Plus I still want to upgrade my guitar, I want to add a Schaller Original Floyd Rose, EVH Frankenstein pickup, a maple neck, and a cool striped body design (I think you can tell where that's going...).

And for the Clapton Beano tones, DO IT!!!! Those are some of his best tones, IMO. Back in the 60's with the '59 (or something like that) Les Paul and the Bluesbreaker. I'd be curious how close you can get, since the Bluesbreaker is basically a JTM45 with some other stuff added to it in a combo.
#18
I don't think it would be a waste of money for you. If it wouldn't work, troubleshoot it until it does, or take it to a tech. It wouldn't be $500 just thrown down the drain.

I ordered the 6m45p a few weeks back and am still waiting on it to get here. I think that would be the kit you would want based on the tone you're after.
#19
Quote by Jason43
I don't think it would be a waste of money for you. If it wouldn't work, troubleshoot it until it does, or take it to a tech. It wouldn't be $500 just thrown down the drain.

I ordered the 6m45p a few weeks back and am still waiting on it to get here. I think that would be the kit you would want based on the tone you're after.

I've also realized my guitar isn't what I want it to be, I have a cheap closed humbucker and a Squire Strat trem. That's not going to work for Van Halen or Rush, I think I want a Seymour Duncan SH-5 Custom and a Floyd Rose. Also, I hate my neck!! I prefer maple (idk why, my favorite guitars are Gibsons, which normally have rosewood, and that's what I have now). But I think I'm just going to get a Marshall Class 5 and add an attenuator, the reviews of them say they sound a lot like the older Marshalls. I don't really need 50 watts.
#20
Quote by plexi123
I've also realized my guitar isn't what I want it to be, I have a cheap closed humbucker and a Squire Strat trem. That's not going to work for Van Halen or Rush, I think I want a Seymour Duncan SH-5 Custom and a Floyd Rose. Also, I hate my neck!! I prefer maple (idk why, my favorite guitars are Gibsons, which normally have rosewood, and that's what I have now). But I think I'm just going to get a Marshall Class 5 and add an attenuator, the reviews of them say they sound a lot like the older Marshalls. I don't really need 50 watts.

Hey, it's up to you. It's pretty rewarding to make an amp yourself and you learn a lot from it. But often it's a lot of time and effort, sometimes it's just better buying something. Good luck.
#21
Quote by matt154
Hey, it's up to you. It's pretty rewarding to make an amp yourself and you learn a lot from it. But often it's a lot of time and effort, sometimes it's just better buying something. Good luck.

I'd like to be able to say I made an amp, and I think it would be fun. But I'm just worried about everything, I don't like to take chances when it comes to this stuff. And even if it did work, I still wouldn't have a very good guitar. If I buy an amp already made from Guitar Center, I know that if it doesn't work I can return it and get another.
#22
Are there any other Plexi style kits that are cheaper and maybe a bit simpler? I'm probably going to get a Marshall Class 5 to mod, but I still want to make an amp if I can. And I'm really starting to want a Bluesbreaker or JTM45.
#23
The JTM45 was the first marshall produced and is about as simple as you can get with a marshall 'plexi'. It's based off a fender bassman so you might be able to go back further and make an old fender clone like a princeton or champ and give it 'british' tubes to get the marshall sound. I was going to suggest an AX84 amp but i think you ruled that out. I've built the Hi-Octane amp from their site and it sounded great until i melted it's output transformer.


As for other cheaper kits, there aren't that many others i know of.
Last edited by matt154 at Mar 29, 2011,
#24
As far as plexi kits go, you're not going to find much cheaper(pricewise) than the weber. It's not a bad build at all. Just do your research before you jump into it. Make sure your soldering skills are solid. You'll also have to use a drill to open up some of the holes in the chassis.

It takes a little over a month for them to ship the amp out. If you would buy it, do yourself a favor and spend that time reading the Weber amp forums.
#25
The bassist in my band came up with the idea of an amp with both guitar and bass inputs (like a Marshall Lead and Bass model 2061) so we had less to carry for practices and gigs. Can you plug a bass into the normal input on an 18 watt TMB, JTM45, or 1987 Lead? If it would work, we will split the cost for it, so neither of us would be paying much. If it doesn't work, what's the best Lead and Bass kit? I know Ceriatone has one, but I figured out that just for the head with no head cab it would cost almost $500 after shipping. The Weber kits are about the same price with a head cab, but they don't have one of those kits. I really want the tone of a Marshall, and he wants a little overdrive for his bass sometimes.
#26
I know the 1986 "Bass" circuit is very similar to the 1987 "Lead". I would think he could play through it without problems. I'd use a bass cab though. I'm not sure I'd want to play both guitars through it at the same time, if thats what you're asking. I'd also doubt that 50 watts is going to be enough for a bass guitar to cut through.
Last edited by Jason43 at Mar 29, 2011,
#27
Quote by Jason43
I know the 1986 "Bass" circuit is very similar to the 1987 "Lead". I would think he could play through it without problems. I'd use a bass cab though. I'm not sure I'd want to play both guitars through it at the same time, if thats what you're asking. I'd also doubt that 50 watts is going to be enough for a bass guitar to cut through.

OK, I thought the JTM45 might be ok for both because it's based on the Bassman. And the Lead and Bass, I don't think I really even have to explain that one. I really didn't know about the other ones. So I guess that's not going to work, unless I can find a good Lead and Bass kit. But I don't think I would want to do that, what I really want is the Plexi (1987 and 1959) or JTM45/Bluesbreaker tone.