#1
Hey guys, this is my first post on here in a while, anyway I was hoping for some advice.

A few years ago I built a Marshall JCM800 2203 clone (100W) with my dad, and it sounds absolutely awesome when cranked- the only problem being that I haven't been able to play it up to its potential ever since I moved out, since I now live in a student house with 15 other people and paper thin walls. I was using my old vox tonelab for a while as a multi-effects processor, but that broke recently.

I've been looking at all sorts of options, either a small tube amp like the Tiny Terror, or a new multi effect to use with my existing setup; POD HD500, Eleven rack etc. but can't really see the forest through the trees anymore. I play lots of blues and classic rock type stuff (Led zep, hendrix, UFO etc.) but also like to bust out the methulz from time to time.

I've got about 400euro to spend (435usd? at the moment).

Thanks in advance for any help!
#2
Amps don't sound better cranked because you're using more of their relative power, they sound better because we (humans in general) like how stuff sound when it's louder.

So a 1w amp will not sound better than a 100w amp if they're at the same volume just because it's smaller.

I'd personally get a used HD500x and a pair of nice headphones - AKG K240mkII, ATH-M50/M50x, Sony MDR7506...
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#4
Quote by Spambot_2
Amps don't sound better cranked because you're using more of their relative power, they sound better because we (humans in general) like how stuff sound when it's louder.

So a 1w amp will not sound better than a 100w amp if they're at the same volume just because it's smaller.

I'd personally get a used HD500x and a pair of nice headphones - AKG K240mkII, ATH-M50/M50x, Sony MDR7506...


True but JCM800 is one of those classic amps that you need to crank. Running the power section and phase inverter loud is a big part of the sound. A 6505 that relies on preamp alone is a different story. In that case wattage is quite irrelevant. Just turn it down.

Get a POD though. Its the easiest choice for low volume playing and will sound good through proper amp as well.

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
#5
I can certainly vouch for the hd500 option, it's an excellent unit.

The new amps from Roland would be worth considering too.
Come with variable power so great at low volumes.
Here's a demo of the Artist version.
http://youtu.be/dx9rTZxowoM
#6
For Blues/Classic rock I still prefer the Tonelab. Find a used desktop one for $100. No use for a JCM800 in the dorm. They just always sound best when dimed.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
get one of these with a headphone out

http://www.tedweber.com/atten.htm

or get a 1x12 and put this in it
http://www.amazon.com/EMINENCE-REIGNMAKER-12-Inch-Rhythm-Speakers/dp/B003OUBJJO

about negative 9-10 DB of attentuation. thats a lot. and then perhaps my patented method of putting the amp in the closet and running the cables under the closed door. that will help you and your roommate, but unforutnately, it may be louder for the guy downstairs (if you turn up while its in the closet).

OR, you can get an amp with a line out, and run that to a small mini mixer, and then do whatever you want with it. headphones, studio desktop speakers, etc etc.

your cheapest bet with a real tube amp is the weber attentuator probably.

____


i disagree with that above statement. i dont get nearly the dynamics, response, harmonics, and overall tonal qualities when the amp is less than about 50% on the master personally.
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Last edited by ikey_ at Apr 5, 2015,
#10
Quote by MaaZeus
True but JCM800 is one of those classic amps that you need to crank. Running the power section and phase inverter loud is a big part of the sound. A 6505 that relies on preamp alone is a different story. In that case wattage is quite irrelevant. Just turn it down.

Get a POD though. Its the easiest choice for low volume playing and will sound good through proper amp as well.

what?
The JCM800 is a preamp distortion amp...
#11
Quote by darkwolf291
what?
The JCM800 is a preamp distortion amp...


I havent had the pleasure to play one myself (yet. Work in progress) but its talked about a lot that it sounds quite thin in low volumes and and why some bedroom rockers have been dissapointed with the amp. If i am wrong then do correct me but your correction would be the first comment that contradicts my research so far. And i have researched about it a lot since currently i want one so bad.

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
#12
Quote by MaaZeus
I havent had the pleasure to play one myself
Then you should refrain from talking about how it works in a situation so particular.

Don't mean to be rude, but you're saying bread and butter sucks if there's no high end sugar with it, but you have only ever eaten bread with low end ham.
Quote by MaaZeus
but its talked about a lot that it sounds quite thin in low volumes and and why some bedroom rockers have been dissapointed with the amp.
That happens with every amp, tho 9 out of 10 people who buy a JCM800 buy one expecting to get that iconic marshall sound in any situation thinking there's some magic to it.

It seems tho there is not.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#13
To make a 2203 sound decent at low volumes just requires careful EQ'ing. Pulling two tubes helps too.

But anyway, that aside, buy the best pod that you can afford.
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
#14
Quote by MaaZeus
I havent had the pleasure to play one myself (yet. Work in progress) but its talked about a lot that it sounds quite thin in low volumes and and why some bedroom rockers have been dissapointed with the amp. If i am wrong then do correct me but your correction would be the first comment that contradicts my research so far. And i have researched about it a lot since currently i want one so bad.

Mine sounds great low volume.
It's thinner and a bit muddier at low volumes, but that's the nature of turning an amp down whisper low, and can be rectified by upping the bass, lowering the presence and treble, and turning down the gain a tad
It has nothing to do with power tube distortion and everything to do with the fact that amps sound better when the speakers are moving.
#16
The thing is that I just can't get any of that marshall crunch without the master below 4 or so (cleans sound great), even with pre-amp volume dimed. I have a Fulltone OCD, but playing through it at any setting just gives me a very tinny/fuzzy tone, while my old tonelab was giving me a decent sound across the board.

Quote by diabolical
One thing that hasn't been suggested is an iso cab. You can buy or build one yourself.

Can your JCM clone do the lower power trick, where you pull the front and back power tubes and lower volume?


Apparently I should be able to do this with my amp, maybe with a small modification somewhere, I'm considering giving this a try.

I've been browsing a lot of marshall related forums as of late and most people are recommending attenuators. Regardless, I'm looking at a second hand POD HD500 just for on my desk + headphones or as a multieffect pedal, but I'm gonna head down to the guitar store next week to try a few different ones.

Thanks for all the advice!
#17
Quote by Spambot_2
but you're saying bread and butter sucks if there's no high end sugar with it, but you have only ever eaten bread with low end ham.


I have nothing to add to the thread, I just found this analogy very amusing...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#18
Quote by Spambot_2
Then you should refrain from talking about how it works in a situation so particular.

Don't mean to be rude, but you're saying bread and butter sucks if there's no high end sugar with it, but you have only ever eaten bread with low end ham.
That happens with every amp, tho 9 out of 10 people who buy a JCM800 buy one expecting to get that iconic marshall sound in any situation thinking there's some magic to it.

It seems tho there is not.



True. However i disagree on the necessity on personal experience. If you research on subject, any subject, you can get enough infornation to make educated conclusion. Personal experience, while always desireable (except for bad things), is not always necessary. After all a lot of people have tried it before me and written their experience. Even on this very forum JCM800 did not have a bedroom friendly amp reputation. Now this new information comes as quite a shock to me.

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
#19
Quote by MaaZeus
If you research on subject, any subject, you can get enough infornation to make educated conclusion. Personal experience, while always desireable (except for bad things), is not always necessary. After all a lot of people have tried it before me and written their experience.


"Research shows that 97.42% of internet data is materially accurate."
Albert Einstein, 2011
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by Arby911
"Research shows that 97.42% of internet data is materially accurate."
Albert Einstein, 2011


Point taken. I'll go now and sit in the corner in shame.

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
#21
Quote by MaaZeus
Point taken. I'll go now and sit in the corner in shame.





FWIW, I think that taking data from a number of different primary sources, even if they are all on the 'net, is a reasonable method of casual research. The problem arises from, among other things, the 'bandwagon' effect, where 'common knowledge' tends to get repeated so much that it's taken as gospel with little or no concern for whether or not it's actually true.

I can't even count the number of times I've seen provably incorrect data spouted as gospel as regards tube amps and volume, so I tend to take everything 'musical' as speculative until I've verified it for myself. (and often even then I don't take my experience as definitive, since I'm just as much a victim of unconscious bias as anyone.)

You're fine, I was just poking fun at you!
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#22
Quote by btimmer313

I've been browsing a lot of marshall related forums as of late and most people are recommending attenuators. Regardless, I'm looking at a second hand POD HD500 just for on my desk + headphones or as a multieffect pedal, but I'm gonna head down to the guitar store next week to try a few different ones.

Thanks for all the advice!

An attenuator isn't going to do much for you man.
As I said, the JCM800 is all preamp distortion, which is why it keeps the same level of gain when the master volume is down.
Attenuators are made for taming amps that rely on poweramp distortion, because they need to be cranked to get there.
I feel like an attenuator would be a waste of money, because even at 4 on the Master, if the speakers are still getting the same signal as it was on 1 or 2, it will still sound thinner and fizzier, not really solving any of your problems.
To put it bluntly, the speakers need a louder signal to get air moving and really shine
Last edited by darkwolf291 at Apr 6, 2015,
#24
Quote by diabolical
The jcm800s I played were quite tame on the overdrive and came to life when cranked so I don't how an attenuator won't do...but probably something small and good to fart around like Tech 21 tm30.

It's not about the AMP
It's about the SPEAKERS
If the speakers are getting the same level with an attenuator as they were when the amp was the quiet, they still won't be moving enough air to get the same bass response as they would if they were cranked.

Attenuators aren't magic boxes that suddenly make your tone better.
They just cut the amount of signal that gets to the speakers.
It doesn't help with the fact that the amp simply sounds better through speakers that are moving more air.
Last edited by darkwolf291 at Apr 6, 2015,
#25
Quote by darkwolf291
It's not about the AMP
It's about the SPEAKERS
Also (mostly) about the amount of air moved.

Though yeah the rest is spot on.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.