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Trainwreck Express Schematics

Ken Fischer
TRAINWRECK was started in 1981 as amplifier repair and modification service in Colonia, New Jersey. By 1982 I had a request by an Atlantic recording artist to build him a custom amplifier. While I had built myself amps before, this was to become the start of building amps of my own design for other guitarists.

The Express is Fischer’s rendition of a Marshall-style amplifier, but only in the broadest sense, given the tremendous amount of originality in his circuits. It carries two EL34s in fixed-bias Class AB, with three ECC83s in the preamp, along with controls for Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass and Presence on the front panel – all looking very plexi-like. But, very little of what goes on inside is done quite like Marshall; rather than the archetypal cathode-follower T-M-B tone stack of the Marshalls (and Fender’s 5F6-A tweed Bassman), Fischer’s EQ stage follows the first preamp stage, with the Volume control placed after. Two further ECC83 gain stages, along with some interesting tweaks in each, ramp it up before it hits a long-tailed-pair phase inverter and what is a fairly conventional output stage. There are plenty of tricks throughout the rest of the amp, too, including a very robust six-diode bridge rectifier and heavy power filtering.

Ceriatone Trainwreck Express layout:


Trainwreck Express inside:



Trainwreck Express Schematics:

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