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 Post subject: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Thank you for forwarding the questions and thank you to to all the guys at the Forum for taking such an enthusiastic interest in the Marshall 1959RR Randy Rhoads Signature Amplifier.

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!!

So....it 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 http://www.marshallamps.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; 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:
hello'
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:
Danny
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.
Chris

dannyahansen wrote:
Danny
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:
Danny,

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?

thanks!

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?

Hi RCK,
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:44 pm 
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this has been fantastic !

it was interesting to hear that he had groove tube EL34's
but like it was said it was a giging "work horse" and they were probably considered the best at the time for replacements

also I read that he kept blowing transformers but that is really common with the 1959 if ran above 7 for any period of time

unfortunately my desire for a schematic was turned down but this is totally understandable as this amp is so new and with that info you could build a copy in short order, give it a bit and that info should be available in builders circles

thanks to all involved for making this Q & A possible :D

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:02 am 
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Wow, what a great read! Thanks Des for posting this and thankyou Danny for answering the questions.Guess who will save all his pennys this summer!!! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:53 am 
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thanks to des and to everyone at marshall amps for this :D

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:15 am 
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Thanks for the amp and the answers to our questions. It provides even more insight into this.
I should be getting my amp on the 18th of april. I will have pactures and videos up to see how it sounds. I am stoked.

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:40 am 
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Danny
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.

I dont get it, the tribute head is modded in the upper right and that's the low side. "Normal cascaded through Hi Treble" That's the upper left.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:08 am 
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I will agree that his answer didn't really answer your exact question but if you read into it I would guess that Randy didn't use the mod (judging from the videos and pix of the way he was always plugged in)

Hey Des did you try both channels when you gave the thing a go ?

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:22 am 
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Johnny Slave wrote:
I will agree that his answer didn't really answer your exact question but if you read into it I would guess that Randy didn't use the mod (judging from the videos and pix of the way he was always plugged in)

Hey Des did you try both channels when you gave the thing a go ?
Well he said the high channel was modded and thats the channel Randy played, the upper left.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:34 am 
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Johnny Slave wrote:
Hey Des did you try both channels when you gave the thing a go ?

I think it was just the one chanel and I presume Danny would have plugged me into the modded channel. It was the last amp I tried that day and time was running short so I didn't get too long with it, I just know it sounded massive.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:15 am 
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Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! *r*


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:35 am 
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very interesting read indeed :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:40 am 
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Des & Danny thank you so much for this :D


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Wow, great info! Thanks to Danny and Des for making it happen. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Thanks Des and Danny for making this possible. This amp has got me pumped up! I need one. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Halorising wrote:
Johnny Slave wrote:
I will agree that his answer didn't really answer your exact question but if you read into it I would guess that Randy didn't use the mod (judging from the videos and pix of the way he was always plugged in)

Well he said the high channel was modded and thats the channel Randy played, the upper left.


I'm glad to see that I wasn't the only confused by that answer! *?
If I'm not mistaken, In the NAMM vids the guys are using the right side input.

Thanks Des and Danny for the great info and for your time!

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:14 am 
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Feels kinda icky that all traces of a simple mistake, on Danny's part, concerning availability gets completely wiped from the matrix. Instead of simply editing the mistaken info with a retraction.

Here is the quote from Korg USA:

"The posting is an unfortunate mistake that is being rectified. The 1959RR is a limited production piece with only 150 coming to the USA."


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:46 am 
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zennman wrote:
Feels kinda icky that all traces of a simple mistake, on Danny's part, concerning availability gets completely wiped from the matrix. Instead of simply editing the mistaken info with a retraction.

Here is the quote from Korg USA:

"The posting is an unfortunate mistake that is being rectified. The 1959RR is a limited production piece with only 150 coming to the USA."

I was going to mention this as well, but spaced out! I have one "on order" and my guy swears that it is a very limited production run (at least here in the States)!

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Last edited by cparra on Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:54 am 
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dammit that blows bad :evil: come on marshall...

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:29 am 
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Interesting read! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:13 am 
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Thanks alot for your answers Danny. They are very appreciated. And thank you Des for your continued work on this site.

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:41 pm 
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thanks Danny , it was very interesting to read your answers. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:45 pm 
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zennman wrote:
Feels kinda icky that all traces of a simple mistake, on Danny's part, concerning availability gets completely wiped from the matrix. Instead of simply editing the mistaken info with a retraction.

Here is the quote from Korg USA:

"The posting is an unfortunate mistake that is being rectified. The 1959RR is a limited production piece with only 150 coming to the USA."

This is interesting it was 100 peices. Now it is 150. I am going to stick with Des and Danny Thomas on this. Im sure it will be availble to all who want one.

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:17 pm 
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It's a very informative read, thanks Danny! I however cannot afford to pick up an 1959RR. I have read up about them and it just doesn't make much sense, for the price; you're pretty much buying two of our favorite names, Rhoads and Marshall. For the price of one 1959RR, you, YES YOU could build two full 100 watt plexi stacks with cascade mods, built to your specifications. These things are OLD technology, hand wired in the 60's, I'm in college with a moderate amount of circuit building experience and I'm amazed how simple these schematics are. Instead of buying an RR, I'm actually going to build my own plexi head. I already have the white tolex plexi cabinet (the head part), and most of the guts minus the choke, and let me tell you, I cannot wait to melt some faces with this thing. I opted for the two toggle switches instead of the two plastic black and white ones. Once I get this thing up and biased I'll have to post some pictures, who knows maybe I can compare it face to face (head to head :lol: ) with KK's RR head since we're in the same area. I'm not installing a cascade mod at first but I may later on, it's an incredibly easy modification to do. While looking at the schematics, the "Cascade" mod does almost the same thing as just bridging the channels. Anyway I'm not a big fan of this thing, maybe if it's the holy grail but look at the recent explosion of "SIGNATURE SERIES" products. They're just making money off of Rhoads and Marshall. You could buy two period specific heads and retolex and cascade them for the same price of ONE 1959RR. But regardless I appreciate Danny's honesty, he expressed how simple it was for him to do this sort of thing. Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:44 pm 
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Of course you can build your own plexi in any colour and with any mods you wish and it's not hard at all, but it wont be the Randy Rhoads signature Marshall no matter what. I ordred one, paid hard currency and couldn't be any happier. Hot rodded marshalls are super cool, but the 1959rr to me is much more than just a hotrodded Marshall.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:36 pm 
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Hevimies wrote:
Of course you can build your own plexi in any colour and with any mods you wish and it's not hard at all, but it wont be the Randy Rhoads signature Marshall no matter what. I ordred one, paid hard currency and couldn't be any happier. Hot rodded marshalls are super cool, but the 1959rr to me is much more than just a hotrodded Marshall.


Correction: it will but the randy rhoads 1959, just unlicensed, Jim Marshall doesn't have magic pixie dust that only he knows about. Where did I say I wasn't building my own 1959RR, it'll be identical I promise. These heads all OLD technology, and Randy Only had one mod, a simple cascade mod. No hot rod, these parts are either NOS or direct replicas of the parts used during this time period. So if you want to get technical Hevimies, my amp should sound closer to Randy's than yours because your's will be made with newer "incorrect" part. So the 1959RR IS just a modded marshall. We should hook up amps up face to face and you pick the one you think is yours, I bet I would walk away with a more expensive amp..... I just spent about 1/6th the amount that you did. I'm pretty tech savvy so if I wanted to I could even put the Randy Rhoads decal on the back *r* .

No matter what you buy it's nothing compared to what your own two hands can put together. Resistors and caps have just as much to do with your amp as your tubes and bias do. What kind do you have my friend? I'll tell you if you don't know :D . Peace and love.

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:17 pm 
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Somehow you totally missed my point. It's different to own the real Mona Lisa than to just paint one yourself. Sure they look the same, but they still ain't. Anyways.. to each own. Peace.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:28 pm 
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Hevimies wrote:
Somehow you totally missed my point. It's different to own the real Mona Lisa than to just paint one yourself. Sure they look the same, but they still ain't. Anyways.. to each own. Peace.


No man I got your point, you think there is something special about it because it was made by marshall. It's all good man I understand brand loyalty I studied it. The thing is, some big name musicians are endorsed by companies such as Marshall, Fender, and Gibson yet their guitars are built by a luthier totally unassociated with the company, they just have the right to use the name. I've heard this is many cases and it is discussed in DETAIL on Ed Roman's site but that's a whole 'nother story. So are these musicians not playing those brands because they were not constructed in the same factory? False, they are playing guitars of the same build and layout of the company that endorsed them, after all, it's what the company copyrighted. Just because an Edwards les paul is not a real les paul it still is, catch my drift? We aren't talking about art here Hevimies, we're talking about the tools artists use to make it. Saying you own the Mona Lisa is saying you own Randy's actual amps, YOU TOO, are getting a copy. :D

So i'm getting a white 100 what super lead plexi and so are you, why can't we be happy together? We should go out to dinner, I'll pay, I think I have a little bit more spending cash than you do :roll: .

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:45 pm 
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You make all sorts of assumptions of me and they're all wrong. I'm not interested in arguing over the internet, so cheers and best of luck with your amp-project.


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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:38 pm 
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Location: warsaw indiana
i know a great steak house and nif has been there!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Answers from Marshall engineer Danny Thomas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Thanks! :D If they have a 1959RR in my area i'll compare them and throw it up on youtube. No hard feeling Hevimies! welcome to the forum BTW!

Texas cattle ranch something or other, all I know is they had good food and good waitresses :D

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