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evilaudio
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Marshall

Post by evilaudio » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:57 am

I am torn on a decision for a new guitar amp for the studio and was wondering if anyone could offer any comments or suggestions. I have a chance to get a new Marshall at a discounted cost and have narrowed my choices to either the JVM410 or the reissue JCM800 (2203x). I know of the 800's fame and legacy, but the JVM410 looks and sounds really good and is very tempting. Primarily, I work with punk and metal bands, but do often work with non-aggressive music and could really use the wide pallet of sound options that the JVM offers. I am looking for an amp with the greatest versatility, but with superior sound and durability. I've been able to play around with the JVM410, and like everything except the noise on the "OD2" channel (loud hiss), even the reverb sounds really good! I have never been able to play around with an 800, I know there are a lot of different ones/versions/mods out there, I know nothing about this "reissue" and fear that it may not be as "good" as the vintage ones. I'm looking for a great versatile (marshall) tube amp that would sound great, clean and dirty, from rock to the most extreme metal (I've got pedals and other boosting devices if I need them). So, if it were you, which would you pick and why? If there's something from their current line that I'm overlooking, let me know, but I am most impressed with these 2 so far. I am also not a guitar player, but can and do enjoy playing once in a while, so forgive my ignorance to things. This is for client use (I've had too many Crates and plain crappy amps in lately) and probably won't be used live much if at all. Oh, and I have an old Peavey 5150 cabinet in great shape. In theory, the JVM is what I want, but the JCM800 has such a great track record, but I fear this reissue because I've learned things just aren't made as good as they used to be. <sigh>
Thank you!
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metanoiastudios
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Re: Marshall

Post by metanoiastudios » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:22 am

Off topic, but did you happen to be at the mixing seminar @ Sweetwater a couple of weeks ago? I think's it's awesome that someone else from IN posts here.
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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:09 am

nope, I work there though, so I get enough of that place already!

There are quite a few of us hoosiers around here, actually. RussianRecording, InvalidInk, just to name a few!
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Professor T
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Post by Professor T » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:20 am

I, myself, wouldn't buy any new marshall, reissue or otherwise. I don't think it will have the durability in the long run. Any amps tech out there might chime in and say they're hard to repair with all those PCB mounted parts. If you've got $2K to spend on an amp, get the real deal.

For JCM 800s, the ones with the vertically stacked inputs are the more "collectible" variety.

Of course, speakers are a big part of the sound. I don't know if a 5150 cab will get you the classic marshall tone. They're pretty well identified with warm mid-rangey Celestions, not the scooped sound I'd expect from a Peavey cab.

You may also want to read up on old Traynor amps.

And, of course, these guys have no shortage of opinions:
http://vintageamps.com/plexiboard/index.php


My 2 cents worth, and not based on any actual facts at all.
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Post by Rolsen » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:38 am

2nd the vintageamps site for good amp advice.

I recently sold a Marshall TSL head that I bought new about 8 years ago. It had three channels, and a bunch of tone-shaping options, and it said 'Marshall' on it, so my 22 year-old naive self at the time went for it. I've since learned that 'versatile' means 'mediocre' when talking about amps. Resale on newer marshalls is total shit. Mine was on craigslist for two months until I sold it for $850 (bought it for just under $2000!). Any amp less than 25 years old is pcb construction and that isn't necessarily bad, but my amp tech was somewhat disgusted with the guts inside my marshall. It was ok sounding, but nothing like the new AC30 head that replaced it - at less than half the price, btw.

If you want a newish marshall, go used because they go for cheap.

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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:49 am

well, if I got the JVM, I'd get the combo, so my 5150 cab would just be another "flavor", plus I'd get a proper speaker enclosure for whatever I end up getting eventually, too. Yeah, I've had 3rd-hand experience with new marshalls (blown tranny's in the JCM2000, other "trouble"), that's why I'm asking here to see if they're all like this or not. The new stuff just seems to be built cheaply.

Thanx guys!!
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Post by GooberNumber9 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:51 am

Rolsen wrote: I've since learned that 'versatile' means 'mediocre' when talking about amps.
I think this almost completely sums up amp shopping in one sentence. For live use in a situation where you need many different sounds, like in a cover band, then a versatile, multi-channel, footswitchable amp is a nice thing to have to let you approximate the cool sounds you want on stage.

For recording, the best sounds will all come from one-trick ponys that just do their one trick really well. Vox AC-30, Fender Twin, Marshall Plexi, JCM-800, Mesa Mark I, Dual Recifier. All those amps are non-flexible in terms of sound, but the one sound they can make is awesome in the right context. That's why they are so famous. Any channel switcher is just going to be trying to give you the best of both worlds, and there's always a compromise.

If I wanted a good recording amp from Marshall, I'd look at the 1987X, the 2245, or the 1962 Bluesbreaker because I think they would be useful in the most styles of music. If I had a lot of metal clients, I'd lean more towards the JCM800. I'd REALLY like any of the Handwired amps (1974X, 2061X, 1959HW).

Todd Wilcox

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Post by crow » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:51 am

A guy brought a Sundown head into my studio this weekend, and it had a great Marshally sound, especially for tight high-gain kind of a sound; somewhere in weezer/van halen territory without sounding "nu-metal". he told me that they went for 1k$ ish new, but these days are eBayable in the $300 range. if it's acquirable for $500ish, i'd say it's a steal.

also, the 80's carvin x-series amps are great sounding marshall copies and quite affordable. i was skeptical, but i fixed one for a friend a few months ago and fell in love with it.

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Post by RefD » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:01 pm

i briefly had one of those Carvin X100 heads back around '86 and it sounded great (tho i hated the active EQ!).

i sent it back only cos i realised i really didn't need a 100 watt half stack.

i recall the clean sound being pretty close to my dear departed Fender Twin.
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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:28 pm

That's what I love about this place! Thanx for all the input, I'm starting to think more about things and have better perspectives. Todd W., thank you, that is a very good answer for me! I am not a guitarist, just a guitar doodler. I can play drums much better. So yeah, I know very little about amps, but love to learn! Mainly looking for a great sounding tube amp, high-gain would be nice, but not necessary since I'd get the proper distortion/drivers in front of the amp for that. Quality, but not super expensive! I would be, however, using it a lot and primarily for punk, metal, etc... but I am a big fan of the more traditional "sound" (think 83 - 96 thrash/hardcore/punk/metal guitar sounds), so no emulators will be used if at all possible! I like the idea of what I've read about driving the power tubes and speakers into distortion, though, that's interesting stuff and seems like something I should look for. I'll keep searching around, but any more input would be great!
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Post by Alex Netick » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:50 pm

After owning an old marshall, I'd probably never buy one again, either used or new. Every time I took it in the shop, the amp got worse. The sheister assholes who "fixed" them usually took parts out, or did something that made my 70's amp sound worse. Ive played the new ones in Guitar center, and the reissues sound about as good as any other mass produced amp, but don't have the vibe of a killer old Marshall. It's probably pretty hard to find an old Marshall that didn't have one of those metal master-volume mods in the 80's.

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Post by evilaudio » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:22 pm

I've been hitting the forums hardcore and have determined that I am going to go for the 2203x. I saw some pics of the guts and it's surprisingly close to the originals. Save for a few chinese components, everything is solid, but there are mods and things that can be done. the average opinion seemed to be that they're good and worth it and not as poorly made as others and just sounds great. I heard some clips of one and it sounded very good to me by itself, and would be something I'd be very happy with. the price i can get can't be beat, too.
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Post by Alex Netick » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:24 pm

That's good to know. I'm definitely going to check one out, because I really miss my Marshall.
evilaudio wrote:I've been hitting the forums hardcore and have determined that I am going to go for the 2203x. I saw some pics of the guts and it's surprisingly close to the originals. Save for a few chinese components, everything is solid, but there are mods and things that can be done. the average opinion seemed to be that they're good and worth it and not as poorly made as others and just sounds great. I heard some clips of one and it sounded very good to me by itself, and would be something I'd be very happy with. the price i can get can't be beat, too.

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Post by getreel » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:24 am

I used to have a JCM-800 combo that sounded real good, but it broke all the time and I didn't even push it that hard or move it around much. And parts and repairs on that thing were way too much. Marshall's have a tendency to blow output transformers and those suckers are expensive. You can get an old Fender to get close to the same sound and they were better made, better transformers, and cheaper parts. YMMV of course.

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Post by I'm Painting Again » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:07 am

If you just need the one Marsh distorted sound or clean sound and don't need to switch channels in the middle of a song..the Orange tiny terror head sounds great and works at low volume and is affordable..two thumbs up for the TT..

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