Vintage vs Modern

Rikamortis

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Is a vintage Marshall that much better than the modern exact same version? I have always heard and seen at various sites these vintage Amps for big $! And I know we as Guitarists especially us journeymen are tone chasers. At least I have been the last few years but probably since I started. But yeah just wondering exactly what it is that makes these vintage amps so much better than the exact same modern version? And I am talking exactly the same parts no modding no nothing or if it was modded the modern version modded. Just would like to hear what some of you guys think, if you can in laymans terms? Forgot to add that I got my first Marshall tube amp in the 80s. Used to have a JCM 800 after I bought a MOSFET 100 in the early 80s. I have a DSL100HR on the way!!! \M/
 
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Eric'45

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I always understood the modern ones (at least the reissues from Marshall themselves) have different Circuits, and therefore sound different, of course. If we take the JTM45, for example- you can't compare the Reissue to an Original- that model even has different Types of output Tubes.
But I would say there's no 'better' or 'worse', just 'different'.
It's not debatable that the old Point to Point Wired Amps are mostly of a better build quality.
Modern Amps are more consistent, maybe a bit harder to service and sound different- but nothing to justify the price increase IMHO.
If we talk custom amps made with the exact same components, as for example, a 1965 JTM45, I don't see why the modern Amp might sound worse. The old one might sound slightly different, again, because of aged components, but 'better' is more up to the individual pair of ears.
My:2c:
 

Chrome

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I am no way experienced enough electronically to deem my opinion of value, but that being said. this is how I look at it. take a 1969 chevy C-10 pick up truck and compare to a newer computerized chevy truck. the newer ones asthetically in most accounts look like new, plays like new, but when one fucks up? there to me is the difference. I may not be a certified mechanic, but I know for a fact I can dig into the 69 and get her running down the road, and I know for a fact. I would have to pay the price to take the newer truck to a dealership or a mechanic to have it diagnosed and repaired. I know this isn't the only thing, its just one way i look at things.
 

PelliX

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Better? No. They are indeed different, and not all components, mainly the valves, are as they were back then. Capacitors, for example, have changed substantially, but operate identically. Modern electrolytics need some time/stress to form, etc. Modern valves are made out of different materials by different companies on different equipment (depending on how far you go back).

The simple reason that a vintage amp is worth more is because there is a limited supply, which drives up cost. You can't simply go out and have a 1965 amp produced without a time machine. Additionally, many (but of course not all) modern amps are made using mediocre circuit boards, mediocre design circuits or implementations of circuits, mediocre parts and costs are cut in the labor and production. Sure, that was going on back in 'the day', too (Fender, anyone), but the options were slightly limited back then.

Adding to that is simply the 'mojo' associated with these things. Let's take a 1960 guitar and one from 2015, for example. Same brand, model, etc. There is a notion that "Guitar Dude X" played a 1960 guitar in 1965 - and THAT's his sound. So I need that one. Fact of the matter is that Dude X bought a 5 year old guitar, not something vintage at the time. If you buy a 2015 model now, it's about the same age. Although this is perfectly logical, the notion persists.

That does not mean that the model X from brand Y during the 1960's had a waaay better [something] than what they produced since then, but for that one needs to look at the specs. Some woods are no longer used, different pickups, etc, the list goes on.

I crack up every time I see someone pushing 'NOS NRC4550 op-amps' and 'vintage pickup springs' and so on. If one cannot measure a difference, it's not worth paying for one. What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

Last, but not least, enjoy your DSL! For the money they are awesome amps and very versatile!
 

marshallmellowed

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Is a vintage Marshall that much better than the modern exact same version? I have always heard and seen at various sites these vintage Amps for big $! And I know we as Guitarists especially us journeymen are tone chasers. At least I have been the last few years but probably since I started. But yeah just wondering exactly what it is that makes these vintage amps so much better than the exact same modern version? And I am talking exactly the same parts no modding no nothing or if it was modded the modern version modded. Just would like to hear what some of you guys think, if you can in laymans terms? Forgot to add that I got my first Marshall tube amp in the 80s. Used to have a JCM 800 after I bought a MOSFET 100 in the early 80s. I have a DSL100HR on the way!!! \M/
If you're talking about reissues, like the 2203x, 1959 SLP, 1987x, and JTM45, I'd say there is no difference that can be "proven" to exist "tonally". It would be tough to prove, as there are differences, even from amp to amp, with the old ones. The older amps obviously used components from a different time period, and different manufacturers than the reissues, but not necessarily "better". The 2555x Jubilee is a bit different than the other reissues, as Marshall did not stay as true to the original circuit design, especially the power supply. Not saying it's a bad amp, or inferior, but it is not a true "reissue" like the others, IMO. Just compare the inside of an early Jubilee to that of a reissue, you'll see what I mean.
 
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MonstersOfTheMidway

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But yeah just wondering exactly what it is that makes these vintage amps so much better than the exact same modern version?
I'm not sure I'd agree with that quote, but no problem here.

There are people who feel/think exactly the same, which is fine. The only think I don't like about statements like what I quoted above is when sellers try to translate/co-relate that into a higher price.
 

Rikamortis

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Makes sense to me I understand they use the same exact Parts but from a different time period so totally they could be a little bit different but as long as they're trying to keep them the same I feel they are definitely a reputable company. And obviously they've been on stages from the beginning of Rock music. Good stuff guys thanks for the input!
 

Jethro Rocker

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With some models there was a wide range of component tolerances as well. Many a single channel 800, argueably one of the best sounding Marshalls ever, sound quite different from their brothers. Lots of people say to try out a few from the early 80s to find the one that sounds best. That certainly seems like inconsistency to me, one that you can actually hear.
So I wouldn't say that makes them any better than a new reissue version.
Construction was different and generally more robust.
 

Matthews Guitars

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It appears to me that most companies that make a "reissue" of a previous model (a classic) that they used to make, always get CLOSE but never make the effort to really nail the original design as well as can be done.

If I wanted to buy a new amp that is just as much like a 1969 Marshall Superlead (model 1959) as is possible, I could get it, but not from Marshall. There are boutique amp builders out there that build amps that are so authentic to the originals, but made with new components, that they would absolutely satisfy a need for vintage tone in a new built amp. We have some of them on this forum, as it happens.
 

TheToneDig

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Even amps of the same make and model vary. It's the nature of analog. Hand-wired, customs, different ways of putting them together, on paper it's the same schematics or close, but when applied to building stuff, two amps off even the same assembly line that day need dialing in slightly different to sound the same.

When you see an old amp in good condition it is probably someone who loved it enough to care for it that much which means it was possible one of the models that sounded a bit different in a good way. Same with guitars. The stars aligned for some stuff. Nothing a good amp tech or luthier can't do also these days which is another thing. You can get this old gear refurbished also and sending even a big combo or hundred Watt by courier for repair and back isn't the high costs it used to be. The trick is in finding the tech to trust with the work.

It might be a nice project for some to refurbish it for themselves. You can see that happening all day long in The Workbench forum on here.
 

Metroman

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Several of the Boutique type reproductions an be dead nuts accurate of some of the best sounding examples of the vintage amps.
Some makers that come to mind are
George Metropoulos when he was still making his JTM45, JTM45/100, 10,000 Series, and 12,000 series. He would even make them with NOS Mustard caps ect, that were original to the vintage amps. He would also use NOS TUBES if that what you wanted.
Ive got a 2013 LTD ED Metro GMP45/JTM45 replica head using many NOS components, and all original NOS tubes. It sounds glorious.
Germino also comes to mind
Kyle Chase of Chase Tone also makes a JTM45/100 thats dead nuts accurate. There are others.

Heres the guts of my Metro GMP45 head. Its done beautifully. Though it does use PEC pots vs CTS, or whatever they originally used, though Georg also supplied those if wanted. I like the PEC pots myself.


My amp has Marconi Osram 1956 coated glass KT66s. Mullard 10M Gold Pins in V1-V2. 1957 Mullard mC1 Longplate in V3, a 61 Mullard Fat Base GZ34 rectifier. The 10Ms originally came with a 10,000 hour, or 2 years Warranty from the factory.

Tubes came for Brent Jessee, and Tube World.

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neikeel

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Along with many others here I have built quite a few clones whilst restoring/repairing vintage ones as well as blueprinting reissues closer to original spec.
You have to appreciate that some of the original vintage amps were dogs (those that were played and put away or those heavily modded to be useable). Rose tinted glasses can distract you. Best vintage amps I find are those with original spec except for service/maintenance but well used on the outside.
What are the key factors?
Original OT is often important but the best clones can Mail it. Different manufacturer filter caps behave differently (failing or dead ones especially!!). Coupling caps, their nominal value and tolerance and, in the case of foil caps, the cap orientation can be a factor. Resistors - I like cf mainly, will rarely use cc (noisy and old dry ones have all drifted up way beyond even 10% tolerance) and virtually never mf or mo in a vintage amp - that’s my problem and happy to receive therapy for believing the hype (also my own ears) but I’m happy to use in newer higher gain more complex amps). Funnily enough there was a thread on Metro some years back and a common consensus was that the big RS/AB pots that Marshall used had a significant impact (they nearly all test high).
 

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