Dean Markley Signature 60 head: Mod or sell?

Completed amps from Fender, Orange, Hiwatt, Vox, etc.

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jarrodthebobo
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:10 am
Just the numbers in order: 13492

Dean Markley Signature 60 head: Mod or sell?

Post by jarrodthebobo » Fri May 11, 2018 9:20 pm

Ive had this amp for a couple of years now and its in pretty good shape; picked it offa craiglist for a buck fifty because I thought it was an interesting little amp. Seller was a pretty cool dude in a portugese band and gave me a story that he bought it from a rehersal/studio space that aerosmith practiced at, and that Joe Perry had either owned the amp, or at least played through it. Who knows how valid this is, but Im from Mass and Boston wasnt too far away so I guess anything is possible.

ANYWAYS, ive never been able to gel with the amp; I honestly think it sounds pretty bad and the eq is finicky, and the presence control was apparently "modded" at sometime, and squeals when turned up all the way along with some other oscillations.

My question is, should I sell this amp as is, or should I try and mod it? These amps seem to never really sell for to much, but its a hand made amp with a pretty basic design from what Ive seen; like a Jcm800 with 6l6s, an odd effects loop (passive i believe), and an active midrange control.

Was thinking of hot rodding it into maybe a mod5 style preamp, or perhaps the #34, and fixing the presence knob up. Id keep the midrange as it is, as its an interesting concept.

Is it worth it?
"I hear you knocking but you can't come in-
I know you've been drinking Gin." -Louis Jordan

jarrodthebobo
New Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:10 am
Just the numbers in order: 13492

Re: Dean Markley Signature 60 head: Mod or sell?

Post by jarrodthebobo » Sat May 12, 2018 1:50 am

Actually I may have solved my own problem here; I opened the amp up and had my first looksey inside: I was surprised at how simple this amp actually was, and all the extra room that is had in the amp. Unfortunately none of the resistors or caps are labeled on the board, so finding and tracing parts without taking the entire board apart was a bit of a pain; so I decided to leave that all for now and focus on if there were any actual mods, and from what I can tell, there were NOT; in the preamp, that is.

It looks like all the power caps have been replaced, and replaced rather nicely. Also there are a few resistors piggy-backed together, as well as a few components that look like they were soldered a bit differently; so I'm assuming this amp had at one point, had a real good checkup.

Upon re-tubing the amp with some Ruby 6l6s I had lying around, I put her back together to give her a play again and for whatever reason ,the amp sounds fantastic now. The former power tubes were 5881s, and it never occurred to me that perhaps maybe the bias was off for those style of tubes, but is just fine for the 6l6s. I have yet to give the bias a check to see what we're running at; but the tubes arn't red-plating and we have a nice purple glow a-going in them, so I'm sure it's fine for now.

This is a pretty awesome sounding amp; very marshall like and aggressive and the tone controls are VERY responsive. Gets some really good grind and dirt going, and its PERFECT for those 80s tones. This amp, from former schematics that I've seen, always seemed like an odd jcm800 with a few component changes and a bypass cap over the cold stage, and it does definatly have that sound profile. I'm not usually a fan of distorted 6l6 amps, and may change the amp to run el34s, but I'm gonna give her a few weeks first.

These amps need to really get out there more; they're actually pretty cool, and I'm so glad I gave her another shot before playing around with the components!
"I hear you knocking but you can't come in-
I know you've been drinking Gin." -Louis Jordan

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