Best Amp For Punk (Ramones,Sex Pistols)

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by VintageTone, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. VintageTone

    VintageTone New Member

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    Im looking to buy a new amp (new or second hand don't care)
    lets just say price isnt an issue at the moment and see what my options

    ill will be using this for gigs and practice
    but also would use for home practice, although i do
    have a solid state marshall, so i can always can use that

    Thanks!
     
  2. WrenchDevil6

    WrenchDevil6 New Member

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    Not that it matters that I am reluctantly selling one, but the JCM 900 MkIII is awesome at those raw, punk, tones. Especially some of the warmer tones of the Ramones. You know the ones that I'm talking about. Gets a really rich Misfits tone without any thought. I can get an excellent Black Flag sound through any of my 900's too.

    It really is a versatile amp that requires very little configuring to get a broad spectrum of tones. Mine is a 2502. Check it out in the Member Classified section. I also have links to pictures of it and am willing to discuss any further questions/issues at length.
     
  3. Mike_j

    Mike_j Active Member

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    A question that's in the same vain as "how long is a piece of string"...

    Head down to a music store and try out all the amps you can. What sounds best for you will depend on your own style of playing. Everyones different I think.

    Interesting though that back in the day, Steve Jones (Pistols) played through a Fender.
     
  4. WrenchDevil6

    WrenchDevil6 New Member

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    Fenders are excellent for punk. My M80 Chorus is absolutely balls out when it comes to punk, but it sucks for metal. Also, he asked his question in the Marshall forum and I felt obliged to help him out.:naughty:
     
  5. SinistrousMosrite

    SinistrousMosrite New Member

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    This EXACT question is what I was facing months ago, so if I may share the results of my research to help you along.

    The Ramones initially used Metal Face 1959 Mark II Super Leads, probably '73-'75 vintage, on the first three records. They have that warm, yet trebly "chainsaw" sound that isn't TOO thick or muddy and only distort when CRANKED, so you get that gorgeous power valve distortion along with preamp distortion. These are, in my opinion, the perfect mix of distortion and clarity. Not muddy and thick or cold and "lifeless", but warm, punchy and amazing.

    Then their gear got stolen in late '77, so they replaced them with late-'70s 1959s, even though the 2203 Master Volume heads were available by then. Johnny just preferred the tone of the four-input non-master-volume heads. Even though these were the same model, these later 1959s were more "gain-y" and aggressive than the earlier Super Leads, and you can tell the difference on Road to Ruin. These amps were used through Subterranean Jungle.

    In '82 or so, their equipment got stolen again, so they replaced this time with vertical-input JCM-800 heads and used these for the rest of their careers. Johnny wasn't keen on the Master Volume control, and just kept it pegged at "10". Of course, his usual settings for each knob on all his amps were "10". JCM-800s were first used on Too Tough to Die, and the tone is noticeably more "metal", "gainy", "aggressive", "whatever-you-wanna-call-it", than previous records.

    Live, they carried their own gear, but the later rental riders specified JCM-800 heads and 1960B straight cabs only. Johnny hated slant cabs. I guess because straight cabs are more "boomy" and maybe tame the "bright" nature of Marshall amps. Speculation, but I heard that B cabs are less "bright" than A cabs from this very forum, so maybe.

    I too wanted a Marshall for that '70s punk tone, and I specifically wanted to get close to, (actually, nail exactly) the guitar sound from Ramones' first three records, (Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia), which was the less aggressive, "warmer" distortion, so I sought out and picked up a 1959SLP reissue. It has the "Plexi" aesthetics, which I prefer, but it is actually wired with the circuit from an early-'70s PCB Metal Face 1959 MKII, which is exactly what the punk/rock groups then would have used. I got a reissue because I am in a band and it is a "working" amp and I wouldn't want to subject an irreplaceable vintage amp to that kind of abuse.

    Its' sound is DEAD on for what I wanted, (which might be what you are looking for). I'm driving it through two "B" cabs, though they are the later ones with the G12T-75 Celestions. I'm going to replace them with "period-correct" G12H-30 "Greenbacks" because those are the "proper" speakers for the period, and they have 100db of response, compared to the -75s' 97db, so they should be noticeably louder as well.

    With the EQ dimed out, the channels jumped, Channel I up to 8 or so, and Channel II up to about 3-4, it perfectly nails the '70s punk/rock tone, IMO.

    Now, if a 100-watt Non-Master-Volume head is too much, (and it IS unless you live in the country and/or play arenas, but I say "Go big or go home"), then any 100-watt Marshall will do. Get a JCM-800 and crank the EQ and Gain stages, then turn the volume down. Same thing with the later 900s or the DSLs/TSLs.

    Playing the fast, eighth-note downstrokes-only power-chords of punk render a LOT of the issues brought up in the "tone wars" here unnecessary. If you're not playing leads and solos, as long as the amp distorts to where you want it, and sounds the way you want it, you'll be good-to-go, model-irrelevant.

    Even a Solid-State amp would probably get you where you want to be for fast punk rhythm playing, but in my opinion, (and there are as many opinions here are there are users), to REALLY get that sound AND that fury, nothing can replace an all-tube amp, especially one driving 500+ B+ volts through four EL34 power valves and an output transformer the size of a softball. Couple that up to eight 12" loudspeakers and it's like the voice of God.
     
  6. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 New Member

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    Hiwatts
     
  7. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Steve Jones used a Fender Twin Reverb (if you need another choice) with the Sex Pistols.
     
  8. Vintager12

    Vintager12 New Member

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    fender is cool for punk, but also hiwatt is good and even marshall.
     
  9. Procter2812

    Procter2812 New Member

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    Im in a Sex Pistols tribute called ' The Bollocks'

    I use a Gibson white les paul custom into a JCM 800 2203. It gets the sound i need... but might go for a fender twin as they have that nasel sound that Steve Jones got with his Fenders. In the early days he used Marshalls and then moved to Fender Twins because i think he got them free. Although, iv found that running a boss eq can help acheive a good Pistols tone through my Marshall.
    I know now he uses JCM 800's for the reunions and when he was in Neurotic Outsiders etc.
     
  10. HOT TUBES 70

    HOT TUBES 70 Well-Known Member

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    all the footage i have ever seen of the pistols has been marshalls , but again its
    all been old stuff from way back , but the JMP's are great amps for that sound .IMO !!
     
  11. rockinr0ll

    rockinr0ll New Member

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    All the locals use only SPLAWN.
     
  12. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, regarding the Fender, he claims he stole it from Bob Marley. Here's another little blurb regarding it that I found which sums it up a bit:

    Throughout The Sex Pistols' career Jones used a Gibson Les Paul, in an aged-yellow finish with his personal pin-up girl stickers. During the post pistols period Jones used Japanese made Burny Les pauls which he rated higher than Gibsons. Gibson have since made a replica of this guitar, the Steve Jones Les Paul Custom, which Jones has used on the recent Sex Pistols re-union gigs. Jones' amplifier was a Fender Twin Reverb, which was used at all of The Sex Pistols gigs, up until the 1996 re-union and onwards, when he used Marshall amplifiers. Jones sprayed the words "Sex Pistols" and "Guitar Hero" on the grill cloth of the Fender Twin, and it is rumored he coined the phrase Guitar Hero.The Les Paul previously belonged to Sylvain Sylvain of The New York Dolls who gave it to Malcolm Mclaren
     
  13. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    JMP or JCM800... tried and true

    you can grab any one of these amps and just plug in and go. they all don't sound exactly the same but you can be sure they will sound great.
     
  14. Procter2812

    Procter2812 New Member

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    Yeah, im a marshall man but want to try the fender twin...
    whats are the best speakers to use with my 2203... G12H 30 or Greenbacks????

    If I get the 100w 1960AX will i blow the speakers when running the volume at around 11/12 oclock??
     
  15. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    a 100w cab should definitely be able to handle a 100w amp at 11/12 o'clock. you shouldn't have any problems there. any louder and there will be a significant amount of speaker distortion/break up but that is desired by some and can sound really good.
    i'm willing to bet that you could probably crank it all the way and still be alright but you'd be teetering on the edge, but hell i always get right up to about halfway and that's always been loud enough!
     
  16. Procter2812

    Procter2812 New Member

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    Sweet cheers American Viking! I will be investing in a 70's cab with the G12h 30s i think!!
    just need my 2203 back from marshall repair... to be honest im not having much luck with marshall at the minute haha

    Cheers dude!
     
  17. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    there's a lot going on in these forums that we might be able to help you out if you're having issues with some amps. sometimes it's an easy fix whether the tech says it is or not. talk to us about it!
     
  18. Rizzo

    Rizzo New Member

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    The Fender was actually stolen from a David Bowie concert. The boys dressed up as roadies and made off with amps and guitars.

    :cheers:
     
  19. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey man, thanks for clearing that up! I've always been a bit unsure about that whole story as it is ... good to know the truth. I've heard a few variations and the Marley story always stands out as the most prominent, but I always felt it was unlikely for some reason. Either way, mystery solved!

    :cheers:
     

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