Hey. Last month I bought the Marshall JVM 205c and I love it
Managed to get the hang out of it and got some really great sounds out of it, but it feels like it needs a little something to make it sound amazing

Had a few ideas, just wondered what people would reccomend doing first, and which will change my sound the most. I was thinking about either -

1. Replacing the pickups in my guitar. I have an Ibanez s470 with stock pickups. I think some Dimarzios, Bareknuckle or maybe even EMG might make a big difference.

2. Replacing the tubes in the amp. Its been played in the shop, and the tubes dont seem to be glowing as bright as they used to. And some really good tubes would probably improve the tone a bit anyway.

3. Buying an EQ pedal. I figured either the Boss or the MXR-10 band would help thicken things up a bit, and also help with any other sounds or whatever I need from the amp.

I'll probably be doing all of these things sooner or later anyway, I just need to give it a bit of a kick. I was thinking the tubes might be on their way out anyway.
Gear I currently own are Ibanez s470, Boss ME50, Dunlop Crybaby, Marshall JVM.
I tend to play thrash, skate/punk, hardcore punk, and some brownsound hair metal on occassion.
Any new ideas, questions, criticism are welcome.
Last edited by im-dizzy at Dec 15, 2009,
Sound like you are on the right track!

All of those things with definitely help shape your tone. It's hard to say where to start. Stock tubes are generally not very good, but at the same time an EQ in the loop of your amp will do wonders for helping you shape your tone. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those ideas.
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1. Bareknuckles sound good but never owned any. I would not personally do active pups. Higher gain passives should do.

2. New tubes are always cool. If it sounds good, don't mess with it. If you honestly thought that new power tubes would dramatically change your tone - I'd keep researching and do this later. Preamp tubes? Depends. I like JJs/Mullards here but I like the darker tone. I do have a JANPhillips 5751 in the phase inverter.

3. EQ pedal is nice.

4. OD pedal, other mods,
If you're using the distortion on your Boss ME-50 then thats what you should change first. Try a EHX metal muff.
I personally don't like Ibanez or there pickups but that all preference.
Your amp probably doesn't need new tube yet.
New Setup:
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Peavey Classic 50
EHX Metal Muff
Cry Baby 535Q

"I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to"
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No, I dont use the distortion on the pedal. Use the amp one. I only use the ME50 for its tuner, (rather poor) noise gate, and maybe some chorus or delay.
I love the guitar, but I think pickups might be the first choice. I just need to decide what to get.
Quote by wildwildwes594
If you're using the distortion on your Boss ME-50 then thats what you should change first. Try a EHX metal muff.
I personally don't like Ibanez or there pickups but that all preference.
Your amp probably doesn't need new tube yet.

A metal muff through a JVM?

TS: An OD or EQ pedal would be my first stop. High gain passive pickups like 311 said would also be a great idea.
An EQ pedal might not be worth it, depending on how you find your onboard EQ system?

Maybe an MI Audio Blues Boy Deluxe could be right up your street? It has a really good EQ board, and has a tidy amount of gain. It really does work wonders for your tone.

I don't know what the stock pickups are like on the S470, but many Ibby pickups kinda suck.
A set of Bareknuckle Painkillers, then, would be awesome, but possibly a bit pricey. The upgrade may not give you enough satisfaction, like you're not getting your money's worth.

EMG's should work really well, however. They'll definitely add some serious girth and output to your tone.

Replacing the tubes to another set of stock ones, I predict, won't do a whole lot. If you decide on a wholly different type of valve, you may have to rebias the amp and worry about whether the new tone will suit your ears or not.
The onboard EQ is okay, Ill probably get this last anyway for a few extra sounds or something.

Never tried loads of pickups so my knowledge is very limited. I figure stock pickups are never brilliant, and people have never seemed keen on Ibanez pickups. This will probably be my first call as they are fairly cheap and I can probably get some soon, I just need reccomendations and ideas on these.

I was thinking about a different set of valves all together, but again, cos this is my first tube amp I dont have much idea about this.