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The JTM-45/ 100 (JTM-100) The JTM-45/100 with the “block” logo Pete Townshend and John Entwistle of The Who needed amps that could overpower the noisy and energetic crowds.
Marshall then “hot-rodded” the JTM-45 using four KT66 and two 50w output transformers to handle the extra wattage. The result was the JTM-45/100 (JTM-100, for short).
Eric Clapton used a JTM-45 combo on the legendary (Now you know why this amp was called “Bluesbreaker” : P) He used his Les Paul through the Normal Channel of the amp. The then “horrible” distorted and saturated sound turned into what we know today as the “rock tone” (maybe not yet… Another example of this amp can be heard on AC/DC’s This is a confusing era, with lots of changes and new models. 😛 The transitition from the JTM to the JMP amps happened, in my view, with three steps.
He discovered that, by playing really loud, it would start to “break up”. The first one was the creation of the first 100w amp.
Please note the “Black Flag” JTM marking that was used at that time.
The JTM-100, now with four EL-34s too, also gained a proper 100w transformer. It was called Marshall Super Lead 100w #1959 (Although they still didn’t have the “JMP” mark on the front, In my view, this amps are already into the JMP territory, because they have all of the JMP characteristics). This early “Plexi” versions (up to 1968) are really articulate and have a real nice “roar”.
I won’t write the rest because it may confuse you even more. It’s important to note that, for example, a 1959 amp has nothing to do with the The JTM-45 JTM-45 with “block” logo The first Marshall ever made. The front panel has “Presence”, “Bass”, “Middle” and “Treble” controls, as well as 2 volumes and 4 inputs.
Related to the #1987 and the #1959 respectively, they were designed for bass players. It’s 200W of pure loudness The Marshall Major 200w has a different circuit than its “little brothers”: the pre-amp has two ECC83s, but the third tube (the “driver tube”) is an ECC82 (a.k.a. Ritchie Blackmore was a famous user of the Major, but they were heavily modded at the Marshall factory (as said in an interview) and later by a man called John Dawk. These amps also CAN NOT TAKE ANY KIND OF BOOST OR OVERDRIVE. These amps would blow because they were already working at critical point without anything, so if you plugged something to make them run even hotter… This is one of the reasons why the Major was discontinued in 1974. Note: 8 knobs instead of 6 These amps had an extra 12ax7 tube for the “tremolo” effect.But many guitarrists also decided to try those and they found out that they could get really interesting tones with them. If you thought a Marshall Super Lead was already too loud. Blackmore’s amps had extra power tubes, making it even more powerful, as well as extra gain stages. They are easy to tell apart because the two extra knobs (“speed” and “intensity”) on the front panel.They were a bit smoother and had a tad less gain than their Lead counter-parts. It is just as good as the other (probably even more versatile), but the “weird looks” probably scare people a bit and they think this is not a good amp. These amps weren’t much popular and were discontinued in 1973.When I listen to the album, and I hear the sweet tone of that Les Paul through his Super Leads, I feel I’m in “tone heaven” 😛 The change to the solid state rectifier By late 1966 – early 1967, Marshall stopped using the GZ34 tube rectifier in all the models and started using a solid state rectifier instead.The JTM50 now definetly turned into the JMP incarnation of the 1987 model, although the “formal” name ramained the same.