S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by novosibir » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:22 pm

CoffeeTones wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:38 pm
Every amp is different, so clones built down to the last detail will be different. Trainwreck clones have proven that well.
Correct, as long as different doesn't mean worse :D
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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by novosibir » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:34 pm

Or my new version of it with regulated DC preamp tube heaters for less noise floor 8)
Shure, this requires an additional secondary on the PT
- but from one dozen order qty. onwards Pacific turned out very flexible :D
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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by itsneverloudenough » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:03 pm

Fellas I'm sorry if I'm reviving inactive threads but I've been curious about something: the title and first page of this thread make it clear that there was a "part 1" thread about the SIR amp before this one. Could I ask what was in that thread and exactly why it was hidden/deleted? Also, another thing if you could: where did the "original" baseline specs for #39/36 come from, the ones that everybody on the internet is going off of to do their own versions of #36? I imagine you guys didn't just figure it out by ear!

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by novosibir » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:13 pm

itsneverloudenough wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:03 pm
Fellas I'm sorry if I'm reviving inactive threads but I've been curious about something: the title and first page of this thread make it clear that there was a "part 1" thread about the SIR amp before this one. Could I ask what was in that thread and exactly why it was hidden/deleted?
There's been too much rant & fight over the last 10 pages, so the moderator's have decided at that time, to pull this thread off public - and on the same day I've startet this pt. 2 thread at that time back in Jan 2010

Just have checked in the moderator's section and have seen, that this thread has been entirely deleted, because among many other pulled threads I couldn't find it anymore.
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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by itsneverloudenough » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:39 pm

novosibir wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:13 pm
There's been too much rant & fight over the last 10 pages, so the moderator's have decided at that time, to pull this thread off public - and on the same day I've startet this pt. 2 thread at that time back in Jan 2010

Just have checked in the moderator's section and have seen, that this thread has been entirely deleted, because among many other pulled threads I couldn't find it anymore.
Makes sense, thanks for clarifying that. Would you happen to know anything about my other question, i.e. where the first "clues" of #36's specs came from?

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by novosibir » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:22 pm

itsneverloudenough wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:39 pm
Would you happen to know anything about my other question, i.e. where the first "clues" of #36's specs came from?
My idea is, that it's a colorful mix of myths, rumors and some logic of many, because none of all ever have taken a look inside the #39, the #36 and the #34 since then and even Frank Levi (RIP) couldn't recall exactly later, what he'd done to the S.I.R. amps at that time.
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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by Unique » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:18 pm

At least someone can get a good idea of what is in #34 from viewing the AFD100 vlog. I was surprised that Slash and Marshall allowed the circuit to be filmed and put up on YouTube in a video back then. Not only that, but Santiago posted a schem of it here. So #34 is there for the modding. I've seen pics of other Frank modded #34's from the last few years and it appears he did some things different than how he did it in the original #34. Which kind of surprised me. Maybe he forgot some stuff?

As far as #36 goes, it seems that it will remain a mystery, unless the real one shows up sometime. According to Frank, there is only one other actual #36 mod in existence, besides #39. So unless these amps make their way from hiding, this forum seems to be anyone's best bet at achieving that sound. There's a couple of guys here, from my ears, that sounds like they have figured it out. Whoever has these missing S.I.R. amps, and the only other Frank modded #36, are setting on a goldmine with Frank now gone. Maybe not a goldmine, but a nice little chunk of change anyway. I guess is depends on how you look at it.

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by CoffeeTones » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:42 pm

We have the original #39 schematic drawn and signed by Tim Caswell. Glenn Buckley may have the others from what he says here http://forum.metropoulos.net/viewtopic. ... 45#p468281

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by Unique » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:56 pm

Thanks for sharing Coffee, that is a very interesting post. I've read that thread before, but not since Glenn posted. It would be nice if he has them and posted them. I would like to know which one of those guys from S.I.R. has #36 and #39 hidden away? For the longest time I thought maybe it was Frank, or Glenn. But really, I'm actually surprised no one who might have rented either amp back in the day, possibly could have taken it home, had a peek inside, and made a schem of it, then some years later post it in an amp thread somewhere. I know there was one guy who worked at S.I.R. back in the 90's who did that with one of their amps, S.I.R. #38. But not much else about that amp other than that.

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by itsneverloudenough » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:44 pm

Unique wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:56 pm
Thanks for sharing Coffee, that is a very interesting post. I've read that thread before, but not since Glenn posted. It would be nice if he has them and posted them. I would like to know which one of those guys from S.I.R. has #36 and #39 hidden away? For the longest time I thought maybe it was Frank, or Glenn. But really, I'm actually surprised no one who might have rented either amp back in the day, possibly could have taken it home, had a peek inside, and made a schem of it, then some years later post it in an amp thread somewhere. I know there was one guy who worked at S.I.R. back in the 90's who did that with one of their amps, S.I.R. #38. But not much else about that amp other than that.
Doesn't sound like he wants to "post" them, more like looking to cash in otherwise why sit on it. Don't think he has the amps though. But those schems, not gonna lie his post kills me...I'm not blaming him for what he does with his own stuff I just hope he doesn't dwell on it too much or end up wasting the opportunity, he's the only link to those magic amps left. Levi tried to put out his own amps too but never did, sadly (oddly enough he never shared the real specs despite having no apparent commercial interest). There's nothing else to go off of, for all we know the real #36 is scrap now and that other guy with the alleged replica...wouldn't bet on him...

Re. SIR #38 are you referring to that post on Hoffman Amps? I think that guy was more recent, early-mid 2000s. I remember him saying the amp had a sticker on it that said "DO NOT RENT", wonder if that was bc of old age or "other" reasons...obviously not the Appetite amp but who knows. Really weird how SIR had all those great Marshalls yet sold them off (incl. to guys that stole from them, *cough* Slash *cough*) or just got rid of them. Now they apparently only have stock amps...
CoffeeTones wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:42 pm
We have the original #39 schematic drawn and signed by Tim Caswell. Glenn Buckley may have the others from what he says here http://forum.metropoulos.net/viewtopic. ... 45#p468281
So the first clues of what #36 looks like as a circuit were acquired by Caswell? I thought it turned out he had nothing to do with it after all and the mod was all Frank Levi. Did Frank base his mod off of Caswell's previously installed mod?

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by CoffeeTones » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:05 pm

#39 was a popular rental among stars. It was rented out at the time a second star needed it, so another amp was modded to fill the gap. That was #36 by Frank Levi. That's the story I recall. #36 was said not to be a copy of #39, but may have had a few similarities. Comparisons of tracks and Caswell #39 builds, support that Caswell #39 and #36 sound different. I seem to recall something about #39 having the Caswell mod taken out, and being modded into something different at some point.

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by novosibir » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:35 pm

CoffeeTones wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:05 pm
... #36 was said not to be a copy of #39, but may have had a few similarities. Comparisons of tracks and Caswell #39 builds, support that Caswell #39 and #36 sound different. I seem to recall something about #39 having the Caswell mod taken out, and being modded into something different at some point.
Typically for modders in their first 5 to 10 years of amp modding.
Every next day, week or month they're doing something different, sometimes only minor changes, sometimes back & forth as it's been a week or a month ago.
It always will take a while, until they've found their line and give their common hand to their several mods and henceforth minor changes only are depending on the characteristic of the particular amp, OT, favorized speaker cab, favorized guitar/PU and/or on the special demand of the amp's owner.
The fault almost always is sitting in front of the amp :wink:

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by Unique » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:32 pm

CoffeeTones wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:05 pm
#39 was a popular rental among stars. It was rented out at the time a second star needed it, so another amp was modded to fill the gap. That was #36 by Frank Levi. That's the story I recall. #36 was said not to be a copy of #39, but may have had a few similarities. Comparisons of tracks and Caswell #39 builds, support that Caswell #39 and #36 sound different. I seem to recall something about #39 having the Caswell mod taken out, and being modded into something different at some point.
Well, according to Frank, Caswell's #39 had fallen out of favor with renters and had been sitting for awhile. So Frank asked Glenn if he could rework it. Which he claims he did and this is the #39 that Slash used in preproduction, and the one that George Lynch fell in love with. Clearly, Frank's #39 and #36 had to sound pretty close for Slash not to have recognized a difference when S.I.R gave Slash #36 to record AFD with after he had reserved #39 for these sessions. I guess someone from S.I.R. accidentally rented #39 out before hand and did not know Geffen had reserved it for Slash.

Here is post from Frank telling his side of the S.I.R. amp story. I found it a few years ago on some French, or Italian website, I don't remember now which one:

Bottom line is based on an amplifier (that took me a year to do), a Marshall 1959T that I modded for Billy Squier when he was recording Signs Of Life...all of the guitar tracks on the album is done with the SquierFire. Before I left NYC for LA, I scaled-down the SquierFire mod so I could mod Marshalls by adding an additional tube (which is already there in a 1959T)....this became the Mk.V series of my mods. There are many Mk.V series modded amps of mine out there.

When I was @ SIR-LA, I replaced a guy named Dave (who had replaced Tim Caswell) in the repair shop. Glenn Buckley was my immediate boss. SIR-39 modded by Tim Caswell sat on the shelf for months and months UNRENTED! I convinced Glenn to let me mod it like thee amps I had been doing in NYC. He agreed. The first thing to be removed was the entire Caswell mod including the switch! The SIR-LA #39 Caswell mod NO LONGER EXISTED! SIR-LA #39 was not entirely MY MODIFICATION. SIR-LA #36 is a copy of MY MODDED SIR-LA#39! It is in NO WAY any copy of any of Caswells work.

A gentleman named John Rhymas (not certain of the spelling) contacted me upon many, many occasions @ SIR-LA wanting to get the story of #39, #36. etc.

Unfortunately, by that time I was having some serious problems with cocaine and alcohol...and had very little patience to deal with anything other than modding amps and a pending contract with FourLife/HIWATT. Some where I still have a letter from Johyn R.--as soon as I find it I will make you a copy and send it to you.

In the long run, it REALLY annoys me that Glenn Buckley never stepped up to the plate and told the TRUTH about SIR-LA #39 and #36. But, he and Tim were close friends...much closer than Glenn and I. It also annoys me that Slash never once contacted me about #39,36 or 34...I had known Slash for years and had been working on his gear long before I worked at SIR-LA. Furthermore, Del James, who I have known since he was 16 or 17 when he lived in Mamaroneck, NY (2 towns away from where I lived then) worked for Slash and GnR for years and never contacted me either. Then again, Marshall knew my name when they had #34 and they never contacted me either.

I am clean and sober for 10 years now...yes there are alot of things I would like to change in my past...but it is the PAST...I do not live in the past, I live in the now and plan for the future. I am a very humble person...Guitar Player interviewed a bunch of us amp techs in the 80's...most tech had 4-5+ paragraphs...I had one, two at the most...an ad on the page next to my paragraphs curiously had the catch phrase "Less is More".

I have had some Caswell amps in my shop...they do NOT sound like #39 because they are Caswells #39, NOT Frank Levi #39! I have one in my shop now. I do NOT participate in the forums because they are so "jaded"...so Caswell brain-washed...I cannot spend the time on a "lost cause"...99% of the designs are WRONG! I made another #39 this year for a close friend of mine. I do NOT plan to make another one. Honestly, and I will tell anyone this, BRBS is the ONLY amp that really does sound like #39.

BTW; The orig. mod had EL34's in it...later changed to 6550s.

I hope this helps you, my friend. If you need more info, I'll do my best to get it for you...I am still in contact with people that visited the SIR-LA shop and played #39 as well as #36.

Cheers, Frank Levi


The question that has always ran in the back of my mind since reading this post by Frank was, "How much of the Squirefire mod is in #36 and #39?" Like Larry has said "It always will take a while, until they've found their line and give their common hand to their several mods." So I imagine there are a few similar components, probably those that are common with Frank's mods.

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by itsneverloudenough » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:18 am

Well take a listen to Signs Of Life and decide...I barely hear any similarity, and only during very specific parts. If there's any relation it's a rather distant one.

By the way, you guys might want to check up on "Billy Blades Amplification" on FB...the last few posts...

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Re: S.I.R. 100W SuperLead Schematic pt. II

Post by Unique » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:34 am

itsneverloudenough wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:18 am
Well take a listen to Signs Of Life and decide...I barely hear any similarity, and only during very specific parts. If there's any relation it's a rather distant one.

By the way, you guys might want to check up on "Billy Blades Amplification" on FB...the last few posts...
That could be due to how it was recorded or mixed. You can completely change the sound of an instrument during mixing. It really depends on what sound and feel the mix engineer was going for. This is something that a lot of people over look about AFD and the tones on that album. The way it was mixed makes the guitars more appealing. Just look at the first Velvet Revolver album, some of Slash's guitar tracks are so berried that overall they just don't sound all that great even though his playing was top notch and he used an amp many people love. That album had some great music, but the way it was mixed killed that album tone wise in my opinion. Another great example of a mix making a song is Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." If that beat was a 1/2 dB quieter, or had tad bit less bass, or even just a few milliseconds off, that song would have fell flat. So how something is mixed will have a lot to say about what your hearing.

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