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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Marc Morfei, Jul 10, 2021.
No you’re wrong.
If it says Mack on a truck it’s a Mack truck.
True but that's not the amp being good or bad that's just user preference
The only application I'd prefer a JCM800 (or any other later Marshall) to a JTM or Super Lead is to keep a boat in one place, but I don't play '80s hair metal. YMMV.[/QUOTE]
An 800 can do way, way more than hair metal. Really, really well.
I’ve owned many Marshall’s over the years, my earliest Marshall was 1969 Marshall Popular converted to an 18 watt (model 1958) to my latest Marshall’s, all three 2015 Marshall Astoria models.
I’ve also owned a 1972 Artiste, a bunch of different JMP models, JCM800’s, JCM900’s, DSL’s, TSL, 2266 and 2266C Vintage Modern’s, a 1987x, 1974x’s, 1962HW’s (Bluesbreaker), 1962RI, 1987x’s, some Marshall SS models and probably some that I’ve forgotten.
My favorites are JMP 2204’s and early JCM800 2204’s. These are definitely Rock Amps (with Master Volumes). I prefer the JMP’s mainly for looks. Even with the Master Volume these are very loud amps that sound best at band volumes. I recently traded my last JMP for another vintage Fender amp.
I my keeper Marshall is my Marshall Astoria Classic Combo. It’s hand-wired, 30/5 watts, KT66 powered, and a 1x12 Creamback speaker. Sounds great at low volume and with a band. Probably 50-55 lbs but very portable.
I am tempted to buy a vintage pre-1973 (still hand-wired) 50 watt Marshall Head and 4x12 cab. Totally not needed, totally too loud, and too expensive. Still, I can dream.
To the OP, the Marshall you want, depends mainly on how loud need to play and how much overdrive you need (if not using pedals).
For a first time Marshall user, I would recommend a Marshall Origin 50 combo and a good OD pedal. A relatively inexpensive amp that sounds old-school Marshall good.
My more recent Marshall’s below.
I settled on the SV20H out of the studio series. They are as mentioned a true plexi that sound amazing but it's a loud 5-20w resulting in multiple threads on attenuation for home use. Above 7 in 20w mode is where they shine and give you the exact tones we all know too well "especially with channel jumpering and a boost". The perfect sit in the mix with rhythm guitarist remembering a plexi is not a high gain amp and more than a boost pedal takes away what they are all about. You need a speaker load for silent studio recording.
What cab do you prefer?
I have a 1x12 ported closed back with alnico gold & 2x12 Mesa with greenbacks which I already owned but the stock matching Marshall SV cabs are great.
Edit: some good reviews by SV owners on the cheaper Origin 2x12's as well.
OMG it's been sooooo hard not to get an Astoria.
I'm finally down to 5 Marshalls can't possibly justify it.
Now if you have a True interest in Marshall
Please Check out The Marshall Museum in Germany
there is a guy in Baltimore making amps with one knob. They are called Big Crunch amps. You might like them.
Sure, if you boost them you can play chug metal.
But lower gains better than a JTM or Super Lead? Not really.
I always thought I hated Marshalls because of JCM800s (they were EVERYWHERE until the early/mid '90s), and I couldn't understand how all those '70s guys got such great tones out of Marshalls. Then I played a '72 Super Lead, and it all made sense. You're right that you can play a JCM800 at lower gain levels and it sounds sorta OK... but not like the older models.
Try pulling a 53' trailer from Boston to Austin with a toy that says "Mack" on it.
I’ve owned all three Astoria models, the Custom, the Dual, and the Classic. I really liked all three and wish that I could have kept them all. I used the Custom with a band for about year. It always sounded great. I later purchased the Classic and Dual.
I didn’t need all the overdrive and the boost on the Custom. The Dual was great, but I didn’t need a two channel amp (I have Fender amps for cleans). The Classic had the best low end, was more old school, and I currently use pedals for OD, so the Classic is my keeper.
I’ll just agree to disagree.
There was Eric and his dimed often jumped JTM45/100's getting all the hair from his amp:
And, there was Jimi with his Super Leads carrying monster cleans to a bit of hair in harmony with his various hairy/wobbly pedals:
And, there was everything else. From your Bluesbreakers record to your Allman Brothers to your 80's bands ripping mod'd old amps with boost in front to your 90's bands taking 800/900's along with all sorts of other front end stuff. You can read up on early Clapton or on 70's Jimmy Page or on the Smashing Pumpkins or whomever, that will give you an idea of which rig is which. Much better than just reading about the circuit changes IMO.
Now, you might like your master volumes or your 4 watt amps et cetera, that's cool, but those bootlegs/records where the cacophony of sound is bouncing off the walls? That's it, that's the sound. Everything else is just a gainy lil' amp.
The Fender lineage has famous amps of all sizes, from the Champ to the Twin... and EVERYTHING in between.
Marshall didn't go that route. The "famed" Marshall amps are 50/100 watts. Your choice was "ear bleeding loud" or "ear bleeding loud with more clean headroom" . Their relatively recent dive into many low wattage Marshalls is actually their first serious push into that market, but it is still marketing the "big sounds". Their small amps don't have a famous sound of their own... they still market the "big sound" just at lower volumes.
IMO, the Marshall lineage is actually quite simple.... each succession has increased gain and/or more options.
JTM-45 > Plexi > JMP MV > JCM800 > JCM 900 > JCM 2000 (TSL/DSL) > JVM
The smaller models will have one or more of those tones included... some a little more vintage, some a little more modern. Of course, build quality also varies between the models. So pick a tone flavor you like, pick a feature set you need, and pick a build quality you can live with.
For my money... the Origin Series hits the spot. A JTM-45 with a dash of Plexi and a Master Volume (MV). No channel switching, no reverb! I prefer the vintage tones, because I am vintage
But… what about Studio 15? (4001)
A very “fenderish” Marshall I would say (listen to Crest of a Knave)
And yes, MS-2 can sound very Marshallesque, just connect it to a real speaker/cab…
I'm much more of a Marshall novice, but that has always been my general impression as well.
Yep, the real shift in Marshall lineage was the change from clipping the power section to clipping the front end. Sure, clipping diodes and a master volume let you get dirt at lower volumes, but it doesn't sound the same as a dimed Plexi and never will. I figure if I want to put $.50 worth of diodes or ICs in front of my amp to distort it (and I often do), I'll choose which ones and what circuit to use, thank you very much.
If you can find a music shop that has the Studio Plexi and JCM800 models, comparing those to each other is quite illuminative. I have to say I liked the Origin I dicked around with once, it has the basic JTM45 architecture (laid out differently) with a little more gain.
Great explanation, thanks. I'm not really shopping for Marshalls at this point. More just curious about them. When I hear this or that amp get mentioned, I don't have an aural frame of reference for it. So this helps a lot. My tastes are definitely for "vintage."
For me, I have finally ruled out the "blackface" sound, and Vox too. I do like my Deluxe Reverb very well - everyone says the DR is scooped, but it does not sound that way to me. It sounds nice and meaty. So I am most likely to just stick with that. The Marshall Origin is tricky. It has way too much treble available (are all Marshall's that way?), but you can dial that back, and it absolutely cuts through like a knife. I gravitate toward the tweed sound most of all, which is the reason I started with the Origin and not something else. Not that it sounds tweed, it doesn't. But it's got a really good natural-sounding crunch at low volume, no pedals required. I had a 5e3 for a while, which was awesome but finally too muddy in the low end. It's impossible to get mud out of the Marshall.
I own an early 87 JCM800 and 83 2x12 cab with the original G12-65’s. The low gain input sounds really smooth and quiet. The high gain is a beast that has to be turned below 1 in my house. Treble city too. Thinking of selling the head and getting the SV20. Clips sounds great and while I’m sure it’s really loud as well, the high gain channel on the JCM is just really unusable for me. I don’t know if it hits 50 watts at 1 on the volume or what. Brutal.