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Anyone Familiar With Dean Markley Heads ?

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  • Anyone Familiar With Dean Markley Heads ?

    I was leaving the grocery today and on a whim, stopped by a little pawn shop on the way home. They were 5 minutes from closing, so I just glanced around real quick and spotted a Dean Markley head in blond tolex. Looked at the back and saw tubes Anyhow, it was priced cheap, and I asked the owner what he knew about it. He said he had just put it on the floor today, and said it worked when he checked it out the day it was pawned. Said he couldn't find out much about it on the 'net.

    Anyhow, he was getting ready to close, so I asked him if he'd hold it for me until Saturday when I can bring a cab in and check it out. He said he would hold it until 2 pm, and I offered him a 25 buck good faith deposit which he declined. He grabbed it and set it behind the counter and said he'd wait till I came in and tried it out. I asked if he'd take 150 out the door if I decided to buy it, and he said 150 + tax would work.

    Anyhow, I can't find out much about it. It's a Signature 60. Anyone actually played one ?

  • #2
    iirc, these puppies were made in the mid 80s and came in 2 varieties: all SS and SS/Tube hybrid.

    The SS ones sound HORRIBLE!! The Hybrid heads sound ok -- not as good as, say, a Marshall Artist 30wt -- but fairly decent.

    If you can pick one up for around $125, it's a unique sound.

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    • #3
      iirc, these puppies were made in the mid 80s and came in 2 varieties: all SS and SS/Tube hybrid.

      The SS ones sound HORRIBLE!! The Hybrid heads sound ok -- not as good as, say, a Marshall Artist 30wt -- but fairly decent.

      If you can pick one up for around $125, it's a unique sound.


      I saw 2 power tubes and what were probably 12 AX7's. I just found some reviews here at HC, and it appears to be all tube w/a solid state rectifier.

      I hear you on the solid state DM amps. I tried out a DM bass combo at another pawn shop a while back and it sounded worse than a Behringer combo lol.

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      • #4
        Surely some of the older guys have played one back in the day ?

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        • #5
          not long enough to know anything about them. I know I've plugged into their tube models a few times.
          tlbonehead@yahoo.com
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          • #6
            First, don't worry about the deposit, if it goes anywhere soon I'd be surprised. When they were new there were some issues with amp function-or lack of thereof in store- that hurt sales. If it works though that probably isn't an issue at this point.
            There is a long thread at TGP that keeps popping up with a fair amount of info on these amps, including possible links to the designer IIRC. Some folks-especially people that didn't run into ones with problems, seem to really dig them. Since they are from over 25 years ago and weren't a big success most current players aren't aware of these amps- a half stack has been regulary appearing on CL metro DC and hasn't gone anywhere. Apparently DM is planning or coming out with a "reissue" version of some of those amps.
            "Now we're going to play a Cecil Taylor tune"-Fred "Sonic" Smith

            check out www.myspace.com/sonicsrendezvousband box set recommended!

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            • #7
              I believe that the early/mid '80's Signature Series preceded the mid/late '80's CD Series tube amps.I remember the adds for the Signature 60 with G.E. Smith saying that he was touring with the amps and really digging the tones.Btw,I have a near mint '85 CD-30 [40 watt version of CD-60] and it's a pretty cool amp,with nice Fender voiced cleans,good reverb,great fx loop and sweet classic metal crunch tones.




              Ed
              "One can never have too many great tones."

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              • #8
                and it's a pretty cool amp,with nice Fender voiced cleans,good reverb,great fx loop and sweet classic metal crunch tones.

                Ed


                Ok, thanks for the info. I looked through the thread at TGP mc5nrg.

                Ed, I flipped through a few old mags. I did find an ad with Andy Summers standing beside a couple of DM amps, one was a mini stack that looked like the head. That GE Smith ad, I've seen it I think. Was he tossing a yo-yo in the ad ? Seems I remember that ad, but I can't recall what the ad was for. Might have been DM.

                Anyhow, I'll just let my ears decide when I check it out. If it sounds ok, I'll grab it.

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                • #9
                  ...Ed, I flipped through a few old mags. I did find an ad with Andy Summers standing beside a couple of DM amps, one was a mini stack that looked like the head. Thag GE Smith ad, I've seen it I think. Was he tossing a yo-yo in the ad ? Seems I remember that ad, but I can't recall what the ad was for. Might have been DM...


                  Actually,I have the G.E. Smith add from the november '85 issue of Guiitar Player Magazine right in front of me.It's for the Signature T-120 and he is indeed tossing a yo-yo.The add states that on Hall & Oates last tour ['84 or '85?] he used the Signature Series amplifiers for 85 shows."I've used just about every amp made," says G.E.,"and the Dean Markley amplifier is the finest I've ever played.It really puts it in the pocket".Features include a 4-band EQ,special voicing switch,sensitivity boost and full effects loop.



                  Ed
                  "One can never have too many great tones."

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                  • #10
                    they make awesome guitar strings thats all i know.
                    Bedrock Lead 50
                    Red Bear MK 60
                    Carvin 4x12 with 90s BR12 speakers
                    JCM 800 Lead 4x12 with G12-65s

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                    • #11
                      he used the Signature Series amplifiers for 85 shows."I've used just about every amp made," says G.E.,"and the Dean Markley amplifier is the finest I've ever played.It really puts it in the pocket".Features include a 4-band EQ,special voicing switch,sensitivity boost and full effects loop.



                      Ed


                      Ok, I'm sure I have the same issue around here too.

                      Tough decision I have now. I'm wanting a set of Klein S6 pups for my strat but if the head checks out ok, it's gonna be hard to pass up at that price because I'd like to have a back up for my Sano.

                      We'll see..

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                      • #12
                        Ok, looked at the head today. First I checked out the controls on front. All seemed fine, but the power switch was froze in the off position. So I asked if I could take a look inside and the shop owner said go ahead. Very clean inside. No leaky caps or evidence of heat damage. The switch has been bypassed. Instead of replacing it, someone has it rigged apparently so the amp is on as soon as you plug it into an outlet. It does have a standby switch. Anyhow, I showed the owner the half arse job they did and put it back together. Next, I was going to go ahead and hook it up to a cab they have there, but there is no label on the cab, so I don't know what impedance it is. I had noticed a couple of multi testers on the shelf at the shop the day I saw the head, so I didn't bring my own. Just my luck, neither worked. I did bring a speaker cable with me, but I'm going to wait till Monday and carry my own cab in so I don't screw up the amp mis-matching the impedance. The proper fuse is in it.

                        Only other issue is a 3 pin jack on the chassis that had no lead connected. I think it may the reverb tank lead, or possibly the reverb on/off footswitch. If I would have looked harder, I may have figured it out.

                        Anyhow, I'll go back Monday, and the shop owner thanked me for schooling him on the importance of using a speaker cable instead of an instrument cable to hook up cabs, impedance matching, and making sure a cab is hooked up to tube amps before powering them up.

                        He said since I'm going through a hassle to check it out, and took time to explain some stuff to him, I can have the head for 120 out the door if I decide to take it.

                        The switch issue is bugging me, but as long as the standby switch is still working, I may still grab it if it sounds ok. It's clean, and appears well cared for, save for the switch quick fix.

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                        • #13
                          If you listen to old april wine thats what he used for an amp.
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                          • #14
                            keep us posted

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                            • #15
                              ...Only other issue is a 3 pin jack on the chassis that had no lead connected. I think it may the reverb tank lead, or possibly the reverb on/off footswitch. If I would have looked harder, I may have figured it out...



                              That could be the connect out for a 3-button footswitch.CD Series amps [like my CD-30] have such for channel/reverb/effects loop switching.Oddly,there is no manual front/back panel switch for changing channels.It's footswitch or nothing.I'm going to have my tech add a rear clean/od switch sometime soon.Btw,does the head in question have reverb?



                              Ed
                              "One can never have too many great tones."

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