#1
Would an attenuator be a good idea to get a better distortion form my JCM 800 2204? I dislike my pre-amp distortion, and right now I'm driving my clean with a DS-1
So would it be a good idea to bring the power section distortion down to a reasonable rehearsal level? Not bedroom level, not even close to bedroom level.
#2
Quote by juliusxxrock
Would an attenuator be a good idea to get a better distortion form my JCM 800 2204? I dislike my pre-amp distortion, and right now I'm driving my clean with a DS-1
So would it be a good idea to bring the power section distortion down to a reasonable rehearsal level? Not bedroom level, not even close to bedroom level.


Try using your amps gain, and boosting it with an overdrive pedal. Don't use the DS-1.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#3
Quote by Blackfire.
Try using your amps gain, and boosting it with an overdrive pedal. Don't use the DS-1.

I know, the DS-1 is awful, but when I play the amp with the master on 9 o' clock and pre amp all the way up (only way to get enough dist), it sounds like crap. So I thought, if I'd crank the amp's power section and bring down the volume with an attenuator, it might sound better.

I've noticed that alot of people don't seem too happy with suggesting attenuators, is there something wrong with them that I've missed, or have I missunderstood what an attenuator exactly does?
#4
Wait, you don't even need an attenuator to get power tube distortion at reharsal volumes.
You could try pulling out two power tubes, but then I'm not sure how the impedance thing would work.

From what I read you would need to plug a 4ohm output into an 8ohm or an 8ohm output into a 16ohm input and so on, but don't quote me on that.

Edit: Cheap attenuators make your sound worse, and expensive attenuators are expensive.
They're not suggested often because there usually are other easier and cheaper ways to get to a better distortion.
If you just want a better distortion and not power section distortion in particular, turn the gain all the way down, the volume all the way up and the tone at your taste, and then try the whole thing.
Name's Luca.

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Last edited by Spambot_2 at Jan 15, 2014,
#5
Quote by Spambot_2
Wait, you don't even need an attenuator to get power tube distortion at reharsal volumes.
You could try pulling out two power tubes, but then I'm not sure how the impedance thing would work.

From what I read you would need to plug a 4ohm output into an 8ohm or an 8ohm output into a 16ohm input and so on, but don't quote me on that.

I just thought it'd simplify things, since I use it for gigs too
#6
I edited my previous post hoping I would have not be out-timed again, but I was wrong :P
Quote by Spambot_2
Edit: Cheap attenuators make your sound worse, and expensive attenuators are expensive.
They're not suggested often because there usually are other easier and cheaper ways to get to a better distortion.
If you just want a better distortion and not power section distortion in particular, turn the gain all the way down, the volume all the way up and the tone at your taste, and then try the whole thing.
That said if you wanna keep things simple the idea of boosting the front end seems like the best solution to me.
Name's Luca.

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#7
Quote by Spambot_2
I edited my previous post hoping I would have not be out-timed again, but I was wrong :P
That said if you wanna keep things simple the idea of boosting the front end seems like the best solution to me.


Alright, so would I put an OD or a Dist pedal in front of it then? I understand this would give me a power section tone (correct me if I'm wrong).

Seems like a good solution
#8
Quote by juliusxxrock

Alright, so would I put an OD or a Dist pedal in front of it then? I understand this would give me a power section tone (correct me if I'm wrong).

Seems like a good solution


Overdrive or Tubescreamer.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#9
The tube screamer IS an overdrive.
The pedal may be a boost or an overdrive/drive/distortion/whatever ya wanna call that.
Actually it just has to be something that can boost your signal, so even a compressor with a high output volume would work.
It does for me at least...

Putting a pedal to only boost the volume of your signal and not to add distortion would give you a different tone, usually regarded as better.

So you just make your DS-1 boost your signal without introducing distortion and that should add distortion to your tone and make it different.
People usually like that better so just try it and see if you like that :P

No power tube distortion that way, though.
It may be better if you just told us what you don't like in your sound, ya know, so we can give you better advices and stuff.
Name's Luca.

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#11
That would most likely be better, yeah, though even a DS-1 would do.

Again, min gain, max volume and highs/lows at taste.
Name's Luca.

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#13
I remember you from an earlier thread. You never elaborated on what was bad? Was it weak, fizzy, trebley, muddy, not enough distortion, etc.??? Getting the amp to where it's just a little crunchy (think AC/DC) and then adding an OVERDRIVE (not a distortion) on top, would make your tone pretty distorted. Think of The Darkness, and you have an idea of what at least one of the guitarists sounds like with slightly crunchy Marshall and a tubescreamer boosting it. Think of Zakk Wylde and you have an idea of what a fully distorted JCM800 sounds like with an overdrive boosting it. An overdrive won't make a clean tone ready to play modern punk or hard rock though. This is into a tone that's getting crunchy.
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Last edited by sg4ever at Jan 15, 2014,
#14
Quote by sg4ever
I remember you from an earlier thread. You never elaborated on what was bad? Was it weak, fizzy, trebley, muddy, not enough distortion, etc.??? Getting the amp to where it's just a little crunchy (think AC/DC) and then adding an OVERDRIVE (not a distortion) on top, would make your tone pretty distorted. Think of The Darkness, and you have an idea of what at least one of the guitarists sounds like with slightly crunchy Marshall and a tubescreamer boosting it. Think of Zakk Wylde and you have an idea of what a fully distorted JCM800 sounds like with an overdrive boosting it.

Ah, yes. I've been posting around on forums desperatly trying to find my tone.

Well, when I have my master on 9 o' clock and my pre-amp on full, it sounds really muddy and not as punchy as I've heard other JCM's have (videos on youtube where they have the master turned up higher). The tone I'm after is a punchy punk distorted tone. Green Day has an awesome tone, but check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_ujVaXAJnw

The guitar playing alone the first few seconds gives me eargasms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArgvJVFbmeE

This has more of a plexi sound, so my ideal tone would be somewhat more sharp.
This would be close to what I'm after.

I'm not very good at describing tones (altough I get better), so soundclips and such is useful for me
Last edited by juliusxxrock at Jan 15, 2014,
#15
Quote by juliusxxrock
btw, I think I have a Bad Monkey lying around somewhere. If I could find it, would that be a better way to go?


If you have Bad Monkey find it and boost the preamp with it. Level max, gain off. Should give you noticeably tighter preamp distortion. I doubt you need to crank the preamp to max either when boosted. Bad Monkey being tubescreamer clone its a classic combination with JCM800.

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#16
Ah, then boosting the amp would help a lot. Try getting the amp to where it's getting crunchy, adding a tubescreamer or some such overdrive (Billy actually uses a Boss Blues Driver), turn the gain down low, level up high, and tone knob to taste (in your case, maybe just turn the tone knob up higher to add a sharper edge). That should produce a tighter and punchier sound with a bit more distortion.
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#17
Don't boost your amps gain with a Distortion pedal, that's what an overdrive is for. A distortion pedal is for playing through the clean channel of your amp. If you wanted to do that you might as well get a different amp. Plus your DS-1 isn't really a good pedal.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#18
^ c'm on guys, overdrives are distortions, and for boosting stuff it doesn't change a thing if it's labeled overdrive or distortion or drive.

And DS-1s are regarded as bad because the distortion coming from them is fizzy and harsh and unclear, but that's the distortion.
It wouldn't really be THAT bad using one just to boost a signal.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#19
If it's not working for you at rehearsal volume, then I just don't think you like the sound of your amp all that much. Revoicing with pedals might work, but you would probably get your best results with a new amp.
#20
Quote by Spambot_2
^ c'm on guys, overdrives are distortions, and for boosting stuff it doesn't change a thing if it's labeled overdrive or distortion or drive.

And DS-1s are regarded as bad because the distortion coming from them is fizzy and harsh and unclear, but that's the distortion.
It wouldn't really be THAT bad using one just to boost a signal.



In basic function its true that both overdrive and distortion pedals are same but still only few pedals labeled as distortions work well as boosts. They have more gain and are meant to be used on clean amp. For example my US Dream sucks as a boost, it just sounds bad with dist off and level maxed. Produces a farty sound.

Tubescreamers have a mild mid boost and bass cut and little bit of compression even when gain is off, (in reality its not really "clean boost") and it sounds great when you use it to already distorting tube amp. It doesnt fart out.

Simply put not all pedals are alike when you knock the gain off and crank the volume.

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Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#21
Quote by Spambot_2
^ c'm on guys, overdrives are distortions, and for boosting stuff it doesn't change a thing if it's labeled overdrive or distortion or drive.

And DS-1s are regarded as bad because the distortion coming from them is fizzy and harsh and unclear, but that's the distortion.
It wouldn't really be THAT bad using one just to boost a signal.


Overdrives use soft clipping of the guitar signal. Distortion pedals use a hard clipping. They might both use distortion but not in the same way and is why they have different names to them, because they do different things.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#22
That roots radicals song. Clearly has that double driven sound (aka overdrive into already driven amp).

Like said try bad monkey.

Edit:

^^ what you said is how should be (and is 90% of the time), but it's not always the case if going purely by name tags and their corresponding pedal.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 15, 2014,
#23
I've used the drZ Bakelite attenuator with my deluxe with good results - power amp distortion with all my windows still in tact. That particular attenuator won't sort your amp out mind you, because of its wattage. But it's still a thumbs up for attenuation for practice purposes. Bearing that in mind, i'll always +1 a RAT pedal...
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#25
I tried this out today, so here's just a final update.

I turned up the pre-amp on my JCM, keeping my master vol at 3 o' clock. I kicked in my bad monkey with following settings:
Level: Max
Low: 12 o' clock
High: 1 o' clock
Gain: None

This actually resultet in a nice sound, with lots of distortion and a reasonable volume. This saved my upcoming gigs, so thanks alot for your help everyone
I'm still planning on getting an attenuator in the future to get the most out of my sweet amp. This is a great solution meanwhile though, so I wont buy the attenuator any time soon.

Once again, thanks alot for your help guys
Last edited by juliusxxrock at Jan 17, 2014,
#26
You use 13 o'clock?

But yeah boosting the amp is a good way to beef up your sound. I even stack 2 OD's some times and my Marshall screams.
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#28
Quote by juliusxxrock
Ahhh, I'm swedish, our clock goes from 1-24, where 13 is 1
Edited now

No I use a 24 hour clock (I was military) but I have never heard it called 13 oclock. Just made me laugh a little I understood what you ment
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate