“The sonic nostalgia and authenticity of yesteryear”: Friedman announces new Vintage Collection with the PLEX – a “sonic twin” of Dave Friedman’s favorite amp

Friedman Vintage Plex
(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

Friedman has launched its new Vintage Collection of amps with the PLEX – a tube amp head based on the 1968 JMP Super Lead that sparked Dave Friedman's lifelong obsession with tone. 

The new Vintage Collection will feature designs based on classic amplifiers that have shaped amp mastermind Dave Friedman’s tonal footprint. Fittingly, Friedman’s beloved Marshall is up first.

A two-channel, 50-watt head and “verbatim sonic-twin” of that JMP, it lovingly channels the vintage tonal magic of its source material with a “modern twist” to help expand its versatility. 

The firm says it spared “no expense in time and effort” in creating the PLEX. “Dave took great care in defining and utilizing the best modern construction techniques,” it notes, “sourcing the exact parts and finding the perfect tubes to reproduce this amp’s character,” with the “sonic nostalgia and authenticity of yesteryear.”  

Beneath its sleek, minimalist casing, the amp is powered by two EL34 tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes. 

There are Normal and Lead channels, each getting Volume controls to match the non-master volume performance of its progenitor. The channels are designed to react with “increased saturation, harmonic richness, and sustained brilliance” the more they are pushed. 

That “modern twist” comes via a Post-Phase Master Volume control. In practice, as each channel’s gain increases, the volume is notched with it – a quirk Dave Friedman worked hard to achieve. 

Friedman explains this approach “lets you bring the amp back to manageable levels, without sacrificing the tone or dynamic feel”, and keeps the amp’s character intact, regardless of whether it’s being pushed to its limits or dialed back for clean tones.

Friedman Vintage Plex

(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

The rest of the amp's controls come via Presence, Bass, Middle, and Treble, parameters. There are also Hi and Low instrument inputs, and a three-position Bright switch to help tame the amp’s top end and harmonize with whatever gear it is paired with. 

Finally, the Friedman PLEX features internal channel jumpering designed to replicate the external blending technique used with vintage Plexi amps. Consequently, the two channels can be blended with a single control.

Made in the USA the PLEX is priced at $2,799.99. 

For more information about Friedman’s new Vintage Collection line, head to Friedman Amplification

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.