What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

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Brandon
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What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Brandon » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:36 pm

Hey Guys I'm new to board, and I am VERY happy to see there are others who are as enthusiastic about Jimi's tone as me. :mrgreen:

My question is simple, if I wanted to get Hendrix's tone at Woodstock (and I have basically EVERYTHING else except the head), which amp head should I buy?

Basically, I am NOT a tech guy, my "tech knowledge" extends to the vast and complicated nature of the volume knob...

Like I said, my technical knowledge of amps is very limited, so short of buying one of his amps from woodstock for $100,000 :lol: which direction should I go?

For instance will any of the stock metro heads make me feel like I'm tripping on acid listening to Message To Love at Woodstock?

The other part of my question is if I don't want to peal the paint of my walls and have all of my neighbors uproariously angry with me, is there a possibility of getting that tone at lower volume levels, in say something less than 50w?

Thanks guys 8)

Brandon

p.s. Hendrix at Woodstock is IMHO his best performance ever. :wink:

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by shakti » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:11 am

Hi Brandon,

welcome to the Metro forum! I'm sure you'll find lots of equally Hendrix-minded people here. I like to count myself as one of them...

As for the Woodstock tone, I'm not sure if anyone knows with absolute certainty. His later period tones are usually more elusive than the early ones, for simple reasons: early on, he usually used only one or two stacks, and there had been less different <marshall designs made, which narrows it down nicely. Anything from '69 and up is more complicated - usually 3 stacks, which leads to a more complex tone, and he could have mixed and matched Bass and Lead amps, earlier or later designs.

With that being said, the Woodstock tone IMHO isn't one of the hardest tones to nail. Basically, I think you need a 12-series Super Lead (i.e. split cathode, EL34s, Dagnall style OT). A late 10-series (similar specs, but all caps on top of the chassis) will probably work equally well.

IMHO you also need a 100w amp to really nail a Hendrix tone. 50w amps just don't have the girth or bandwidth to sound convincing enough. The difference in volume isn't that big anyway (3-4dB), you'll probably need an attenuator with either amp.

You didn't say whether you wanted to build one or buy a complete amp. The amp kits are currently pulled from the store, but will return. If you get a complete amp, this is the one to get:
http://plexireplicas.com/metropoulos-am ... 00-series/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Lastly, don't forget the importance of the guitar (late 60s style Strat with maple cap fingerboard and low output pickups) and cab (typicalle bass cone 30W Celestions with H magnet).

Good luck!
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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Brandon » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:34 pm

Thanks for the informative reply! 8)

That's strange to me, the 100w isn't much louder than the 50w? Hmm.

Something I noticed about the Hendrix Woodstock tone is that sometimes throughout the show he sounds almost identical to Angus Young or Alex Lifeson (Rush), so I think you're right about the 100 watts, which would make sense why those three sound similar to me. It's that "bark" or "clank" sound I'm talking about (but in the end to me the hendrix woodstock tone is really only comparable to the voice of GOD) :twisted: :mrgreen:

I guess it's just that really "live" sound.

So that 12000 series would be the way to go.... As far as the kits go, are they very difficult to build? I have basically no experience with electronics, but my Grandfather is quite a handy man and can solder anything under the sun! :wink:

If I could, I'd like the go for the most affordable option possible you know :? But I also wouldn't want to butcher it if it takes real "amp building" experience.

Brandon

p.s. Oh and by the way I just ordered a 1960TV cab loaded with G12H 30s, and I've got a 70s strat 1 piece maple neck with "Woodstock" pickups installed. The neck and middle pickups sound basically perfect, but the bridge sounds a little too "twangy", I think do to small technical flaws in the build of the guitar and possibly due to the wood (ash body).

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by shakti » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:02 pm

You're well on the way to your tonal nirvana. Joining this forum is the right step to take!

The guitar sounds like it's close to the right specs. I've never owned an ash body guitar, so I can't comment on that, but I've heard it's brighter than alder? Twang would probably sort of make sense...aren't Telecasters typically ash, at least the 50s ones? If you haven't checked out Callaham's tremolo, I'd suggest you do so. What are the "Woodstock" pickups?

As for building an amp, lots of people have built 12- or late 10-series amps as their first build. It's certainly doable, but as with anything in life, some experience certainly helps. I built a JTM45 as my first amp, and only had very minor soldering experience prior to that. It worked out brilliantly.
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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Roe » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:48 pm

the 100w kit is nice if you lack experience. sounds good for that era of hendrix tones
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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Brandon » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:24 pm

Awesome :wink:

Yeah the woodstock pickups. I can't remember who they're by or what brand, but apparently they were handmade by one of the guys winding pickups in the late 60s it, may have even been the guy who wound the pickups that were in jimi's gitters, and you can def hear their quality.

I have a few quick questions about the 68' 100w 12 series kit.

1. How much money does it typically run?

2. Is it pretty easy to put together (with instructions?) like legos? :D lol

3. Will the lack of the polarity switch cause a tonal difference from the woodstock sound? (as I understand it jimi's woodstock amps had three switches one being a "polarity" switch. I have no idea if this will cause a difference so just curious).

4. To clarify, what exactly would be the difference between going with a 10 or 12 series, and which one would be most ideal for the woodstock sound. Just want to make sure I go with the best choice possible.

Thanks Shakti and Roe :mrgreen:

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Roe » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:07 am

if you're new to building I'd recommend the 69 superlead kit, not the 68 12000 series bare bones kit. you can lower the screens filtering on the 69 to get 68 specs
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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Tone Slinger » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:28 am

I agree, the standard 'mid '68 to '73 era amps have the standing filter cans, which are a little easier to work with. The build instructions are SUPER clear and easy. George will probably swap the filter values for you to get the 12xxx filtering, which I would recommend.

I think this kit is about $1,100 or so, BUT, due to the parts quality, you will have an amp that KILL"S any Marshall reissue, AND, is much fresher and younger than an original.

I would let your Grand Pa give you a quick 101 on soldering, then simply be aware of the high voltages present when building the amp (only certain aspects are dangerous, but not if you follow the instructions).

I say get a kit ('69 plexi) inquire about the filter can values, then have at it.

Good luck with your decision.
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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by basile865 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:38 pm

Whats up Brandon? Welcome to this awesome forum.

Only thing that I have to really add that I don't think has been said (unless I missed it), one of the top most important parts to the equation to getting that woodstock type sound is that you need teeth shattering, ear drum blowing volume. Now as bad as it is, I'm a total volume junkie - if its not loud it just doesn't feel the same. I wont even play original songs with my band unless we're allowed to be loud, otherwise the guitar sounds really quite different. Its truly part of the recipe to getting more hendrix like sound - especially for woodstock.

the 50 vs. 100 thing is true theres only a few db difference in sound. Keep in mind that he had 3 100 watt heads pushing 24 12" speakers. You're going to have a huge swallow you whole type of sound. That voice of God thing going on.

So just get one of those 69 100 watters and theres no doubt you'll love it - but to truly get that woodstock sound you need to be playing an outdoor venue with 3 100 watt full stacks and a fuzz face. Basically like you're trying to make sure any astronauts on the moon can hear you.

I own a 100 watt plexi and love it to absolute death - to the point where now that I need a more portable rig for small shows nothing seems good enough. I found the only thing I think will get me in the ball park is a 50 watt head (smaller box) and a 2x12 with some high wattage speakers.

So be real with yourself - if you're going to gig a lot a 50 watter will be sweet. I was like you and had to have the 100 watt off the bat - and I'm glad I own it, but I wish I owned a 50 watt now too! :lol:

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Brandon » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:52 pm

Thanks a lot for all of your help guys. :D

I think what I'm going to do is go for the 68 12 series, and pay the extra money to have the guys at metropolous put it together (if that option is still available?)

I honestly don't feel confident enough spending over a grand just for all of the pieces when I've never put anything electrical together in my entire life! But I don't know, I might change my mind :? :mrgreen:

But in the store I only see that the jtm45 kit is available.... will the other kits be available again soon?

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Brandon » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:24 pm

Yeah the more I listen to hendrix at woodstock, the more I hear a STRIKING similarity to Angus Young's amp. :shock:

Did Angus use the exact same amps or something? Or is that just the sound of a 100w plexi? What amp did Angus use? (highway to hell, shook me all night long) :?: :mrgreen:

The weird thing that kind of puts me off is that EVH is supposedly famed for using the 68' 100w, but I don't hear those same qualities that are shared between Hendrix at Woodstock and Angus that I'm craving ie. boofy bass, "bark", "clank" and big-ness. Is this just a recording vs. live thing? Or maybe the way van halen positioned his amp mics or amp settings?

I want to make sure I end up with the right amp you know... :wink:

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by VintageCharlie » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:18 am

Hi Brandon!

Angus usually used 50w Marshalls in the studio - a jtm-45, a jtm-50 and a jmp-50 - afaik also often on stage, supposedly into a miced iso-box of some sorts. Another thing he uses live afaik is a 100w SL (don't know the year though, i've read that it might be even a reissue). Malcolm Young used a '66 45/100 for the rhythm on Ballbreaker for example and probably also on other records and live. Afaik now he uses a'69 or early metal panel Super Bass (also 100w - similar to a Super Lead, but with some circuit tweaks - like shared cathode, different PI cap values, etc. - basically like the older JTM circuit). More knowledgeable AC/DC folks will surely correct me if i'm wrong. I think that the most common quality of the 100w plexi's is the "size" and punch of the sound due to huge headroom and bold mids. The earlier 100w's have more headroom, whereas the 68 and upward Super leads tend to go faster into dirt, but are also very loud before they do that. I think even the metal panel Super Basses sound a lot more like the earlier Marshalls though, as the circuit stayed almost untouched for a long time. I think it's simply a 100w plexi thing going on that you hear in AC/DC and Jimi.

I'm also trying to figure out which amp to get for BOG era Hendrix tones. He 'probably' used '69 SL's, but i'll try a 67 first and will change the specs towards 68, 69 if needed. I intend to do so as the 68, 69 sound somewhat too mean and aggressive for my taste, too edgy and grainy and sometimes even harsh (bear in mind i have no first hand experience with 100w Marshalls (only some 50w versions) - my advice is based on listening to clips and recordings as well on some stuff i've read around the net - so take my advice just as an half-educated opinion). But there are guys on this forum that are Marshall encyclopedias and who have built 66, 67, 68, 69, Mv 100w's + JTM-45's, JTM-50's, JMP-50's, etc.
From what i gather, mid 67 100w's are much more organic sounding to my ear and with some tweaks they might be enough to get close to Woodstock/BOG (so i hope, as this is what i intend to do), without the EVH-esque tone and/or the aggressiveness of the later models.

Hope some of it helps.

Best of luck for your tone-pursuit!

VintageCharlie

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Brandon » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks for the reply vintagecharlie!

Yeah I guess I'm just asking so many questions because I basically have almost NO experience with these big marshall/metropolous plexi heads, so I don't have any reference for what they typically sound like.

For all I know everything that I'm asking about could be a complete given to most people here! 8) :? :mrgreen:

But to me, I need answers because where oh where am I going to get the chance to play on one of these metro amps to hear for myself before forking out a few grand for it (besides the amp show in LA in oct!)??? (and I know there's a lot of people lerking on this board that want answers too).

So naturally I have NO CLUE what these amps are all about or what they sound like in real life.

The only thing I DO know is what sound I want.

And the other thing that I know is that I've never heard with my own ears that sound that I want come out of an amp before... so naturally I'm skeptical... and boy oh boy have I been misled by people telling me to buy this and that...

I've been a gulable little musician in the past, especially with the whole "fender (excluding custom shop)/marshall/dunlop/ etc/etc etc. not making qualities instruments and equipment anymore but TELLING unsuspecting prospects that they do" fiasco... You know what I'm talking about! :lol: :mrgreen:

Me an my friends have a little inside joke about me being such a great guitarist, but I always end up with SHIT amps! I mean for the last 2 years I've been playing on one of those tiny orange micro crush portable amps!! For 2 years!! :oops: :cry:

I'm always rocking the fuck out of Jimi on that little thing and it's basically the most ridiculous thing you have ever seen... My face scrunched up, my knees are bending, by heads rolling back, my lips quivering to each note I hit because I'm sooo into what I'm playing... and basically it sounds as if my 14 year old sister left her itunes running on her 1" bass-less laptop speakers on her Mac! :o :P haha

But right now, I've had this "gear shift" and I want what I want... and I want a damn big amp! haha

Anyway, thank you Roe, Shakti, Tone Slinger, Basile and VintageCharlie for all your help.

I'm still confused and unassured about which amp I should choose, but I've got a phone date with Dave, so maybe he can reasure me of which amp I should go with. :wink:

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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Tone Slinger » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:42 am

I'd go with the straight Metro Plexi (based on the '69, which, essentially stayed the same from this point on through '73).

Many factors play into the 'whole' of Hendrix's sound. Besides the man himself, I'd say the Woodstock amps were no earlier than mid to late '68's, and by the wear on them, not BRAND NEW. Hendrix was last in England earlier in '69, and the spring '69 tour was in preparation. He either had some flown back on his return flight, or picked some new tops up from Manny's. The Woodstock amps probably came off the Marshall assembly line in late '68 to early '69 I'd wager.

Anyways, Hendrix ran his amps differently than EVH. Ed used a variac, and did some serious hot biasing, still, I hear a similarity in tone on VH2 and Woodstock. Like 'Izabella' and 'DOA'. There is a drum part in 'Begginings' that comes back into the song like a part in 'Light Up The Sky'.

Get the '69 kit, and get some 'true' 30 watt celestions (not the 65 watt 'vintage' 30's) These were probably the speakers Hendrix was using, though some speculation about 70 watt (super Beatle vox) speakers have been discussed.

Jim (Scumback) is who I'd talk to concerning speakers.
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Re: What Amp Do I Buy To Get Hendrix At Woodstock Tone?

Post by Roe » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:14 am

VintageCharlie wrote:Hi Brandon!

Angus usually used 50w Marshalls in the studio - a jtm-45, a jtm-50 and a jmp-50 - afaik also often on stage, supposedly into a miced iso-box of some sorts. Another thing he uses live afaik is a 100w SL (don't know the year though, i've read that it might be even a reissue). Malcolm Young used a '66 45/100 for the rhythm on Ballbreaker for example and probably also on other records and live. Afaik now he uses a'69 or early metal panel Super Bass (also 100w - similar to a Super Lead, but with some circuit tweaks - like shared cathode, different PI cap values, etc. - basically like the older JTM circuit). More knowledgeable AC/DC folks will surely correct me if i'm wrong. I think that the most common quality of the 100w plexi's is the "size" and punch of the sound due to huge headroom and bold mids. The earlier 100w's have more headroom, whereas the 68 and upward Super leads tend to go faster into dirt, but are also very loud before they do that. I think even the metal panel Super Basses sound a lot more like the earlier Marshalls though, as the circuit stayed almost untouched for a long time. I ...
angus has repeatedly stated that he used 100watter superleads all the early years, including back in black. but mal stated that angus used used 50watters for solos on back in black. the idea seems to be that a 50w tends to have a sweeter, more compressed tone which favours soloing whereas the 100watters are ballsier and better for riffs.

since dirty deeds mal claims to have used mainly a superbass. this amp is supposed to be from the late 60s or the early 70s. early 70s amps are especially loud and punchy because of 520-30v b+ whereas earlier (and later) 100watters usually have a 490v voltage. when mal started to use his super 100 amp is unclear. but this amp has been confirmed by malcolm himself and r. flieger. I have even seen it myself together with mal's beat up superbass. the mal sound is essentially pure nickel strings, filtertron/gretsch, superbass/jtm and G12Ms. The angus tone is t-tops, nickel/steel strings (slinkies) and g12H75s (except later years which are v30s). amps have varied a lot but the early stuff is typically superleads
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