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Fun with Marshalls

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by astro, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. astro

    astro Tele-Holic

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    Had a fun time in the studio this weekend with Three count em three Marshalls. They all sounded great and very similar but with subtle nuances.

    We had a JCM900. This one sounded best with the tele/esquire. The overdrive just seemend to work with my tele.

    We had a JCM800 with some type of md and new tubes. This amp I guess has been used on some Stryper records. It sounded great with the LP so we used that for one song. The engineer had no idea what mods were done to the amp but it was very bottom heavy.

    For Bob's Gretsch we used a 2550 Silver Jubilee. His guitar just seems to have more guts with this amp then any of the others.

    I guess in a way these are all versions of the same amp. They are all basically modded 800's. They all did sound different enough yet meshed together nicely.

    I will post sound bits when we are finished recording.
     
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  2. genelovesjez

    genelovesjez Friend of Leo's

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    So which one would you choose, if you had to choose one?

    Hi Astro,

    I'm currently using a JCM 900 (50 Watt) SL-X at band rehearsals (it's not mine), my local store has a Silver Jubilee 2550 in stock, and I'm on the hunt for a JCM 800 2203 (hopefully early 80s). So, I'm very interested in your feedback on those amps.

    How were they cranked?
    Which one would you pick?
    What cabs were you using?

    Any other feedback you have is appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Peter
     
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  3. halouis

    halouis Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    cant wait to hear some new stuff Astro!! are you recording locally in Boston Area?

    Im shocked that the tele sounded best in the 900, but hey anything is possible. and the best thing is to just plug in and use what sounds best, no twhat others tell you.

    did you try the astrosquire into the Jub?
     
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  4. astro

    astro Tele-Holic

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    I was surprised also

    To GLJ. All I can say is that each amp sounded great with just one guitar. They would sound ood with the other two but just not quite as good.

    I would totally suggest that you try out the amps and have a really good idea of what you want to hear when you go in to do it. I am not a big fan of the second generation 900 that you play. I wouldn't rule the 900 out if you find one, you might like it. Good Luck. How are you liking the band thing? BTW way We Crank Everything. Same cabinet for all guitars Marshall 4x12.

    To Hal: I am very happy with the instrument sounds we got. I am not happy with my vocals yet and we are going to totally redo at least two songs. I tried to do my vocals in a way that would make the band happy and it ended up being a disaster. All I have to say is I shouldn't worry about wearing my Upstate NY credentials on my sleeve. So its back to square one on the vocal thing.

    Its weird the astrosquire really just comes alive with Gamp's 900. It sounded way better than the 2203 or the 2550. I just sparkles with that amp. I am much louder in the mix on this cd. You actually get a chance to hear me. I am really the main guitar on at least two songs. The jubille just sounds too metallic and modern with the esquire. The 900 sounds almost Vox like. Its weird. I may end up buying the amp from Bob or buying him an amp and using his.

    As soon as the cd is acceptable I will send you a copy.
     
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  5. genelovesjez

    genelovesjez Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the feedback, Astro!

    I'm still going to try and hunt down an old JCM 800. I know what you mean about the JCM 900. The guitars I'm using are all Fenders - Strats and a Jaguar, so they're probably closest to the Tele, but I have a feeling that a JCM 800 2203 will be the amp for me.

    The band thing is okay, and I'm glad to be getting the experience, although ultimately I think I'm going to want to start my own band. I am so jonesing for a Marshall stack first, though!

    One thing I've found - playing at band volume (for the first time) is like starting over in terms of tone and sounds. It's a real learning experience. I can't wait to get a Marshall stack and crank it up at the rehearsal space. I'm reading a book about Hendrix that talks about him "playing the amp", and that's the direction I would really like to take my playing. :twisted:
     
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  6. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    Can I be in the club?

    I've owned 3 different JCM900s. One 212 Dual Reverb combo, and two heads, one 50 watt Dual Reverb Head, and one 50 watt MkII single channel (not the SLX).

    I can relate to what astro says about the tele reacting well to the '900s. I had a '900 when I first bought my tele, and it was great at the lower-gain settings for getting that Clash semi-distorted sound. Good stuff there.

    What most people complain about in the '900 line is the fact that the Dual Reverb and MkII models use diode-clipping. I've heard it said that it only kicks in around 7 on the gain knob, I don't really know. What I do know is they sound decent. Heck, it's the same thing as boosting one's amp with a solid-state tubescreamer, and that's good enough for almost anyone! Still, there were a couple of peeves I had with the amps, and at the time(s) I had them, I didn't know enough about amps to try and solve them.

    The first issue is that the '900s are incredably bright. The '800s were known for this as well, but it only seems to have gotten worse with the '900s. When I had the combo, it seemed I spent a good deal of time fighting the brightness. Nowadays I'm not so scared of turning down the treble and presence knobs, so it may not be an issue at all, but like I said, back then I wasn't as savvy.

    The other issue was one of construction. Now, most Marshalls before the JCM2000s were built very well, but I when I got rid of the combo, it was because it wasn't in great shape, and I didn't want to worry about my amp so much. The second head I had I returned to the store after a couple of days because of intermittant volume drops. Could've been tubes, but I want an amp to work when I buy it. I felt like I was opening a can of worms with that one, so it didn't last long.

    But hey, after all that, I wouldn't mind getting my hands on an SLX sometime. I like the extra control of the sensitivity knob. Seems like I can get at least two good flavors of distortion with that.

    Ultimately though, I think an '800 2204 would be the amp for me. A friend had a '77 and it was one of the nicest amps I've ever played. Perfect amound of gain for eveything I'd want, and none of the tonal balance problems that made me paranoid about my '900s.

    ...If only I were something other than a college student. For now my Hellhound delivers almost everything I could want. Good Marshall tones in that box.

    Oh, and hey genelovesjez! Last time I was in your city my old band played at the Kathedral. That night our JCM800 blew a fuze right before showtime and we borrowd a '900 head from a band called the Class Assassins. Great band. Great guys. Funny coincidence.
     
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  7. halouis

    halouis Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Re: I was surprised also

    Well I only know what I already have of Gimantis, and I've said it before ... yo do some kick ass vocals, so I know it's gonna kick butt when you get it to where you want it. can;t wait to hear it.

    yeah if Gamp lets it go. you may have to pry it from his cold dead fingers LOL! or maybe we can hook you guys up wioth my buddies old Jub COmbo. I'll try to get you the best deal possible w/o screwing my old pal. perhaps Gamp could check it his next trip back to NYC (as I believe he's a New Yawkah!)
     
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  8. genelovesjez

    genelovesjez Friend of Leo's

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    Ben, if I can be in the club, you surely can...

    ...I don't even have a Marshall (yet)! I really hope I get a chance to try a few different ones - the local used Marshall supply seems to have really dried up lately. I'm also worried about getting to crank them up - I don't see how I'll really be able to do that in a music store. I guess that's why I'm asking so many questions.

    Ben, if you ever come around this way again, be sure to let me know. Hopefully, by then I'll have a Marshall to lend you, should the need arise!
     
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  9. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    You know? I've found that too. Seems that there's a lot less decent Marshalls to be found around my area. It's kinda bugging me. I would've gotten myself an '800 if there had been any available when I was in the market. Heck, it would've been about the same price as my Hellhound.
     
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  10. Tim Swartz

    Tim Swartz Friend of Leo's

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    My biggest beef w/ the JCM900s is the lack of beef. They really downsized the transformers, especially the output transformer. The result is no real bottom, which is probably fine for recording, but if you like that pantleg shaking spank when playing live, fuhgetabotit. As for the clipping diode circuits, there are also lots of opamps providing much of the preamp gain, especially in the Dual Reverb. FWIW, the Jubilee amps also have clipping diode circuits.
     
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  11. astro

    astro Tele-Holic

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    This may be why the 900 works with the esquire

    We found that the 900 had too much in the way of mids for Bobs guitar. It works for my esquire better than his DuoJet with the TV Jones Powertrons.

    It sounds great live or recorded with my guitar. His is the early 900 not the slx.

    j
     
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