Do JVMs Sound Bad?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by RatDaddy, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Active Member

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    Hello all. I've been down a whirlwind path with JVMs (410H, and 215C, at least) and they just seem to sound ...weird to me. I'm a big fan of the 6100 and it just seems to sound so much better. The JVMs seem floppy, dull, and have a "weird transitory" sound when playing single notes in the distortion modes. Is this just me? I understand they are "all-tube" circuitry. ?? Would this mean there is no diode clipping going on like earlier models? If so ..maybe I liked the diode clipping for all I know.

    Not Marshall bashing as I've used them since 1984 pretty much exclusively. Just curious and was really wondering about this JVM ...breed.
     
  2. spacerocker

    spacerocker Well-Known Member

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    The JVM is an all-valve multi-channel amp based on the 2203. There is no diode clipping or transistorised distortion anywhere in the amp!

    The different channels and modes give the ability to add or subtract gain stages, and alter the tonalilty of the amp. I am surprised you can't find a sound or mode that you like. I think the JVM is a pretty good sounding amp, and is almost unbeatable in terms of versatility!

    But when I first bought my JVM, I thought it sounded a bit "flat" compared to my old 2203. There are several reasons for this, the most important being VOICING. The JVM is just not as bright-sounding as some of the 800 series, and certainly the 6100! This is easily fixed by either turning the trebles up on the channels, cranking the presence, and keeping the resonance control on Zero! (the old amps never had this control!)

    putting an EQ in the loop, and boosting the upper mids works wonders, as (to a lesser extent) - using one up front...

    Other reasons why the JVM sounds the way it does include a "tight" Power amp, with very little "sag" and a very compressed sound on the OD channels - this is purely down to the massive amount of gain availalbe - solution: Keep the gain low (3 or 4) , and stick to green and Orange channels!

    Of course there are several mods you can do which open up the dynamics of a JVM, and give it a much more traditional feel, but I have outlined above some basic things to try to give a more traditional sound

    The stock JVM is NOT a bad sounding amp, by any stretch - but I hope I have addressed some of the reasons that it sounds a little different to some of the older models?
     
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  3. wmachine

    wmachine Well-Known Member

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    Great thread. When I first saw the thread title, I thought "is the poster nuts?", but Ratdaddy, you really did well state your POV. And spacerocker followed up with an excellent answer.
    I can once again see the vast difference that settings make. I can just imagine how many time guys have dumped amps because "they sound bad", when in reality they have not found the right setting(s). IOW, they couldn't find it even though it was there.
    Sure sometimes it is just someone's ear and their preferences, but....
     
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  4. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW Member

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    I played one at Guitar Center and really liked it. Too bad I never bought it though.
     
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  5. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I've plugged into good ones and bad ones so its possible. If you actually own one make sure you got good tubes, the bias is set right, maybe its the speakers youre using or the guitar youre using, all these things can affect tone. Also maybe the JVM isnt the tone in your head, you may be an 800 or plexi guy which do sound different as does the 6100, all Marshalls have their own sound which makes it that much more fun! Hey and welcome to the forum! :yesway:
     
  6. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    There's so much tone variation in the JVMs that I imagine it would take a while to get exactly the sound you want. The problem with a highly versatile amp - the more knobs the more ways to do it wrong. Although to my ears they're a great amp.
     
  7. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    It took me a while to learn to keep the gain down to about 2 or 3, and the resonance down as well.

    I bought my 215C new in UK for the equivalent of $480. At that price it's a bargain IMO.
     
  8. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Well-Known Member

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    IMHO the JVM series are one of the best Marshall's amps ever made. The fxloop it's simply perfect.
     
  9. RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Active Member

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    Damn ...that was great. Thanks a lot, guys!

    Yea ..it's extremely versatile and just as you said, the lower gain settings are where it's at for me most of the time. Take like channel 2 mode 3 full gain - it's exhibits the very "bad" sound I speak of in that it's extremely bass heavy and ..floppy and I can't seem to dial it out because even the bass all the way down doesn't tame that "wholly" bottom heavy flop, to me.

    Channel 3 modes 2 and 3 are not even usable to me because they are so metal grinding and fuzzy I just can't take it. The first mode here is what I like best (I also use the first mode on channel 4 with the gain pumped up a bit for lead). Obviously channel 4 modes 2 and 3 are out too, for me.

    So it's:

    1 - Channel 1 mode 2 pressed with a little (very little) distortion for clean. Too clean for me is too sterile.
    2 - Channel 2 mode 2 with enough gain to do things like Tom Petty and other light rock stuff.
    3 - Channel 3 mode 1 with enough gain for zep type rhythm (maybe about 11 o'clock).
    4 - Channel 4 mode 1 for leads (basically the same as my channel 3, with the gain up a bit more).

    All EQ settings are about the same and I actually dialed them in blindly that way. lol. Res at about 9 o'clock and presence about 1:30.

    This still doesn't explain the "weird" sound I mentioned. I do admit I seem to be the only one that hears it ..or is aware of it. Say for example, if I play an A note in 7th position on the D string it doesn't seem to "bite" like a Marshall - it seems kinda dead and transistory/droney ..if that makes sense. I just call it ..weird. ?? It's almost like the note is muffled and trying to "get out".

    Rant sector:
    I do call serious BS on the mode changing with the foots witch though. This ruined the 215C for my purposes and cost me dearly. To me it is complete twilight zone that they would allow you to change a mode with the foots witch but not recall any of the potentiometer tone settings. It is to say, if the switching of the mode on the same channel lands on good pot luck then you're good. The lack of recalling of these settings is a complete joke. I have a $200.00 MG that is far more intelligent than the JVM's memory that ...saves the FX loop setting. ??? Give me a huge break ..1 time Marshall. Try recalling the channel volume and GAIN settings at least. In their JVM manual it says the foot switch "recalls the channel's settings". This is a lie and they should probably be sued for it. :mrburns:
     
  10. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    It remembers reverb, loop and MV I think. To remember all the eq stack settings as well would need far more stuff going on and would increase cost and potentially reduce reliability..

    To get round the issues you mention, I use a HELIX as a midi controller. Then add eq, gain etc in front or in the loop as required.
     
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  11. Sacalait

    Sacalait Well-Known Member

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    If a JVM sounds "bad", either it's broken or you should not be playing guitar. Sounds cold, but it's truth.
     
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  12. spacerocker

    spacerocker Well-Known Member

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    That's weird because the "Crunch" channel is actually the closest to a 2203 circuit wise, and tone wise! (Acutally crunch orange is the closest) . Some people find the crunch channel bassy - I find it fine, but find the OD channels a bit thin! I compared it to my 2203 when I first got it, and that confirmed that, if anything the 2203 had more bass/low mids, but it also had more upper mids. This is probably partly due to the "treble peaker" on the 2203 (a simple high-pass filter) which emphasizes the upper mids. I added this to my JVM as a mod, and it does make it sound more "800-like" - but I can get the same result (only better) with an EQ in the loop!



    I would seriously put the resonance on zero! that would help with the "muddy bass" problem. Resonance was added for the metal-heads! Also try the presence up 3/4!

    Can you post a sound-clip? it does sound strange - but I wonder if it is something more to do with your guitar than your amp?


    The footswitch only recalls the position of SWITCHES - E.G Channel, Mode. Loop ON/OFF, Master 1 or 2, Reverb ON/OFF etc.....it cannot recall potentiometer positions because these are analogue functions from REAL analogue components! Santiago must have gone to great lengths to ensure that despite all the clever high-tech MIDI control, etc - the basic AMP is a traditional all analogue, all valve amp! Still the purists claim that it is "digital", and "Solid State" - none of which is true!

    I think he did a great job with the foot-switch - making it programmable, and the ultimate master-stroke, allowing it to use a normal speaker cable or guitar lead...

    Not being able to adjust the volume of different modes within a channel is a pain, I admit - but I overcome this by using blank presets in my rack effects (G-major) and setting these at different volumes to compensate for different modes!
     
  13. wmachine

    wmachine Well-Known Member

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    It sounds good enough that even though I shouldn't be playing, it still sounds good!
     
  14. G the wildman

    G the wildman Well-Known Member

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    Re: Rick buying one in the uk for a few quid.

    I don't get it. Such a a lot of amp for a gigging musician and no resale value.


    My one which is showroom condition sits on a table with a protective cover on it doing nothing. It has been out of the house only a few times. Yet it did not sell for £400 -500 which I put it on sale for. And! Yet they are still sold new. I don't get it.

    I was offered £350.00 a few times. It is too much amp to sell for that.

    Maybe if I ever learn to play nicely it might get an outing. In the meantime it is snug on the table.

    But back to the OP. I find it hard to get a bad sound from it with any guitar. Must be your personal preference.

    G
     
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  15. ShredMojo

    ShredMojo Member

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    you need to try the Satch version.
     
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  16. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    What speakers with the 410H? I did do the neg feedback mod to mine which opens it up more. Ch 2 mode 3 os boosted 800 territory for sure. Not entirely different from the 6100 ch 2 mode B at all. The 6100 is a very bright amp for sure. I say boost presence, amd consider the neg fdbk mod. Also what speakers?
     
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  17. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    So I paid less than that new!
     
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  18. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps consider new tubes and/or a bias adjustment. Some owners have reported a cold bias setting from the factory.

    :coffee:
     
  19. ken361

    ken361 Well-Known Member

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    I read and talked to a few people who dissed them I had one years ago.
     
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  20. RatDaddy

    RatDaddy Active Member

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    Cool. I'm gonna keep this in mind. :idea:
     

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