#1
Okay, so I'm probably gonna be getting a new amp soon, once I get the money... I was gonna go for a JCM800 of some kind, but I don't know if I should get the combo or the head, and then, I don't know if I should get 100 watt or 50 watt. This'd be my first "real" amp (the Fender in my sig is actually my dad's amp that I borrow when I need it, the sad truth is my only amp is that Line 6 piece of crap ).

Now, I was thinking of just getting a 50 watt head, and get both a 4x12 and a 2x12 cab and switch them out whenever I needed to. Just common sense tells me that it would be easier to get to the "sweet spot" on a 50 watter at reasonable volume levels. I'll just be playing pretty modest club-level gigs, so it seems like a 100 watt head would be a bull in a china shop type of situation.... but maybe that would be a better investment in the long run? so yeah, 50 watt half/quarter stack is what I'm leaning towards, but I want to get some input from people with more experience than me.

Oh by the way, my style is (usually) sort of in the vein of bands like AC/DC, Van Halen, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, and sometimes the more melodic side of thrash like Megadeth and Metallica. Price range will probably be somewhere in the ballpark of $1000-$1500, but I don't know for sure.
#2


if you think there will be a volume gap between the 50 and the 100, you will be pretty disappointed.

If you are playing in bars, 30 watts is too much.
If you play at big bars that insist on mic ing you at low volumes, 15 watts is too much.

I say get whatever Amp you can get for th ebest deal, they will all sound pretty similar. Try to find one that has been treated well (tubes changed and proper bias) and then just deal with the awesome volume.

/2 cents

BTW, Sound guys do not htink you are cool when you show up with this...

Last edited by customisbetter at Aug 22, 2009,
#4
50 watt will have lower headroom meaning itll be slightly easier to get some PT saturation/distortion. but volume difference is negligible
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#5
well, it wont matter which watttage you get, so play both of them and find out which one sounds better.
and you still have to be loud to overcome drums ^
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#6
I love my 50W, but customisbetter is correct - the volume difference between a 2204 and 2203 is basically nothing.

However, the 50W does break up sooner due to less headroom, so unattenuated you're going to hit that awesome power tube tone a tiny bit quieter.

I'd still go for the 2204 since I love mine and everybody not playing modern metal seems to prefer that model as well. It's well-suited for all those bands you listed (except modern Metallica and Megadeth, though that's just a tonal issue).
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#7
Quote by bubb_tubbs
I love my 50W, but customisbetter is correct - the volume difference between a 2204 and 2203 is basically nothing.

However, the 50W does break up sooner due to less headroom, so unattenuated you're going to hit that awesome power tube tone a tiny bit quieter.

I'd still go for the 2204 since I love mine and everybody not playing modern metal seems to prefer that model as well. It's well-suited for all those bands you listed (except modern Metallica and Megadeth, though that's just a tonal issue).


IN THEORY

Most used amps have many different combinations of tubes and any difference in wattage would be easily negated by the type/age/brand/model of tubes that are in it.
#8
Okay, so between 50 and 100 watts there's not too much difference? That makes sense, I just wanted to know if there was any particular reason I should get one or the other. Oh yeah, I heard something about the later ones with horizontal inputs not being as good as the earlier ones? Like the distortion was less natural or something?
#9
That is all snobby tone snobbery.

Some think some amps sound better, but when buying used, its a whole different ballgame. Plus even the horizontal inputs (or the diode clipping models) still sound GREAT and miles ahead of a lot of amps.
#10
Also, just as a note, you should keep in mind that ANY marshal with el34s is going to sound drastically differnt from your Deville.

Marshalls = Lots of midrange (lots of "cut" in a mix)
Fenders = Lots of boom and shiny treble (solid and huge sounding)
#11
Quote by customisbetter
Also, just as a note, you should keep in mind that ANY marshal with el34s is going to sound drastically differnt from your Deville.

Marshalls = Lots of midrange (lots of "cut" in a mix)
Fenders = Lots of boom and shiny treble (solid and huge sounding)


Yeah, I'm familiar with the whole "American vs. British" thing with amps. That's actually why I want this amp, I don't like the DeVille at all most of the time. It's just something I use because it's all I have access to. I mean, it's a good amp, but not very well suited to my style.
#13
Okay I have one other question, sort of random but I've always wondered this:

Is there really a point to buying an attenuator when your amp has a master volume on it? Isn't a master volume control basically an attenuator built into the amp? So, it'd be pretty much the same as turning down the master volume on your amp, right? I ask because I've heard of people using attenuators with JCM800s, but it seems kinda pointless since they already have master volumes on them... just wondering.
#14
Quote by CaptDin
Okay I have one other question, sort of random but I've always wondered this:

Is there really a point to buying an attenuator when your amp has a master volume on it? Isn't a master volume control basically an attenuator built into the amp? So, it'd be pretty much the same as turning down the master volume on your amp, right? I ask because I've heard of people using attenuators with JCM800s, but it seems kinda pointless since they already have master volumes on them... just wondering.


Yes there is a point. It takes more than your pre-amp section to get great sounding distortion out of a tube amp. It will sound best with the Volume/Gain and Master volume cranked. Obviously I dont mean dime both of them, but pre-amp distortion without power amp distortion can sound very muddy. My Maz 38 for example is a very clean amp and I really have to crank the Volume/Gain control. Then after that I still have to turn the master volume about 3/4 or more of the way up to really get the sound to open up. This of course is way too loud so after I get the desired amount of breakup from my amp I use my weber mini mass 50w attenuator to adjust to either bedroom/band practice/or gig levels. You're deffinitely gonna need an attenuator with that 50 watt amp of yours.

point being, master volume is NOT a built in attenuator.
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Last edited by Bright Light at Aug 22, 2009,
#15
Correct me if im wrong but i've heard that a 100watt combo is only 2x the volume of a 15watt combo. And btw i have a 75watt combo and you can hear me playing it from about a mile away when its cranked all the way up
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- Peavey Vypyr 75W
- Monitor speaker!
Effects
- Behringer V-Amp Multi-effects
- Dunlop Cry Baby Wah
- Tubescreamer
- Sampera I
#16
Quote by Bright Light

point being, master volume is NOT a built in attenuator.


That's good to know. Now I'm slightly less stupid. Hooray!

So I'll look into an attenuator... anyone have any suggestions? I know about the THD Hotplate and the Marshall Powerbreak... but that's about it.
#17
With anything over around 20W, wattage becomes irrelevant as a measure of volume. The 50W and 100W JCM800 will have far more volume than you ever need, so the question becomes one of tone...

At the same volume, a 50W amp will tend to break up earlier and have a warmer, compressed sound, while the 100W will be a little clearer, sharper and more defined. For the bands you've mentioned, either will do. The '80s rock' sound (Scorpions, Maiden etc) is more about preamp gain and aggressive treble, so the 100W will be better, while the '70s rock' sound (AC/DC etc) basically involves turning a Marshall up and driving the power valves as hard as possible - this would be the main reason to prefer the 50-watter, or perhaps even another amp.


Also, a 2x12 cab is considerably easier to transport and sound great, but if size/weight is not an issue, a 4x12 will sound great. An Avatar Vintage 412 will set you back around $550, while a 2x12 will cost around $400. Your call!
#19
the THD and Power Break are both way too expensive for what they do. Get the Weber Mass. If you're gonna get that 50 watt amp you'll probably want the 100w attenuator like they recommend to make sure that nothing burns down lol. When you run your amp cranked it actually exceeds the manufacturer's power rating because they test it on clean settings. I believe the 100w Mass is $225 new. looking for a used one on Ebay is your best option. And it really does sound great, I dont hear a major difference in tone at all. The only thing was that I had to set the treble boost switch on my 50 watt mini mass to add 3dB of treble and as soon as I did that it sounded just like my amp again without the attenuator there. I got it used for $50 so you should be able to get some good ebay deals. Or if you have the cash then just order a new one
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#20
If you're looking at those two choices, go with the Hotplate. A ton of people use them around here, and praise them. Also, afaik an attenuator works quite differently than a master volume. While the master volume can lower the volume, this lowers the power amp distortion. The main difference is, that with a master volume you are actually modifying the amps tone on it's own at the cost of lower the volume. However, the attenuator lowers the volume after the signal is sent from the amp, before it goes in to the speakers. So, pretty much you get the same tone from the amp, the difference being that the speakers aren't being pushed as hard. You'll still experience some tone loss with an attenuator, but it's definitely worth it from what I hear.
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#21
Quote by Shiromar
If you're looking at those two choices, go with the Hotplate. A ton of people use them around here, and praise them. Also, afaik an attenuator works quite differently than a master volume. While the master volume can lower the volume, this lowers the power amp distortion. The main difference is, that with a master volume you are actually modifying the amps tone on it's own at the cost of lower the volume. However, the attenuator lowers the volume after the signal is sent from the amp, before it goes in to the speakers. So, pretty much you get the same tone from the amp, the difference being that the speakers aren't being pushed as hard. You'll still experience some tone loss with an attenuator, but it's definitely worth it from what I hear.


Actually, after looking at how much they cost on Musician's Friend, if there's a cheaper alternative, then by all means, do tell.
#22
Quote by customisbetter
IN THEORY

Most used amps have many different combinations of tubes and any difference in wattage would be easily negated by the type/age/brand/model of tubes that are in it.

Mine certainly breaks up far sooner than the 2203s I testdrove.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#23
Quote by Pennderinn
Correct me if im wrong but i've heard that a 100watt combo is only 2x the volume of a 15watt combo. And btw i have a 75watt combo and you can hear me playing it from about a mile away when its cranked all the way up

you are an idiot. your 75w combo is solid state. That is equivalent to around 30-40 watts tubed. A very loud 15w TUBE combo might be 1/2 the volume of a solid state 100w.

Learn what tubes are before you post sh*t about amps!
#24
Quote by SwampAshSpecial
you are an idiot. your 75w combo is solid state. That is equivalent to around 30-40 watts tubed. A very loud 15w TUBE combo might be 1/2 the volume of a solid state 100w.

Learn what tubes are before you post sh*t about amps!


No im saying a 15w SS is 1/2 a 100w SS and same with tube, and a a 15w tube is obviously louder than a 15w SS
Gear
Guitars
- Ibanez GRX20
- Austin SG
- Alveraz Artist Acoustic Electric
Amps
- Kustom 15W
- Peavey Vypyr 75W
- Monitor speaker!
Effects
- Behringer V-Amp Multi-effects
- Dunlop Cry Baby Wah
- Tubescreamer
- Sampera I
#25
Quote by Pennderinn
No im saying a 15w SS is 1/2 a 100w SS and same with tube, and a a 15w tube is obviously louder than a 15w SS

I find that hard to believe but in that case I take back the previous remark and sincerely apologise

now if the pit monkeys could just learn how to do that...