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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2005 » Archive through April 16, 2005 » Blockhead Amps « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 155
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 1:50 pm:   Edit Post

Anybody familiar with this company? Their claim to fame is an exact replica of the 1967 Marshall JMP 100 - handwired, all specs exactly like the original. Now Marshall has reissued the same amp and it's about $500 cheaper than the Blockhead. I've been toying with the idea of trading in my JCM 2000 for one of these.


Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 837
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 6:13 am:   Edit Post


While I have no experience with that particular amp (i.e., Blockhead), one word of advice: play EVERYTHING before you buy.

Marshall reissues are still not handmade, hardwired like the originals were. The cabinets aren't as sturdy as before, and they ain't made in ole' Blighty (Brittain) like they once were (fabbed in the far east, chassis placed in the cab in and Union Jack emblem applied in England, LOL!).

There are so many 'boutique' amp guys out there, and they all make hand-made hard-wired stuff. The main variables (besides aesthetics/cosmetics) are how close you want it to sound like an original JCM versus how much "added" flexibility you want, i.e., multi-channels, footswitching, effects loop, additional gain, etc.

Greg Germino's amp line is as about as close to that vintage Marshall "plexi" sound that you can get, with top-shelf components and construction, but no additional channels, features, gain, etc. are available. There are lots of others. Harry Straub is one of them (that's what I bought), but he only offers a high-gain mode to supplement the "standard" plexi circuit (additional channels, reverb, effects loops, footswitching need not apply here, LOL!). Victoria, TopHat, Bogner, Modern Vintage, etc., all have good Marshall-style clones. Scott Splawn can take your JCM-2000 and modify it so that you can have added gain, features, and flexibility.

Have you also considered a vintage Marshall? They're pricey, usually beat to sh*t and usually need considerable maintenance and/or updating. They can also be modified by guys like Splawn or Bradshaw to increase flexibility and gain.

Sorry I really didn't answer your question, but I figured I'd offer my two-cents worth here. Food for thought, at any rate.

After looking at all the options, I ended up with an heirloom-quality amp rig, all in gorgeous hardwoods, for MUCH less than a Vintage plexi (and that's before repairs and mods) and most of the Tolex-covered plywood boutique stuff (like Marshall USED TO make). The more I play that amp, the more the sound blooms and the more I fall in love with it. If you want vintage "plexi" tones, with hot-rodded hi-gain Marshall available, as well as, with sweet hi-headroom cleans no vintage Marshall can even dream of, you could do much worse than a Straub amp. Ck out my thread for pix and info:

Good luck on yor quest.



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