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Again, the additional gain from these amplifiers make them desirable for hard rock applications, but the distortion of course still came from both the preamp and power amp stages, creating a rich tone full of warm tube harmonics and of course a wonderful dynamic sense.Plate voltages were reduced during this early metal panel era, resulting in a circuit that was somewhat easier on the power tubes.Claims in favor of the handwired amps have been made that not only are they easier to service and work on (certainly a fact!), with PCBs, the signal flowing through the board traces act overall as a capacitor, and this capacitance has an effect on tone in a negative fashion.
This is the opposite case with the first plexi Marshalls which are really tuned to favor PAF-style humbucking pickups that are more tonally balanced. In 1973, Marshall introduced its printed circuit board (PCB) design to replace the laborious hand-wiring process though some models continued to be handwired until circa ’75.The overall benefit of all of these early metal panel Marshalls is that they ALL have very simple circuits and with a few changes to components here and there, can essentially be converted to early plexi circuits or later brighter circuits if desired.In this regard, those that want the tone of a Super Lead or Bass, but don’t want to shell out the collector dollars for a plexi, can be served very well with a ‘70s era JMP variation.I suggest that you let your ears decide what sounds best to you.I’ve heard good and bad examples of BOTH types of amps.