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Best early Marshall 4x12 w/ 20w greenback replica?

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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I'm jonesin' for a single 4x12 replica early Marshall top slant cab. I'd like to put the closest thing to the early greenbacks in it that I can. I'd also like the project to be semi affordable, whatever that means of course. Scum is advertising paper voice coil versions, but 4 of them are pricey! Has anybody used these? Are they close to the real thing? Jim's version of the cabinet is pretty pricey as well. I don't really want to buy vintage but the Scumback option seems to be right up there approaching stratospheric territory cost wise. Any good lower cost options out there to get that sound?

I'm interested in hearing about first hand replica vs the real thing comparisons too. I recently played through a vintage Marshall cab with original 20W Greenbacks...the thing killed, smooth buttery breakup and feedback on demand. Damn I want one but I don't have an original JTM45 either, so a good replica seems to make sense. I'll be happy with a cabinet that is as close to the real thing as my Metro is to a 45, close but no cigar. I'll be good with that.

I'll be using my fairly stock Metro JTM45 kit build, looking for Taylor era Bluesbreaker sound.

Thanks all, cheers!
 

Henk

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Well, the original 20s have that unsurpassed deep flowing tone, and those new 20s do still need to prove themselves. Personally i would not choose a 4x12 but a 2x12 for that amp, preverably the '70s 2045 with 30w greenbacks(or creambacks). They are a bit more direct when comparing to the '60s 20w greenbacks but still have that really strong lowend response. If you can find such a cab it wont cost more then the 4x12 plan you have. My '71 4x12 with 25w basscones is close but in an entirely different animal, much more direct and actually quite ''percussive" sounding. Anyway i really like those old marshall cabs:jim
 

bern1

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Thanks Henk. I realize that a 2x12 is much more practical, there's no doubt. In fact I have two cabinets for this amp. One is a 2x12 Bluesbreaker style cab with 2x30W Scumback Alnicos. It's got great low end response, sometimes almost too much (great for a Strat). I also have a slightly smaller 1x12 Bluesbreaker cabinet that has a 65W Scumback Alnico. This is the cab I use most often. It has good balance and is practical!

I have no great reason to actually have a 4x12, it's certainly not appropriate for the small places I usually play. Damn, it would have all been fine if I hadn't tried that vintage Marhall cab I mentioned above!
 

spidey

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Nov 21, 2003
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The Marshall 425 cab has the same (I think) greenbacks as are in the Hendrix cab but is a cheaper cab. I loaded one of my 4x12s with them. Sound great IMO!
 

goldtop0

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I sure that Mick Taylor used a JTM50 back in the day with Mayall.
I've got 2 of the celestion G12M20s and regularly have them in and out of my 2x12 cab.......they sound real good with my JTM45 clone also!!
If it were me I'd get a 1960HW cab and put the 4x 20s in there......that's a real well made cab in my books.
Keep us all posted as to how you get on with this as those 80w cabs would be pretty rare:2cool
 

roadrunner

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If I was going to buy a new 4x12 I'd check George Metropoulos' "Plexi Replica" cabs. I've heard 'em loaded with those crappy (truly horrible) Celestion Heritage speakers and even then the cabs were able to overcome the speakers.
With the price of old basketweaves being what they are, you can find 'em unloaded for under a grand, I'd just buy an old cabinet.
If you find a good, old basketweave cab it doesn't matter what speakers are it really, it'll sound killer no matter what.

In the end, the thing to remember is that tone comes from the player. Scumbacks (I've heard nothing but good reviews but I've yet to hear them in person), or Weber's (quality issues, some are good some are not so good at all... that's a little scary) will get you there... if you have the ability to get good sound out of your hands. To illustrate I'll use an old "Chet" story:
Some guy was knocked out by Chet Atkin's guitar sound in the studio one day. He said to Chet, "That guitar sounds fantastic!" Chet unplugged the guitar and put it in it's case, then he asked the man, "How does it sound now?"
 
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bern1

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Roadrunner, thanks for weighing in. I'm guessing you mean that you haven't heard the "new" Scumbacks in person. (I started buying Scumbacks a few years ago after hearing your clip with the dimed Metro JTM.)

George's repro cabs look great but they are even more expensive than Jim's. Thanks for the tip on buying an empty old basketweave shell. I guess that means I need to educate myself on what to look for in one.

Thanks and cheers!
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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I sure that Mick Taylor used a JTM50 back in the day with Mayall.
I've got 2 of the celestion G12M20s and regularly have them in and out of my 2x12 cab.......they sound real good with my JTM45 clone also!!
If it were me I'd get a 1960HW cab and put the 4x 20s in there......that's a real well made cab in my books.
Keep us all posted as to how you get on with this as those 80w cabs would be pretty rare:2cool

Thanks Goldtop. I'll check out that cab option too.

I'm sure you are correct that Taylor played that 50W, as well as probably many others. A while back I posted a pic in the vintage section of him playing a white paneled JTM45 in 1968.

It's just deciding which 20 watters to get......
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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Wizard, have you heard them, own them?

I'm leaning this way, I really want to believe that they will sound right....

I'm trying to figure out how long he's offered them. They were not on the site the last time I looked, but I really can't remember exactly when that was.

If anybody has tried these, please give shout, thanks.
 

Henk

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Thanks Henk. I realize that a 2x12 is much more practical, there's no doubt. In fact I have two cabinets for this amp. One is a 2x12 Bluesbreaker style cab with 2x30W Scumback Alnicos. It's got great low end response, sometimes almost too much (great for a Strat). I also have a slightly smaller 1x12 Bluesbreaker cabinet that has a 65W Scumback Alnico. This is the cab I use most often. It has good balance and is practical!

I have no great reason to actually have a 4x12, it's certainly not appropriate for the small places I usually play. Damn, it would have all been fine if I hadn't tried that vintage Marhall cab I mentioned above!

More practical would be, if you crave the 4x12 tone, to get an extra 2x12 and move some speakers around. In that case you also could have the option of having 1 2x12 closed and 1 2x12 half open for gigfriendly picks.
Now straight to the point i want to make, vintage speakers often sound more subdued to me then more recent ones, but old cabs seem to work the opposite way to me. Also late 60s and early 70s Marshall cabs usually differ in the wooden stamp(?) that transmits to the back panel, it is usually bigger later on in the 70s, typically i would say a basketweave sounds a little less 'reflective' then a checker cab. Early marshall cabs are really heavy though, much more so then any modern ones. Also the deeper 4x12 disperse very little as opposed to the shallow 2045, i would definately opt for the deeper 4x12 at a somewhat larger venue. Another route ive heard alot of really good things about is the first series JCM800 1936 cabs, those cabs are deeper and somewhat more focussed, they are cheaper then a new cab and some do sound amazing if you ask me.
Like some said here allthough speakers/cabs do voice your tone it is what you put in ahead of that to complete the picture. To me, having some cab choises at home definately helps putting things in perspective, it also completes the tone im looking for usually.

Excuse the bad english, not my native language......
 

j45

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I have nothing positive to add but I'll intrude anyway. I don't know how many here have actually owned original 4x12 20w pre-rola cabs but I've had a few over years. I may be in the minority but I much prefer 25w and 30w pre-rolas for a 4x12. I don't think I'd mind 20 (or 15) watters in an open back 2x12... don't get me wrong they are very good but for that classic 4x12 plexi Marshall sound and all that goes along with it I like 25w and 30w pre-Rolas *much* better. There, I said it.

The cabs on outside were original pre-rola 20 watters. The pinstripe half stack in the middle with block logo had 30w pre-Rola's (non orig to the cab) and was *to die for*. Oh man, was that cabinet great. Just stupid good. The 20w 4x12 cabs sounded really good until you played them right after the block logo cab. You really don't want to do that, the 20w's just sounded silly (to me) afterward. funny how that works.

pinstripes-web.jpg
 

roadrunner

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Roadrunner, thanks for weighing in. I'm guessing you mean that you haven't heard the "new" Scumbacks in person. (I started buying Scumbacks a few years ago after hearing your clip with the dimed Metro JTM.)

George's repro cabs look great but they are even more expensive than Jim's. Thanks for the tip on buying an empty old basketweave shell. I guess that means I need to educate myself on what to look for in one.

Thanks and cheers!

You're correct, I haven't needed any more speakers since Jim switched manufacturers. I'm sure, down the road, I'll need more speakers and I'll call Jim. Simple as that.

I always think of Jim as "Scumback... Speakers", I guess I knew he made cabinets but I always think of him as the "speaker guy." I'd love to hear one of Jim's cabs in person. Knowing Jim, they probably sound great.

The thing about 4x12's is no two of 'em ever sound the same. I can't make that statement about new cabinets, I've never owned any and the only ones I have heard are George's cabs, in not the best condiditons, and they sounded good. I guess I've heard a few new Marshall cabs in guitar stores and at shows but I usually just couldn't get away from 'em fast enough.

I don't how you'd go shopping for an old 4x12 other than trying to hear it first, they're all over map soundwise. Some have a larger than you'd believe it could be sound that has a really woody resonance to it, depth is another word that comes to mind. Other cabs, from the same era, sound like they're made out of balsa wood, or worse... styrofoam, they're just dead and lifeless.

Have fun shopping!
 

roadrunner

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I have nothing positive to add but I'll intrude anyway. I don't know how many here have actually owned original 4x12 20w pre-rola cabs but I've had a few over years. I may be in the minority but I much prefer 25w and 30w pre-rolas for a 4x12. I don't think I'd mind 20 (or 15) watters in an open back 2x12... don't get me wrong they are very good but for that classic 4x12 plexi Marshall sound and all that goes along with it I like 25w and 30w pre-Rolas *much* better. There, I said it.

The cabs on outside were original pre-rola 20 watters. The pinstripe half stack in the middle with block logo had 30w pre-Rola's (non orig to the cab) and was *to die for*. Oh man, was that cabinet great. Just stupid good. The 20w 4x12 cabs sounded really good until you played them right after the block logo cab. You really don't want to do that, the 20w's just sounded silly (to me) afterward. funny how that works.

pinstripes-web.jpg

That photo always blows my mind Kerry... very cool! The head in the middle is a Super Trem, what's the one on the left? I see it was a domestic amp... '67, '68?

I've got a 2x12" Jenkins cab, had it for years, with '67 20 watt speakers in it. I use it with a low wattage amp like a JTM45 or JTM50, sometimes a JMP 50. It's kind of a one trick pony, but it's a nice trick, it records very nicely and I can use it open or closed back. I've got some boxed up G12H's from '69 to load into it next. I really want to check that out.

As far as 4x12's go, I love the 30 watt sound and the 25 watt sound... and they're both very different from each other. The 20's sound cool to me but I do prefer the other two varieties.
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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Thanks for all the perspectives. I have never owned or used a 4x12 Marshall cab of any configuration with any of the speakers mentioned. I just know I liked that one cab with 20 watters.

Doing just a little research, it looks like pinstripe and maybe early basketweave cabs have plywood backs, then later basketweave has particle board backs?
 

roadrunner

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Thanks for all the perspectives. I have never owned or used a 4x12 Marshall cab of any configuration with any of the speakers mentioned. I just know I liked that one cab with 20 watters.

Doing just a little research, it looks like pinstripe and maybe early basketweave cabs have plywood backs, then later basketweave has particle board backs?

I've got a '70 basketweave, big logo, with a particleboard back :( I'm pretty sure it's original, the speaker jack cup, the jack, the white serial number and model tags look original to the cab.
I also have a '71 straight cab, checkerboard, all original... with a plywood back. Go figure!

Almost all the original basketweave cabs I've owned ('68, '69 and '70) and seen had plywood backs, the plywood ones go until the change to checkerboard. Some early checkerboard cabs have plywood too, as I've mentioned.
 

goldtop0

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The cabs on outside were original pre-rola 20 watters. The pinstripe half stack in the middle with block logo had 30w pre-Rola's (non orig to the cab) and was *to die for*. Oh man, was that cabinet great. Just stupid good. The 20w 4x12 cabs sounded really good until you played them right after the block logo cab. You really don't want to do that, the 20w's just sounded silly (to me) afterward. funny how that works.

pinstripes-web.jpg


Yep a real good lineup you've had there j45........and that's really the only way to do it.......a/b ing them side by side so you can hear the difference.

bern1 Thats what I'm doing with my cabs currently(1960BHW and 1936(JCM800).Maybe like me you just have to take the plunge and experiment with whatever you end up buying after doing your homework.
There are NO old cabs available in my part of the world so you get what good stuff you can...........the point is you've got to start somewhere which is what you're doing:2cool
I cut the middle out of the backboard of my 1936 cab yesterday and put in 2 x alnicos(webers) after having the G12M20s in it with the back off.The alnicos gave a fuller richer more focused sound overall.
Will next be putting 4 x alnicos(webers) in the 1960BHW and checking that out leaving the back open and as usual closed.......I'm pretty sure it will sound better and more dimensional/dynamic with the back open.........we will see.
Contrary to roadrunner's opinion I like the tone of the 1960BHW with the Heritage G12H30s it comes loaded with....................but then again as I said I have nothing 'old' around here to compare it to:dang
It leaves for dead any of the other current Marshall production cabs, I've been able to check that out over the last few years since I bought it in '06.
 

Henk

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I have nothing positive to add but I'll intrude anyway. I don't know how many here have actually owned original 4x12 20w pre-rola cabs but I've had a few over years. I may be in the minority but I much prefer 25w and 30w pre-rolas for a 4x12. I don't think I'd mind 20 (or 15) watters in an open back 2x12... don't get me wrong they are very good but for that classic 4x12 plexi Marshall sound and all that goes along with it I like 25w and 30w pre-Rolas *much* better. There, I said it.

The cabs on outside were original pre-rola 20 watters. The pinstripe half stack in the middle with block logo had 30w pre-Rola's (non orig to the cab) and was *to die for*. Oh man, was that cabinet great. Just stupid good. The 20w 4x12 cabs sounded really good until you played them right after the block logo cab. You really don't want to do that, the 20w's just sounded silly (to me) afterward. funny how that works.

pinstripes-web.jpg

My GOD thats some nice furniture!:applaude

Just recently ive come to a similar conclusion about my basketweave 'Bass' 4x12 with G12Ms (25w pre-rola) after playing it for 15 years. But i think it has more to do with the amp im preferring right now then the cab. The basketweave just wont take the amount of punishment inflicted by my Superbass and the 2045 (with 80s G1265 and 90s V30 atm) will. Just such different animals which seem to refuse to work well with another amp.

Rereading this i must say the basketweave breaks up alot more tastefull then the 2045, probably thats why i prefer the basketweave with my slightly modded JCM800. Especially that raw feel when its just going to break up and you get that real taste of the cones joining in is just amazing.

As a sidenote i'd like to add that ive not seen a particle board backpanel from the early 70s yet. But i think ive read somewhere that some checkerboard models had them, ill try and find the site again where all the specs from marshall cabs were described.
 
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