#1
So I need some help deciding what to buy. I have no idea what I should actually get. I just know that I don't like my tone.

My rig right now consists of my Gibson SG Special, Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 401, Fulltone OCD, Vox V847a, and EHX Memory Boy. I love the tone I get when I crank the marshall. But I can never do that. And the tone I get while playing at low volumes isn't too good, and I can never seem to eq a good tone. At first I was hoping I could use an attenuator, but after reading more about them it doesn't seem like that's going to help.

The tone I want is the sound of a cranked Marshall. I know that for sure. Slash, Angus Young, and Jimi Hendrix's tones are all the ones I love most. I also love tones like Eric Clapton's.

I don't know exactly where to start. Slash and Angus use mahogany guitars, I got that covered. Jimi and Clapton used strats, don't have that. They all, to the best of my knowledge, used cranked marshalls. Which I kind of have. Now, I do love the sound of my DSL cranked on the clean channel. But I can't get that any time I want. I guess I'm basically asking if there's a way I can get a good tone at low volumes. I really want to just be able to use an attenuator to get the volume down but I don't know if that will work well enough.

Whatever I'm buying I'm not going to be able to buy it for awhile. When I start my summer job in June I'll be able to fund it. I'm planning on being able to spend about $1500 on gear. Whether that's a guitar, an amp, or whatever. And used is definitely an option.

I'd also like to point out that I'll be going to college next year, making volume even more of an issue. I'm kind of tempted to just get a effects processor or something but I don't think that will sound any better.
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#2
Maybe you could downgrade amp size?
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#3
Even a 5 watt tube amp gets too loud to crank. I've pretty much accepted the fact that I can't get an amp I can crank. I'm more looking for something that will allow me to still have good tone at low volumes.
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#4
Have you tried an EQ? Usually amps need to be EQ'd slightly different at different volumes to sound good. Maybe try an OD if youre not already. It'll give your tone some extra grit. I'm not sure what the OCD is.
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#5
Quote by Offworld92
Have you tried an EQ? Usually amps need to be EQ'd slightly different at different volumes to sound good. Maybe try an OD if youre not already. It'll give your tone some extra grit. I'm not sure what the OCD is.


The OCD is an overdrive pedal. And I'm not so sure I want to buy and eq pedal. Yeah it may help immensely, but the last time I bought an eq pedal I didn't like it so much. Maybe it was because I didn't know how to dial in a good tone, or maybe it was because of the amp I was using then. But I just didn't like it.
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#6
If you are not super fussed on a clean channel you could look at a Blackheart Little Ant or Killer Ant. I have a Killer Ant and it is Killer. 1 watt baby.

Otherwise I recommend a Vypyr 60 (headphone option), or Pod of some kind.


inb4blackstarht1/thread
#7
18watter with variable wattage control?

i mean if you are convinced you want power tube distortion.

something like london power or a beefy aracom attenuator and a jtm45 is the way to go.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Quote by AcousticMirror
18watter with variable wattage control?

i mean if you are convinced you want power tube distortion.

something like london power or a beefy aracom attenuator and a jtm45 is the way to go.


When you say london power do you mean the power scaling kits they have? If so how well do they work compared to a weber attenuator or something similar? Would it be too hard to have that installed on my current amp? Of course I'd much prefer a JTM 45, but just in case I end up not being able to get a new amp would it still work fine in my DSL?

As for the aracom. $700 is a lot for an attenuator. Can you explain to me why it's different from a weber attenuator or something similar and how that translates into change tone?
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#9
the aracom has more options and is more transparent.

the london power kits can be installed in your amp probably.

they aren't attenuators. they change the working voltages of your amp.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
i just built an 18 watter (1974X) with a master volume, and if poweramp distortion is what you really want, even that is a little on the loud side (assuming you don't want cleans at all, since the 18 watter is a single channel non-clean channel amp). i play loud and rehearse loud, and 18 watts at pt saturation is louder than you reasonably need.

if what you are craving is the power amp distortion, an attentuator may be what you are looking for. it basically soaks the wattage down (not a whole ton on volume) so you get that PT breakup, but it wont make it much quieter.

another thing you can try that i did for a short while with my MXR 10 band was to lower the level of the preamp (lower vol and gian sliders) and turn up the master, in essence not pushing the signal into the power amp as hard, but pushing the poweramp harder because of the vol knob. from a theoretical stance, it makes no sense, but it did make me a little happier with that amp.

EQing goes a long way too,, so i would recommend messing around with the EQ before doing everything else (or eq pedal).

also i don't really care for the OCD a whole lot as a boost. i for boosting, i have had better luck with the 808 type.

if its a nonmaster amp, i think it would be different though.
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#11
Building an amp or looking at Ceriatone may be the way to go. The JTM45 isn't going to help with your volume problem. It is louder than the DSL. A $700 attenuator/scaler seems like a waste to me. I know the Vypyr 60 or Pod may seem like a silly rec for someone willing to spend $1500 so I'll shut up now.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Mar 30, 2011,
#12
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Building an amp or looking at Ceriatone may be the way to go. The JTM45 isn't going to help with you volume problem. It is louder than the DSL. A $700 attenuator/scaler seems like a waste to me. I know the Vypyr 60 or Pod may seem like a silly rec for someone willing to spend $1500 so I'll shut up now.

Haha. Do you guys have any recommendations for a good 18 watter build. Cieratones out of the question because I don't want to have to mess with shipping and customs. Weber has a lot of kits, are they any good? And if I can't get a new amp, which one of those power scale kits would work for my amp?
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#13
If you can't crank a 5 watt amp, I suggest looking into going acoustic.
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#14
i mean, the british marshal tone is a voicing used on about 40% of amps out there. it is relatively easy to find quality boutique lower wattage british voiced amps, you just gotta find one with the features and exact tone you like.

but i feel like you have witnessed first hand the high vs low wattage debate. problem is people dont nuderstand what EXACTLY the power does. people just think they play live they need power oh so 100 watts. no. no.

the power is literally the opposite of that. with mics and everything you dont need power to be loud, and even small amps do get pretty loud. its all about the function of the amp and how it reacts to your playing and how your pushing it. power effects the cabability and handling of the amp.

in this case, your power is overkill and not letting your amp give you the response you want cause your not using a huge ass marshall head in the right setting - like angus young or hendrix would.

i live in a metropolitan area where there are many gigs every weeks. probablymore to count. from concert veneues to pubs, i dont think ive ever seen anyone use anything over 40-50 watts for rock music. you just dont need it with the right setup and proper micing. unless your doing huge venues or actually need all that power.
Last edited by ikey_ at Mar 30, 2011,
#15
Get a Blackheart handsome devil. Put it in 7 watt mode, keep the level down, crank the drive and add your ocd. You should be good to go. I can do that with mine while the wife is watching tv in the next room and I get no complaints.
#16
Quote by Grawgos
Get a Blackheart handsome devil. Put it in 7 watt mode, keep the level down, crank the drive and add your ocd. You should be good to go. I can do that with mine while the wife is watching tv in the next room and I get no complaints.


I've tried out the Handsome Devil, and while I like the tone, I'd rather have something better. The difference in tone between the HD and my DSL 401 doesn't justify buying it.
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#17
Laney Lionheart 20-watt head. Amazing value in Europe, but I think it's less than 1000 dollars so it's within your budget.
#18
Quote by skeleb
Laney Lionheart 20-watt head. Amazing value in Europe, but I think it's less than 1000 dollars so it's within your budget.


I listened to a demo on youtube and didn't like it at all. Sounded horrible the more he cranked the gain.

Can anybody answer my previous questions about the power scaling and an 18 watt kit?
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#19
london power. triode eletronics , watts tube audio, hoffman boards

all sell kits.

morgan amps sells low wattage amps with built in power scaling.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#20
Quote by AcousticMirror
london power. triode eletronics , watts tube audio, hoffman boards

all sell kits.

morgan amps sells low wattage amps with built in power scaling.



Thanks a lot! Is there any particular brand you'd recommend over the others, or are they all around the same level?
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#21
A truly foolproof option as far as getting cranked tone at low volumes will require another power amp as well as an attenuator with a line out.

The process is simply that you plug your head into the attenuator (the Weber MASS comes to mind) which then plugs, via the line out, into a power amp (a commonly-used power amp for this purpose is the Crate Power Block) which then plugs into a speaker.

What this does is allows you to run your head's master high, while the attenuated signal is passed through the line out on the attenuator to the Power Block, which ultimately controls your overall volume when it's sent to the speaker.

Of course, a rig such as this can be quite a pain to travel with, but if you have a semi-permanent operation with your Marshall as far as leaving it in one place, you only have to set it up once and you're good to go.
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#22
Quote by Major Sparky
Thanks a lot! Is there any particular brand you'd recommend over the others, or are they all around the same level?


uh i dunno. I mean they are amp kits...you get a circuit board and some parts and stuff...

like better in what way do you want?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#23
Quote by AcousticMirror
uh i dunno. I mean they are amp kits...you get a circuit board and some parts and stuff...

like better in what way do you want?


Like, which kit has the best quality parts, best instructions, etc.
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#26
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
really? i would think there would be differences

Do you really want to build one Major Sparky?


Well, I'd love to be able to build one. I just don't know if I'd be able to, and how good the end result would be.
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#27
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
really? i would think there would be differences

Do you really want to build one Major Sparky?



i mean for the average guitar amp you're talking crap components costing less then 100 dollars.

decent components costing 150.

magic mojo costing lots.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#28
^ I see. You would know more than I on this


My suggestion is to figure out if you have to have that cranked tone at lower volumes and are willing to spend money to get as close as possible - or if you want just need something that works in a quiet environment and is versatile.

A JTM and some decent attenuating gear will be expensive, sound awesome, but may be hard to crank and control and won't be as versatile.

A POD or Vypyr will be great for bedroom playing and versatility but won't sound as good. It WOULD however leave you with roughly $1,000 for a Ceriatone type clone. Something to consider.
#30
Quote by AcousticMirror
totally forgot about mojotone

http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/amp-kits-marshall-18-Watt-Style-head-only/18-Watt-Style-Amp-Kit-Head-Only-Complete

more expensive then some of the other kit places but they'll give you everything you need.


Looks good, thanks for the help.

311 - At this point I know pretty well what I want. So I'm okay with going the expensive route and getting something that's not versatile. Thank's for the help though. The vypyrs look interesting, they just have way more than I'll ever need.

So it seems like I could get an amp kit, and the power scaling kit for less then a grand, sounds great!
Gear:
Gibson SG Special Faded
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
#32
Quote by Major Sparky
Even a 5 watt tube amp gets too loud to crank. I've pretty much accepted the fact that I can't get an amp I can crank. I'm more looking for something that will allow me to still have good tone at low volumes.

Bai mah attenuator so I can get a bigger one.
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