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#1
Test guitar: Fender Standard HSS Stratocaster
Test head: Marshall MG100HDFX

Well, I went to Guitar Center after work tonight and was able to compare the two cabinets, in a literal, side-by-side, A/B test. I went back and forth several dozen times for about an hour, using identical MG100HDFX heads, at identical settings.

Now, I know, the first thing you're thinking is, "Why are you using THAT head?" Well, it was the only head that was convenient for the sales staff to hook up to both cabinets. My original intention was to pair up a Peavey 6505 to both cabinets, since that's the head I'm now considering buying, but they didn't have a 6505 in the store.

Marshall MG412A $279 USD
• Overall sound quality: 7
• "Thickness": 6
• "Definition:" 8
• Bass response: 6
• Value: 10

Marshall 1960AV $899 USD
• Overall sound quality: 10
• "Thickness:" 9
• "Definition:" 8
• Bass response: 9
• Value: 7

Judging on sound alone, and not durability, build quality, or materials, etc., overall, I really think that the MG412 is a pretty darn good value. For only $279 USD, I don't think it's a bad deal at all. Sure the 1960AV sounds better. But does it sound 3.2x better (the number of times greater in price it is over the MG412)?

IMO, the 1960AV cab's overall subjective "sound quality" is perhaps as low as 20% (leads) to as much as 50% (rhythms) better-sounding than the MG cab.

Similarly, the 1960AV cab's overall subjective bass-response seems about 50% better than the MG cab. Do these purely qualitative numbers mean that the 1960AV is worth more than three times the price of the MG412?

Basically, the 1960AV sounds a little thicker, with maybe 30% more actual bass response (but sounds like 50% more, if that makes any sense). More simply put, it sounds a bit better, with more bottom. Does it sound $610 better? I mean, I was switching cabs really fast, back and forth, back and forth, for over an hour, and I still just couldn't decide if the 1960AV was better "ENOUGH" or not.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 3, 2007,
#3
It'd be worth it, but only mega guitar geeks and soundguys will tell the difference in a live show.
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#4
Well a tone-chasing guitarist will pay anything for better tone. If it sounds 50% better, I'd take it, seeing as that's a pretty low price for that much of an increase. The 1960 would probably have nicer speaker breakup too.

There's unrated issues in there, too though. Like the MG cab is made of stupidly thin particle board, I've heard horror stories of them having cracks under the tolex at purchase, found by taking panels off etc. They break easy, basically. The extra money buys you not only tone but quality. The Celestions will break in more nicely, too. It's a better cab and worth it IMO.

And it's probably very likely that with a very high quality valve amp the difference will be much more pronounced.
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#5
Quote by MrCarrot
There's unrated issues in there, too though. Like the MG cab is made of stupidly thin particle board . . .
Quote by LEVEL4
Judging on sound alone, and not durability, build quality, or materials, etc.
True, but for the purposes of this particular personal evaluation, I'm not considering those issues. It's basically gonna sit in my living room, and will likely never be transported, and will never be gigged.

Quote by MrCarrot
And it's probably very likely that with a very high quality valve amp the difference will be much more pronounced.
Well, that's what I was dying to find out, but the MG was all they had that was close enough to connect everything conveniently. I plan to repeat this comparison with a Peavey 6505 soon.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
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#6
the 6505 sounds awesome through the 1960AV
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#7
Quote by LEVEL4
True, but for the purposes of this particular personal evaluation, I'm not considering those issues. It's basically gonna sit in my living room, and will likely never be transported, and will never be gigged.

Well, that's what I was dying to find out, but the MG was all they had that was close enough to connect everything conveniently. I plan to repeat this comparison with a Peavey 6505 soon.

Yeah definitely try it with that 6505. I've a feeling you'll notice the difference far more.

If it's gonna sit in your living room, why not go for a 2x12 and save some money?
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#8
Quote by MrCarrot
Yeah definitely try it with that 6505. I've a feeling you'll notice the difference far more.
Yeah, can't WAIT!

Quote by MrCarrot
If it's gonna sit in your living room, why not go for a 2x12 and save some money?
Well, the living + dining room is all ceramic tile floors, glass windows, aluminum-covered walls, and concrete surfaces. It's all one open space with open-beam ceilings. I think the 4x12 is just going to sound pretty darn neat in there! That's also why I'm not TOO concerned with the lesser bass response of the MG412 cab. I might NEED less bass in a room like that. There will basically be no furniture in the entire room, except for one minimalist couch, and the half-stack. The half-stack will BE the furniture.

Save some money? God, I would LIKE to! I had the unfortunate experience tonight of playing a $3,400 Soldano SLO head tonight. Tempting as all hell. Best f*cking thing I've ever heard. DAMN!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#9
Haha, nice. You might need more bass though in an empty room like that, you'll get trebly acoustics because of no dampening from carpets and having a hard floor, and metal walls? You'll get sweet reverb though, fo rizzle...
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#10
Quote by MrCarrot
Haha, nice. You might need more bass though in an empty room like that, you'll get trebly acoustics because of no dampening from carpets and having a hard floor, and metal walls? You'll get sweet reverb though, fo rizzle...
Really? I thought the opposite would happen. I mean, I was guessing that all the hard surfaces making up the room, all acts as a huge cabinet, tending to attenuate highs and resonsate more low frequencies.

But, yeah, it's going to make a pretty neat "live" room. I can't wait to buy an acoustic cello and try playing it in there.
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
#11
Well, most of the time playing in a hard equipped room is quite trebly with reverb for me, IE playing a Battle of the Bands in a Basketball Court. Solid floor, and walls, huge raised ceiling. Massive reverb, and a quite trebly resonance. It was brought down pretty quick when the hall was filled with people though.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#12
Quote by LEVEL4
Well, the living + dining room is all ceramic tile floors, glass windows, aluminum-covered walls, and concrete surfaces. It's all one open space with open-beam ceilings. I think the 4x12 is just going to sound pretty darn neat in there!


A quality 2x12 will sound a lot better than a sh!tty 4x12.

It's one thing to test a cab in a store with a crappy amp head for an hour or so, it's another thing to have to live with it. All of it's warts and blemishes will become apparent to you once you bring it home. Probably sooner rather than later.

For the 6505 head, I'd pair it up with a Mesa, Vader, or Genz Benz 2x12. God, it'll just sound so much better than the damn MG. Not even close. In fact, I'm getting a headache just thinking about you buying such a piece of garbage. Why are you doing this to me???
You Don't Need a halfstack.

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Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#13
Quote by LEVEL4
But does it sound 3.2x better (the number of times greater in price it is over the MG412)?

I just read your other thread and you really need to get away from trying to express sound quality as being a certain number of times better than the alternatives, in a ratio to their prices.

It's a very abstract thing to judge, and you're doing yourself an injustice if you refuses to go with a much better amp simply because your attempt to turn sound quality into something quantitative doesn't fit perfectly with the price differences.
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#14
Quote by *kas
I just read your other thread and you really need to get away from trying to express sound quality as being a certain number of times better than the alternatives, in a ratio to their prices.

It's a very abstract thing to judge, and you're doing yourself an injustice if you refuses to go with a much better amp simply because your attempt to turn sound quality into something quantitative doesn't fit perfectly with the price differences.

I understand what you're trying to say, but these are substantial costs, and they merit some quantitative analysis, regardless of the abstract nature of their end-products. It's what we tend to do as consumers, intuitively anyway. At least that's my opinion.

As a professional cameraman, I have to do this everyday. People ask me all the time if one camera is "better" than another. Does an $80,000 Sony HDW-F900R HD camera look nearly twice as good as a $48,000 Panasonic HPX3000 HD camera? No, they look about the same.

I think there's some value in saying that the 1960AV cab sounds X% better than the MG. It's more information than, "Don't get an MG, they suck." It offers a sense of proportion of what is "better." And I think more information is always better than less. Of course, it's all subjective, and by definition, merely one person's opinion.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#15
To put it simply...

A speaker is what translates the head's output into what we hear...Therefore it is an integral part of how good your sound is...

If you're going to spend a lot of money on a 6505 to get the sound you want...then you have to invest equally in a cabinet (not equally in monetary value but in quality) that can show what the 6505 is capable of.

Say you bought a Panasonic HPX3000 HD camera...you've just bought a specialist piece of kit that has high-definition quality....and then showed what you had recorded through a cheap widescreen tv. Yes, the widescreen tv may look as if it's showing you the full potential of the hd technology.....but if you were then to play the same recording through a Full-HD tv operating at 1080p, i have no doubt in my mind that you would consider the extra price worth paying when you can see all the intricacies of colour.

The same translates to buying a cabinet to go with your amp, where a better speaker and cabinet construction can show up all the intricacies of sound that a cheap cabinet won't.
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#16
^ good analogy!

Quote by LEVEL4
It's more information than, "Don't get an MG, they suck." It offers a sense of proportion of what is "better."


The MG is a poorly constructed cab fitted with low quality speakers. If you want to save money, do it by going with a high quality 2x12 rather than a low end (and still overpriced!) 4x12.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#17
Quote by LEVEL4
I understand what you're trying to say, but these are substantial costs, and they merit some quantitative analysis, regardless of the abstract nature of their end-products. It's what we tend to do as consumers, intuitively anyway. At least that's my opinion.

As a professional cameraman, I have to do this everyday. People ask me all the time if one camera is "better" than another. Does an $80,000 Sony HDW-F900R HD camera look nearly twice as good as a $48,000 Panasonic HPX3000 HD camera? No, they look about the same.

I think there's some value in saying that the 1960AV cab sounds X% better than the MG. It's more information than, "Don't get an MG, they suck." It offers a sense of proportion of what is "better." And I think more information is always better than less. Of course, it's all subjective, and by definition, merely one person's opinion.


In one of your last threads (I forgot which one..), I suggested getting a 2x12, waaay before any of this guy Slats (Whoever he is ) advised a 2x12. What Slats forgot, however, is that you're in the US, and Avatar would be your best option (IMO, clearly.).

Or, if you're up for it, make your own 2x12. Would be cheaper, satisfying, and you could pick the speakers.

And Kas is right, you can't slap a numerical value on quality, and whether 'X' is better than 'Y'. You're better off using your prospective Peavey head with a decent 2x12. Forget about convenience for the sales staff - demand that they use the head you want, with a good quality 2x12, listen, and think : can I improve on that? If so, try another cabinet. Do some more research, listen to speakers, try another cabinet. And again and again until you find what you feel is right.

The MG or AV may sound great to you, and you may decide upon one of them, just please don't make the mistake so many people do of putting all their eggs into one flashy, expensive Marshall basket without thinking and listening.
#19
Quote by Don_Humpador
In one of your last threads (I forgot which one..), I suggested getting a 2x12, waaay before any of this guy Slats (Whoever he is ) advised a 2x12. What Slats forgot, however, is that you're in the US, and Avatar would be your best option (IMO, clearly.).


Do you know who I am?!?

Avatar would be much better than the MG, but it's still a budget item. The threadstarter has another thread where he's contemplating a $3000 Soldano. A head like that should be quarantined from the MG, and still kept a safe distance from the Avatar.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#20
Quote by slatsmania
Do you know who I am?!?

Avatar would be much better than the MG, but it's still a budget item. The threadstarter has another thread where he's contemplating a $3000 Soldano. A head like that should be quarantined from the MG, and still kept a safe distance from the Avatar.

Well, it seemed like he was just considering the MG to save money...So I thought, if he was going to go and save money, he should at least buy something good and affordable.
#21
Quote by forsaknazrael
I would just buy an Avatar 4x12 cab...Much cheaper than both - sounds great!

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#22
I'll suggest Avatar all day long to people with a Valveking head, or looking for an inexpensive 1x12 for their new Tiny Terror. But if you're spending $1000-3000 -or more- on an amp head, you should really be prepared to spend appropriately on the speakers it'll be connected to.

I could even see an Avatar as a spare cab in that instance, but not as the only cab.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#23
Quote by slatsmania
Do you know who I am?!?

Avatar would be much better than the MG, but it's still a budget item. The threadstarter has another thread where he's contemplating a $3000 Soldano. A head like that should be quarantined from the MG, and still kept a safe distance from the Avatar.


Fair enough, finding it hard to keep up with TS threads at the moment. If he's contemplating a Soldano, the very fact he's even looked at an MG just beggars belief.

And you're Captain Birdseye, right?
#24
Quote by kool98769
Fix'd

Err....thanks...?

Quote by slatsmania
I'll suggest Avatar all day long to people with a Valveking head, or looking for an inexpensive 1x12 for their new Tiny Terror. But if you're spending $1000-3000 -or more- on an amp head, you should really be prepared to spend appropriately on the speakers it'll be connected to.

I could even see an Avatar as a spare cab in that instance, but not as the only cab.

I suppose. Like I said, i just suggested it because he was looking at the MG cab as a cheap alternative.
#25
^ it's ok, I still like you.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#26
Quote by MrCarrot
And it's probably very likely that with a very high quality valve amp the difference will be much more pronounced.


+1

for example, most of my pedals sound alright through my avt, but sound like ass through my engl- the pedals are actually improving the avt's tone, while they're sullying the engl's.
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#27
no comprison dude. The MG cab isnt even the real thing. Is a piece of junk.

The 1960AV is IMO one of the best cabs made.
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#28
ugh, don't get the MG bro. You might as well get a big cardboard box and cutout speaker holes for it. I owned an MG combo that had a split down the particle board, under the tolex that you couldn't see. The weather started to change, and the crack must have opened up. I went to bed with a normal amp, and woke up with an amp that had a tear down the whole side of the tolex where the amp was splitting open. Amp gnomes.

You seriously have to give it a proper test with a decent head. A cabinet can only work with what's there. It can't make a crappy head sound better, but it can sure make a good head sound crappy.
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#30
i was reading and noticed you didnt think about the fact the if you ever sold you guitars and amps you would bee able to sell the 1960AV for alot more money than the MG
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#32
Quote by Erock503
haha, that's pure win


There's even a Youtube video of the guy playing Moby Dick. Surprisingly good tone too.
#33
cool comparison, but would an MG cabinet be able to cope with a cranked 6505 compared to the 1960A tho?

since you did the testing with a MG 100 head.. is it possible that a 6505 head might simply blow the MG cab apart? (probably not, but just thought i'd throw that out there..heh)
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#34
Quote by Kivarenn82
cool comparison, but would an MG cabinet be able to cope with a cranked 6505 compared to the 1960A tho?

since you did the testing with a MG 100 head.. is it possible that a 6505 head might simply blow the MG cab apart? (probably not, but just thought i'd throw that out there..heh)

The MG412 is rated at 120 Watts, and the 6505 is rated at 120 Watts—make of that what you will. But, I'm going to pull two of the tubes out of the 6505 anyway, and turn it into a 60-Watt amp.

I just did this huge write up about my six hours spent today with the 6505+, testing it with both the MG412A and a 1960AV again, and then UG froze on me. I'll try and re-type it up later.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 4, 2007,
#35
Quote by LEVEL4
The MG412 is rated at 120 Watts, and the 6505 is rated at 120 Watts—make of that what you will. But, I'm going to pull two of the tubes out of the 6505 anyway, and turn it into a 60-Watt amp.

I just did this huge write up about my six hours spent today with the 6505+, testing it with both the MG412A and a 1960AV again, and then UG froze on me. I'll try and re-type it up later.


You need to look at 0hms impedences for in the in and outputs. It's more important than compatible watts ratings, since with the incorrect impedences, your new amp head will fry itself.
#36
Quote by Off-The-Heazay
It'd be worth it, but only mega guitar geeks and soundguys will tell the difference in a live show.


thats a lie. says you with your gear.
#37
well he's f*cking right
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#38
yeah between g1275s and v30s you wouldnt, but theres a mile and a half dif. between avt and proper cabs
#39
Please excuse the cross-post, but after spending quite a while writing my review up last night, UG froze-up, and I lost it all (that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!). I'm stealing an excerpt from my own post from the "MG fanboy" thread, and I'm re-posting it here:

Peavey 6505 + Marshall MG412 vs. Marshall 1960AV Test

"I tested a Marshall MG412A 4x12 cabinet against the venerable Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cabinet, loaded with Vintage 30s, for about six hours on Saturday. THIS TIME, I used a Peavey 6505+ head on both cabinets. I kept switching the speaker cable about every 60 seconds. Back and forth. For six f*cking hours. And you know what?

The MG412 ain't that bad. In fact, in some tone settings, I actually preferred the MG412A over the 1960AV (I can hear you all now—"he's a total 'tard"). In SOME tone settings, the MG412 sounded "tighter." Actually, "better." However, in MOST other settings, of course, the 1960AV sounded better. But, it didn't sound 100 times better. It just sounded, "better." Not, "Oh my God, the MG totally sucks, and the 1960AV f*ckin' ROCKS!" better. Just, "better." A bit more bass, and a bit richer and fuller. Sure, the materials and the build quality may leave something to be desired on the MG412, but, you put a decent head in front of that thing, and you may be surprised how "okay" it really sounds."


So, needless to say (see sig), I "settled" for the MG412. YES, I BOUGHT AN MG412, GET OVER IT! Actually, as I was kind of predicting, the large space that it's now sitting in (living room/dining room) is all hard surfaces, with no furniture, so LOTS of natural reverberation, and a considerable amount of exaggerated low frequencies. Although very nice-sounding, the 1960AV may have actually been too "boomy" for this "enclosure" (how's that for a rationalization?).

Now, I'm incredibly tempted to cross-post what I did with the MG412 when I got home with it, but that's be TWO cross-posts in one post—banned from UG for sure. I'll try to be brief. I plugged my Engl E530 preamp into my old POS Crate SS practice amp to use as a power amp (since I don't have a power amp yet), then plugged the Crate's speaker output into the MG412. Guess what happened?

You can read the complete post here in my Soldano thread, if you really want to know the details.

////////////CUT TO:

Quote by Don_Humpador
You need to look at 0hms impedences for in the in and outputs. It's more important than compatible watts ratings, since with the incorrect impedences, your new amp head will fry itself.
Yes, the Marshall MG412 has only a single, mono input at 8 Ohms. So, now, I've been looking at solid-state power amps (still working on re-typing the review, sorry). The difficulty (I thought) was finding a power amp with a bridged mono circuit and output. There are several affordable power amps available, but only the good ones come with a mono-bridged output. The Roctron Velocity 100 seems to be a decent SS power amp, but it has no bridged mono output. Unfortunately, the Rocktron Voodoo Valve power amp (NOT the Voodoo Valve PREAMP) is no longer made. It was a relatively affordable tube-based, rack-mount power amp.

So, I finally settled on a Crown D-45 power amp. Often used in broadcast control rooms and other discriminating monitoring applications, it's often recommended for its clean, "no-color" amplification. In "bridge-mono" mode, the Crown D-45 puts out 70 Watts RMS into 8 ohms. But at $429 USD, I could buy like a whole real amp head for that!


Crown D-45 power amp $429 USD

Anyway, I happen to mention my power amp dilemma to a friend, and he says, "I have one you can have." So, cool. I'll have a very high quality power amp to run my Engl preamp through now. Now, I also understand that since it's a two-channel amp, as long as I don't put an input into the second channel, there's no worry about not having any impedence load on the second channel. So, I'll be able to use either a single channel at 25 Watts into 8 Ohms (35 Watts into 4 Ohms), or the "mono-bridge" output at 70 Watts into 8 Ohms.
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 6, 2007,
#40
hey, if you're happy, that's all that counts. My only advice, get a receipt and make sure you keep it somewhere you can find it. Good luck man.
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