The Restoration Of The Pete Townshend Dual Rectifier Amp

pleximaster

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This is what the restored Pete Townshend amp looks like today! I will return it to the owner tomorrow after I had the pleasure to fix it form him. I am also returning to my work after recovering from surgery. Unfortunately I have not have had the time to make any sound recordings now.

Pete Townshend PreRestortion.jpg IMG_1243.JPG IMG_1246.JPG IMG_1249.JPG IMG_1250.JPG IMG_1257.JPG IMG_1258.JPG IMG_1259.JPG

Here below is some comprised info from the other threads about this amp.


The amp has been through a lot and is not an “original museum piece” by any definition but a cool relic of the evolution of the 100 watt Marshall amps.


The amp was entrusted to me to be restored as close to as one can assume it was as it left Marshall (which it actually did twice! Keep reading.) Along with the restoration the owner has tried to find out as much as possible about its provenance a history.


It is one of the prototypes design by Dudley Craven and Ken Bran at the request of making an amp with more power than the regular JTM45 at the time. It is signed of May 1965 on the chassis and namned “Pete Townshend no 7”


It sports dual rectifier valves and predates the other 100 watt amps that have diode rectification.


The head cabinet has a full length width but is only as tall as previous jtm45s. 12 mm ply cab as JTM45 and not 15 mm as later 100 watt amps


It doesn’t have the tremolo section that Pete later recommended that they included for these amps.


Cool anecdote, it is legendry the amp that Pete Townshend, while upset, picked out of his van and though at Terry Marshall after a dispute around unpaid bills, an argument that eventually led to the fact that Pete departed from Marshall, and saying “it doesn’t work and it sounds like shit anyway!”


5-6 years ago, the MT unfortunately had a melt down and brought down at least one of the output transformers. You can see how the laminations of the OT have warped as it got hot. Current owner doesn’t want to restore it as of its historical reference. The old transformer still turned hot and where not working properly but but a clone was made and a then the same original transformer was sourced from time period correct hifi equipment. This MT is now the one installed and safe current and voltage are now set in the amp.


The reason form the MT breakdown was probably do to the installment of el34 at a first attempt to reconstruct the amp. The true power valves/tubes for this amp was 6L6s.


This is probably one of the amps that is mentioned in the Dolye Marshall book and according to two other sources Dudley and Craven started prototyping these amps but using the regular JTM45 preamp layout and combined this with a fender twin dual rectifier styles power section and 6L6/5881 valve/tubes. So that is what I aimed for then rebuilding this amp.


After the “return” to Marshall the amp was refurbished and fitted with a white back panel from the first batch of 100 watt white back panels. It got the serial in the 65XX range and with “LEAD” marked above. If there were any major electrical variation after the refurbish compared to what it was when owned by Pete is not known.


The amp was resold in 1966 to the guitarist Derek Leckenby (there is a photocopy of the original receipt) , who played in the British band from Manchester Herman's Hermits. He really didn´t use it much as the band departed to the US were they used Fender amps, Herman Hermits were part of the British Invasion.


In the mid 70´s the amp was sold to the famous recording studio in Berlin the “Hansa Tonstudio”, (still operational today) where it was also used as a rental amp for touring bands. In the late 80´s early 90´s something it was lost for a few years as it was out on tour but later surfaced again and came in possession of a musician named Thomas Gruhlke. It was recognized as an historical interesting amp and was restored by a “Dr Music Meistro” in Berlin as indicated by the sticker on the back. He did a big job removing an unbelievable mess from some 80´s modder. See pic. However I think he made the mistake with the EL34s..


About 10-15 years it was bought by the former owner and was operational then. However broke down 5-6 years ago and left as is after the MT incident.


The amp now have old Drake OT, RS Choke and MT but non of them are original to when the amp left Marshall. The head cab is also recovered in the 90´s. Many caps and resistors some of the potentiometers and so on are also replaced (Even thought with old parts.) One can really question the “legitimacy” of this amp as so many things have been changed over time.


I see it as an inspiring historic piece that tries to reconstruct the missing link between the JTM45 and the production 100 watt amps.
Pete Townshend PreRestortion.jpg IMG_1243.JPG IMG_1246.JPG IMG_1249.JPG IMG_1250.JPG IMG_1257.JPG IMG_1258.JPG IMG_1259.JPG

PS the cheesy flag badge was included and the holes were already drilled so I put it back again. Don’t know when it was added probably in the 90´s.

Edit: The second hand written paper label above the inspection tag was my contribution but it fell off so I printed one instead stating "Rebuilt by pleximaster 2018"
 

tomsvintage

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Excellent job and story !! Pleximaster is truly that :) Thanks again for sharing such a rare and special piece of Marshall and rock history !!!!

We will look forward to the sound clip video if possible :D:metal::hbang::h5::headbanger:
 
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pleximaster

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How does it sound?

Ill try to make a quick and dirty iPhone recording tomorrow before he picks it up. We will test it then anyway.

I am working half-time as of today so I’ll dont have as much time now. I also have two different doctors appointments tomorrow ...

But it sounds really good now it’s not as crazy brown sounding as before with the other choke, rewound OTs and the damaged MT that delivered 560 volts!!!

It’s like an early beefed up sounding jtm45 more full range one could say. Not spactacularly different from the Marshall sound! :)
 

pleximaster

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Here is a link... quick and dirty just an iPhone

Les Paul straight in, just fooling around with the volume knobs.

Sorry for the playing, still learning to adjust that I can’t lift my middle fingers individually after I cut the tenons this spring.

Plexi

 

pleximaster

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I will post (the actual, l´ve measured them all) values of the various components and try to indicate which ones I believe are original to the amp.

When I first encountered the amp I did´t know It had been though this much modifications during its life so I thought the measurements would give more...

However it turned out to be a very cool sounding amp and seems to be reliable now as well(Cross my finger, knock on wood, as we say over here) The amp was turned on all of the weekend and play several hour when it was picked up at full tilt. No heating issues at all even with the backpanel on. (i did however biased it a tad cold just to be safe, the bias usually drifts up a bit after you played it a couple of hours)

plexi
 

11068

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wow, just wow :) great meticulous job at restoring !
 

Exojam

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OK, I have one dumb a$$ question but since I do not know, I will ask.

Is the top picture with the red (I believe caps) the restored version or is the picture with all the grey caps the restored one? Thanks.
 

Exojam

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Thank you.

Looks like you had to do some major work on that puppy.
 


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