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The Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone | Pedals And Amps For Classic ‘50s -’70s Tone

The Marshall Plexi is a classic guitar amp that has a special place in the hearts of many rockers. This Marshall amplifier has all the power and tone you need for live performance and is considered one of the all-time great amps. But that means these amps also have a HUGE price tag. If you're looking for a great-sounding amp without breaking the bank, a Marshall Plexi Clone is what you want. I have reviewed the top-selling clones so you can find the best sounding Marshall Plexi clone for your needs. Read on to discover which suits your needs best.

Germino Amplification - The Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone

Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone

Pros:

  • A classic rock amp reimagined by the company comes in a variety of types and eras.
  • True Marshall Plexi tone at almost half the price

Cons:

  • More expensive than some others on our list

Greg Germino's Plexi recreations have been ranked among the best for more than a decade. There are a ton of people who use Germino amps, and those are guys who know what a real Plexi looks like when they plug into one.

A classic rock amp reimagined by this company comes in a variety of types and eras, but its original 100-watters from 1966, 1967, and 1968 are the highlights. This series of three heads is modeled on three vintage amps from the New York, San Francisco, and L.A. eras, replicated in look and internal circuitry. There are period correct bolts and hardware as well. 

Hendrix, Cream, ZZ Top, and AC/DC are all well represented by the sounds and feel of these amps. In comparison, Marshall's 1959 reissue is expensive at $5,516, and Germino's 100-watters are less than $2800. Germino's even offers a lifetime warranty.

Ceriatone Amplification Marshal Plexi Clone

Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Better than similarly priced Plexi clones
  • Range of period amplifiers available

Cons:

  • Not as good as the Germino amps

Typically, Plexi amps are so expensive that players with small budgets cannot recreate each detail. Kuala Lumpur's Ceriatone amps are a good alternative for players with less money and a less involved attitude toward painstaking vintage amp recreation. Ceriatone also offers both fully-assembled Super Leads and Super Basses in '67, '68, '69, '70, and '73, along with kits. 

They cost around $1,150 plus shipping to own the full Ceriatone Plexi, which is an unbelievable price for such a dependable and high-quality amplifier. By building your Plexi, you can save even more money with Ceeriatone's kit. Builders and players who prefer options can also choose from the large variety of parts and components offered by the company.

Rockitt Retro Marshall Plexi Clone

Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone

Pros:

  • Unique design that looks great as well as being a fantastic guitar amplifier.
  • Options for circuitry
  • American made

Cons:

  • A little more expensive than the Ceriatone line.

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Rockitt Retro has built a reputation for building (and offering at an excellent price) affordable Plexi clone rigs that deliver authentic vintage tones. They are constructed using period-correct Heyboer transformers, carbon composition resistors, and SoZo capacitors, all housed in a Baltic birch cabinet. Our favorite is the Marshall 1959 Super Lead with 1969-specs. Complex right? But, any serious Plexi enthusiast will know this is a fantastic combination for Plexi tone.

Rockitt Retro sells this for an absolutely ridiculous 1,399 dollars. The sound is as authentic as it gets, the workmanship is impeccable, and the look is perfect. A 50-watt Plexi version from 1987 is available, as is a 2x12 or 4x10 combo version. For those who desire a rounder, cleaner tone than the Super Lead circuit, the Super Bass circuit is available at no additional charge in place of the Super Lead circuit.

Mojotone Marshall Plexi Clone

Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone

Pros:

  • You can build it yourself

Cons:

A 100-watt British-style amplifier kit that Mojotone offers is a great choice for fans of Plexi. With this kit, you can get everything that's needed to build your own vintage Marshall-style 100-watt monster amp for just under $1,100. 

This includes Mojo Audio’s sweet Baltic birch cab and reproduction components like transformers made with carbon composition resistors and period-correct capacitors from JJ tubes which are used in amps of this type.  

Also, if you don't need the cab and tubes, you can get the kit for less cash. Building the amp takes around seven hours, and Mojotone rates it a 4 out of 5, but there's a good reward for players who can work with a soldering iron and high voltages.

The Best Plexi Pedals:

In imitation of Marshall amps' plexiglass heads, these pedals are an affordable, lightweight alternative to purchasing a Plexi amp while emulating classic rock sounds from the 1960s. 

Hendrix, Cream, and Led Zeppelin's sounds were influenced by these amps in the 1960s. They had a large transformer and hand-wired circuitry, which gave them a rich and full tone. Despite their loudness, they could absorb a lot of punishment. As vintage amplifiers, they are still extremely expensive. So, a pedal could be an affordable option.

The Plexi pedal emulates the sound of any speaker you connect it to either with analog circuitry or with advanced digital programming. The warmth of tone distinguishes analog pedals from digital, which is why most purists prefer analog. 

An amp head usually has gain, master, and EQ controls, which you would also expect to find on analog pedals. During your set, you can flick the footswitch on or off as you like.

If you intend to use any other effects afterward, you must plug them into the cleanest sounding amplifier you can find. They essentially replace your amp while still playing through the speaker.

Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe

Best Sounding Marshall Plexi Clone

Pros:

  • You can toggle between the bass and bright sounds with the tonal boost.
  • You can control volume changes with the footswitch and dial on the booster.
  • Your tone will be shaped perfectly with a three-band EQ.

Cons:

  • Some other Wampler pedals are more versatile and offer greater value for money.

The Plexi-Drive Deluxe has lots of features. There's a 3-band EQ that can be selected by a dial and a toggle switch for quickly increasing the bass or brightness. There's a dedicated boost button for faster volume-boosting in solos or choruses, plus gain and volume controls to adjust your input and output volumes.

You can use a DC adapter to power this device, and a 9V battery can also power it. Featuring true bypass, the Plexi-Drive Deluxe ensures tone transparency and enables you to rely on it so you won't lose sound when the drive isn't in use. You can control the EQ just as on an amp.

Carl Martin PlexiRanger

Pros:

  • Exceptionally versatile.
  • The pedal design is well-thought-out and convenient.
  • The boost has a very wide frequency range.
  • An inexpensive low-cut switch makes an excellent quick fix.

If you want a pedal that provides you with the pure Plexi sound but won't hog all your rack space, take a look at the Carl Martin PlexiRanger. 

Originally designed for use with the PlexiTone pro models' High Gain settings, this setting matches the gain structure used in the Re-engineered High Gain setting, making it sound better with a wider variety of different amps.

In addition to a bypass footswitch, there are knobs for adjusting the drive, levels, and tones. This pedal’s low-end was tightened up and its treble softened for a smoother overall sound, allowing you to get the same Plexi gain throughout your frequency range as you would get with more traditional gain pedals.

Almost as Good as the Real Thing

A good reason for the popularity of Plexi reproductions is their fine quality. Even the best Marshall Plexi Clone replicas tend to be less expensive than an authentic example of a vintage Marshall 1959 that is fully operational and functional. If, like most of us, you'd rather be a guitarist than an amp museum operator, a quality reproduction takes the guesswork and luck out of it.

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Hi, I'm Duncan, the owner, creator, and head writer for InciteMusic.com 
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