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Old 10-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
SOADriff
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JCM 800's: Do the balls come from the amp, or the pedals?

Man it's been ages since i've been on here. Howdy y'all.

So basically what i've wondered for a while is, for the dudes that use 800's for moderate-high gain stuff, do they usually use a distortion pedal, or crank it and boost with an OD?

I know Kerry King (all be it he is a fat overgrown baby) uses his signature head straight up, i don't even think he uses an OD. Then on the other hand Brent from Mastodon uses a Master Effects Mastortion pedal to get most of his sounds.

Any thoughts as to what is more effective? I've never had the luxury of testing both setups out.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure the norm is to run an OD as a boost, just like every other amp.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:46 PM   #3
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First of all, I totally agree about Kerry King being a fat, overgrown baby. That guy is a ****ing mongoloid. Second, the rehearsal studio I use has a JCM800 stack. It sounds amazing for hard rock stuff, but I've found you need to run some sort of OD pedal to get a true metal tone out of it.

EDIT: I forgot to add that my penis is really large. I mean, it is SUBSTANTIAL.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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All it needs is some TubeScreamer love.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bang
First of all, I totally agree about Kerry King being a fat, overgrown baby. That guy is a ****ing mongoloid. Second, the rehearsal studio I use has a JCM800 stack. It sounds amazing for hard rock stuff, but I've found you need to run some sort of OD pedal to get a true metal tone out of it.

EDIT: I forgot to add that my penis is really large. I mean, it is SUBSTANTIAL.


I approve of this statement.

I always thought most people used OD's, but then i hear of people with really great tones using distortion pedals and it just makes me think. Seems like a waste of a valve amp if you're just going to run a distortion unit in front of it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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Some people use dirt pedals as boosts. I haven't had any success with it, but with some pedals you can. Just because it's technically a dirt pedal and not an OD doesn't mean it's being used as a standalone distortion.



Regardless, most dirt pedals sound good through a good tube amp anyhow. I don't know if people are using dirt pedals instead of the gain or not, could be, but I just don't assume so.
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Last edited by Offworld92 : 10-04-2012 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SOADriff
Seems like a waste of a valve amp if you're just going to run a distortion unit in front of it.


If you're planning to ONLY use it with the pedal, then I agree. You'd be better off just getting some amp with good cleans and a lot of headroom, then using the pedal for your tone. But if you mainly need the JCM800 for JCM800 stuff, the pedal is a good solution for when you occasionally need a heavier sound.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offworld92
Some people use dirt pedals as boosts. I haven't had any success with it, but with some pedals you can. Just because it's technically a dirt pedal and not an OD doesn't mean it's being used as a standalone distortion.



Regardless, most dirt pedals sound good through a good tube amp anyhow. I don't know if people are using dirt pedals instead of the gain or not, could be, but I just don't assume so.


This, right here. Some dirt pedals make awesome overdrives. The keeley mod DS-1 falls in this realm for me. It just has the right character for a high gain sound. It isn't terribly tight, but it works well for a lead sound (where tightness isn't necessarily needed or wanted).
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:39 AM   #9
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i used to think my cheap overdrive pedal (a ts7) was meh, just added some annoying pick attack and restrained the bass. but make sure to turn the level up to the max, and it's amazing. wouldn't play metal without it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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It just depends on what you're going for. Personally I dig 'em unboosted for most situations but that doesn't mean you will.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cdr_salamander


All it needs is some TubeScreamer love.

JESUS, that sounds huge.

Thanks for the input everyone, pretty much everything i expected I think i'll stick to using a TS9 as an OD.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:30 AM   #12
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Metallica used Rats to boost Marshalls on Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by darkwolf291
Metallica used Rats to boost Marshalls on Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning

Interesting, wasn't RTL recorded mainly on mesa's though? Mark IIC+'s if i recall. Man, hate the tone on that record though. Kill em all tone is great though.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:45 AM   #14
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Nope.

IIRC, it was a Marshall slaved into a Mesa poweramp.

They didn't buy the Marks until around the time they recorded Master of Puppets.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOADriff
Man it's been ages since i've been on here. Howdy y'all.

So basically what i've wondered for a while is, for the dudes that use 800's for moderate-high gain stuff, do they usually use a distortion pedal, or crank it and boost with an OD?

I know Kerry King (all be it he is a fat overgrown baby) uses his signature head straight up, i don't even think he uses an OD. Then on the other hand Brent from Mastodon uses a Master Effects Mastortion pedal to get most of his sounds.

Any thoughts as to what is more effective? I've never had the luxury of testing both setups out.


The KK2203 Marshall isn't stock really though. It runs on KT88 tubes (i think... it might be KT66) and has been massively modded. It has a noise gate, extra gain stages and a built in sweepable EQ that is preset and you just dial in how much of it you want added in.

This is so that KK can use just the head without the need for pedals. If you're wanting to get that kind of metal sound from an 800 you're gonna need that signature head or a load of pedals and some mods done to the amp. Brent uses a stock 800 so he needs to use a pedal to get to the same territory as KK does.

I would say that the signature head is more effective at that sound but buying an 800 and getting the pedals is probably going to be cheaper. Either way both are going to be loud as hell and sound great.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:27 AM   #16
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Mastodon's other guitarist, Bill Keliher, actually used the Kerry King sig 800s for quite a while hmself.

JCM800s + Clean Boost is an absolutely brutal combo anyway.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #17
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They sound big, rude and quite dry. A bad player will accentuate the strong highs too much, whereas a good one will make great use of the clarity. Great amps though.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:37 PM   #18
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Seriously, it's a matter of opinion. I personally like pedals. pedals are my friends. even if they are ass tons expensive.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:31 PM   #19
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I thought Kill em All was done on cranked Marshall Plexi's with tubescreamers, not too well versed on Metallica's gear unfortunately. Weirdly Kerry King's amp is modded with KT88s but its still only 100W I know back when Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page were modding there SLPs with KT88s it was bumping them to 200W output, anywho Kerry King also uses the 10 band EQ from MXR I honestly don't think there is a difference between his and the normal one, but that EQ can sure do a shit load for the amp. The JCM800 does have a lot of balls and can certainly get you to that high gain zone all by itself but I mean you always gotta have some pedals to either fatten things up, thin them out, clean them up or boost the living crap out of it!
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T7E
Mastodon's other guitarist, Bill Keliher, actually used the Kerry King sig 800s for quite a while hmself.

JCM800s + Clean Boost is an absolutely brutal combo anyway.

He still does, he's been running a regular 800 in parallel with the KK2203 with orange cabs.
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