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Plexi Palace/Mojave Amps (my story)


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Plexi Palace/Mojave amps .. my experience

Hi,

 

Posting this as I am getting private requests to do so. Not trying to fan flames, it's what happened to me, factual and I'm not editorializing what I think (you can guess though)...

 

Couple years ago. I had Jim Kelley amp with a storied past, a number of techs (Joe Barden included) had done work on it after the OT blew. It was working but had a replacement Fender style OT and was running 6L6s. On a recommendation from Andy Marshall of THD, I sent it to PP. Craig was nice enough, it semed though that he was taking orders the whole way from Victor, and was adamant that they would "return the amp to spec" per the schematic. I told him that I wanted to gig and play the thing, and per the scehmatic, I wanted it to use 6V6s. I told him that prior to the OT going, it was at like 500 volts on the plates, well over the schematic 477. This is what prompted the other techs to use 6L6s and also an 8 ohm Fender replacement tranny (cheap, available). PP was going to use Mercury Magnetic trannies, sent mine to MM to spec (if you want a Jim Kelley tranny they have it and it was cloned from mine) , put a few components back to spec and sent it back to me - $600 or so later. I got the thing, fired it up, and it immediately blew a fuse. I replaced the fuse, turned it to about 10:00 on the dial (not much) and the amp played, but it was croaking and sputtering. Then one of the EH 6V6s blew. Thinking it was the 6V6, I replaced the whole quad with an older US JAN set that I knew was good. It continued to choke, sputter, lights were flashing... I was like, OK.... I called them up and very politely asked what they thought (I really did). Craig said well, we tested the amp and it was putting 515 volts on the plates, and that's how it shipped. I was like, that was part of the original problem, there's no 6V6 on the planet that's gonna take that! He was like, let me talk to Victor . When I did not hear back I called them, Craig got on the phone, and I heard Victor yelling in the background... Craig, stammering, basically said that was "it", if you want to use 6V6s then just "don't turn it up". I was like WTF? I tried to get Victor on the phone, and I was nice the whole way through, but he would not take my call. Per Craig, that was IT. They're the experts and they "fixed it" per the schematic and there was nothing else they could / would do.

 

I sent them an amp that while was not spec, it at least worked. They "fixed it" for $600 and sent it back not working - but it was "spec", a perfectly satisfactory end result to them.

 

Needless to say, flabbergasted and at the end of my rope with the amp, I called on Don Butler, who had fixed my original Chandler Tube Driver. Don was like, well, there's a couple things we could do, but what he did was install a simple power resistor to drop about 50 volts off the plates. Worked fine. Don also corrected a some other things that PP did, said that while they may have been "spec", they were not good practice for amps in 2002, knowing what techs know now as opposed to 1986 when the JK was built. Don is/was AWESOME to deal with, thee ya have it, a tale of 2 business people, one who is a great guy and is known, respected, and utilized by professionals (Don) and one who is not (Victor et al). There is a reason...

 

 

Paul

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what a {censored} head..I get on the phone with Mike Bendalli at boogie and i have beg -HIM- to let me go..becasue he talks for ever and is one of the nicest guys in the world...this is a good reason not to deal with these assholes...Mike works for a much bigger company and could hide if he wanted to..but he called me up not once ..but twice and then told me to call him as soon as i got my amp..( unreal.)..try to get that from Fender,Marshall, etc...no {censored}ing way...these guys are assholes..

 

 

 

Plexi Palace/Mojave amps .. my experience

Hi,


Posting this as I am getting private requests to do so. Not trying to fan flames, it's what happened to me, factual and I'm not editorializing what I think (you can guess though)...


Couple years ago. I had Jim Kelley amp with a storied past, a number of techs (Joe Barden included) had done work on it after the OT blew. It was working but had a replacement Fender style OT and was running 6L6s. On a recommendation from Andy Marshall of THD, I sent it to PP. Craig was nice enough, it semed though that he was taking orders the whole way from Victor, and was adamant that they would "return the amp to spec" per the schematic. I told him that I wanted to gig and play the thing, and per the scehmatic, I wanted it to use 6V6s. I told him that prior to the OT going, it was at like 500 volts on the plates, well over the schematic 477. This is what prompted the other techs to use 6L6s and also an 8 ohm Fender replacement tranny (cheap, available). PP was going to use Mercury Magnetic trannies, sent mine to MM to spec (if you want a Jim Kelley tranny they have it and it was cloned from mine) , put a few components back to spec and sent it back to me - $600 or so later. I got the thing, fired it up, and it immediately blew a fuse. I replaced the fuse, turned it to about 10:00 on the dial (not much) and the amp played, but it was croaking and sputtering. Then one of the EH 6V6s blew. Thinking it was the 6V6, I replaced the whole quad with an older US JAN set that I knew was good. It continued to choke, sputter, lights were flashing... I was like, OK.... I called them up and very politely asked what they thought (I really did). Craig said well, we tested the amp and it was putting 515 volts on the plates, and that's how it shipped. I was like, that was part of the original problem, there's no 6V6 on the planet that's gonna take that! He was like, let me talk to Victor . When I did not hear back I called them, Craig got on the phone, and I heard Victor yelling in the background... Craig, stammering, basically said that was "it", if you want to use 6V6s then just "don't turn it up". I was like WTF? I tried to get Victor on the phone, and I was nice the whole way through, but he would not take my call. Per Craig, that was IT. They're the experts and they "fixed it" per the schematic and there was nothing else they could / would do.


I sent them an amp that while was not spec, it at least worked. They "fixed it" for $600 and sent it back not working - but it was "spec", a perfectly satisfactory end result to them.


Needless to say, flabbergasted and at the end of my rope with the amp, I called on Don Butler, who had fixed my original Chandler Tube Driver. Don was like, well, there's a couple things we could do, but what he did was install a simple power resistor to drop about 50 volts off the plates. Worked fine. Don also corrected a some other things that PP did, said that while they may have been "spec", they were not good practice for amps in 2002, knowing what techs know now as opposed to 1986 when the JK was built. Don is/was AWESOME to deal with, thee ya have it, a tale of 2 business people, one who is a great guy and is known, respected, and utilized by professionals (Don) and one who is not (Victor et al). There is a reason...



Paul

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Plexi Palace/Mojave amps .. my experience

Hi,


Posting this as I am getting private requests to do so. Not trying to fan flames, it's what happened to me, factual and I'm not editorializing what I think (you can guess though)...


Couple years ago. I had Jim Kelley amp with a storied past, a number of techs (Joe Barden included) had done work on it after the OT blew. It was working but had a replacement Fender style OT and was running 6L6s. On a recommendation from Andy Marshall of THD, I sent it to PP. Craig was nice enough, it semed though that he was taking orders the whole way from Victor, and was adamant that they would "return the amp to spec" per the schematic. I told him that I wanted to gig and play the thing, and per the scehmatic, I wanted it to use 6V6s. I told him that prior to the OT going, it was at like 500 volts on the plates, well over the schematic 477. This is what prompted the other techs to use 6L6s and also an 8 ohm Fender replacement tranny (cheap, available). PP was going to use Mercury Magnetic trannies, sent mine to MM to spec (if you want a Jim Kelley tranny they have it and it was cloned from mine) , put a few components back to spec and sent it back to me - $600 or so later. I got the thing, fired it up, and it immediately blew a fuse. I replaced the fuse, turned it to about 10:00 on the dial (not much) and the amp played, but it was croaking and sputtering. Then one of the EH 6V6s blew. Thinking it was the 6V6, I replaced the whole quad with an older US JAN set that I knew was good. It continued to choke, sputter, lights were flashing... I was like, OK.... I called them up and very politely asked what they thought (I really did). Craig said well, we tested the amp and it was putting 515 volts on the plates, and that's how it shipped. I was like, that was part of the original problem, there's no 6V6 on the planet that's gonna take that! He was like, let me talk to Victor . When I did not hear back I called them, Craig got on the phone, and I heard Victor yelling in the background... Craig, stammering, basically said that was "it", if you want to use 6V6s then just "don't turn it up". I was like WTF? I tried to get Victor on the phone, and I was nice the whole way through, but he would not take my call. Per Craig, that was IT. They're the experts and they "fixed it" per the schematic and there was nothing else they could / would do.


I sent them an amp that while was not spec, it at least worked. They "fixed it" for $600 and sent it back not working - but it was "spec", a perfectly satisfactory end result to them.


Needless to say, flabbergasted and at the end of my rope with the amp, I called on Don Butler, who had fixed my original Chandler Tube Driver. Don was like, well, there's a couple things we could do, but what he did was install a simple power resistor to drop about 50 volts off the plates. Worked fine. Don also corrected a some other things that PP did, said that while they may have been "spec", they were not good practice for amps in 2002, knowing what techs know now as opposed to 1986 when the JK was built. Don is/was AWESOME to deal with, thee ya have it, a tale of 2 business people, one who is a great guy and is known, respected, and utilized by professionals (Don) and one who is not (Victor et al). There is a reason...



Paul

 

Good Info! Thanks for sharing it :thu:

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what a {censored} head..I get on the phone with Mike Bendalli at boogie and i have beg -HIM- to let me go..becasue he talks for ever and is one of the nicest guys in the world...this is a good reason not to deal with these assholes...Mike works for a much bigger company and could hide if he wanted to..but he called me up not once ..but twice and then told me to call him as soon as i got my amp..( unreal.)..try to get that from Fender,Marshall, etc...no {censored}ing way...these guys are assholes..

 

 

 

Mike is A#1 Super guy, an awesome tech - I still want to send him (another) Mark IIB to mod to the hilt - he can do killer things w/ em.

 

Paul

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what a {censored} head..I get on the phone with Mike Bendalli at boogie and i have beg -HIM- to let me go..becasue he talks for ever and is one of the nicest guys in the world...this is a good reason not to deal with these assholes...Mike works for a much bigger company and could hide if he wanted to..but he called me up not once ..but twice and then told me to call him as soon as i got my amp..( unreal.)..try to get that from Fender,Marshall, etc...no {censored}ing way...these guys are assholes..

 

 

I got that from Mitch Faber when he was at Boogie - they factory modded a few amps for me, and not only called me when they were playtesting them, but called me on their dime a few days after the amps came back.

 

I had some questions about a Voodoo modded JCM2203 I bought used, and Trace was awesome to talk to also.

 

Ditto for an email I sent Ed Degenero about a THD Univalve that went down on me - that he answered within an hour, and diagnosed it perfectly.

 

Oh, did I mention that email I sent Ed was on a weekend night? *!*

 

Pete

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what a {censored} head..I get on the phone with Mike Bendalli at boogie and i have beg -HIM- to let me go..becasue he talks for ever and is one of the nicest guys in the world...this is a good reason not to deal with these assholes...Mike works for a much bigger company and could hide if he wanted to..but he called me up not once ..but twice and then told me to call him as soon as i got my amp..( unreal.)..try to get that from Fender,Marshall, etc...no {censored}ing way...these guys are assholes..

 

 

 

MESA is top notch company and treats thier customers well. back when i was looking into getting a rectifier i called with stupid question, didn't get anybody and left a message. wasn't long, and i get call from no less than TONE BOY himself.

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Needless to say, flabbergasted and at the end of my rope with the amp, I called on Don Butler, who had fixed my original Chandler Tube Driver. Don was like, well, there's a couple things we could do, but what he did was install a simple power resistor to drop about 50 volts off the plates. Worked fine. Don also corrected a some other things that PP did, said that while they may have been "spec", they were not good practice for amps in 2002, knowing what techs know now as opposed to 1986 when the JK was built. Don is/was AWESOME to deal with, thee ya have it, a tale of 2 business people, one who is a great guy and is known, respected, and utilized by professionals (Don) and one who is not (Victor et al). There is a reason... Paul

 

I know Don personally. He has worked on a few of my amps and an old echoplex. He is mostly a VOX expert but has mad skills and experience well beyond the average tech....his price for tech work is always extremely fair too!

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FWIW, people are emailing me their stories, post them here if you don't mind..

 

 

 

Awww...{censored}. I might as well. I was reluctant to, but here it goes:

 

I bought Peacemaker #8 back in '02.

 

I got the amp and it sounded ok, but when pushed the filtering was all screwed up. There were ghost notes present to a degree where it sounded like a sick harmonizer. Real bad. A buddy of mine, who owned a Plexi at the time, even agreed that something wasn't right.

 

So, I called Vic and asked him about it. He basically said all old Marshalls sound that way and to just ignore it. Well, I had my buddy over with his Plexi and that was not the case. There is some ghosting on old Plexis but not nearly as much as what was going on with that Peacemaker.

 

I called Vic twice more in the next two days, hoping he would offer to have the amp shipped back to check it over. Nope. He insisted that it was ME who didn't know what I was talking about and there was nothing wrong with the amp. So, I had to send the amp back and he refunded my money. I had also bought a Hotplate and some cables, which I kept.

 

The amp had a nice tone other than the damn filtering problem. I really wanted to like that amp and it would have been nice to get some resolve from a customer service point of view, but it was never offered to me. THIS WHOLE SITUATION WOULD HAVE NEVER PROGRESSED THE WAY IT DID HAD HE OFFERED FOR ME TO SEND THE AMP BACK TO CHECK THE FILTERING.

 

I then did a review on HC. That's when the {censored} hit the fan. I posted the review one night before bed. The next day it became a huge thread here on HC amp forum. His business partner ended up registering and attacking me within the thread. I was called a liar. Later on, when it was apparent that nobody was buying his bull{censored} he ADMITTED THERE WAS A FILTERING PROBLEM WITH THE AMP AND THAT THEY WERE ADDRESSING IT!!! He was trying to save face.

 

I got home from work that evening and received a frantic phone call from none other than Victor himself. We argued for a bit and I, in a weak state of mind, agreed to post a follow up review stating that things had smoothed over. I now regret that.

 

I should also point out that while all this was going on I had ordered a Roccaforte HG100. Somehow, Vic found out about it and sent me the following email...

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Plexi Palace

To: Greg

Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 12:44 PM

Subject: Re: hello

 

Dear Greg,

I just received the amp. It was just brought in to the studio to be examined. So far I see no problem. As for your refund check we can send it fed ex but so long as you agree to accept the charges for the express to be deducted from your payment, otherwise we return payments by US mail. Please let me which you prefer.

 

By the Way I hope your new Rockafartay amp works out. I have a customer who bought one and wants to sell it. He owns every amp on earth and told us the Mojave is it for him. I can't be more pleased. He mentioned you were going to buy the Rockafartay and he had his to sell. If you want I can send you his email.

Best Regards

Victor

 

 

Real nice way of spelling Doug's last name, huh? I sent the email to Doug although I'm sure he did anything about it.

 

Fast forward to 2005. I planned a trip out to Cali with my wife. I thought maybe I would stop by Mojave and give peace another chance. Am I crazy? Maybe. I just don't like NOT getting along with people. I like to get along with everybody. I brought my guitar with and Vic had me play through the Peacemaker again, this time with all of the "extra" stuff involved in getting the tone he has in his clips. It was nice, but nothing special. I was thinking at the time that my Rocca was head and shoulders better without all the "extra" crap. Vic always had the attitude that the Peacemaker is the best and that's that. Intimidating, as psaulino said? Yeah, that's what I got. My wife even felt uneasy after we left. She's good at reading people and she thought I wasted my time with the whole deal. I agreed.

 

There you have it. I know there are many others with bad deals involving Vic and the PP/Mojave. Myself, CokeMachine, PSaulino, and there were a couple of others that I'm going to search my old sent emails for.

 

As I said before...there is a REASON {censored} like this always comes up with Vic Mason and his business practices. THINK ABOUT IT.

 

Greg

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Awww...{censored}. I might as well. I was reluctant to, but here it goes:


I bought Peacemaker #8 back in '02.


I got the amp and it sounded ok, but when pushed the filtering was all screwed up. There were ghost notes present to a degree where it sounded like a sick harmonizer. Real bad. A buddy of mine, who owned a Plexi at the time, even agreed that something wasn't right.


So, I called Vic and asked him about it. He basically said all old Marshalls sound that way and to just ignore it. Well, I had my buddy over with his Plexi and that was not the case. There is some ghosting on old Plexis but not nearly as much as what was going on with that Peacemaker.


I called Vic twice more in the next two days, hoping he would offer to have the amp shipped back to check it over. Nope. He insisted that it was ME who didn't know what I was talking about and there was nothing wrong with the amp. So, I had to send the amp back and he refunded my money. I had also bought a Hotplate and some cables, which I kept.


The amp had a nice tone other than the damn filtering problem. I really wanted to like that amp and it would have been nice to get some resolve from a customer service point of view, but it was never offered to me. THIS WHOLE SITUATION WOULD HAVE NEVER PROGRESSED THE WAY IT DID HAD HE OFFERED FOR ME TO SEND THE AMP BACK TO CHECK THE FILTERING.


I then did a review on HC. That's when the {censored} hit the fan. I posted the review one night before bed. The next day it became a huge thread here on HC amp forum. His business partner ended up registering and attacking me within the thread. I was called a liar. Later on, when it was apparent that nobody was buying his bull{censored} he ADMITTED THERE WAS A FILTERING PROBLEM WITH THE AMP AND THAT THEY WERE ADDRESSING IT!!! He was trying to save face.


I got home from work that evening and received a frantic phone call from none other than Victor himself. We argued for a bit and I, in a weak state of mind, agreed to post a follow up review stating that things had smoothed over. I now regret that.


I should also point out that while all this was going on I had ordered a Roccaforte HG100. Somehow, Vic found out about it and sent me the following email...



----- Original Message -----

From: Plexi Palace

To: Greg

Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 12:44 PM

Subject: Re: hello



Dear Greg,

I just received the amp. It was just brought in to the studio to be examined. So far I see no problem. As for your refund check we can send it fed ex but so long as you agree to accept the charges for the express to be deducted from your payment, otherwise we return payments by US mail. Please let me which you prefer.


By the Way I hope your new Rockafartay amp works out. I have a customer who bought one and wants to sell it. He owns every amp on earth and told us the Mojave is it for him. I can't be more pleased. He mentioned you were going to buy the Rockafartay and he had his to sell. If you want I can send you his email.

Best Regards

Victor




Real nice way of spelling Doug's last name, huh? I sent the email to Doug although I'm sure he did anything about it.


Fast forward to 2005. I planned a trip out to Cali with my wife. I thought maybe I would stop by Mojave and give peace another chance. Am I crazy? Maybe. I just don't like NOT getting along with people. I like to get along with everybody. I brought my guitar with and Vic had me play through the Peacemaker again, this time with all of the "extra" stuff involved in getting the tone he has in his clips. It was nice, but nothing special. I was thinking at the time that my Rocca was head and shoulders better without all the "extra" crap. Vic always had the attitude that the Peacemaker is the best and that's that. Intimidating, as psaulino said? Yeah, that's what I got. My wife even felt uneasy after we left. She's good at reading people and she thought I wasted my time with the whole deal. I agreed.


There you have it. I know there are many others with bad deals involving Vic and the PP/Mojave. Myself, CokeMachine, PSaulino, and there were a couple of others that I'm going to search my old sent emails for.


As I said before...there is a REASON {censored} like this always comes up with Vic Mason and his business practices. THINK ABOUT IT.


Greg

 

Interesting Story! -thanks

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