Poll: Marshall vs Mesa?
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View poll results: Marshall vs Mesa?
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL100/50
1 13%
Mesa Boogie Mark V 25
7 88%
Voters: 8.
#1
I'm scratching my head quite a bit, and I just don't know what I want. I'm looking for a tone similar to the crunch/clean tone in this Muse song:



And also the distortion tone in this demo:



Matt Bellamy of Muse actually used a JCM 2000, and that's why I want one. However, he was playing live in big places, and I'll just be playing in a garage with my friends.

Here's what someone said on another forum regarding these two amps:

"These are two totally different beasts. Many guys with a Marshall stack would buy the Mini Mark V for its more reasonable weight and volume (it gets down to 10 watts). Its beauty is in its size and weight. I'm afraid any good Marshall amp 50 or 100w - when you really want that grungy, distorted tone - will always sound buzzy and weird, until you reach the right volume point, and get evicted. The Mark V 25 does it so effortlessly, at whisper volume. It's the tone we all always wanted from Marshall and never could muster. At this point, I'm starting to sound like a Mesa salesman for the Mini Mesa... which I'm not. I don't even like Mesa - never had... So - just go and try it. I fell in love with it, bought it new on the spot. I have many amps & cabs - this is all I play at home and gig with"

While it sounds great, a Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 50/100 used (along with a Marshall 1960A cab used) is about the same price as just the Mesa head without a cab (which is pretty damn expensive). Also, I have played through a Marshall JCM 800 50 Watt Lead 1x12, and even at a whisper volume, it didn't sound that buzzy. And when I cranked it up a bit it didn't sound buzzy at all, but still wasn't too loud, and I don't think the situation with that amp would be different with a JCM 2000.

So, what do you think? Marshall or Mesa?
#2
How loud are you going to play and do you want power tube distortion / major interaction or do you want all of your crunch/distortion to come from the preamp and/or pedals?

How loud do you need to play clean and how clean do you want those cleans?
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#3
metalmingee

I probably should have specified that, sorry :/

I wanna be able to be loud enough to play with a drummer and a bassist, and I would like my main distortion to come from the amp, with maybe one or two overdrive pedals for a lead boost and feedback. I will only be using these amps for distortion and crunch, and I will use my Vox AC30 for cleans, so I don't really care about the clean channel of these amps.
#4
Mesas are pretty dope but nothing is gonna get that Marshall tone like a Marshall (well theres boutique amps that will, but I'm talking on the less expensive end)

trust your heart.
[img]http://cdn.gs.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/v.gif[/img]
#5
JAHellraiser

That's what I was thinking when the other guy said to get the Mesa. I'm kind of more on the Marshall side then then Mesa side... I'm probably gonna end up with the Marshall.
#6
So again I think it depends on the tone you want and how you want to get there.

For the Marshall you won't get any power tube saturation at those volumes.

With the Mesa set at 10W you will.

I don't have a Mark but I do have a Roadster and they share the Clean and Fat modes. They are very nice for sure but different than the Vox from what I understand (never played a real one).

I think you'll really need to play the Mark and see if that is what you want - do you have a dealer local that can run you through the settings? I'm guessing that the crunch tones of the Crunch and Mark IIC+ modes with the amp set to 10W will be pretty special.

If you want all of the distortion from the preamp and pedals then the Marshall may be a better choice.

Ideally play both and see which one feels the best for what you want.

I also want to point out that only using the Mark for a single tone may be an expensive option. Have you listened to a Budda SuperDrive 18W?
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#7
Mesa smokes Marshalls due to one main factor - they sound amazing at any volume level, including lower volumes - it's in the design. I used to jam with a guy who had a Masrhall jcm 2000 stack - it sounded amazing when you cranked it, but it was too way too loud for every venue. In fact, we both played a show where his band was opening and the soundman was complaining the whole time for him to turn it down because he was ruining the stage volume for everyone else. It was a very large venue. The problem is that the amp sounded weak at any reasonable volume. That is a big problem in the real world of jamming, gigging and even recording - great tone at decent volumes drastically improves the sound of a an entire band.
Last edited by reverb66 at Dec 21, 2016,
#8
metalmingee

Well there is a gain control on the amp, so I can still get distortion sounds and have the volume low.

I do have a Guitar Center near me, but they don't have any Mesa products. I'll look around and see if I can try them.

Also yes, I know that the Mesa head is very expensive, and so is the Marshall, but it would be worth it in the long run.
#9
reverb66

I know what you mean, but my mind is already kind of set on the Marshall. When I recently played a JCM 800 1x12 50W, it really didn't sound that weak at a lower volume, and when I cranked it to a reasonable level, it wasn't bad at all.

What if I use the Marshall for a crunch sound, and use a Pro Co Rat as a little boost to get it into a full on distortion? Then I would be able to get a good distortion tone at a reasonable volume.
#10
If you thought the 800 was decent at a low volume the 2000 will probably similarly inspire.

For what you want the JCM makes more sense to me. If you are jamming with a drummer you should have plenty of volume to get a good sound.

The Mesa is more expensive and in the wrong direction, IMO.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#11
dementiacaptain

Yeah exactly. The 800 and the 2000 are both 50W, so they can't be THAT different. Also, even if it does sound weak, a lot of the extra fizzyness would be inaudible with a drummer and bassist in the background. And lastly, the Marshall head used with a 1960A cab new is about $200 more than the Mesa head just by itself, and if you get the 1960 cab used, then it can be even less than just the Mesa Head.

I think I've made my decision. I'm gonna go with the Marshall.
#13
reverb66

Yeah, he had the 100W version, but he was playing live in big places. But I'm 99% getting the Marshall.

One thing I can do to solve the volume problem is turn up the Marshal to a volume point where it no longer sounds buzzy, and then put a volume pedal in the effects loop. It won't degrade the tone, and it will be at a good low level.
#14
Not meaning to rain on your parade, but the whole volume pedal trick is more or less like instering another master volume. In reality you're not driving the power tubes, which is what a lot of people associate with the better tone.

Think about it: you drive the power amp by sending it a big signal. Your loop is before the power amp. You're still lowering the signal enter the power amp.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#16
There are attenuators, but frankly I don't think it will be an issue. As I said, I think you will be able to achieve a satisfactory tone with the amp at the volumes you described.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#18
No problem, definitely post a new amp day thread for whichever amp you get!
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#20
I have a Mesa 2X12 Roadster switchable 50w/100w and it sounds great at low volumes (bedroom volumes) I also have a Peavey 6505Plus 120w head it sounds alright at low volume but not even close to the Mesa at the same bedroom volume.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

#21
Make sure you have a post 2004 DSL on your hands if you buy one.

I loved my JCM DSL and recommended them to everyone. But the early ones suffer a fatal design flaw thats very expensive to fix. Great sounding amps, but mine gave mw quite a few problems before I realized what was wrong.