Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

His guitar slung across his back, his dusty boots is his cadillac.

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daveweyer
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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Fri May 10, 2019 9:47 pm

Hi all, just a few catch up items.
We have talked endlessly about the tubes in Jimi's amps, and damn near shut down the forum over the disagreements, but with the photos of a genuine Woodstock Jimi amp sporting West Coast installed 6550s, the argument sort of died down. You know I tried to get beam power tubes in Jimi's amps for several reasons; reliability, loudness, and tone. The tone seems to be the only thing important left, because it is on so many recordings, and no one plays that loud any more anyway.
But you might like to hear it from the source, The Radiotron Designers Handbook 4th edition.
" Beam Power Valves: The second class includes such types as 6L6, 807, and KT66 which differ from pentodes principally in having sharper 'knees' to their plate characteristics, more second harmonic but less third harmonic distortion.....At lower load resistance the second harmonic rises, the third harmonic decreases steadily, and all higher harmonics are negligible....."
So there you have it, one part of the case for beam power tubes versus types like the EL34, which is a pure pentode.
And also a hint about mismatching the OT to the tubes. Everything changes in hard clipping, but that's where it starts.

Now it seems to me we should congratulate ourselves on reaching 100 pages on this topic, we now have a book about Jimi's equipment and West Coast meddling in it. We are also pushing 100,000 views, not the Kardashians, but not too bad for a little amp forum dedicated to unearthing every bit of information about Jimi and his sound. This is about the number of views those little teenage girls get on their porn videos made in their bedrooms. We should be happy to be that popular.

Now, on to the Guild Thunderbass. To be historically significant it has to be a "Quantum Bass", which is different from the others in its use of the 8417 beam power tube, and a regulated screen supply using a small tube whose cathode is connected to the output screens. Tone Seeker says his Quantum bass is junk, and I have to admit, they are kinda cheaply made. You can make them sound good though, just like a Silvertone amp.

Welcome the new members to the forum. Make yourself at home and ask questions.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by poppyc » Sun May 19, 2019 12:15 am

Does anyone have information on the Thunderbass head mounting bracket for a Quantum Cab. I'm looking to find one, or fabricate one.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by T-Bond » Mon May 20, 2019 11:30 pm

I just found and joined this forum today.

WOW!! I cannot believe that the man that setup Jimi Hendrix's amps and effects is sharing all of this incredible knowledge and history. Thank you Dave Weyer! What a treat. I have been reading this forum on and off all day, amazing! I started playing guitar in 1969 at 13 and my dad bought me a Stratocaster that year because I ate, slept and breathed everything Jimi Hendrix.

I am an average player on and off for the last 50 years and still play Strat's I have a question for the group: I'm looking to get an original 1960's Marshall head and probably one cabinet. I just bought a 1967 Clyde wah with a serial number just over #200 and am looking for a nice original Univibe and FF. What Plexi 100w head would you guys recommend? I just love the Hendrix sound from beginning to end especially the live stuff, Montery, Woodstock and Band of Gypsies. Thanks for any advice!

Terry Good
Last edited by T-Bond on Sat May 25, 2019 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daveweyer
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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Wed May 22, 2019 12:56 pm

Welcome to the forum! Always nice to have another member. Naturally I recommend a model 1959 with all the West Coast mods (I say ever so modestly, hahahaha), but 45/100s are real popular here too.
We best get Explorer and Bill Bokey to chime in, because they have built these mods and amps. Plus there are resident experts on the gear here who come out of the woodwork every once in a while to offer us some sage advice.
Lot of folks have tried lots of combinations if they are willing to share their results.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by T-Bond » Sat May 25, 2019 11:56 pm

Thanks for the welcome Dave,
Just bought a Mint 1967 JTM 100 Black Flag and a nice all original 67 cabinet. Would love to find a real nice original 1959 with West Coast mods for sale. Reading the technical discussions here is way over my head as my electronics experience is limited to building science fair projects for school in 1970 that never worked. Looking forward to learning on this forum.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by Guitar514 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:28 pm

Hi

Where can i get the west coast mod made.. ? Ive got an old 68 Marshall, that's not in a collectable shape that is readt for them. Ive browsed this thread for 3 hours.. but i wish there was a shorcut For schematics. Im in canada.

Thanks To all.who contributed To this. Really awesome.

Phil

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by revolver1 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:46 am

Hi Guitar514. Welcome to the forum. This is only my opinion so please take it as such but if I had an original 68 plexi I wouldn't mod it. Even if it's in bad shape as you say, parts can be sourced and it can and should be restored. You are lucky to have a real gem, a piece of history it's an awesome amp.

The amp could be converted if your dead set on it nothings impossible. The actual circuits are not dissimilar from 68 to 69 but there are differences between the 68 and 69 models like laydown power transformer vs stand up PT, also Output Transformer orientation and the 68 has the big filter capacitors inside the chassis where the 69 has them mounted on top of the chassis. So it's never going to be totally right for the purpose.

The other thing that is a big part of the mod is having a high B+ voltage that is provided by the power transformer. That stock 68 P.T wont deliver the necessary voltage and replacing an original transformer like that would be a crime punishable by firing squad. One of the great things about the 68 is the way it collapses as in power supply sag, embrace it, it rocks!

If it were me I'd restore the 68 to its former glory. Theres plenty of info here and visual records on amp archives. If its something you don't think you could do yourself look for a good amp tech and have a chat. Most decent guitar shops will either have an in house guy or be able to put you in touch with someone, failing that do a Google search for someone in your area. Just make sure the guy is familiar and has a love of vintage Marshall's. There are alot of talented techs out there who grew up on Marshall circuits so it shouldn't be too hard to locate someone but if you talk to someone who dosent have any hands on experience or love for the amp I'd pass .

That being said I get it you want a West Coast amp, who dosent??? :lol:

Apparently Dave Weyer has been involved in discussions regarding a production West Coast mod amp with a few different parties so that may be an option in the future.

Alternatively you could look for a second hand Marshall H.W 1959SLP. George did a great thread in the 100w section about tweaking the amp to get is sounding good. You could use it as a base and mod from there.

You do see metro builds come up for sale from time to time, that would be a good candidate for the purpose. Generally if it's not loaded with NOS parts you'll get it for close to cost.

But the best option is to build it from scratch. You will learn loads and the process really is alot of fun but be warned it's highly addictive.
All the info you need is on this site, lay outs, diagrams, bill of materials, instructions it's all on the index page down the bottom. Infact down load the 69 instructions and give it a look over and you'll see how doable it is. Just dig in and read up and theres always tech help here if your unsure about something or need help.

If you haven't already, read up on the 6550 experience thred. On there you can read about the different approaches guys took to the mods and there are loads of great sound clips to demonstrate the mods.

Like I said it's only my opinion but save the 68 it's a peice of history and build your self a West Coast Superlead or fingers crossed wait for the production model to come out. :thumbsup:

If you don't want to restore the 68 then sell it to some one who does. Shouldn't be hard to find a buyer. For what you get for it you should be able to build an amp and still have some change in your pocket which you could promptly blow on some NOS preamp tubes. 8)

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:17 am

Looks like the forum went dead this summer. Just passing on the address of the Hendrix Foundation's new website. I have just finished the reproduction of Jimi's 6420 Supro amplifier for the Foundation, and they are planning to offer this amp to a few collectors. I'll try to get some pics up here so you all can see the prototype.
Anyway, check out the Hendrix Foundation website. More is being added each day.

www.jimihendrixfoundation.com

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by plexified » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:38 pm

That's Amazing News Dave. The new site is beautiful and the West Coast project is eagerly awaited.

Thank You my friend!

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by Roe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:32 am

good news! keep up the good work
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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:14 pm

This forum has gone into coma! Hard to believe there is nothing to talk about anymore.
The Hendrix Foundation keeps growing and adding new material; one day I'll do a feature on those forum stalwarts who took the time and trouble to do West Coast mods on their amps, and then if possible post clips of Hendrix' tone on the website, and maybe link people up to sound and video files. This forum seems like a wonderful archive of Jimi related material.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by Xplorer » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:38 pm

daveweyer wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:14 pm
This forum has gone into coma! Hard to believe there is nothing to talk about anymore.
The Hendrix Foundation keeps growing and adding new material; one day I'll do a feature on those forum stalwarts who took the time and trouble to do West Coast mods on their amps, and then if possible post clips of Hendrix' tone on the website, and maybe link people up to sound and video files. This forum seems like a wonderful archive of Jimi related material.
yes please do !
will post other clips another time. Don't know about the others, on my side i'm just focused on some difficult prioritys that take all my time. But please don't give up on the forum ! Be patient.

Thanks Dave

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by shakti » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:40 pm

True, the forum is in a bit of a slump. It's never quite been the same after Metroamp stopped doing kits, but now it is downright comatose. I'm guilty of not contributing much currently, but that's probably because I am currently deep into Hiwatt territory. I still love my West Coast amp and fuzz.
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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:57 am

Speaking of Hiwatts, the Foundation wants to do a Hiwatt, and Hiwatt also wants to do a Hendrix Foundation Hiwatt. I even got to speak to the CEO on the phone for a few minutes--he said they would even do a 1959 SL if we wanted!
Wouldn't that be fun??? Well why not, Jimi played Hiwatts too, and I modded them too! In those days, I modded every amp that came in the door! So, a West Coast Hiwatt? Who knows what might come out of this? But for all the work you guys have done on West Coast mods, I kinda want to show off your stuff.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by shakti » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:02 am

Jimi played Hiwatts? That's new to me...unless you mean the Sound CIty One Hundred which he did use extensively in late 67 and early 68. Those amps were made by Dave Reeves.
JTM45 RS OT, 1973 18W, JTM45/100, JTM50, JMP50 1986, JMP100 "West Coast", AC15, AC30, BF Super Reverb, Boogie Mk 1, Hiwatt CP103, DR103

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