1966 "MG" Marshall JTM45 series II Bluesbreaker mod 1962 2x12 Super Tremolo MKIV
When John Mayall's album "Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton" launched in 1966, every single guitar player in the world was drawn to the sound of Eric's guitar and the monster amp he plugged that in. That amp, pictured on the back of the album, was the legendary Marshall Bluesbreaker that changed the world of Rock music.
For most of us an original mid 60's Bluesbreaker is way out of reach as prices have skyrocketed past and beyond the 20k mark. Alternatives are the 90's reissues at 1500, the 35th Anniversary models at 3.000, the 1992HW handwired models at 5.000, the 1962LE Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Bluesbreaker which sells for 8.000 and then there's the original '69-'72 JMP era Bluesbreakers that will set you back about 10k. And then...there's this....
THE BACKGROUND (ALLEGEDLY.....;-)
Some call it a fake, some call it a copy or a replica, others just call it an MG rebuilt. In the 90's, a company we shall name "MG", build some amazing replica's of the worlds finest musical instruments. Among these instruments were also some legendary and coveted Marshall guitar amplifiers. These replica's looked and sounded so good, that they sold them as per original to players, well know musicians (!!) and collectors looking for rare and expensive gear. These items were then sold many, many times as original to many more collectors and players who didn't have the knowledge or resources to check originality. After all: These amps sounded amazing and upon inspection with the knowledge to date, on top of that, all parts were or seemed original 60's parts down to the nuts and bolts!! Remember, Internet as we know it didn't exist back then and only a handful of people really knew top from bottom. If they would have been honest about it from the early start, they would have been legends selling the best replica's out there with original 60's parts.... But they didn't. Which leaves us with the legacy. Amazing amps with a story, painful to some, now out in the open. This is one of those amps.
This particular Marshall Bluesbreaker was built somewhere in the early 90's by the infamous "MG" and most likely sold as original to a German recording studio. There it was used, loved, played and recorded for nearly a decade, until the studio closed and all amps were sold to a private collector in Frankfurt. Some of these guitars and amps were in near mint condition as they had never been on the road and always only on the inside of that studio.
Fast forward another 10 years. That same collector had a 1968 4x12 Marshall cabinet for sale and one of my trusted customers at Bees In A Jar jumped on the opportunity and bought it. But when he came to pick it up, he was in awe of what was on display in the "guitar room" of that collector. Not only did he buy the '68 cab, his eyes dropped on a wide array of stunning vintage Marshall gear all stacked up and in amazing condition. Standing out where a 1963 Marshall JTM45 coffin logo head and cab (check out my other listing!!!) and this 1966 Marshall Bluesbreaker. My customer did the deal on the '68 cab, convinced the collector he was very interested in the JTM45 and BB and promised to get back in 2 weeks after doing some research. And so he did, buying the '63 JTM45 and '66 Bluesbreaker as being original for a market conform but impressive price tag...
It was sold as an original 1966 Marshall Bluesbreaker, but we all now know it isn't. It's a rebuild, made by "MG". A super cool rebuild that is, with all the bells and whistles of an original 1966-1967-1968 Bluesbreaker. It has the look, the feel, the mojo and the sound. Holy Mother of Loud, I bet it even sounds as good or better then the originals! This amp delivers a mind-blowing classic vintage Marshall tone with open cleans and a rich, dynamic tube breakup when given it the beans. It really blossoms when pushed. Hands down KILLER amp! It was given a proper checkup and it's ready to shine on stage or in a studio for another couple of decades for the one that appreciates vintage gear, but for 50% of the pricetag of an original Bluesbreaker.
Let's give it a rundown. We have close up pics of everything so don't be afraid to ask, if you're seriously interested. The cabinet could very well be a late 60's Bluesbreaker cabinet of some sort with black levant tolex covering. The pinstripe doesn't feel rubbery like the new EC Collins stuff but it also doesn't feel as crisp as some 60's pinstripe so it's probably repro. The plexi JTM45 MKIV faceplate, folded aluminium chassis and KT66 power tubes seem typical for 1966 JTM45/Tremolo amps, the handle, knobs, pilot light and switches all seem mid-late 60's. The white serial tag plate reads MADE IN USA - SER No. 7912 and would be correct foir that era. The white-panel backpanel seems period correct and reads Super Tremolo Amplifier MKIV LEAD SER 6226 and has the mains powercord and tremolo pedal cord wired directly to the amp. The aluminium sandcast tremolo pedal looks original as well with the bottom plate screws replaced. Inside the amp we have all original 1960's perforated boards; the electronics, pots, capacitors, resistors etcetera dating to 1966, 1967 and the majority dates to 1968+ and onwards. The Drake 1202-118 power transformer was used from 1967 onwards JMP50 era, same for the C1999 “U” frame Dagnall choke used in JTM45 and JTM50 and the 50W 784-128 Drake output transformer. It has 2 Tung-sol KT66 power tubes with China hat tube retainers, an old stock Mullard GZ34 tube rectifier with a China hat tube retainer and 4 x Mullard ECC83 pre-amp tubes of which one is dedicated to the tremolo section. A Dubilier 50uF + 50uF yellow top can capacitor is mounted to the top of the chassis. The speakers are Celestion 1-tab chassis type with a stamped paper front gasket so '66-'67. There is an original inspection number stamp on there but you can see that the T1221 stamp looks off and the original model stamp was removed (which looks to have a "22" in the middle as well). They measure about 15 Ohm (8 Ohm wired) and have a 21/ 102 003 (mid 1962 to 1967 75Hz Pulsonic) cone stamp. They cones seem original pre Rola Pulsonic and are very crisp. Everything feels solid, no hiss, humm, crackle or funny stuff.
So, there we are. A reproduction Bluesbreaker with a lot of real vintage 60's parts that looks the part, sounds nothing short of spectacular for a price that is just a tad over the price of a new handwired 1992LE Bluesbreaker or an early 70's JMP50 Bluesbreaker. It's up to you.
We tried to be as specific as we could be about this amp. Please feel free to ask any question or to send us a message with further information if you've seen something that is worth mentioning.