#1
OK, at first glance this looks like a very odd comparison because of wildly differing prices but bear with me.

I play in a Rock covers band so I need a versatile amp that will run clean, distortion and high gain sounds. It will be going through a Marshall 1960A 4X12. It's vital that I can boost all three core sounds for solos as my current DSL doesn't seem able to do that. Boosting the amp's distortion has no effect so if I'm soloing I need to use the clean channel and a Metal Distortion pedal. I'd ideally like the amp to do it all. The budget is no more than £600 but I don't mind going used, hence the JVM comes into play. Playing all the amps locally is impossible due to where I live.

Marshall JVM 410H

On the face of it these seem perfect as it appears to do the range of tones I want and with 2 master volumes I can have each of my 3 core tones boosted using the 6 button footswitch. On Ebay they seem to go for about £600 but I've read some very mixed reviews.

Blackstar HT Stage 100

Right on budget brand new, the sound clips sound very good and it has 3 channels. Only questions are; are they as good as I think and can each of the 3 channels be boosted effectively. I'm very wary about this due to the problems I've had with the DSL.

Bugera 333XL

Obviously the cheapest one here but hey, who would object to spending less if they could? It's cheap, it's powerful and most people seem to think it sounds fantastic and is highly versatile but, like the Blackstar, I am concerned that I can effectively boost all 3 channels for solos and of course there is the whole reliability issue. It's only a cheap amp if I don't have to constantly fork out for repairs, right? And of course, I doubt there'll be any resale value in it.

This amp will be used for gigs as at home I will just use a Cube for practice. It seems pointless paying more for a combo version when it's going to be hooked up to a 4X12 anyway and I can pick up a Cube 30X for less than £100. I've pretty much got it narrowed down to these 3 but I am obviously open to suggestions, just make sure they're suggestions I can actually get hold of
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#2
In my opinion the JVM is a great amp and very versatile. Some people don't like its high gain tone but i personally think its good just slightly unusual
not sure on the blackstar though
in my opinion its better to go for used amps than new as the depreciate so much so you get better value
Amps:
Orange Rocker 30
Marshall JCM 800 1960 4x12
Guitars:
Ibanez SAS32EXFM White
Epiphone SG G400
Pedals:
Boss SD-1
Boss GE-7
Behringer TU-300

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#3
HT100 - Pretty muddy and fizzy in it's stock form. Heard that a tube change does wonders as it ships with pretty subpar stock tubes. An OD in front really tightens it up and helps "lift the blanket"

333XL - Not much to say about this one. I find that it is a little harder to dial in than some amps, can sound quite thin and harsh if not EQ'd properly. Again a tube swap does wonders. OD and EQ in the loop and i'm sure it would be a monster. The ones I have played were all stock so I can't comment about it too much.

JVM410H - Definitely the most versatile of the 3 and IMO the best. Like most amps an EQ and OD really helps tighten it up. I got some great metal tones from channel 3 when I played it.

I would take the JVM personally
Last edited by AxSilentxLine at Sep 1, 2010,
#5
Here's my opinion:

Marshall JVM
I never really got along with marshalls, but I really liked this one. It has a wide range of tones, and sounds very full all the way through. I thought the low end is a bit "loose", so it's more of a hard rock amp than the kind of punchy tight bass you'd want for metal, but it's still perfectly capable. That's more of an observation than a criticism. Another thing: although it has many gain "modes", within each mode, there is not a lot of range to the gain controls. However, you can footswitch between the modes easily for solos. It is really expensive, but if you can get one for 600, that's a great deal.

Bugera 333XL
I've tried the 333 combo. The clean channel is extremely clean, and a bit thin compared to some other amps in the price range, but nonetheless usable. There is an immense difference in distortion levels between channels 1 and 2. I couldn't find that in-between overdrive tone, it's pretty much either really clean or really distorted. On channel 2 you can already get Pantera-levels of gain. Channel 3 is even more extreme. This one is definitely metal-oriented, and has this metallic character regardless of the settings. I'm not sure how to describe it. It can get pretty harsh sounding.

Blackstar HT100
I haven't tried the 100, but I've tried the HT40 combo. It has a fair bit of overtones, for a crunchy sort of rock tone, but it sounds a bit compressed and doesn't have as much low end as some combos. I don't know if the HT100 will also have these problems. Maybe playing the head through a 4x12 cabinet will improve the bass response.

The JVM was, in my experience, the most full and warm sounding of the three. That would be my choice of the three.
That's just my opinion.
#6
the only one i've had experience with is the jvm, played 7-8 gigs with a few of them, and I have never been able to find a tone I liked. The clean sounds sterile as hell, the crunch channels is a slightly saturated clean, and the high gain is just as sterile as the clean, and a bit too much for me.

One of my worse deceptions..
#7
Quote by Darkflame
the only one i've had experience with is the jvm, played 7-8 gigs with a few of them, and I have never been able to find a tone I liked. The clean sounds sterile as hell, the crunch channels is a slightly saturated clean, and the high gain is just as sterile as the clean, and a bit too much for me.

One of my worse deceptions..


That was pretty much my take on the JVM but I've never gigged with one. I don't gig but I have played various versions of the JVM 4 or 5 times now. Have not played the Blackstar but that is my choice if it is just these 3.


THERE are OTHER amps you know. What about a Orange Rocker or Rockerverb? Engl? Used Bogner? Clone? Blackheart 100H? Budda Superdrive? etc
#8
I've hated.

Absolutely hated.

Every single JVM I've played.


Never tried the Blackstar, the only one I've ever seen is the HT-5 and I have no interest in a 5w amp. The 333XL is a nice sounding amp, but I'm still not sure I trust Bugera
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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#9
I have LOVED every single JVM I have ever played. tight, and br00tal. go for it!
Quote by gregs1020
Brett has been saving for a splawn for 4 years
countries have been toppled in the time it's taking, revolutions won got a black pres

yawn


Quote by bubb_tubbs
When he finally gets one it'll probably be televised like the Berlin Wall coming down.
The end of an era
#10
Tight and br00tal are two words that DO NOT come to my mind when I think of the JVM

You know I love you Brett and we all have our opinions though

(yes I spent quite a bit of time dialing in and EQ'n - that distortion just sound so fake to me)

#11
Quote by Bostonrocks
I have LOVED every single JVM I have ever played. tight, and br00tal. go for it!

Fizzy mess is more like it
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#12
well, I'm halfway saying that just to contradict you two, but I still think the JVM is more than passable and I have heard some great tones out of them
Quote by gregs1020
Brett has been saving for a splawn for 4 years
countries have been toppled in the time it's taking, revolutions won got a black pres

yawn


Quote by bubb_tubbs
When he finally gets one it'll probably be televised like the Berlin Wall coming down.
The end of an era
#14
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I've heard some great recorded tones too but for their price they should be better than 'passable'

The new price bothered me a bit, but if TS can get a used one for 600, I'd say it's a worthy competitor.

Of course, the best way to determine which to choose is to try it out, but sadly that's not an option.
#15
Quote by sashki
The new price bothered me a bit, but if TS can get a used one for 600, I'd say it's a worthy competitor.

Of course, the best way to determine which to choose is to try it out, but sadly that's not an option.


That's fair.

But he won't be able to get one used at that price.

600 euros = $768 USD rougly.


here is a list of used JVMs in the US anyway. I don't think Jaxed works for Europe.

http://instrument.jaxed.com/cgi-bin/music.cgi?cat=msg&fil=jvm&itm=marshall&state=&ps=&pe=&ys=&ye=&submit=+GO+

Yes, teh Marshalls are a better value over there so who knows. Maybe I'm smoking crack. You are right about playing before paying. TS - also check clips on netmusicians.org
#16
I'd probably go JVM, even though I don't like it. For the price, it's probably the best amp you can get. For what it's worth, I liked the clean and mid gain tones on the JVM, but the high gain I though was horrible, and if you wanted a Marshall that was good at cleans and mid gain, there's a ton other that they make that are better for it
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#18
But those don't count. They are still up for bid. Most bidders that are serious will wait until the last second to put in a final bid.

Just sayin'

The other thing I didn't care for on the JVM was the insides. It didn't seem real 'user friendly' as far as troubleshooting or modding. Also, I find that the pots seem to be suspect on most of them. Some are stiff. Some are wobbly. Feels cheap.

#19
get the jvm! i tried one and it sounded great. very usable sounds out of it. i wouldnt trust bugera, they sound great while they last, but ive heard some bad things about them breaking a lot.
#20
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
But those don't count. They are still up for bid. Most bidders that are serious will wait until the last second to put in a final bid.

Just sayin'

The other thing I didn't care for on the JVM was the insides. It didn't seem real 'user friendly' as far as troubleshooting or modding. Also, I find that the pots seem to be suspect on most of them. Some are stiff. Some are wobbly. Feels cheap.


You can buy it now for 650 and it comes with a flightcase.

The JVM's I've tried were pretty consistent, and they don't let me take amps apart have a look inside at the store.
#21
Sorry it's taken so long to respond to my own thread but it's been one of those days!!

Well, the JVM certainly seems to polarise opinion doesn't it!

OK, so where does this leave me? I really don't think the Bugera is going to work for me. I have my own doubts about reliability and resale value and nothing posted here has changed my mind so I think that one's gone.

I like the sound of the Blackstar but if it needs an OD pedal to 'lift the blanket, that really concerns me as that is exactly the problem I have with my DSL401. Whenever I play the OD channels on my Marshall it has that 'through a blanket' feel to it so I use my Bad Monkey with the level maxed out and the gain at zero and it sounds great. The trouble is, with the amp's gain on 6 and an OD on, I don't seem to have anywhere left to go when I try turning the boost pedal on for solos and as a result there is virtually no volume change even with the boost pedal maxed out. Yes, that kinda worries me about the Blackstar.

That leaves the JVM 410H. Firstly, yes I can get them for about £600. I've watched a few of them sell on Ebay now for around the £600 mark so that leads me to believe it's the going rate in the UK. There is no way I'd pay the new asking price but at £600 it does seem like a lot of amp for the money but I do want it to be able to do all of my 3 core tones. I don't use the clean channel much buty it is there. Next I use a kind of hot rodded JCM800 sound. It's very 80's Metal but probably with a bit more gain than was common in that era. This is probably the sound I'd use most. Finally is the high gain sound. At the moment I use a Hardwire Metal Distortion pedal for this but I'd like to be able to sell that and just use the amp.

Marshall is the sound I grew up with so that EL34 sound is obviously what I'm drawn towards and Marshall is the obvious choice in many ways. I am aware that other Marshalls are suggested as arguably better options than the JVM - usually the DSL100 I think but as soon as I hear 'DSL' I assume I'll have the same issues I've had with my 401 and that puts me off. I'm not saying these are the only 3 amps I'd consider but any alternative suggestions would have to be realistic. I've had suggestions before and I can never find the things on Ebay or anywhere else. It's all very well saying I'd like a Slawn but if they're not readily available there's no point. I looked at these three because they are the right price and I know they're available.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#22
^yes....the JVMs seem to be a love/hate thing. I happen to be one who does not care for them. I am also very much in love with that classic Marshall EL34 tone hence the amp I have now

I didn't even bring those up due to the fact you are in Europe. You do have a dealer or two in Europe for Splawn but they are not going to be a good value in the end. I paid $1,400 USD for mine. Used. That was after playing a JVM and countless other amps (see my Blog).

I actually prefer the DSL and the TSL over the JVM <flameshield>

I would def look out for a JCM 800. Or and Orange Rocker/Rockerverb as mentioned (but I like a darker tone)

If you do get a JVM I highly recommend a 210

also, you don't have to ask people in the store to open up an amp for you. Besides, it would negate the warranty :p

Let the internet be your friend:

JVM




Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Sep 1, 2010,
#23


What's up with the big digital section? Reverb I guess. But

TS, the volume doesn't change when you boost the front of an overdriving amp because of compression. You'd have to put it in the loop if you want volume boost. But you only get the tightening effect if it's in front. Personally, I'd go with the JVM out of those. Blackstar is meh at best and if you can afford something better, why go with a Booger.
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#24
I use the OD in front of the amp to tighten the distortion but to boost solos, I use an MXR Boost/Line Driver. Either way, when I'm using the amp's own distortion on my DSL, the boost has virtually no effect at all. It's a pity, because with an OD pedal in front the amp sounds fantastic but if you can't increase the volume for solos, what's the point? If the DSL could easily do the 3 basic sounds I want, not like it's playing through a blanket and be able to take a boost for solos I'd get the DSL100 in a heartbeat but it just doesn't seem to do everything I want.

Looks like it will have to be the JVM so I'd better hope I like the sound of all the channels as for £600 there doesn't seem to be many other options available that do everything I'd like it to.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#26
Sorry, I didn't make that clear - the MXR Boost pedal is the last thing in the loop now.

Just looking over some other amps in my price range and wondered if any of the Laney amps might fit the bill. Anyone got any experience of these?
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#27
If it's an option, I'd go with an Orange Rockerverb 100. That amp ****ing rocks.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com