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Unread 02-24-2010, 11:23 AM   #121 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Ok back on the .....diode topic. Apologies.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 11:38 AM   #122 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

Well... My Ceriatone Jubilee has diodes, my Marshall MA50H has diodes but my UnionJack JTM45 doesn't.

The thing about the diode drive is that you can use it or not. Just depends how far you crank the gain. I appreciate the diodes on some high gain songs... it really helps get that sound you need. I am not a big pedal guy so the closest to a guitar plugged into an amp the happier I am.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 11:46 AM   #123 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

Great Article: Guitar Amp Evolution

Marshall's later JCM-800's
Marshall modified the new design, and a 1988 schematic for the 2210 (head) and 4211 (combo) amps show an extra tube gain stage after the diode clipping. The diode clipping itself had been altered to a more complex arrangement-more like a diode bridge rectifier, and the EQ was repositioned to after the third gain stage. Much like the 2203 amps.

For Marshall's 25th Anniversary, they came out with the Jubilee amps, favored by Slash or Guns and Roses, and recently reissued as the "Slash" amps. These are among the most popular JCM-800 amps, which is somewhat ironic, as they probably have to greatest use of diode clipping. Which at low volume, to my ears, makes the amps sound too trebley. When cranked, however, they can get an aggressive, yet warm tone. Listen to any Guns and Roses record, or the guitar solo in "My Mama Said" by Lenny Kravitz. You'll notice Lenny's rhythm guitars sound edgy and bright, but when Slash starts his solo, his tone is thicker and meatier with less high end "buzz" and more "throat." It could well be the EL34's being overdriven.

Marshall's JCM-900 amps continued to rely on pretty much the same formula as the later JCM-800's. There were lots of differences (some of which added gain), but the basic style remained the same: two gain stages in series, diode clipping, third gain stage and EQ and master volume. Some JCM-900 amps used IC's (transistor opamps) for additional gain. Some claim that Marshall began using lower quality components in these JCM-900's, which reduced reliabity. I've heard complaints that the output transformer blows up more easily at high volumes than the output transformers used in earlier Marshall amps.

Marshall designed these amps with the late 1980's metal players in mind, so they have a lot of gain and thin, buzzy transistor clipping mixed in with the tubes. Some amp techs find old JCM-900's used for low prices, and peform extensive modifications to these amps to convert them either to the 1960's style circuits (#1959, #1987), or the 1970's #2203 circuit. These mods are not cheap, but they give the amp a warmer all tube sound.

Doug Hoffman makes some point to point wired boards perfect for converting some JCM-900's to an early Marshall/tweed Bassman circuit. It still requires a lot of work, but less so than making the boards yourself.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 11:48 AM   #124 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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You don't have to be an electrical genius to bias an amp but you should research the subject and there are some great resources out there. Gerald Weber has books and DVD's on amplifier repair that will show how to properly bias an amplifier.

The main thing is that you know there are lethal voltages inside an amplifier that can kill you.

In fairness Gerald Weber isn't exactly an "electrical genius" either, there a far better written and more acurate books than his on these topics.

Anyway, back on topic:
Like anything else in life, diode clipping circuits sound good when well implemented, diode clipping circuits sound bad when poorly implemented.

It's that simple.

There are many guys who would be better served by working on their technique and listening for good tone with their ears, IMO.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #125 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

The Jubilee circuit to my understanding is that it does not alter the signal until the gain is at 8.

I never said Gerald Weber is a electrical genius.... I said his books and DVD's are readily available to learn how to bias.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 03:09 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

No...the 2100/2500s have the all valve preamp with a solid state FX loop circuit so all of the primary tone shaping on these is done via valves. However, there is a diode clipper bridge between V1 and V2 that acts as a signal limiter to keep from over-distorting the preamp from V2 on (over-distorting to the point of unusable overdrive I mean).[/QUOTE]


Awesome thanks. I also understand that on the 900 (2500), if you do not use much of the Gain Sensitivity knob (I keep mine at about 8 or 9 o'clock) then you do not get into diode clipping. Do I have that right?
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Unread 02-24-2010, 03:17 PM   #127 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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No...the 2100/2500s have the all valve preamp with a solid state FX loop circuit so all of the primary tone shaping on these is done via valves. However, there is a diode clipper bridge between V1 and V2 that acts as a signal limiter to keep from over-distorting the preamp from V2 on (over-distorting to the point of unusable overdrive I mean).
call it whatever you want... that diode bridge rectifier adds more distortion/clipping to the signal.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 04:22 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

Bottom line is if YOU dig the sound your getting with whatever configuration you have then your good to go. Personally I have NEVER had anyone come up to me at a show and ask if I had clipping diodes. When I ran a Boogie I just got "turn up or add mids... we cant hear you" and thru my Marshalls I get " Damn that thing is loud"!
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Unread 02-24-2010, 04:29 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Bottom line is if YOU dig the sound your getting with whatever configuration you have then your good to go. Personally I have NEVER had anyone come up to me at a show and ask if I had clipping diodes. When I ran a Boogie I just got "turn up or add mids... we cant hear you" and thru my Marshalls I get " Damn that thing is loud"!
**Damn straight, this is getting quite old; that is the debate as to what is better diodes or not..if you dig your tone great, who the heck cares how it is accomplished...if you don't, do something about it or have a strong cup of 'shut the **** up'
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Unread 02-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #130 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Originally Posted by LPMarshall hack View Post
Awesome thanks. I also understand that on the 900 (2500), if you do not use much of the Gain Sensitivity knob (I keep mine at about 8 or 9 o'clock) then you do not get into diode clipping. Do I have that right?
Not sure where EXACTLY on the knob the diodes come into play, but the signal voltage does have to exceed a certain threshold for the diodes to come on. In a standard bridge diode clipper circuit where you technically have 3 diodes in series to ground and you're using diodes that yield a 0.6 volt threshold voltage, it would take about 1.8 volts (0.6 volts x 3 diodes in series) worth of signal voltage at the diodes to turn them on. Whichever setting on the gain knob yields that output will be where the diodes start coming into play.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 04:35 PM   #131 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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In fairness Gerald Weber isn't exactly an "electrical genius" either, there a far better written and more acurate books than his on these topics.
Yeah...going by Gerald Weber's method you would wanna remove the valve shields from your preamp valves while biasing so as to not confuse the electrons.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 04:45 PM   #132 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Not sure where EXACTLY on the knob the diodes come into play, but the signal voltage does have to exceed a certain threshold for the diodes to come on. In a standard bridge diode clipper circuit where you technically have 3 diodes in series to ground and you're using diodes that yield a 0.6 volt threshold voltage, it would take about 1.8 volts (0.6 volts x 3 diodes in series) worth of signal voltage at the diodes to turn them on. Whichever setting on the gain knob yields that output will be where the diodes start coming into play.
Thanks. Makes sense. I thought I read somewhere that the Gain Sensitivity must be on at least 7 or 8 for it to kick in.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 04:56 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Thanks. Makes sense. I thought I read somewhere that the Gain Sensitivity must be on at least 7 or 8 for it to kick in.
On my 2100s you can hear the sensitivity knob beginning to the shape tone at about 7'oclock position..and I would imagine this would vary depending on the different amps..but you can pretty much tell by ear. Depending on the position of the master volume, I keep mine set anywhere from like 7 to noon. One thing that I noticed is that you can crank that knob and of course imo, it doesn't really change the overall character of the amp's tone, it just develops more gain..and depending on the guitar's pickups and pedals in use, can develop annoying feeback..but overall the tone stays decent.

Now( and I don't wish to start another debate) on the two SL-Xs I owned (both 2100s) when you cranked the gain sensitivity knob too much it destroyed the amp's tone making it sound..ahh...can't think of the appropriate word but just strange and un-Marshall like. Overall I prefer the MK3s to the MK4s despite the diodes...

Its all so damn subjective man..
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Unread 02-24-2010, 05:14 PM   #134 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Thanks. Makes sense. I thought I read somewhere that the Gain Sensitivity must be on at least 7 or 8 for it to kick in.
For the diodes to kick in, it really depends on your guitar's pickup output and if you have any boosting pedals in front of the amp, not just the gain control setting.
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Unread 02-24-2010, 06:29 PM   #135 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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For the diodes to kick in, it really depends on your guitar's pickup output and if you have any boosting pedals in front of the amp, not just the gain control setting.

true.

last time i biased my 4100 i observed the diodes and they would light up dependant on how hard you attacked the strings. I tried all my guitars and the ones in my Ibanez lit them the most, 57classics 2nd, paf pro's 3rd.
turning the gain up to max on its own did not ignite them unless i strummed hard. light playng did not light them up.
I couldn't care less........it sounds great.

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Unread 02-24-2010, 06:29 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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For the diodes to kick in, it really depends on your guitar's pickup output and if you have any boosting pedals in front of the amp, not just the gain control setting.

I use no pedals. My pickups are the Angus Young sig (I know, I know a sig...not trying to cop tone, just love the p/up).
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Unread 02-24-2010, 06:38 PM   #137 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Bottom line is if YOU dig the sound your getting with whatever configuration you have then your good to go. Personally I have NEVER had anyone come up to me at a show and ask if I had clipping diodes. When I ran a Boogie I just got "turn up or add mids... we cant hear you" and thru my Marshalls I get " Damn that thing is loud"!

+1
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Unread 02-25-2010, 07:08 AM   #138 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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A noob may get on here and read you can bias by ear and don't have to check anything and in turn damage his amp.
Can't save the world. It's common sense not to point a gun at your own face but people do it and blow their heads off all the time. Some people are just going to tinker with shit no matter what but common sense should tell you if you are unsure to do research or ask someone who knows. If someone doesn't understand that then there's nothing you can do.
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Unread 02-25-2010, 07:34 AM   #139 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Can't save the world. It's common sense not to point a gun at your own face but people do it and blow their heads off all the time. Some people are just going to tinker with shit no matter what but common sense should tell you if you are unsure to do research or ask someone who knows. If someone doesn't understand that then there's nothing you can do.

Yup, I think Darwin proposed a theory on this stuff
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Unread 02-25-2010, 09:57 AM   #140 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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if you dig your tone great, who the heck cares how it is accomplished...if you don't, do something about it or have a strong cup of 'shut the **** up'
+1
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Unread 12-06-2010, 02:14 AM   #141 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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Not sure where EXACTLY on the knob the diodes come into play, but the signal voltage does have to exceed a certain threshold for the diodes to come on. In a standard bridge diode clipper circuit where you technically have 3 diodes in series to ground and you're using diodes that yield a 0.6 volt threshold voltage, it would take about 1.8 volts (0.6 volts x 3 diodes in series) worth of signal voltage at the diodes to turn them on. Whichever setting on the gain knob yields that output will be where the diodes start coming into play.
I often hear talk about "When this or that begins to happen with an amp as the volume is turned up, etc." Such as "When do the diodes kick in?" I find myself asking similiar questions about amps and guitars. But then what occurs to me is. . . if you cannot tell by ear when something is kicking in. . then it seems to be a moot point?
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Unread 12-06-2010, 03:52 AM   #142 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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But then what occurs to me is. . . if you cannot tell by ear when something is kicking in. . then it seems to be a moot point?
Ask yourself that when you're dealing with an oscillation issue that you don't know is an oscillation issue because you "can't hear it".
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Unread 10-02-2012, 04:54 AM   #143 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

Plexi cranked wide open! 100% PowerAmp breakup! No sand and no pedals in the signal path....... thats the true and true real deal marshall sound!
Seriously, it doesnt matter... as long as it works for you. Look at all the boutique pedals on the market and all the op amps being used in effects loops and now digital signal processing? W.T.F.?
Play guitar and then play some more.
Personally I like to just plug and play with all my breakup coming from the output tubes singing. Thats the classic Marshall Holy Grail sound that is hard to reproduce any other way even when using power brakes. I gotta stack because its cool and faithfully gets the tone but I have other amps and other tones too. Seemingly my go to amp is an 18 watter or a single ended 6v6 because poweramp breakup. If I want crunch I got a x100b with a whole lotta sand in the preamps. Also gotta Jazz Chorusand for the ultimate fuzz i have orignal Eh big muff loaded with geraniums.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 01:50 PM   #144 (permalink)
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I have been a guest here at the forum for a few months now and have played guitar for close to 40 years at this point. I still own a few Marshall heads and have owned many more over the years. I currently have and use both Clipping Diode (JCM 800 2210/2205, JCM 900 4100 for example) and Non-Clipping Diode (1987XL 50 watt Plexi, JCM 800 2203).

I adore the Plexi's and JCM 800 2203's when pushed with a good overdrive pedal i.e. Boss SD-1. However The JCM 800 2210/2205's when Biased properly doesn't need a OD pedal in order to achieve killer Marshall sustain, and if you do use a OD pedal it is nothing short of awe inspiring.

I guess I am calling out those who continually are bad mouthing diode clipping Marshalls. I think you would be surprised to find out just how many popular models incorporate diode clipping to include the JCM 2205/2210 its
(2nd gen re-work 1987-1989 my Favorite), Jubilee Series and the JCM 900 2500/2100/ 4500/4100. Of course the Slash head is closely related to the Jubille heads.

I am a player, not a tech so I post this and expect to be corrected by those who know and look forward to learning from this post. But I am so tired of hearing some talk about how awful a diode clipping Marshall is and then turn right around and put a diode clipping pedal in front of the amp to push it, LOL.

What say you??????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????

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They are the same diodes Boss uses in the SD-1 and Ibanez uses in the Tube screamer. Hard to complain about one and not the other.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #145 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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They are the same diodes Boss uses in the SD-1 and Ibanez uses in the Tube screamer. Hard to complain about one and not the other.
Kind of my thinking on the matter.

I like my all tube amps but the 2210 just screams. Certainly not for the mostly clean players. That is what Fenders are for IMO.

N R
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Unread 10-03-2012, 08:57 PM   #146 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

No matter what amp I play through the 2210/05 always makes me feel like I have my old favorite hooded sweat shirt on. Its special appreciated by some hated by others but no question its down right brutal in the right hands. Harmonically rich and beautiful midrange grind. If I was a K9 I would roll in them just so I was covered in the right scent. I feel in love with the tone before I even knew what a clipping diode was or that it was a marshall for that matter.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 09:00 PM   #147 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

It enables you to get an extra 100 Yds. out of a 900....

TWIN
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Unread 10-04-2012, 08:16 AM   #148 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

So, my question, as I'm not familiar with these enough:

Is it possible to do high gain without diodes in the amp? Like get high gain thru tubes only? And whats the thing when old Marshalls are modded for more gain, whats being added in there, probably not diode?

I've been wondering these question for while!


Thanks
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Unread 10-04-2012, 08:24 AM   #149 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

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So, my question, as I'm not familiar with these enough:

Is it possible to do high gain without diodes in the amp? Like get high gain thru tubes only?


Thanks
Of course. Try a DSL or JVM. No SS distortion enhancement in either.

Ken
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Unread 10-04-2012, 09:17 AM   #150 (permalink)
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Re: Clipping Diodes, Your Thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
Of course. Try a DSL or JVM. No SS distortion enhancement in either.

Ken
I would also add that you may think about the quality of gain, as all gain or distortion are not equal. Gain is created from many different components in an amplifier and when it comes to the cascaded circuits many sound cheap and fizzy to my ear. In fact many amps within the very same make and model will display various "smooth" or "ratty/fizzy" audio. Smooth being professional sounding recordings. Ratty/fizzy being some kid in Guitar Center kickin' through a buzzy head hooked up to a brittle treble bassed cab.

Just my $.02 I have spent a great deal of my life chasing Tone and smooth Gain has been the foundation of quality. Next are clarity and compression. Lastly how does it sound when dimed. In order to not offend anyone I will not point out which amps I think sound ratty but the models number high in the last 30 years of "High Gain" developement. Many are cold, stiff and brittle both to the touch and the ear IMO. I for one like the JVM until it is turned up loud. And even then it sounds good but does not hold up to the power and clarity scale of the amps I keep. We all have different techniques so what works for me may turn you off and like wise.

Respectfully, David
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