|Purplexing 100 "small block" or "big block"
what may be the ultimate "Marshall" amp
Some folks are amp designers, some are builders, some are players, and some are all of these. Below is Jimmy Wigle putting this amp through it's
paces. As you may gather from the photo, Jimmy is not what one would call a timid player. Jimmy plays in a few bands and also sits in when called
upon for live performances when a band's guitarist may not be available (he played with Warren DiMartini in RATT after Robin Crosby died). He
plays in his own band, and if you want to hear him play, just email him at the below address and he can put you on his band's mailing list. Jimmy
also currently plays with Bang Tango.
Jimmy is also the fellow that you would go to if you want to know the real deal on who uses what amp, and how that amp is set up ... it's bias, it's
tubes, it's settings etc. By the way ... Jimmy Wigle is not "wiggle" it is pronounced WYgle, sort of like Zakk Wylde.
Some of his personal clients are - AC/DC, Ratt, Zakk Wylde, Poison, Lynch Mob, Motley Crue, all of Slash's amps, Metallica, Keith Richards, and a LOT
MORE. Many of the others are on the GT F&R link - CLICK HERE
6/18/04 - Jimmy now has PTP board kits for Vox AC-30 amps. I believe these are $200 but I am not sure. These are great for original AC-30 amps that have had one
too many techs inside of them over the decades and now you just want the amp "straight" again. These are amazing in the Vox AC-30 Reissue.
To clarify some information - This amp with the master volume disengaged is an exact replica of a Plexi era Marshall 100 watt Super Lead. The
transformers are wound to the same specs as documented by Jimmy off many of the world's finest Marshall examples used in countless recordings
and live performances. The voltages across the circuit were noted and matched from these amps, the components are time period proper (such as
carbon comp resistors), and the original turret board hand wired construction is utilized.
With the master engaged, there is a new world of tone and possibilities in addition to the original Plexi sound.
Pricing has not been firmly established, but at this time on direct orders, the price should still be lower than the retail on a Marshall 1959SLP
Orders and requests should be sent directly to Jimmy Wigle at the contacts below. Please don't ask me about pricing or delivery times as I have
nothing to do with this amp. If you want to know about my feelings playing this amp or about my feeling on construction, I will be happy to answer
those types of questions.
Click on the
photo at the left
if you dare
|Jimmy at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood
Click on the photo for a larger version
|George Lynch in Toronto Dec 6 2005 with a stack of Wigle amps.
|Thanks to Keith
the right) for
Many of you folks know that I look at a lot of amps, and am always on the quest for what I feel are the best examples of a given type of amp.
This quest for the best of show so to speak, has upped the ante once again.
Jimmy Wigle is known to a lot of you out there. Jimmy is the head amp designer over at Groove Tubes, and was the father of the Soul-O Single, the S30 reverb class A amp
(with the world's first switchable preamp bias front end), and the newest S50 class A/B reverb amp. Jimmy was also at The Amp Shop for a number of years and has a vast
Jimmy supports a LOT of clients, and when I will be publishing a list of some of them in this area as time permits.
Now, for a personal take on Jimmy, and this amp.
Jimmy designs at GT are products with a specific market target. As with all of us, musical tastes and needs differ. For those of you than know Jimmy, you know he is a wild
man, a very heavy player (who has played with some of the top stage acts out there), and is anthing but a timid player. I guess I can say to you folks that have heard me play
.......... stick Jimmy on the other end of the style (and talent) scale.
In any case, Jimmy is a hard core player, and has designed a lot of custom pedals and effects too (you can ask him about these too), but when he needed a "Ultra-non-BS
kill at 1000 yards amp", he was left to make it himself. Jimmy likes gain, but he also likes "Plexi", and he has seen just about every type of design or build failure you can
imagine. All of these factors went into his own latest amp.
The Purplexing 100 is the first of a line of Jimmy's current custom production amps. I will have photos up shortly, but for the moment, these are some of the high points:
Small Box purple Marshall type head ("Small Block") or large Marshall Head ("big block") later.
100 watt master volume configuration. The master is a pull pot, and the master when defeated, is totally out of the circuit, and also will put into play other
aspects. With the master out of the circuit, the amp is an original pure plexi circuit. It will also when defeated, change the amps input configuration from
series (when using the master - VERY high gain), to parallel (plexi) using the original plexi circuitry. You can take this to the bank - this is the amp that
does it all.
There is an effects loop with true total bypass
Transformers are Mercury Magnetics Axiom Tone Clone Series - Marhall specs. with a "Wigle" twist and influence. You won't find these transformers off the
The amp is true point to point turret board construction.
Very high grade tone caps, and carbon comp resistors (as per the original Marshall amps)
Original tube compliment of (3) ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes and (4) EL34 or 6550 output tubes (buyer choice).
This amp has that magic and a VERY LOW noise floor, as there are only the original three preamp tubes, tha magic of gain in the non-plexi circuit is one
of Jimmy's twists.
There are currently four of these amps out there with some of Jimmy's clients, and ten more being built, with a small waiting list, so this may be a chance
to have a masterpiece at a pretty stupid price (as he only sells direct at the moment) without a many month wait. His initial price is $1795.00 - at least
$500.00 less than anything remotely close to this amp's build quality.
I like low wattage amps as most of you know, but I have to tell you, these big amps do have that "move your body and move the drinks
off the table" aspect that is missed in smaller amps. This is a performance amp par excellence. As a side note, in master volume mode,
you can use the amp in smaller venues at lower levels, and it sounds just killer, which is generally not the case with a lot of other amps.
The clean design in the front end is VERY and I mean VERY articulate. This amp will capture every pick change, harmonic, and change
of the guitar's tone and volume controls.
Jimmy knows Marshalls. Jimmy
plays Marshalls. There have
been more "famous" Marshall
amps come across his bench,
than maybe any tech out there.
He was with The Amp Shop for
years, has been with GT for
years (and is the one at GT that
handles GT's F&R clients), and
has measured and recorded
every point in every amp over
the years - Jimmy knows
Marshall (and other amps too,
and is Mr. High gain.
To the left you see a real
Jimmy's Harley in the background -
Like I inferred earlier - Jimmy Wigle
is one fellow that really "walks the
walk" - he lives this stuff.
This is the Purplexing 100. CLICK
on the picture for a BIG version.
(same goes for the Marshalls to the
As I said earlier, Jimmy is a player
too, that is on the edge to say the
least. That is his Harley in the
|As you look around on this page you will get the idea .... Jimmy is a hard core player ... in his guitar style but also in his life. His cars, bikes, amps,
guitars and "excessive" things in general. He is the sort of guy that can understand radical lifestyles to say the least but is really a pretty darn
sensitive guy under the rock look and an all around great guy.
Front panels (click on the photos to enlarge)
There are a few twists here that cannot be seen. Inserting a foot switch or shorting jack into one of the input jacks will yield yet another
surprise for the total gain freeks out there.
One more time as I have said before, this amp keeps it's articulation even at very high gain levels.
The amp was VERY quiet, which was something of a surprise to say the least. With a quad of 6550s in this amp, if it was putting out less
than 170 watts, it would have been a surprise to me.
The headroom of the amp is extreme. At non master settings, it was considerably bigger sounding than the 350 watt Marshall Mode
Four - then again, the Mode Four is a solid state amp.
Big transformers - monster ones - lay down too. LOTS of reserve here, and this showed up in power tests. The power transformer here
can supply ANY EL-34 or 6550 even at #10 ratings, with power to spare.
While I am on the power section, I would like to mention the bias supply and adjustment.
Many amps have somewhat limited range on their bias adjustment. Many have bias supplies that are somewhat reserved in capacity.
This is NOT the case on this amp. There is also a twist or two here, as in some amps with a wide bias adjustment range, one finds that
just nudging the adjustment screw or pot, causes wild swings. Conversely, with a narrow range, you may have smooth adjustments at
hand, but limited range. This amp does it both via a few twists.
Is this choke large enough for you?
Click on the photo at the left for a larger version.
I have many photos of the internal construction. It is all PTP turret wired with the finest components and carbon comp resistors. Design
details are revealed in some of the photos, or at least give more information that the builder wants to give out at this time. For this sort of
info, contact Jimmy directly.
|Some of the biggest pieces of magic of this amp cannot be seen, and need to be heard. There are a few twists in this amp from the years of past experience Jimmy has
on high gain amps. There is one particular piece of magic in the amp that makes it so huge sounding, which even was a bit of surprise to me. I am sorry that I cannot go
into this particular detail. If you want to know some more of the details of amp specifics in the design area, you will need to talk to Jimmy Wigle directly.
Some folks are amp designers, some are amp builder, some are amp tweekers, and some are players. Jimmy is sort of a mix of all of these, but I think that in the top
of this mix is mostly that he is a player.
He plays in various bands, and how he finds time to build amps is beyond me. He works a full day job, plays out most nights per week, and when he finds "extra time"
he builds amps. He runs on a 20 hour day on average, yet still is full of energy somehow. When I was 19 I could not have pulled off his schedule. Some of the photos
below show Jimmy as a player in small and large venues.
I have added a few pictures below that are off a website that show a bit of the "attitude" of Jimmy. This was in a smaller place, where things generally get wild and
crazy. When he is at places like the House of Blues, things are more sedate. This spot though, is where one expects lots of beer, great "bar food" crazy folks, great
bikes outside, a fun crowd, few rules, no holding back. This is hard core rocking Marshall territory at it's best!
|Look at some of
the photos here
and you will find
and some with
DeMartini at the
|Jimmy Wigle's new "Skull Crusher Toy Box".
If you are a heavy metal player that is looking to go "over the
top" this is your pedal!
Excuse the photography ... this is a highly chromed pedal and
the skull eyes light up (red LEDs) and it has all the gain and
articulation that can be expected at these gain levels. If you
need to get in contact with Jimmy please just contact me. Click
on either photo for a larger version.
It's called the THERAMID it's gold plated - It's a theramin with a magic eye....HOW COOL!
$299 and it's "a lot of poop in a small bag" as Jimmy puts it. It basically is a theramin you play by hand.
They have a threaded mic stand mount on the bottom for using on stage.
Rubber baby buggy bumpers for feet if you want to set it on something
$199 for the cheapo version - $299 for a medium version - $399 for the deluxe version
For more info contact Jimmy directly or send me an email and I will have him contact you.
|Some of Jimmy's friends to the left that you may recognize and his restored Pontiac. His work on cars is as nice as his
work on amps.
|To see Jimmy and "That 70's Band" live in your area, or for more info on the band....
|Jimmy parties with a well known guitar
player. Anybody want to guess who
the fellow on the left is?
|Jimmy with some of
Zakk Wylde's Marshall
amps that he put his
magic touch on. There
are 14 of them here.
Yes ... Zakk uses ALL of
them when he plays.