JCM 900 eq settings

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by RobS, May 6, 2009.

  1. RobS

    RobS Active Member

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    Hi,
    I'm after recomended EQ settings for my JCM900 DR 4100.
    basically for say blues, rock to metal tones.
    I know I could be opening a can of worms here with the 800 lovers but I just want to know what you run for different sounds!

    Thanks,
    Rob:)
     
  2. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 Well-Known Member

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    I always set the tone knobs to around 5 but bass on 10

    they sound even better if you run an EQ through the
    Loop and boost the bass on it.
    Great amps i think

    Im an 800 owner also no can of worms here.
     
  3. LesPaulopolis

    LesPaulopolis New Member

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    4100 user here!

    The EQ in the loop is a good trick. I started there but ended up not keeping it on all the time...only as a boost for solos or wicked heavy/loud parts of songs. Got a Sparkle Drive and use that as my "always-on tone shaper".

    Best advice I can give is to keep your volumes UP as much as you can.

    For the clean channel I keep my vol. @ 5-6 and bring the gain up to "taste" (usually around 3-5). This will be loud. You can ever so slightly tweak both the vol. and gain lower if you need to be quieter.

    Drive channel: Here's where you'll get a lot of differeing opinions. Some say use it only for solos, some say crank the gain, I disagree with those opinions.

    I use the drive channel for all my crunchy rhythm chords then kick on the EQ pedal (with a standard mid-hump and dropping the highs a bit) for solos. Works really well. Keep the gain as low as possible and get that volume UP so the amp breathes. I keep my gain around 4.5-5.5 (out of 20) and the volume at 5-6. This will be loud. Again, if need be, you can tweak the gain up slightly and volume down slightly for quiter settings (but you'll lose the 'oomph').

    This is the only way to get any "spongy" sound from the amp.

    The amp EQ settings I use are Bass: 8, Mid: 10, Treb: 1.5, Pres: 0

    Upping the presence will give you a more cutting tone when playing alone, however, in a band setting you'll be caught in the wash...so keep it at 0.

    Also, reverb...hate to say it cuz it was a big selling point on the amp for me...turn it off. It sucks tone big time. Even if you have it "off" but the dials at anything but '0' the tone suck persists. Sometimes I click it on for specific songs where I'm only clean, but then it goes right back to zero.

    Finally, these settings are great for hard rock, alt. rock and metal. I play Tool, Pumpkins, AIC, Deftones and it works great.

    For blues, just don't use the gain channel. Use similar settings on the clean, maybe a bit more gain to get the grit...and a booster like a SD-1 or something.

    Let me know how it goes for you...even if you hate it! The tone controls on this amp don't have a huge range, so most of the shaping needs to come from tweaking the gain-to-volume relationship.

    Finally, rolling back the guitar volume a couple notches adds nicely to the expressiveness of the amp.

    Good luck!
     
  4. RobS

    RobS Active Member

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    LesPaulopilis,
    I just picked up a new LP traditional (Heritage Cherry) and I must say I have re-adjusted the amp EQ settings to suit. This guitar has a sound that really makes the amp sing. I will try the eq boost you mentioned.
    Thanks for the reply.
    But, I must say again the Lp Traditional is magic, brings out the best in the 900.
    With the 900 I have recently gotten a Powerbrake and have been running it at about 5-6 on the master and gain about 4-5 on CH-A and 12-15 on CH-B, Bass 8, Mid 5 and Treb 4-5... Presence between 3 and 7 depending on what I'm playing. I have found that with the Powerbrake it's a bit of a balancing act in that if you run the amp at say 8 the Powerbrake should only be run at about half, any lower than that and it sounds a bit muddy/restricted. However with the master below 5 I can bring it right back to whisper quiet. A bit like a V8 with a hi-stall converter!

    Rob
     
  5. LesPaulopolis

    LesPaulopolis New Member

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    Nice dude!!! Sounds like you're on your way to getting the tone you need at all volumes. I just played 2 gigs last night and th 4100 was cookin'! The EQ boost really gives my solos that extra sustain and volume to rise above the rest of the band (another guitar, bass, drums, lead singer). How do you like the powerbrake compared to other attenuators? I was going to pick up and Ultimate Attenuator but decided against it as they're expensive and I just "knew" that with enough elbow grease and patience I would be able to get the 900 to sing. I run a Les Paul as well and there's nothing more rock 'n roll than a Marshall stack and a Les Paul!!!
     
  6. RobS

    RobS Active Member

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    I went for the Powerbrake as it was 'designed' for the 900amp. I found it allows you to hear the amp without breaking your eardrums. I did try the badcat one however decided against it, despite being cheaper, because it requires power and I did not like th eidea of something powered between th e head and speaker box. The powerbrake uses the amps output power it.
    being in Aus I think I found the last one here as I contactyed Marshall and they no longer import them into Aus.:jam:
     
  7. wylde1

    wylde1 New Member

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    i just put an MXR M108 in the effects loop. Boosted the low freq's all the way up, with a downward curve through the mids and don't touch the highs. I kindof use it as an attenuator, I cut the volume slider and crank the master on the amp. It has a really ballsy low end now that crunches hard, almost has that compressed recto crunch but with more color. I LOVE it like that. of course my ENGL XXL cab probably helps substantially with the low end response. I was actually thinking of getting a different amp because i just couldn't get the 900 to sound the way I envisioned my tone in my head. I'll be hanging on to 'er now though
     
    mattclarke68 likes this.
  8. LesPaulopolis

    LesPaulopolis New Member

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    Glad to hear you were able to 'caress' the 900! There are a lot of great tones to be found in there. Crank the amp, lower your guitar volume and you're in crunch heaven.
     
  9. ironlung40

    ironlung40 Active Member

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    Hey RobS, what kind of cool looking Axe is that I see in your avatar pic?
     
  10. RobS

    RobS Active Member

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    Ironlung,
    It's an Ibanez PS10CL (Paul Stanley Custom LTD).
    One hell of an axe. Sounds much like a Gibson Explorer, very fast action and amazimgly never seems to go out of tune.
    Everyone that see's it wants to buy it from me but I'll never give it up! I've always wanted one as a kid when I got Alive II and when the chance popped up I jumped on it!

    Thanks,
    Rob:rock:
     

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