NATURALLY, I AM A HUGE  Jim Marshall FAN!

Jim and Ken Bran invented "The Sound of Rock" and reshaped the

Electric Guitar Landscape forever. I realize, however, that his

company serves the Mainstream Market and has to build a

Price Competitive Product, in order to survive.

 

 

In 1989, MARSHALL introduced their "Vintage Series" JTM 45 with #1960 TV Cabinet, and "Bluesbreaker" #1962 2x12 Combo. These amplifiers delighted many people and were successful in keeping an "Approximate JTM tone" alive and accessible to a new generation of players. Of course, the only downside was that these new "old" amplifiers had to be built within a reasonable budget, which made it impossible to accurately replicate many of the original design and cosmetic elements that by the late-1980s, had been out of production for over twenty years.

 

Therefore, MARSHALL had to compromise and accept inaccuracies that would allow these "reissues" to be viable "1989 Production Products":

-          The use of new production 6L6s instead of the long discontinued KT66s

-          The use of inexpensive PCBs instead of the hand-wiring and "Mustard Caps"

-          The curiously incorrect cabinet dimensions (the height of the #1960 TV 4x12 and depth of the #1962 Combo).

-          The grill cloth on the #1960 TV 4x12 strangely featured the "BLUESBREAKER" (horizontal) orientation, where historically the cloth should be "PINSTRIPE" (vertical). 

-          And MOST IMPORTANTLY...

 

Michael Doyle states on Page 24 in the History of MARSHALL:

"Understandably, it was impossible for Marshall to exactly reproduce the grille cloth."

 

This was perhaps the largest change made, both in terms of sound and certainly cosmetics. MARSHALL's inability to reproduce an accurate substitute for the original "Bluesbreaker-Pinstripe" grill cloth surely must have caused them concern, especially considering that the grill cloth is the largest and most noticeable part of an amp's "face," but they needed to get this line into production and so a much compromised "reissue" cloth went into production right along with it.

 

This "reissue" gray striped grill cloth, which was constructed of " specially treated woven paper," did provide a cost effective solution, but now in 2014 - just as it was then - it remains otherwise disappointing. Structurally and cosmetically, it is Totally Inaccurate in Every Way Possible, and any Player/ Collector wanting the "REAL DEAL" has been left completely dissatisfied. Recently, MARSHALL did try improve its looks for their "Handwired Series," through the use of contrasting dyes (Model #1974X 18-Watt combo and #Super 100JH "Jimi Hendrix" Limited Edition stack), but the fact remains:

 

"REISSUE" BLUESBREAKER GRILL CLOTH

IS NOTHING LIKE THE 1960s ORIGINAL, IN ANY WAY!

 

 

However, I have no desire to serve the Mainstream Market

 I hope to serve Your Market, by offering you nothing less than the

Best Product Possible = Absolute Quality Without Compromise

 

I CAN FINALLY OFFER YOU TRULY AUTHENTIC

"CLAPTON-HENDRIX" TONE CLOTH

COMPLETELY ACCURATE TO THE SMALLEST DETAIL

-some no larger than the head of a pin-

 

Samples

IT LOOKS REAL

IT SOUNDS REAL

IT IS THE "REAL DEAL"

BEWARE OF IMPOSTORS 

- Hard-core MARSHALL Collectors and Fanatics have dreamed for decades that "BLUESBREAKER-PINSTRIPE" Grill Cloth would one day reappear.

 

- Over the years, a handful of people have seriously attempted to do just that. Unfortunately, it appears that some of these efforts were intended to deceive unknowing buyers into purchasing counterfeit amplifiers. But regardless of motive, all previous attempts that I have seen (or am even aware of), fail any reasonable scrutiny in almost every way possible:

 

They're always CONSTRUCTED WRONG!

They always LOOK WRONG!

They always SOUND WRONG!

 

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE:

Fake  (fāk)  -n.  1. One that is not genuine or authentic: sham.

- If you ever find ANYONE offering a supposed Replica or Reproduction Pinstripe Grill Cloth, PUT IT TO THE TEST - MAKE THEM PROOVE IT:

1) Demand at least six High-Resolution Photos:

            Compare these photos to the EC Collins' TRUE "BLUESBREAKER-PINSTRIPE," side-by-side shots, which are located on the "RESURRECTION PAGE"

2) Demand side-by-side comparison shots with REAL 1965-68 samples:

What to look for: Most fakes will never willingly be photographed along side REAL 1965-68 pieces because their glaring inaccuracies will become alarmingly apparent. Also, many of these fakes are of such poor quality that I doubt the "fakers" have actually seen a REAL 1965-68 piece in person, let alone own one as a reference, or for photography.

Because you will likely never see such photos volunteered, I will provide these side-by-side shots utilizing a fake that I came upon in 2006, as it is typical of some that are out there.

3) Demand side-by-side PROOF of the authentic "Snakeskin" pattern: 

            What to look for: This is a very specific large-scale repeating pattern, which only repeats itself width-wise, after over 100 stripes have "played out." Additionally, it precisely repeats itself along the length of the stripes at regular intervals, as the original 1960s cloth was manufactured with roller machinery (That FACT has been independently verified, through multiple UK Experts). It is due to the rollers, that you can locate a certain feature or nuance in the pattern and just move your eye down the length of the stripe, to easily spot the continuous and uniform repetition. Many fakes will exhibit a telltale "mirroring" in the pattern, which will often look blotchy and not repeat properly. This is an indication that the image was copied from a "too-small" original sample and has been flipped back-and-forth (bookmatched), many times over (both directions), in an effort to extend the pattern to a size large enough to accommodate a 4x12 cabinet.

4) Demand side-by-side PROOF of the authentic stripe width & coloration:

What to look for: The color of the REAL 1965-68 stripes, is a shade not readily available. It has to be carefully analyzed and custom formulated from the unexposed perimeter of the baffle, because the original cloth is famous for environmental discoloration (especially from smoke exposure). It also looks different when exposed to various lighting sources and has a slight yellow-greenish hue that is very tough to replicate (Marshall even referred the cloth as "Green flecked weave"). Most fakes are typically way off, with a color that can be far too blue. I have yet to see a fake that even comes close to theREAL "AS NEW" 1965-68 color.

5) Demand side-by-side PROOF of the authentic "bias weave" base fabric:

What to look for: The unique "bias weave" base fabric, as used on REAL 1965-68 pieces, features an "open weave" and has a very specific thread count per-inch. I've had this long discontinued cloth put back into limited production, exclusively for TRUE "BLUESBREAKER-PINSTRIPE." Therefore, none of the "fakers" have access to this original spec fabric, which is critical to the "authentic" quality of "THE SOUND,"  as a "looser weave" impostor cloth will sound too brash and transparent, while a "tighter weave" will sound too dull and muffled.

6) Demand side-by-side PROOF of the authentic "Halftone" pixelated printing method:

What to look for: This is the "WATERMARK" of authenticity - The one feature that really separates the "Men from the boys!" The REAL 1965-68 Vynide stripes were roller pressed into the base fabric HOT and under pressure (100 Meters at a time), allowing the stripes to cool and cure to an almost "dead level" surface profile. It was this exceedingly flat surface treatment that allowed the incredibly fine "Halftone" pixelated printing method to be so successfully utilized, with such sharpness and clarity (see photo above).

Beware of any fake that is produced through Screen Printing (Silk Screening). This is the all too obvious route to take, but as you can see in the photo above, it is not possible to accurately replicate "Pinstripe" Grill Cloth through a simple screen-printing process, as it leaves a lumpy and uneven surface that will only allow for a very crude printing of the IMPOSTOR "Snakeskin" pattern (featuring very little detail). The REAL 1965-68 "Snakeskin" pattern was printed in BLACK ink, but appears as charcoal gray from a distance because of the "stripe color" showing through from in-between the pixels. Unable to reproduce this "pixelation effect," the fakes are forced to use an INCORRECT charcoal gray "plastisol" color (not BLACK ink), in a futile attempt to"look OK from a distance." Unfortunately, the closer you get, the more ugly it becomes. Also, an accurate image of the fine "Halftone" pixels would be nearly impossible to transfer to a screen, because many of the tiny pixels would invariably fall into the "gaps" in the screen, no matter how fine the mesh. The fakes nearly always appear to be made through screen printing, and not surprisingly, I have never seen a fake that even attempted to replicate this most challenging of details. 

Therefore, we can logically conclude: Any and all "Pinstripe" Grill Cloth, not featuring this "Halftone" pixelated printing method, is ABSOLUTELY FAKE!

            This "Halftone" pixelated printing method has been precisely replicated, exclusively for EC Collins' TRUE "BLUESBREAKER-PINSTRIPE." A side-by-side comparison shot is located at the bottom of the "RESURRECTION PAGE"

7) Demand a FREE sample swatch for your own personal examination, prior to sale: 

What to look for: Seeing really is believing, and once you hold any fake in your hands, the crude and unprofessional nature of its appearance will likely be a "deal breaker." Also, a price of less than $200 per-yard should be a RED FLAG, as anything coming close to the REAL 1965-68 pieces will consume nearly $100 per-yard in materials and "waste product," as well as many, many hours of time. I doubt that anyone, who spent years discovering the unique knowledge and expertise necessary to properly replicate "Pinstripe," would price his-or-her labor at $15 per-hour. You always get what you pay for ! 

If I were faced with the choice of using the wholly inaccurate "Reissue" cloth, or a fake, I would recommend the "Reissue" every time. True, it's nothing like the REAL 1965-68 grill cloth in any way, but at least you'll know what you're getting. "Reissue" is readily available and very inexpensive at +/- $35 per-yard. It's also a product familiar to the marketplace and very consistent from piece-to-piece. "Reissue" will not increase the value of your amplifier, but it certainly won't deface, devalue and potentially ruin the tone of your amp, the way a crude fake likely will.

Any "PINSTRIPE" that does not meet these standards is a cheap imitation,

a misrepresentation and a disservice to you and your cherished amplifier.

It doesn't LOOK right - It won't SOUND right!

It most certainly IS NOT the "REAL DEAL"


- Another BROKEN PROMISE

- Another DISAPPOINTMENT

Sadly "REISSUE" or "FAKE," since 1968!

 

...UNTIL NOW!

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