the hirsh
Unegistered User
Join date: Jul 2009
347 IQ
#1
I recently bought a jcm800 and 2x12 cab, they're SOOO loud!! I don't play them at home but at band practice today I couldn't turn the volume past 1.5. I play in a metal band with 2 other guitarists and a VERY heavy hitting drummer. Will I ever be able to turn up, even at outdoor gigs?
AcousticMirror
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#2
do you get a prize for turning it up above 1.5?
do you need an attenuator so you can get that prize?
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Kevin Saale
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#3
Attenuator might help you, it also might not. They are finicky beasts. I'd look into lower sensitivity speakers before I messed with attenuators.
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Cathbard
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#4
What JCM800 do you have? There are several different ones.

And:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1433637
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Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 4, 2012,
the hirsh
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Join date: Jul 2009
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#5
Its a 2203. I've never had the opportunity to turn up the master so I'm not even sure how much better it would sound. Is it a big difference generally?
Kevin Saale
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#6
Generally, it depends on the amp. Generally, with that amp, the cliche 'JCM800 sound' is when its cranked, but how loud that is, well, is up to preference. If its a 2203 I'd try running it with just 2 tubes instead of 4 and try to find some lower sensitivity speakers, that'll do you better than an attenuator.
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gosam
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Join date: Jan 2012
177 IQ
#7
As said before lower sensitivity speakers will help.
I also have a 2203 and I've put in a PPIMV. Post phase inverter master volume if you don't know.
It's basically a third volume knob that allows you to crank the master while bringing down the overall volume.
I haven't had the opportunity to compare the sound of the cranked jcm with and without PPIMV, but it's logical that there would be some tone loss or change. Though a lot of people agree that it's better than attenuators in that respect.
Ian_the_fox
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#8
To start with what kind of music do you play? If you play thrash or death an attenuator would be pointless, as the point of one is to drive the power section, and modern metal relies on preamp drive.

Just get a TS-9 as a boost and keep the volume below 1.5 unless you need it. There's no law that says you have to turn it past that point. If it sounds good at that level, leave it be.


Oh and if 1.5 is too loud, you don't have a hard hitting drummer unless he's using cardboard boxes as a drumset.
kyle62
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Join date: May 2007
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#9
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Oh and if 1.5 is too loud, you don't have a hard hitting drummer unless he's using cardboard boxes as a drumset.
This. I used to be able to get my JCM800 up to maybe 5-6 on the master with our old drummer and his custom-built Masterworks kit.


I wouldn't be overly concerned to be honest.

When you go a concert where they're using big Marshall stacks (say, Slash, Frusciante, whoever), they're still probably only running at 3 or 4 on the master volume, since it's much easier to mic up and engineer guitar amps at moderate volume.
Cathbard
Grumpy Old Tech
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#10
Pull two power tubes (the inner or outer two) and switch the impedance selector down one notch. You now have a 50W 2204. It will still be loud but you'll be far more drummer friendly.
If you find that it's still too loud when turned up to where you like it, then look into attenuators.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 4, 2012,
Kevin Saale
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#12
Its a volume knob to put in the FX loop, its basically 5 dollars worth of parts that is really only useful to amps with extremely touchy master volume controls. It is not an 'attenuator' in the sense that we think of a guitar amplifier attenuator.
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minieme007
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Join date: Jul 2009
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#13
Quote by Kevin Saale
Its a volume knob to put in the FX loop, its basically 5 dollars worth of parts that is really only useful to amps with extremely touchy master volume controls. It is not an 'attenuator' in the sense that we think of a guitar amplifier attenuator.

Damn, I suspected as much but was hoping against it. Could it be useful though?
Kevin Saale
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#14
Quote by minieme007
Damn, I suspected as much but was hoping against it. Could it be useful though?


Yeah, depending on the amp. Something like a 6505 which is very twitchy at low volumes would be easier to dial in to a low sound. It won't make it sound better, just make it easier to control the sound at low volumes.
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Cathbard
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#15
Pulling two tubes costs nothing.
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the hirsh
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#16
i play mostly rock, so I'm trying to get some power amp juices running. I have a ts9-ish pedal (green rhino) that I use for harder stuff so I guess I don't really NEED to turn up. Thanks for all the info from everyone, I think I'll try pulling 2 tubes next practice.
the hirsh
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Join date: Jul 2009
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#17
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Oh and if 1.5 is too loud, you don't have a hard hitting drummer unless he's using cardboard boxes as a drumset.


Yeah maybe not, he's just way louder than any other drummer ive played with so it might just feel like hes hard hitting. Not too sure.
Cathbard
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#18
Don't forget to switch the impedance selector down a notch when you pull two tubes. If the cab is 16 ohm, run the amp on 8.
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ZosOhio
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Join date: Nov 2012
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#19
I was in this same predicament a year ago or so. The frustration caused me to sell my Peavey 6534+, which I loved. Although I miss that amp very much, it helped me realize that I really do not need an amp of that caliber, in terms of power.

However, I did purchase two attenuators over the summer because I've moved into a more urban location and I have not regretted it one bit. It's allowed me to play my Mesa Mini Rec at much closer to the sound I want; without the cops kicking down my door.

In my opinion, the Rivera Rockcrusher is the best one on the market, but it is 500$ new on most sites. Not out of the budget for all people, but it was for me, so I ended up returning it. It was outstanding though. I could dime my amp and still play at 2 am if I wanted to.

I stuck with the Dr.Z Air Brake. It altered the tone slightly more than Rockcrusher (not much at all), but it got my sound to the volume I wanted for a lot less buck than the Rivera.

The third option I've heard of is the THD Hot Plate. I've spoken with people that didn't have many positive things to say about it, but I've never used it for myself and it does seem like THD sells quite a bit of them.

In short - Go Rivera if you can, but definitely consider the Dr. Z if you can't.

Ultimately, whether or not you should get an attenuator comes down to a lot of different things. But if you do decide to get one, I hope all of that helps.
Kevin Saale
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Join date: Dec 2007
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#20
Quote by ZosOhio
I was in this same predicament a year ago or so. The frustration caused me to sell my Peavey 6534+, which I loved. Although I miss that amp very much, it helped me realize that I really do not need an amp of that caliber, in terms of power.

However, I did purchase two attenuators over the summer because I've moved into a more urban location and I have not regretted it one bit. It's allowed me to play my Mesa Mini Rec at much closer to the sound I want; without the cops kicking down my door.

In my opinion, the Rivera Rockcrusher is the best one on the market, but it is 500$ new on most sites. Not out of the budget for all people, but it was for me, so I ended up returning it. It was outstanding though. I could dime my amp and still play at 2 am if I wanted to.

I stuck with the Dr.Z Air Brake. It altered the tone slightly more than Rockcrusher (not much at all), but it got my sound to the volume I wanted for a lot less buck than the Rivera.

The third option I've heard of is the THD Hot Plate. I've spoken with people that didn't have many positive things to say about it, but I've never used it for myself and it does seem like THD sells quite a bit of them.

In short - Go Rivera if you can, but definitely consider the Dr. Z if you can't.

Ultimately, whether or not you should get an attenuator comes down to a lot of different things. But if you do decide to get one, I hope all of that helps.


Weber minimass has those all beat on price and specs, if an attenuator is what you really want. Usually though, an attenuator isn't what you want.
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tas38
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#21
Thinking about those volume boxes, how many amps have an FX loop but no master volume..?
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Cathbard
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#22
Quote by tas38
Thinking about those volume boxes, how many amps have an FX loop but no master volume..?

Fender HRD? It may as well not have a MV.
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kyle62
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#23
Quote by the hirsh
i play mostly rock, so I'm trying to get some power amp juices running. I have a ts9-ish pedal (green rhino) that I use for harder stuff so I guess I don't really NEED to turn up. Thanks for all the info from everyone, I think I'll try pulling 2 tubes next practice.
Not really worth it, to be honest.
Pulling two tubes reduces the headroom and gives you a bit more compression, but that still won't come into play when you're about halfway up the master volume.

Quite honestly, a tubescreamer-esque pedal is your best bet, try that first.