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 Post subject: vs Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:26 pm 
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RR wrote:
Did you, in any way, feel that you were disturbing a piece of rock history by opening up THE amp, prodding around, and getting measurements from the parts.

Hi RR,
It's always a bit spooky and frightening when you open an amp that is iconic in rock history. But, no matter who's amp I'm looking at I keep in mind that the owner and user rely on the amp to undertake their job and chose to play a Marshall.
I thought about Randy and if he was stood next to me in the Marshall work shop he would expect me to treat his gear with the utmost care and respect. Knowing how important Randy's legacy is and the pride that Mrs Rhoads, Kelle and Kathy have in that, it was a great honour to be allowed to open Randy's amp up and make a detailed technical diagnosis of it.

dankum wrote:
On the demo by Doug Aldrich, the only pedals I see are a Boss Delay, a Wah, and a third "Mystery Pedal" (not sure what the pedal is)

However, it doesn't look as if Doug is running a distortion pedal in front of this amp. And if not, then, how can the amp sound like Randy's amp (and it definitely does sound like Randy's amp! ) And we all know that Randy used a Distortion Plus in front of his amp. But what would be the need to run a distortion pedal in front of an amp like this that sounds so good without a distortion pedal!! makes me wonder if you guys at Marshall have just modded a 1959SLPX to sound like Randy's amp....only without having to use a distortion pedal......a Randy's "sound right out of the box" if you will. Something about this doesn't seem right. Thanks for your answer Danny!!

Hi Dankum,
Tough set of questions:
From my initial research I knew Randy's amp dated from the late seventies, so I had prepared a prototype using the circuit revisions common the Super leads of that period. With the information drawn from the assessment of Randy's Amp I completed the circuit exactly as found. The sound IS the sound of Randy's Amp, no pedals, no EQ no trickery.
We will have to see if any further technical information about Rand's amp and pedal board set up will come to light.
Perhaps Randy used the distortion + for solo boost.
But, simply put the 1959RR is as close to Randy's JMP 1959 as we could make it in 2008 and that is how a late seventies Marshall sounds.

Rybones wrote:
will any proceeds go to the Randy Rhoads scholarship?

Hi Rybones,
Sorry, I have no idea.

tat2stu wrote:
Yet again RR.TK proves to be "THE" place on the net to get info on Randy, well done whoever sorted this Q&A out =D> and thanks Danny for taking time to answer the questions 8) Any questions i was gonna ask have already been done except. " Are there any Marshall distributers in the Northwest of England that are gonna hold stock? If not where can i go and test one out?" My wallet is getting seriously itchy :twisted:

Hi Stu,
Have a look on the Marshall website for your nearest dealer. I'm sure there will be a dealer in Manchester or Liverpool that will have one in stock soon.
Any problems give me a call.

Johnny Slave wrote:
thanks for all your efforts in bringing this amp to fruition !

my question is:

would it be possible for you to kick down a schematic with the values listed ???

Hey Johnny,
NO :wink:

Halorising wrote:
dannyahansen wrote:
Thank you for taking the time for this Q and A.
On Randy's amp was the cascade mod wired to be accessed by using the top right input, or was it wired for the top left input.
The tribute head is wired for the top right input.

In other words are they ( the tribute heads) wired to be accessed exactly the same as Randy's original amp?
Good question, Randy played in the top left, what is the real reason for the top right mod? Is it so we can have the high channel as well as the modded channel?
Thank you for your time.

dannyahansen wrote:
Thank you for taking the time for this Q and A.
On Randy's amp was the cascade mod wired to be accessed by using the top right input, or was it wired for the top left input.
The tribute head is wired for the top right input.

In other words are they ( the tribute heads) wired to be accessed exactly the same as Randy's original amp?

Hey Chris, Hey Danny,
It is EXACTLY the same. Normal cascaded through Hi Treble.
It does add a greater flexability to the Amp.
My friend Phil modded the Amp while Randy was at the factory and he confirmed that it was a common mod at the time to give a bigger, fuller thump to the standard 1959. By cascading the signal in this manner the user can use the amp in the more favoured way through the hi treble input if they want.

ammalato wrote:

Thank You very much for all of your efforts. One of the users above asked if you were able to play the amp. Even if not, I would imagine that you would have had to connect to a cabinet (or dummy load) to get proper readings on the amp.

Were you able to inspect any of randy's cabinets and/or connect to one of them?

Obviously the Altecs in Randy's cabinets contributed to his "Tone". Does the tribute amp have any modifications performed to it to help generate Randy's altec tone through stock 1960 cabinets?

Hi Ammalato,
I looked at all six of Randy's white cabinets and opened one up to check the Altecs inside. From the serial numbers it would appear that Randy took two cabs in early 1980 then the other 4 a little later on.
The Cabs were originally supplied with G12M-75s and Pete Murtons fitted the Altecs, they are wired to give a total impedance of 8ohms.
The 1959RR is not modded in any way to alter the tone or compensate for diferent speakers.
The Greatplains Audio re-issues of the original 417 8H Altecs would no doubt compliment the RR Signature Amp's tone very well.

i81b4u wrote:
1. Did you photograph them?
2. Can we see them?

YES and YES, there are some photo's in the Handbook.

romeorose wrote:
I have mostly all the same questions as the people ablove do but I just figured may as well post anyway so you see that there is great interest among us in obtaining answers to these questions:

1. Bias. what was the original amp for Randy set at, and do you have any knowledge of Randy changing it to something different to his liking later?

What does the 1959rr Bias come stock as?

2. Is this amp 100% exactly in every way, exactly like Randys amp head was on the inside? Are all the parts really the same exact brands or whatever Randy used? Is there anything at all about the amp that is different?

I need to know because if somethings different, then I wanna know so that I hcan have it modded after I buy it to be exactly like Randys.

3. Are the tubes that come in this head the same kind and same brand Randy used in his? If not then what type & brand did Randy use?

4. Knobs, tone controls on the head - Do you have any knowledge as to what Randy usually set all his controls on the amp head at???

It would be nice to be able to know so once I set it up and plug it in I can set everything the same way Randy did so I can get as close as possible to his tone.

5. Do you have any information as to why this amp did not come with a matching cab loaded with Iconic speakers which are reproductions of the Altecs Randy used?

6. What all more can you tell us about the special Mod?


Hey Romeo,
Long message! I know you are very passionate about getting all the detail right. I am too.
But sometimes when you make Valve Amps you have to bow to modern safety standards, so I wont BS you, There are some minor changes in the 1959RR that were dictated by modern international safety standards.
However, ALL the important signal paths and critical sonic components have been sourced from our original suppliers or are of comparable performance and quality.
1. Bias information is available to authorised Marshall service personell.
2.Nothing in the signal path will compromise the Randy Rhoads tone.
3. Same type of Valves. Chineese EL34 (6CA7 style) his were Groove Tube branded.
4.Randy's settings are published in the Handbook.
5.The project brief was to produce a Signature Head only
6.The Test manager, Phil ,told Randy he could mod the amp to give it a bit more gain and Randy asked him to do the mod to his amp.

6StringSting wrote:
How was the bias set for Randy's original Superlead? And if it was different than standard, will that setting be standard on the 1959RR?
Thanks for your time!

Hey 6string,
The 1959RR is biased to provide the optimum performance from the Valves and produce a consistant production amplifier.

jckmdcn wrote:
Did Randy have EL34's in the amp? or was that part of his original issue?

Was there anything unique in the amp to Randy that wasn't included in the signature series?

Is this amp an EXACT copy of the amp you inspected? (the inside)

Hey JCK,
The 1959RR is not an EXACT copy of the amp I inspected. It is a tribute Signature Amp built to honour the memory and legacy of Randy, who has proven to be one of our finest ambassidors.

OldRhoadsFan wrote:
Thank you for taking the time to do the Q & A.

What was the hardest part about getting this amp "right"?

Hi OldRhoadsFan,
You know this might sound terribly conceited. This project was a breeze and to me, personally, a great honour.
With out exception everybody I approached for research and help on the project have gone far and beyond the call, and proved to me how respected Randy's memory is and how Randy touched each and every person who was lucky enough to have had met him.
A great legacy indeed.

rcknrllmn wrote:
Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to answer questions.
Are you aware if this was the only amp that Randy acquired that had a special modification. Did any of the other Marshalls that Randy used have the same mods and/or were some of them stock to your knowledge?

Unfortunately, I could find no references to the other Amps that Randy used.

Kendall wrote:
I have heard rumors that Brad Gillis was actually the last one to play through this amp - due to time constraints after Randy's death and performing concerts.

Any truth to that, or did Brad get his own amp set ups before gigging on the Diary tour? I know he wore his vest, and used his pedal board, so his amp wouldn't seem unlikely. I wish Randy's amps were untouched since his passing though.

Thank you for getting the amp out and to the public.

Hey Kendall,
I wish I knew too :(
But Randy's settings were on the Amp and his set list was in the flight case.

No Quattro wrote:
Did you happen to notice (or, were you shown) any other gear while you were there? Guitar cases, the cabinets for the cabs, pedal board, etc?

Hey Quattro,
I only saw the Amp and Cabs. They had been brought out of storage for my visit last summer.

Revelations wrote:
Were the bias values of the tubes taken into consideration and measured? Were the original tubes still in the amp, or was there evidence of them being replaced?

Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A!

Hi Revelations,
The original Valves were not in the Amp.
Considering the number of gigs that the Amp had done I would imagine that the valves were replaced on a regular basis. Not uncommon for a "Tube" Amp.

Laughing Gas wrote:
When inspecting Randy's amp, where you allowed to play through it, and if so, how does it sound after all these years in hibernation..

Randy's Amp was in relatively good condition considering it was a well giged work horse and obviously a treasured peice of Randy's personal backline that stood proudly behind him at every gig he played with Ozzy and allowed us all to hear him for the inspirational player he was with true Marshall tone and power.

Thank you to all the guys at the Forum for taking such an enthusiastic interest in the Marshall 1959RR Randy Rhoads Signature Amplifier.

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