Marshall SV20h as a bedroom amp!!

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by tidbit, Mar 29, 2020.

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  1. tidbit

    tidbit Active Member

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    I've used a little of this "time at home" to go through my old, long forgotten gear in the back of the closet to try new combinations and see why I retired it in the first place. I was also playing my SV20 (in 5 watt mode) thru a 2x12 in short doses because of the volume issue. My neighbors certainly can't enjoy it like I do.
    I got sick of the sound of attenuators with this amp and the volume box in the loop just wasn't floating my boat anymore either so the amp hasn't been getting the love it deserves during this time of extended practice. Two days ago, as a last ditch effort, I decided to cycle thru some old pedals from the drawer, some of which once lived on my pedalboard at some time and a few that never made the final cut.

    First up was the Ibanez TS9DX. Why not, right? I was on to something. I could live with it in it's first two modes but after awhile it was soundding a little too woolly. This is a pretty bright amp. As much as I didn't want to admit, the pedal game looked like the way to go with this amp at really reasonable volumes. Ultimately, the amp was still a little louder than I wanted it to be to get a nice sound out of it.

    Next up was my tried and true modded Boss SD-1. It has always worked with all my Marshall amps. This one was only recently removed from my main board after a 12 year reign. Sounded like a grittier tubescreamer. Next.

    Digitech SC-2 was the follow up. It sounded pretty good, the tone controls helped and it was interesting switching between "crunch" and "saturated" but it ultimately made the amp sound a little too "modern" for lack of a better term.

    I was starting to feel that the pedal has too be too dominant when playing at the volume that I was looking for.
    Then I went to the DOD 250. Again, I liked it and it was cool messing with the gain but it was also not quite there for me. Usable, yes but far more enjoyable when the amp was turned up a little more.

    For a joke I pulled out the Behringer Super Fuzz SF300 next. As always, I love the sound of this pedal but it's not a sound I can use all the time. But it led me to the rest of the discarded fuzz section of the closet.

    I guess I should add here that I was playing a Les Paul with humbuckers through the amp. Well, the first on after Behringer was the winner. It is a Throbak Stone Bender based, I guess, on Jimmy Page's tonebender.
    I'll be damned if this little box didn't make that SV20 sound just like a vintage cranked Marshall at volume that won't raise the dead! Cleans up perfectly with the volume pot too. It took out the low thump in a way that your ear does not miss it. So much more complex in sound compared to the overdrives. It transformed my SV20 into a bedroom amp and no longer lives on the bottom shelf.
    If you need to keep the volume down and have a tonebender type pedal, definitely try it with this amp. If your sick of the attenuated sound and want it to sound cranked when it's not, again, try a tonebender. I cant wait to let it rip on full volume.
     
  2. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    Some Tone Bender clones are the Lovepedal Bonetender and the EarthQuaker Tone Reaper.
    Have no idea if they would be as effective as the Tone Bender.
    Just saying.
    BP
     
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  3. tidbit

    tidbit Active Member

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    I have a fender tonebender pedal as well but I didn’t try it. It only takes a nine volt and I’m not leaving the house just for that. I remember it sounding good when it was on the board many years ago. It was not as versatile as the stone bender but it was “related” in sound.

    The reason I kicked the Stone Bender off of the main board was that is was hard to precisely dial in quickly live and, while it sounded great, it eventually lost out in the never ending fuzz quest. I was using a 2203 amp
    I think this pedal is perfect for a plexi type circuit. This was a real eye opener. Very Page like indeed.
     
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  4. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    Throbak makes great pedals. I have the Fuzz Haze.
     
  5. Tiboy

    Tiboy Well-Known Member

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    Figures. I sold my StoneBender long before I got the SV. Glad you found a low volume solution you can live with.
     
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  6. miyaru

    miyaru Member

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    For mild overdrive, I use a Okko Diablo Gain+. Cleans up beautifull, and even on very low volumes it sounds amazing!
     

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  7. ibmorjamn

    ibmorjamn Well-Known Member

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    I had never even heard of the pedal but it sounds good in the video :


     
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  8. tidbit

    tidbit Active Member

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    My StoneBender lived on my main board for about a year or so it made the "A" list and I kept it even when I took it off many years ago. It was also the most I ever paid for a pedal back then so I knew I would probably never buy one again if I sold it (and looking at the current prices, it's gone up significantly). I knew it was a great pedal but fuzz tastes change all the time and it just didn't quite check every box when using it with my 2203. So very close though.
    Unfortunately, once pedals get into the old closet, they tend to get forgotten. Time is short. On to the new.

    I wanted to turn this unfortunate work break into something positive so I have been going thru and organizing gear, changing speakers, tweaking the pedalboard and trying to practice more and get back to recording a neglected project. It was bothering me for awhile that the SV20 was just a little too loud for extended home use (for me). I had an old grey version Weber attenuator that I used for a bit but I grew to dislike the "muted" sound as opposed to running the amp unimpeded. I tried the volume knob in the loop trick for a short while but that did not cut it either in the long run. To me, it thinned the amp out in a way that I just didn't gel with.

    I was digging around the stuffed closet for a long forgotten expression pedal for my main board when I came across the dirt pedal graveyard that is The Bottom Shelf. For whatever stupid reason, I just didn't what to consider putting any dirt pedals into this amp as it's raw sound is so satisfying. But I had time to experiment and I was desperate and out of options. The ultra cheap Behringer showed me how great fuzz goes with this amp and the StoneBender knocked it out of the park entirely. It seriously sounds like Jimmy Page at the Royal Albert at a volume level that is more than manageable. I'm still a little shocked. It's kinda what I wanted it to sound like when I bit the bullet and bought it. Unbeknownst to me, the final piece of the pie was sitting less than two feet away the entire time.

    I curse the day I ever discovered fuzz as it's been a weak obsession for well over two decades. Fuzz pedals have come and gone but a few seemed to have stuck around for one reason or another. I'm glad this one did. It not only made this amp totally usable at home, it ended an actual tone quest. That's the highest praise I can give it.
     
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  9. Tiboy

    Tiboy Well-Known Member

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    Just before I shipped the SB, I plugged it into a Kemper just to make sure everything was good. Loved the sound. I thought of keeping it at that moment, but a deal is a deal that I must honor. I do have a Throbak StrangeMaster in my closet. Maybe I’ll follow your lead and see if I get similar results. Fortunately, I’m usually able to play full tilt in 20W mode.
     
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