#1
I recently bought a used Marshall JCM 900 4500. I had it retubed and biased right after I bought it. The amp is awesome for any kind of rock, hard rock, blues, etc crunch sound, but I can't get a great modern metal type sound. I have a prog-metal band and I want to be able to get that "djent" type tone.

Would a tubescreamer as a boost help me out? Or a distortion pedal in the clean channel? Or should I keep using my old amp (a valvestate 100) when I'm playing with my metal band until I can afford a 5150 or 6505? Thanks.
#2
Quote by Metalrox247
I recently bought a used Marshall JCM 900 4500. I had it retubed and biased right after I bought it. The amp is awesome for any kind of rock, hard rock, blues, etc crunch sound, but I can't get a great modern metal type sound. I have a prog-metal band and I want to be able to get that "djent" type tone.

Would a tubescreamer as a boost help me out? Or a distortion pedal in the clean channel? Or should I keep using my old amp (a valvestate 100) when I'm playing with my metal band until I can afford a 5150 or 6505? Thanks.


If I remember, the JCM 900 isn't exactly the best for metal, but boosted with a tubescreamer I don't see why it couldn't pull off metal, but don't expect anything modern sounding.

But for djent, I think it's more about technique than actual tone, could be wrong though. I do, however, not recommend using the VS100 for anything other than a doorstop Actually, consider trading it in for pedals or cash, unless you use it as a practice amp.
#3
Not much point boosting it unless you mod it. It already has a fuzz box built into ch 2 and an overdrive in ch 1. If you rip them out, boosting works fairly well. Leave them in and it all turns into a fuzzy mess.
Sell it and buy a 5150/6505 or a Recto.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Apr 4, 2013,
#4
Quote by Guitarbaddie
I do, however, not recommend using the VS100 for anything other than a doorstop Actually, consider trading it in for pedals or cash, unless you use it as a practice amp.



I disagree kinda. It is a versatile amp as far as metal is concerned but is basically an SS amp and produces SS distortion. If you like it or prefer tubes instead, thats a different story but for what it is, it works well.

That said, VS100 is crappier of the old Valvestates but people have managed to get good sounds out of it too. Try putting tubescreamer in front. As wierd as it is it does work though Djent amp it is not. It stays as oldschool death metal amp.

I suggest you sell JCM900 and look for Peavey 6505, or JCM2000 DSL if you want to stay in Marshall.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Apr 4, 2013,
#5
My first exposure to the sound of a JCM900 was Tristania, who started out playing doom metal and moved to gothic metal. They don't use boosts, overdrives or additional distortion pedals and they chug along just fine. A JCM900 absolutely can do metal, even obscure styles of metal. It's pretty much what it was invented for.

The trick is to buy a good noise gate so you can push the gain higher; you also need to have the volume cranked. Just like a JCM800, the 900s get their 'most metal' tones when the volume is pushed as well as the gain. An attenuator will help with this if you can't reasonably push the volume loud enough.
Speaker selection is also really important. A 900 is going to sound real muddy through Greenbacks and will get pretty shrill with T75s. Most people use it with the standard V30 and that does tend to be what gives the fullest sound before turning to indistinct mud.

Do be careful with the EQ controls, too. The bass can easily get out of hand, the treble can easily get very harsh and the mid control will take you through the full range of sound from tinny typical solid state distortion to full valve warmth. I know the same could be said for most amps, but with 800 and 900s the controls get even more drastic and you have to be even more careful with them. You're going to want to push the mids higher than you probably think you need for a metal tone, don't go too crazy with the bass and you definitely want to keep the treble rolled back.

Lastly, pickups and guitar set up are very important with a 900. No matter what you do, a Strat with single coils and .009 strings is never going to sound full with a JCM900. A Les Paul with heavily overwound ceramic humbuckers and .012 strings set really low to the fretboard will never sound tight and clear with a JCM900. To get that tight, 'djent' chug you're going to need to use strings with fairly high tension but which aren't too large and you'll need to use fairly powerful pickups but keep them further from the strings than you usually would, so you get a bit more clarity and the lowest strings won't mush out. JCM900s are a perfect match for things like longer-scale scale 7-strings with active pickups; they're pretty much always crap with more traditional guitars, regardless of what type of music you play.
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#6
You need to push the output of a JCM900 even harder than a JCM800 because the preamp is a piece of shit. They aren't too bad modded like mine though.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
Thanks for all the responses. The previous owner told me he had the 900 modded, but I couldn't tell you exactly what he did. I want to keep the amp because I love the tones I can get for rock type stuff, but when I plug in my Carvin 7 String it gets muddy once the gain gets past around 1/2 way. Although the VS100 is a crap amp it could get a tighter thicker gain than i can get with the 900.

When I eventually get a 5150, which model should I get? 5150/6505, 6505+, 6534, or 5150III ?