1978 Marshall Super Lead, Mod. 1959

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Description

Few amps have attained “holy grail” status, and by this I don’t mean the rarest of the rare, rather an amp whose reputation is so iconic that it tends to be the most highly sought after for certain seekers of tone. Other amps that fall into this category are the Blackface Deluxe Reverb, Tweed Bassman, Boogie MK IIC+, and some of the truly rare like Dumbles and Trainwrecks. If there is one amp that defined the sound of Rock music, it is the Super Lead, Model 1959. This model achieved benchmark status beginning with Townsend and Hendrix and carried on through EVH, with a virtual who’s-who of rock players since. While the ’67-’69 Plexi, with their Plexiglas front panel is the most highly cherished of the 1959’s, clean examples of that model sell for as much as a nice car and, quite honestly, it sounds about the same as these later models. With 100 watts of pure Marshall tone, this amp is way loud and when cranked up, you’ll not find a more pure rock tone. Inside this amp and it looks 100% Jake, complete with hand-wired circuit and no evidence of replaced components or overheating. As you can see in the pics, this is likely the cleanest examples on the market. The only noteworthy flaw I’ve noted is slight oxidation to the polished brass handle (shown here). Tubes are all vintage, with a quad of old EI 6550’s and Servicemaster 12AX7’s in the preamp. This amp is tuned perfectly and needs nothing to create what might be the finest tone you’ve ever heard. If you’ve ever heard a 1959SLP, you know that it’s an extremely loud amp. If you’re going to play in a club, be prepared to use an attenuator. Amps in this condition are quickly fetched up by collectors and are forever removed from circulation. The beaters make the rounds; the keepers get kept. They also don’t come cheap, but with a reissue JMP 1959SLP head selling for $2349, wouldn’t you rather have this 33 year old beauty…for less, and one that sounds as good as it looks. $2200 for this iconic amp that can be the centerpiece of any amp collection, or a killer amp to take on tour if you promise to take care of it.

 

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