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Marshall Experts: Master volume mod question
Old 18th May 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
dtucker's Avatar
 

Marshall Experts: Master volume mod question

A question for those of you who know:

It was somewhat common practice at one point to install a master volume in Marshall Super Lead heads. I found a '75 50watt MKII head in a store today that sounded really good. My question is even if you don't use the master volume (have it up all the way and use the amp as if it didn't have it) does it do anything to the actual operation of the amp?

In other words, should I have the mod removed and brought to spec...or is it at spec when I have the master volume wide open?

Thanks!
Old 18th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
seaneldon's Avatar
 

from what i remember, it is in fact a modification to the circuit. typically, i've seen the master knob replacing one of the 4 inputs. it does in fact change the sound a wee bit. the only people that typically care are people who want it as an investment or something. i do prefer a good super lead WITHOUT any modifications, though.
Old 18th May 2006
  #3
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neve1073's Avatar
 

i have a couple sl marshalls--a 71 and a 72. they're great.
i think you would want the right person to go thru it and bring it back to spec for the classic sound. a great website to post this question, even better than gearslutz dare i say it, would be plexipalace.com

good luck
Old 18th May 2006
  #4
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How much it alters the tone depends on the mod. I did a MV mod to an old Bruno and honestly, I couldn't hear any difference. Not all master volumes are created equally. If you find the MV useful, I say leave it. Or at least try the MV circuit that's based on the artist series marhalls, which supposedly removes voltage from the master pot. If you're going for nostalgia, change it back to spec.
Old 18th May 2006
  #5
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAVD
How much it alters the tone depends on the mod. I did a MV mod to an old Bruno and honestly, I couldn't hear any difference. Not all master volumes are created equally. If you find the MV useful, I say leave it. Or at least try the MV circuit that's based on the artist series marhalls, which supposedly removes voltage from the master pot. If you're going for nostalgia, change it back to spec.
+1

The "good" master volumes are generally post-phase inverter.

I don't see any reason to muck with the amp if you dig the way it sounds & feels.

I run most of my old amps with a Power Break so I can get tube powertube grind but bring it down to a manageable level...lets face it...even a 50 watt head is LOUD as hell when it's running wide open & that's the only way to get any dirt from an amp like that.
Old 18th May 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
dtucker's Avatar
 

Well, that's the thing. I would never use the master volume, because I tried it with the master down and it completely changed the tone and response of the amp. Once I opened up the master and just cranked it it was great. Thick, responsive to my pick attack and even how I fingered stuff, and just a solid loud Marshall tone. It was quite tasty.

But, would I benefit even more with the mod removed and just using a Hot Plate (or some other attenuator) if need be?
Old 18th May 2006
  #7
Gear Addict
 
tmarra's Avatar
Don't even hesitate, take the mod out and restore it back to its original glory.

There are plenty of amps out there today that you should not have to ruin a original vintage amp just to achieve some distortion.

-Tony
Old 18th May 2006
  #8
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Wes Kuhnley's Avatar
 

I'm not a huge fan of attenuators or master volume circuits because of the way they change the sound of the amp. Yes, even attuenators such as the Hot Plate and Weber Mass change the resonse of the amp, how it breaks up, it dynamic range, sustain etc. There IS a way to create a master volume for your amp that doensn't affect the tone AS MUCH, I wouldn't suggest further modifing this amp.

Personally, I would have it returned to factory spec, and find a couple differant cabs to play it with. In my experience, SPL (loudness) is not so much a function of how many watts of output the amp is pushing, but how much air the speakers are. 1x10 or 12 is much quieter than a 4x12. My 12 watt custom amp pushing 2 4x12's is a hell of alot louder than any 50 watt amp pushing a single 10".

I prefer to let the wattage determine how much clean headroom the amp has at a certain SPL, ie: the same 50 watt amp will be qualitivly cleaner than the 12 watt (pushing the same cab as the 50) at a certain SPL.
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