SWEET MARSHALL O’ MINE PART 3 (re-opened): Frank Levi and #34 #36 #39
by Alessio Benassi “Benny” and Frank Levi
After Tim Caswell left SIR, a gentleman named Dave took his place. Frank Levi joined SIR just before Dave’s departure.
Tim Caswell’s modded #39 sat on the shelf, unused. Frank convinced Glen Buckley (head of Q.C. department) to let him re-work #39 an install his own mod.
Frank removed all of the components that Tim Caswell had added on the 1st tube of #39 including the switching capability. He then installed his own mod and #39 FL SuperKill #1 was born. This is the #39 that everyone loves and is talking about.
Due to the popularity of #39, Glen asked Frank to modify #36 to be the same as #39. Thus #36 FL SuperKill was born. Both #39 and #36 were almost always out on rentals. SIR needed one more amp like #39 and #36. The only available amp was #34, a 2203 Marshall. Frank modified #34 to accurately mimic the 39/36 sound. Thus the #34 FL CUSTOM was born.
A little info about Frank Levi:
- Early 1969 he worked on his 1st Marshall amp.
- Mid 1969 he does his 1st Marshall mod.
In the ‘70s Frank continued with a few mods until he met Billy Squier who convinced Frank to get serious about his mods. Billy’s band, Piper, had 3 guitarists with Marshalls and Billy wanted the amps to sound different than one another. Frank did the job. He credits Billy Squier as the man that made him take Marshall modding seriously… It was no longer just a hobby.
- #39; Model 1959T, ST/A4259E, May(?) 1973, FL SuperKill #1
- #36; Model 1959, SL/A07422J (UK), 7 November 1977, F.L. SuperKill
- #34; Model 2203 Mk.II, SA/S01796, 20 January 1986, F.L. Custom Mod
Note: SIR refers to SIR-LA (Los Angeles, CA)
Special thanks to Frank Levi.