#1
So I'm in the market for a Marshall MOSFET Lead head as a home practice amp and something that COULD be used as a backup gig amp should something happen to my JCM800. Anyway I made a thread a few days ago asking about it and the whole "its not tube" thing inevitably came up, with people suggesting other amps, such as the JCM800 combo as my home amp (even though I said I didn't want tube for home practice because I can't get the tone I want at the .05 volume I can use it in my apartment). My guideline was I want as close to the 800 tone as possible, but SS so I can have it sound good at low volume. The MOSFET basically seems to be a SS 800, hence my interest. Well I ha people suggest using a modeller like a POD or the like to model the 800 head. This got me thinking:

Why would a modeller like a POD, or the DigiTech RP500 I own, be better than a SS head? In essence, aren't they they same? Both recreate that "tube sound" via electronic components instead of tubes correct? So how would using a POD give me a better 800 sound that a SS head (in this case one that seems to do the 800 sound extremely well)? I don't get why people would bash on a SS amp but the suggest a modeller, which to me seems like the same exact thing minus a speaker? Obviously the modeller has way more tone options, but if I'm looking for just one tone, I don't understand why buying the MOSFET is a bad choice but the POD just for the 800 model is a good choice? I'm not saying that was the opinion of everyone (in fact most people talked highly of the MOSFET), but I just mean logic-wise, I don't understand the people who bash a SS for not being able to get a tube sound but then suggest a modeller for a tube sound.
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#2
Honestly, I would just get an attenuator and use that with your JCM800. That way you can drive the tubes and get that sound of it being loud, but a bedroom volumes.

Another thing I would suggest is just buying a low wattage tube amp (like the Orange Dark Terror or Tiny Terror, Blackstar HT5, Marshall Class 5..) that you can crank up at a reasonable volume and get that saturated tube tone. It's awesome.

I think the POD would be okay, or maybe even some amp modeling software on your computer.

Nothing is going to sound exactly like a JCM800/tube amp but the real thing.

As far as SS amps go, it really depends on the amp. Not all SS amps are bad, but more often then not the lower wattage amps used for bedroom volumes aren't of the best quality.
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This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

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#3
I don't really think the MOSFET Lead has a tube sound. They sound OK for a SS amp but stick it next to an actual 2203 and it's chalk and cheese. Modellers are more than just a type of SS amp. Things like the Pod are computer simulations. They still lack the dynamics of a real tube amp but they are certainly getting closer. If you are happy with a MOSFET you'd probably be happy with a good modeller too, they both are lacking compared to the real thing in much the same way - lack of dynamics. If anything the Pod will get closer to the 800 sound, not by a lot though.
If you want to practice quietly the Pod is a good way to go because you can plug a decent set of headphones into it and disturb nobody. As a backup you can run them into a PA but you will have to rely on the foldback to hear yourself, something I am always loath to do. So in that respect a MOSFET Marshall would make a better backup amp. As far as sound goes it's six of one, half dozen of the other.
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#4
Quote by Cathbard
I don't really think the MOSFET Lead has a tube sound. They sound OK for a SS amp but stick it next to an actual 2203 and it's chalk and cheese. Modellers are more than just a type of SS amp. Things like the Pod are computer simulations. They still lack the dynamics of a real tube amp but they are certainly getting closer. If you are happy with a MOSFET you'd probably be happy with a good modeller too, they both are lacking compared to the real thing in much the same way - lack of dynamics. If anything the Pod will get closer to the 800 sound, not by a lot though.
If you want to practice quietly the Pod is a good way to go because you can plug a decent set of headphones into it and disturb nobody. As a backup you can run them into a PA but you will have to rely on the foldback to hear yourself, something I am always loath to do. So in that respect a MOSFET Marshall would make a better backup amp. As far as sound goes it's six of one, half dozen of the other.


+1

Although the gap between SS amps and modellers is getting smaller if you include modeller amps. In a couple of months, the Fender Mustang Floor is going to hit the streets and it's basically the pre-amp and modeling from a Mustang III in a pedal form factor with a few extra goodies like XLR out. Line 6 has blurred the line, too, with their HD line, and perhaps has been doing so a lot longer than that. And yeah, I get it--the MOSFET isn't a modeling amp.