Which used head would be the best value?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Cossack, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Cossack

    Cossack Member

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    Looking locally and on web classifieds, etc., I've found some interesting deals. I understand basically the features of all of the below, but what are your thoughts on "bang for the buck?"

    If you were looking at the following options for a classic rock-classic metal amp ('70s and '80s), which would you jump on and why?

    I have a preference for 50watts - to use my speaker cabs and attenuator (not rated for 100W) and for weight.
    I'm not a huge user of reverb or channel switching. I like to be able to dial in different tones, but don't tend to switch mid-song.

    JCM2000 DSL100 for $500
    JCM2000 DSL50 for $600
    JCM900 Master MKIII 50w for $700
    JVM205 for $800
    JVM410 for $1000
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  2. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    If you don't need channel switching then I would go with the MKIII as long as it's in good shape. 900s were still flying leads and chassis mounted components. It's a good sounding amp. It has a switchable extra mater volume.
     
  3. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    For the music you play, your wattage requirements, the best value and the sonic options available from the amp I'd say the JVM 205.
    I have never owned or played thru any of the amps you have mentioned.
    BP
     
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  4. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    DSL50 would be my choice. I've owned that amp at least a half dozen times

    I've owned and gigged all but the JVM210
     
  5. karl j

    karl j New Member

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    I have a 210, used to have a 205. I don't do a ton of switching myself. From my experience, the 410 is worth the extra $200 in your prices. The Crunch channel of the 410 is great and different than the second channel of the 205. The Clean channel on the 410 is a little different as well. I love the orange/red on the clean channel with the tone stack being pre-gain. Awesome for classic rock tones.

    I rarely use the two OD channels on the 410, if they made it with just the Clean and Crunch I'd still be happy.

    100 watts is only 3db louder than 50 watts. I run it through a 2x12 cab which tames it a little.

    And I bought my 410 used for $500.
     
  6. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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  7. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Jcm900 4100dr. Great amp. Great value
     
  8. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Agreed !!
     
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  9. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    Hello.
    Based on your specific needs and preferences, I'd say JCM2K DSL50 would be first consideration, followed by JCM2K DSL100, then JCM900 Master MKIII 50 watt, then JVM205, and last JVM410.

    Perhaps the JVM amps should be taken off the list because you might not really need/use most of its features and the tone might not be what you're aiming. I have the 410H, which is an excellent amp, but because this is about what you need/prefer.

    JCM2K DSL100 and JCM2K DSL50 are really good amps. The distortion/overdrive/dirt tones are good and very useful. The range of tones (clean/crunch/high gain) are pretty good. Reverb is good quality and effects loop sounds good with pedals, multi-effects, and rack systems.

    Since you'll be buying used, you need to look closely at each amp for the final decision. Ask seller whether amp(s) have been serviced, including year serviced and the particular reason for service (this includes general maintenance, major repairs, and any modifications). Additionally, ask seller how many hours use for the preamp and power amp tubes as well as brand and type.

    NOTE: if you can find any Marshall Vintage Modern amplifiers, I strongly suggest giving it a try. Vintage Modern series are a great bridge between vintage and modern tones. VM amps come in combo and heads and are all single channel amps, but have an excellent range of tones thanks to some great switches. VM have some of the best clean tone of any Marshall I've ever heard and the overdrive/distortion/dirt can do range of crunchy, thick, throaty, warm, and aggressive.

    Good luck with your decision and have fun.
     
  10. Cossack

    Cossack Member

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    thanks for that very thorough and informative reply. That gives me a lot to think about. I already have had a DSL 50, so I know I like those.

    also, I currently own the VM 2266 combo. I agree with your assessment of the series.
     
  11. Cossack

    Cossack Member

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    So, what does the DSL do tone wise that the JVMs do not? I ask because I have read that the JVM series does everything that the JCM2000s do and more. I am sincerely asking, not challenging you. I already know and trust the JCM2000 DSL, but have no experience with the JVM line.
     
  12. EADGBE

    EADGBE Well-Known Member

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    Personally I'd really like to have a DSL50 head.
     
  13. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    You've got the VM that does exactly what you need, why are you looking for something else?
     
  14. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes I wonder too. Just to have more toys? Then change it up n get the 410. You have a DSL as well aready so get a different flavor.
     
  15. Cossack

    Cossack Member

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    well no, I don’t have the DSL anymore. My Vintage Modern is my only amp other than a Fender Champ and DRRI. I love the VM, especially for Rory Gallagher and Free type stuff, but I preferred the DSL for Metal. It was Iron Maiden in a box, but it could also do plenty of other tricks.

    I figured I didn’t need both the VM and DSL50, but I keep wishing I still had the DSL now that it is gone. When looking for them though, I kept coming across the other heads.

    I noticed that JCM2000 DSL100s tend to be slightly cheaper than the 50s.

    Then there are the other options for more money that I was curious about.

    I’m possibly just going to get a smaller combo, but there are some great deals on heads out there.

    whatever I get would need to have a harder edge and tighter lows than the VM. They’ll have overlap, but should complement each other.
     
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  16. Cossack

    Cossack Member

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    Anyway, even if we were to look at it from a purely theoretical perspective, which of the choices I mentioned do you think represents the best dollar-to-heavy-rock-tone ratio?
     
  17. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    Since you ask about tone, the short answer is JVM series various modes can cover a greater range of tones than JCM2k DSL series, but that all really depends on whether you a) like the tone of the JVM, and b) whether you'll use much of what the JVM has to offer.

    I agree with you statement that JVM can cover most of the tones that JCM2K DSL; back when JCM2K were in production, I tried JCM2K DSL100 side by side with JVM410H in the store, and that was the impression I got in regards to tone. For what I like to hear in clean tone, I like the JVM better than JCM2K: JVM clean channel has more even projection of low, mid and high frequencies. As far as distortion goes, JVM has more aggressive distortion/overdrive/dirt characteristic than JCM2K and JVM can cover a greater range of distortion/overdrive/dirt (especially 410H) than JCM2K. Still, for what the JCM2K can deliver, JCM2K might be all that you really need.

    Honestly, I was really happy with the JCM2K DSL100, and I was ready to buy it brand new, but curiosity spurred me to try JVM410H and I was just more blown away by it more than JCM2K DSL100. If your heart is set on DSL, then get the DSL.

    Good luck with your decision. Let us know what you decide.
     
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  18. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    You could put an SD-1 as a clean boost in front of the VM to give it a harder edge and tighten it.
     
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  19. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Out of your list I'd go for the JVM410, its a ton of different amps in one box. The new DSL100HR is fairly inexpensive new and even cheaper used, has a 50 watt switch, cheap as chips on Reverb. :yesway:
     
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  20. Ufoscorpion

    Ufoscorpion Well-Known Member

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    why not go Origin 50 head ( not sure how much they are in $$$$ . ) and do it ‘ old school ‘ . Run it flat out in whichever power setting is appropriate for the situation , tickle it with a rat or screamer . That’s how it was done 70s/80s so should do the trick . As the Origin has a loop you can put a new in the loop and really shape it to perfection .
     
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