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Vintage WEM Warrior/Marshal 1974x

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Vintage WEM Warrior/Marshal 1974x

Postby Moroccomoose » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:10 pm

Hello vintage gear boffins, I was hoping you could help me understand my old amp better!

I own a WEM Warrior, (Crème tolex and gold grille with black triangles either side)which apparently has the same circuitry as the famous Dominator and also, I believe, the same or very similar to the Marshall 1974x.

My amp, and indeed the others I mentioned, have 2 channels each with 2 inputs. Channel one having a simple volume and single tone control and Channel 2 having a tremolo circuit has speed and depth controls as well as the volume and single tone control.

I never really knew why each channel had 2 inputs, but in reading the marshal 1974x manual, it says one of the channel 2 inputs is a high sensitivity so slightly brighter. which is true on my amp. It however says the channel 1 inputs are identical. (I need to go back to my WEM to see if this is true when I listen to it, but will post further when I do)

What, therefore, is the purpose of the 2nd input on channel 1?

The marshal manual goes on to explaining that by using a short patch cable, linking channel 2 to channel 1 I can get further tonal variety by blending the channels.

Can I safely do the same trick on my WEM?
Does this mean I can us it as a kind of parallel FX loop?

I would quite like to experiment a bit with the signal chain , but would really prefer not to blow anything up!!

cheers

Stu.
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Re: Vintage WEM Warrior/Marshal 1974x

Postby zenguitar » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:18 pm

In the early days of popular beat combos it was normal for the whole band to use a single amplifier. And volumes were a lot lower too.

So that little amp could have bass, two guitars, and a transistor organ all plugged in together. Or three guitars, an accordion, or whatever.

Two channels meant that there was some flexibility, bass and rhythm guitar on the normal channel, lead guitar and keyboard in the lead channel, for example. And the earliest FX pedals, like treble boosters, were to some extent a way to get around those limitations.

When you look at the inputs on each channel you will find that they are wired in parallel. And that is entirely for practical reasons, whether you use one input, the other, or both together, it WILL work. There are downsides when you plug two instruments into one channel, each guitar will place a load on the other so changing the volume, tone, and pick-ups on one can change the sound of the other. Really just the same as using both pick-ups on a Les Paul which can do unexpected things when you start juggling the controls.

A useful by-product of the pairs of inputs being wired in parallel was that they also functioned as a passive signal splitter. And once those inputs were freed up by everyone getting their own amps it became possible (and often desirable) to drive both pre-amp channels together for more tone options.

It works great on the WEM and the 1974x (a lot of people would claim it is EXACTLY what makes the Marshall a classic). But on an AC30 it is amazing. Not only do you have 3 channels to play with instead of 2, but it makes the Vib/Trem channel a lot more useful because you can mix it in rather than just on/off.

And there is another hidden pleasure with cross-linking amp channels like this. You have a spare input socket left over, perfect for linking into a second amp... and then a 3rd, and then a 4th

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Re: Vintage WEM Warrior/Marshal 1974x

Postby Moroccomoose » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:56 pm

Thanks Zen, as always, thorough and informative answers! Many thanks. I will let you know how I get on. Just need to wait for the missus to take the baby out for a bit!! :-)
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Re: Vintage WEM Warrior/Marshal 1974x

Postby mick.n » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:05 pm

zenguitar wrote:In the early days of popular beat combos it was normal for the whole band to use a single amplifier. And volumes were a lot lower too.


I remember those days well (and with affection). In 1969 when i was putting my first band together i had a watkins dominator
that we used for guitar & bass at the same time.

It may just be sentimental\days gone by stuff but that amp sounded gorgeous....especially the tremelo.
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Re: Vintage WEM Warrior/Marshal 1974x

Postby Moroccomoose » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:49 pm

So with the missus and boy away for a couple of days, I had some loud amp time

On my WEM, I found that I could rig up the parallel channel thing Zen described if the instrument was connected to the trem' channel and patched to the non trem channel. Interestingly, it did not work the other way around, suggesting that channel 1 is not wired in parallel.

I also had a lot of fun trying variations on the 4 cable method with my Tonelab floor pedal, creating a sort of parallel FX loop, again works quite nice making various phase and vibrato type effects much more subtle. Blending the harsher distortion models of the tonelab with the just breaking up natural tone of the WEM made for some lovely tones just breaking into overdriven.

Stu.
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