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  1. #1
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    Cool Ed's Original Marshall

    It dawned on me the other day that I'm not sure of the authentic story of what/how he used his original Marshall amp. I've heard all the contradicting stories with the 200w, to the variac, to amp modding gurus. So what is the official story on his original amp head? Do we have any real photos of it? Has anyone been able to duplicate or come close to the original set up?

  2. #2
    5150 GilmourD's Avatar
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    Originally it was a stock spec '67/'68 12xxx series Marshall Super Lead 1959. Ed ran it with Sylvania 6CA7 tubes and apparenly Sylvania long-plate 12AX7s and fed the front end with a Maestro Echoplex EP-3 with the delay itself off (the preamp still shaped the tone) and a Variac feeding it around 92VAC.

    Over the years it was modified, but nothing really wild (some say both cathodes on V1 shared the same resistor/cap like the '67s but it was definitely a split cathode arrangement later). There was no cascading (stock Plexi inputs are two parallel channels) and no master volume. The output transformer apparently got changed a few times, once by Steve Fryette to see if Ed would even notice. Some jackass removed all the cloth wire and replaced it with modern wire and did some other stuff to it and it wasn't quite right for a while. However, it's recently been restored and is in good shape again.

    Diver Down was the last album where the Echoplex was used and there's a noticeable shift in tone on 1984. I also don't think he had the Variac down very low or on at all for 1984.

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    Great stuff. When did he retire it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanZeppelin667 View Post
    Great stuff. When did he retire it?
    Wasn't that around the time of F.U.C.K? Some tracks on that album were a Soldano, with a few being the Marshall's last gasp. At least that's what I remember reading at the time. Then the Peavey 5150 came along shortly after. I could have the chronology wrong, but that's what I remember.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

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  7. #5
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    In the Guitar World interview from around the time of Balance, he said that the Marshall was used on a few of the "cleaner" songs. Never understood that though, cause the whole album sounds like nothing but the 5150 to me.


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    Atomic Punk Get The Show On The Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoKart Mozart View Post
    In the Guitar World interview from around the time of Balance, he said that the Marshall was used on a few of the "cleaner" songs. Never understood that though, cause the whole album sounds like nothing but the 5150 to me.


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    He used it on Aftershock. Maybe Take Me Back?
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Get The Show On The Road View Post
    He used it on Aftershock. Maybe Take Me Back?
    Aftershock and solo on Big Fat Money (with an ES335)

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charvel2 View Post
    Wasn't that around the time of F.U.C.K? Some tracks on that album were a Soldano, with a few being the Marshall's last gasp. At least that's what I remember reading at the time. Then the Peavey 5150 came along shortly after. I could have the chronology wrong, but that's what I remember.
    That's right. He did say at one point the electric 12's on Poundcake were through the Marshall, as were some of the lower gain parts on the album.
    In an interview after Balance he did, he talked about the amp being restored right down to re-zincing the chassis!
    One area he said that he felt was the key to the amp's distinctive sound was the rectifier circuit.
    He said once that was messed with, even after a complete restoration with everything the original values that the amp had before retirement, he still was never able to get the amp to sound right.
    Dunno...Maybe the rectifier was key....maybe it's just his ears now, but one thing for sure..it's still probably one of the best sounding Marshalls on the planet regardless.

    As far as other mods years ago...One guy who claimed to have looked inside said there were a few caps internally that were replaced for more sought after types of the time.
    Marshall was known for switching some components like the fabled Mustard caps due to availability for others of the same or near the same values...but apparently they did have an effect on the overall sound.
    Nothing radical though. as another poster said...No cascading mods, or master vol.

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    Well here is another question. Has Ed been chasing the tone of his original head or are all the 5150's and EVH heads been what he wished he could have gotten from the original. Has he ever stated anything about this?

    I know it's kind of a weird question. It seems like the way it sounds that Ed was quite happy with the amp for a long time. Maybe even the one piece of gear that lasted the longest from his original set up.

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    There's a clear photo from the VHII sessions at Sunset Sound of a master volume on the back of his '68 Plexi. Those mods were so common back then, that it's not really considered to be a mod.

    Then there's a Youtube video of Mike Soldano retelling the story of when Ed gave him his Plexi for a tune up and Mike verified it was stock, but that running it at 90v through a Variac really did recreate that Brown Sound.

    Then there was a discussion elsewhere that claimed VHI was really done on Ronnie Montrose's Fender Bandmaster. There are no photos of the VHI recording sessions, Ed was a big Montrose fan and Ted Templeman was close with Ronnie.

    Who knows? So many tall tales from EVH about the whole thing. I get the feeling Jose never did any mods to the '68 Plexi, but Ed just wanted to throw him some business, so he mentioned his name in an interview. IIRC, his Plexi is #310 in the 12k series and he bought it from the Golden West Ballroom, which used it in their backline.

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    There's absolutely no way that sound came through a bandmaster. I've had one. No way in hell.


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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    There's absolutely no way that sound came through a bandmaster. I've had one. No way in hell.


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    Yeah, I'd take that with a fistful of salt. Montrose's Bandmaster was an unusual 3x10 configuration, and I think most of his gain came from an EHX Big Muff (happy to be corrected on this). The Montrose debut has a monster tone, but it's an entirely different monster than EVH's debut.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanZeppelin667 View Post
    Well here is another question. Has Ed been chasing the tone of his original head or are all the 5150's and EVH heads been what he wished he could have gotten from the original. Has he ever stated anything about this?

    I know it's kind of a weird question. It seems like the way it sounds that Ed was quite happy with the amp for a long time. Maybe even the one piece of gear that lasted the longest from his original set up.
    Ed sent his old Marshall and Soldano SLO to Peavey to copy. I saw somewhere he wanted his Marshal as the rhythym channel and Lead to be SLO. I know I'm in the extreme minority when I say this, but I hear VH II sometimes in my old PV 5150. I also think I'm closer than ever to Ed's old tone with my EVH 5150 III 2x12 combo.

    Ther's a little about Ed and Peavey here

    http://www.rocknrollweekend.com/TonyPaksoInterview.htm
    VH III is Ed's solo album. So everybody who keeps saying they wish he'd do one needs to stfu and listen to III. Then stfu again.

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  20. #14
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    http://wwwc.dcns.ne.jp/~epi/witnesses.html

    (1) By Mark Cameron by pictures taken in the early 80'S.
    There ARE small tone altering and/or gain altering mods.
    I do have pic's so I CAN physically see that the amp has a split cathode arrangement.
    ...the cap on v2(330uf) cathode.
    ...its a 2.7k/.68 and the resistor looks like the stock part(but I don't think it is)but the cap is one of those yellow square type from the 70' Marshall's. From the circuit card It looks like it came stock with this arrangement. The post that is pressed in looks stock too witch tells me more than anyone could.In the pics the serial # is 12301.


    (2) By Cerrem. 1980.
    To try to wrap up is ED thing...
    His head was a 67/68 and he had the first stage valve with BOTH cathodes tied together sharing the same 820 ohm resistor that was bypassed with a 330uF blue cap...

    His treble cap was a round shaped ceramic that was a 250pF that said MURATA ... With 56K on the tone circuit feed..

    One of the 470K mixer resistors was bypassed with a round hollow tubular MURATA cap 500pF... If memory serves me right on the value, or it was a 330pF..I will check my notes....

    The real kicker, his phase-inverter "get-rid-of-the-FIZZIES" cap was a 100pF instead of the normal 47pF ....and this my friends is how the "brown sound" with that added compression happens..

    Oh, BTW those 820 ohm resistors were carbon-comp and drifted in value up about 1.1K and make the amp much more gainy and warmer, since these re-bias the 12AX7 valves in a bit more non-linear region..

    I am pretty sure the feedback resistor was a 47K ...I will have to check my notes...

    The filter cap in the center of the board was a dual 16uF gray RS cap...

    The screen filtering was 2 DALY 32uF light-blue caps in series... The voltage doubler were 2 100uF DALY royal-blue caps...

    Rear cap on top of chassis was a royal-blue HUNTS 32uF or 16uF...need to check notes..

    The value of the coupling cap between V1 and V2a....022uF.

    At least that was what it was in 1980...


    (3) Plaap (a friend of Peter Van Wheelden who restored Eddie's amp.)
    Edwards amp's internal measurements were as follows:

    1.The first 820 ohm resistor (carbon type) measured a little over 1K. It was bypassed with a blue 330uF resistor. can

    2.His treble cap was a 250pF Murata flat ceramic one. The cap across his 470K was a Murata hollow round 330pF. cap

    3.His second stage 820 ohm (which also measured a little over 1K, was also bypassed with the exact same type 330uF blue colored cap that was on the first cathode resistor.

    4.The filtering caps for the middle of the board were gray colored RS caps that had dual 16uF values.

    5.The screens were 2 blue caps in series (DALY 32uF's).

    6.The voltage doubler were two big blue caps (100uF DALY's). The one on the outside was a blue Daly - and was a single 32uF.

    7.The feedback resistor was a 47K of unknown origin.

    8.His power transformer was the smaller one of that era. His OPT was also the smaller one with 1.5" stack.

    The amp was either left stock into a load resistor or, a big Ohmite(or other) power resistor was placed somewhere in the circuit to cut the power of only the output stage meaning Sylvania 6CA7's were the only valves to hold up to this.

    If this is true - doesent this kinda dispel the whole 'special' 67 slp 100 myth ...as almost all amps of that year had pretty much identical configurations (with the small exception of the 330uf cap on the second preamp stage?

    Dankuwell !(dutch for many thanks)
    Plaap
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

 

 

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