MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby Jedstein » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:02 am

Finally scratched the itch and scored an MC50. I'm not sure I needed it. My amp (a Shakedown modded Twin) sounds great. But -- well I don't need to explain -- I knew I would get one eventually!
Forgive me, I know that Macs have been covered extensively here, and I did spend quite a bit of time hunting through the threads for info, but I still wanted to make sure I was going about this the right way. Unfortunately, I'm not technically adept by any stretch, so I fully plan to have a tech do all this work. And, unless someone has any other suggestions for the North Jersey area, the guy I plan to take it to is Andy Fuchs, of Fuchs Amps, whose done a lot of work for me in the past. He's really good (obviously), but he's not a Jerry guy, so I just want to make sure that I give him the proper instructions. Would like some clarity on the following:

1. How should I advise him to connect the Twin to the MC50? Again -- I know this is basic -- but I don't want to fuck it up. My take from reading through the threads was to "tap" the signal before it goes to the power stage of the Twin and use an already existing hole such as the vibrato pedal input. Perhaps convert the vibrato jack to a 1/4 jack and do the same to the McIntosh (replace the RCA for a 1/4" jack)? Is this right? Anything else I should advise Andy as far as connecting the Twin to the MC50? Helpful schematics I can show him?

2. What other basic maintenance and upgrades should be performed to the MC50? Replace all electrolytic capacitors and check all resistor values? Anything else?

3. The Sentry. I've read all the different opinions on this, and given that many of the most knowledgeable have removed it, of course, I'm tempted to do so. If I get a professional to do it, is there any downside? Or are there risks for shorting the amp down the line (or electrocuting myself) that would mitigate against screwing with it? Would love the tonal improvements, but not at risk of bodily harm, if possible . . . .

4. What if I wanted to switch back to using the Fender power tubes? The thing is, my amp already sounds killer, and I could imagine not wanting to lug the MC50 around every time I go somewhere to play. Is there anything that needs to be done so that I can preserve the ability to go back to just using the Fender power tubes?

Thanks in advance for the insight and, again, sorry if this stuff has been discussed ad-nauseam. Just want to make sure I get this right.
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby milobender » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:22 pm

1. How should I advise him to connect the Twin to the MC50? Again -- I know this is basic -- but I don't want to fuck it up. My take from reading through the threads was to "tap" the signal before it goes to the power stage of the Twin and use an already existing hole such as the vibrato pedal input. Perhaps convert the vibrato jack to a 1/4 jack and do the same to the McIntosh (replace the RCA for a 1/4" jack)? Is this right? Anything else I should advise Andy as far as connecting the Twin to the MC50? Helpful schematics I can show him?


If you use the Switchcraft 13b jacks, which have switches built into them, it will send the signal to the Mac when you've got a plug into them. When the plug is removed it will send the signal to the power section as usual. Show him the Healy mod schematic and he should know exactly what to do :smile: :smile: :smile:

I'd drill another hole in the back for the send to the preamp... and definitely convert the Mac to 1/4" plugs.
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby Jedstein » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:05 pm

milobender wrote:If you use the Switchcraft 13b jacks, which have switches built into them, it will send the signal to the Mac when you've got a plug into them. When the plug is removed it will send the signal to the power section as usual. Show him the Healy mod schematic and he should know exactly what to do

I'd drill another hole in the back for the send to the preamp... and definitely convert the Mac to 1/4" plugs.


Great -- thanks, Brian. I was going to post about the awesome new guitar that I bought as well (that arrives tomorrow!), but I didn't want to confuse the post.
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby milobender » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:19 pm

I think you're right "o) Sorry I can't help with the rest of your questions. I'm sure someone here will though. :smile: :smile: :smile:
'Out for Delivery' tomorrow :cool:
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby Brandon Bowlds » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:43 pm

on my Twin, I take the power tubes out when I am preamping it out to my external power amp. If you want to use the Twin power section, just put the tubes back in and unplug the preamp tap jack.

I have never owned a MC50 so I don't know about modding those but I have read lots of info about it on here!
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby Jedstein » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:42 pm

Brandon Bowlds wrote:on my Twin, I take the power tubes out when I am preamping it out to my external power amp. If you want to use the Twin power section, just put the tubes back in and unplug the preamp tap jack.

I have never owned a MC50 so I don't know about modding those but I have read lots of info about it on here!


Hey -- thanks, Brandon. That sounds pretty simple, actually.

I know this stuff is all pretty basic, and probably well covered. I just thought it was worth confirming before I do all this stuff -- and I seem to get lost in these threads sometimes . . . . :roll:

BTW -- really nice playing on the clip you posted. Always amazes me how many great players are on here!
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby Brandon Bowlds » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:59 pm

No problem, it was confusing to me at first. Better to ask than to blow a tube or OT.
Thanks for the nice words, I appreciate it!
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Re: MC50 Hookup Help and Guidance

Postby RiseandFall » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:15 am

I lifted the sentry on my MC50.
It was like surgery. Simple, but the wrong move can spell disaster.
My sense is you wouldn't notice much difference from the mod...maybe 2%. But when you start adding up all the little things that get us there, small percentages add up really quickly.
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