Help Me Pick: Marshall JCM900 SL-X / Jubilee / 1987x / DSL 100HR / JCM2000

Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
TL;DR: Marshall tone quest with budget/availability restraints. I wanna get in the DuVall era Jerry Cantrell / Brent Hinds ballpark. Low end punch and whole lotta gain. Viable cabs are 1960a with G12T 75s (which I do like) and Hughes & Kettner 412 with greenbacks/V30s. No volume limitations, don't need an attenuator.

Hi fellow amp lovers, first post here! I've basically sold 90% of my gear to get my first Marshall.. and I'm stumped on what to get.

A bit about myself and my needs: I am a great fan of Jerry Cantrell and love playing Sabbath, AIC, Mastodon, Van Halen - ish blues based heavy riffs. I'm a big fan of music in general and listen to bunch of other stuff as well but my Marshall doesn't have to do Fender cleans or American style recto high gain. What Marshalls do best I'm appreciative of.

About half a year ago I bought a Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MKI for $750, spent $320 on getting the damn thing to work and finally had to sell it for $600 (yikes.. I know. But I tell ya I'm lucky to sell it. Feels bad for the dude who bought it) for it just won't stop breaking down from previous abuse. Not the amp's fault but I just didn't get along with its tone. anyways. Absolutely useless without a tube screamer, not enough gain and punch and girth and.. everything about a great guitar tone, really. Lesson learned the hard way. It did have a Marshall circuit which I thought sounded like s**t.

Also paid a good $500 for the matching cab which I just want to get rid of. No more H&K for me. Nope.

So then I thought since most of the guys I like plays/has played either a Marshall or a modded version of it I just might do the same. I play a Les Paul Custom with Dimarzio Super Distortions so I'm on the high side of the gain spectrum. Truth to be told II would be better of with a Friedman but not quite in my budget. All of those amps are either used (hopefully not abused) or has been in a local shop for more than five years. I can't even get a new 2203x because I can't quite afford them. Anyways I'd like my Marshall to have several sonic qualities:

A. Not to tight. I don't care for Fortin Cali-esque sounds.. no djent tones. Lowest my guitar goes is drop C. I like some sag and sludge in my tone.. but not too much.

B. Huge low end. Both Jerry and Brent has their bass up all the way to ten. As if that wasn't enough Brent then sets the resonance pretty high on his VH4. I think his tone is godlike.

C. I don't mind a vintage style plexi voicing, also happens to like pre '70s Eric Clapton. But I will be mainly playing high gan stuff so that should be prioritized.

D. Aggression. Aggression is good.

E. I don't like 80s scooped mids marshall sound. EVH and Rhandy are fine tho. I like a polished, Friedman like sound. At this point I could really use a Friedman but don't have the $$$

One more thing.. is the plexi going to be worth going without most of what I need? I heard cranking up those oldschool non mv amps is a surreal experience. In this clip it sounds pretty gainy, too..

Maybe I can squeeze out an extra $200 or so.. but would rather not if possible.

Thanks y'all. Looking forward to some great replies..
 
Last edited:

jimmyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
371
Location
California
Based on the bands and tones you are after and needing a thick aggressive tone with low end and not mid-scooped……….sounds like a DSL on OD2 with the resonance up/deep switch on, and no tone shift engaged.

As you need to know what year of DSL to buy if you go the JCM2000 route (ie 2005 or later), I’d recommend the current DSL100HR. Great tone, has all the most recent design improvements and on the green channel has some of the more vintage tones if you need them.

All the best with the amp search
 

Matthews Guitars

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
6,984
Reaction score
11,519
Just FYI, the 80s mid scooped Marshall sound isn't a Marshall sound, it's a sound created in the Bradshaw effects rack that the Marshall is part of. The amp itself isn't running scooped. Even a Jackson modded Plexi doesn't really give much of a mid scoop with bass , treble, and presence on 10 and middle on 0. So that particular point you make isn't going to eliminate any type of Marshall from consideration.

I'm thinking you're going to like an amp that's in the range of a high gain modded 2203. Maybe something in the DSL range, but I haven't spent enough time with any DSLs to be able to offer an opinion on them. All my Marshalls are pre-DSL, in fact they're all pre-JCM800.
 

marshallmellowed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
5,477
Reaction score
9,219
TL;DR: Marshall tone quest with budget/availability restraints. I wanna get in the DuVall era Jerry Cantrell / Brent Hinds ballpark. Low end punch and whole lotta gain. Viable cabs are 1960a with G12T 75s (which I do like) and Hughes & Kettner 412 with greenbacks/V30s. No volume limitations, don't need an attenuator.

Hi fellow amp lovers, first post here! I've basically sold 90% of my gear to get my first Marshall.. and I'm stumped on what to get.

A bit about myself and my needs: I am a great fan of Jerry Cantrell and love playing Sabbath, AIC, Mastodon, Van Halen - ish blues based heavy riffs. I'm a big fan of music in general and listen to bunch of other stuff as well but my Marshall doesn't have to do Fender cleans or American style recto high gain. What Marshalls do best I'm appreciative of.

About half a year ago I bought a Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MKI for $750, spent $320 on getting the damn thing to work and finally had to sell it for $600 (yikes.. I know. But I tell ya I'm lucky to sell it. Feels bad for the dude who bought it) for it just won't stop breaking down from previous abuse. Not the amp's fault but I just didn't get along with its tone. anyways. Absolutely useless without a tube screamer, not enough gain and punch and girth and.. everything about a great guitar tone, really. Lesson learned the hard way. It did have a Marshall circuit which I thought sounded like s**t.

Also paid a good $500 for the matching cab which I just want to get rid of. No more H&K for me. Nope.

So then I thought since most of the guys I like plays/has played either a Marshall or a modded version of it I just might do the same. I play a Les Paul Custom with Dimarzio Super Distortions so I'm on the high side of the gain spectrum. Truth to be told II would be better of with a Friedman but not quite in my budget. All of those amps are either used (hopefully not abused) or has been in a local shop for more than five years. I can't even get a new 2203x because I can't quite afford them. Anyways I'd like my Marshall to have several sonic qualities:

A. Not to tight. I don't care for Fortin Cali-esque sounds.. no djent tones. Lowest my guitar goes is drop C. I like some sag and sludge in my tone.. but not too much.

B. Huge low end. Both Jerry and Brent has their bass up all the way to ten. As if that wasn't enough Brent then sets the resonance pretty high on his VH4. I think his tone is godlike.

C. I don't mind a vintage style plexi voicing, also happens to like pre '70s Eric Clapton. But I will be mainly playing high gan stuff so that should be prioritized.

D. Aggression. Aggression is good.

E. I don't like 80s scooped mids marshall sound. EVH and Rhandy are fine tho. I like a polished, Friedman like sound. At this point I could really use a Friedman but don't have the $$$

One more thing.. is the plexi going to be worth going without most of what I need? I heard cranking up those oldschool non mv amps is a surreal experience. In this clip it sounds pretty gainy, too..

Maybe I can squeeze out an extra $200 or so.. but would rather not if possible.

Thanks y'all. Looking forward to some great replies..

Two things you mentioned, more than once, were "low end" and "high gain". I wouldn't associate either with Marshall's. Marshall's are what I'd describe as "cutting", "mid focused", and "medium gain" amps. DSL's, with their resonance control, can produce some pretty heavy lows, and have a decent amount of gain. That said, DSL's, in my opinion, don't have the same tonality as the more vintage style Marshalls. Most refer to them as sounding "more modern". So, if you're not that concerned with a more traditional Marshall sound, it sounds like a DSL might be your best option. The 6100 is another option, which has a decent amount of gain and low end, and I would classify as more of a "traditional" Marshall than a DSL.
 
Last edited:

Tatzmann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Messages
1,343
Reaction score
2,005
I'd consider a Laney AOR before all of the
amps you listed. Except the 1987, you cant
go wrong with a classic circuit, but you still
have to put a Mastervolume in it or get
an attenuator because the volume will be
unbearable after a little while.

Since you aleady had the pleasure of owning one of those ultrahip will-do-it all full of nonsensical
gimmix with topnotch reliabillity problems amps,
i'd steer clear of such amps.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
I'd consider a Laney AOR before all of the
amps you listed. Except the 1987, you cant
go wrong with a classic circuit, but you still
have to put a Mastervolume in it or get
an attenuator because the volume will be
unbearable after a little while.

Since you aleady had the pleasure of owning one of those ultrahip will-do-it all full of nonsensical
gimmix with topnotch reliabillity problems amps,
i'd steer clear of such amps.

I've heard the MKIII is a decent player tho. The $4K price is still unreasonable.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
Just FYI, the 80s mid scooped Marshall sound isn't a Marshall sound, it's a sound created in the Bradshaw effects rack that the Marshall is part of. The amp itself isn't running scooped. Even a Jackson modded Plexi doesn't really give much of a mid scoop with bass , treble, and presence on 10 and middle on 0. So that particular point you make isn't going to eliminate any type of Marshall from consideration.

I'm thinking you're going to like an amp that's in the range of a high gain modded 2203. Maybe something in the DSL range, but I haven't spent enough time with any DSLs to be able to offer an opinion on them. All my Marshalls are pre-DSL, in fact they're all pre-JCM800.
I did not know that. Thanks for the info. Those rackmounts do look badass IMO.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
1st off, keep the Greenbacks and V30's from H&K cab.

2nd what's the budget? I must have missed that.
Imma have to swap the cab with 1960a, speaker and all. Sad to let go a pair of good speakers, fortunately I actually like the G12T 75s in the stock Marshall cab. Dunno what is up with all the hate.

Budget is a tight $1500 but like I mentioned those 5 amps are the only ones available locally (drive-then-test distance. I'm not dealing with shipped amps anymore) so it doesn't really matter.

The SLX is going for something like $760 which to me is a bit sus.
 

Maxbrothman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
480
Reaction score
695
You are covering a lot of different ground there.

The JVM410h can do all of those. However, like any multiple channel amp, it is maybe 5%-15% slightly different from a single channel amp dedicated to a ballpark tone.

Jerry Cantrell is all Wah pedal. Dunlop makes a signature one. The DSL20 has his tone.

Brent Hinds mixes an Orange with a Marshall. Two amps.
 

jimmyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
371
Location
California
Looking at this line: ‘ I wanna get in the DuVall era Jerry Cantrell / Brent Hinds ballpark. Low end punch and whole lotta gain.’

So Cantrell started off with his Bogner modified JCM800, used Bogners and now has his Friedman signature.

Common theme here is hot rodded Marshall. Not so much vintage Marshall. I think something like a DSL, JVM, Splawn, Friedman, also possibly the SLX would get you there depending on price range. Sure the vintage Marshall’s may be more coveted or more classic Marshalley, but would need to be cranked and have the right pedals added for a high gain Cantrell tone. For the high gain tones you are chasing one of the more modern master volume Marshall would likely get you there more directly. The DSL with the resonance up/deep switch can get hella chunky through those G12T-75s.
 

Geeze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2015
Messages
2,336
Reaction score
5,364
Location
Floating around TN in Marshall Heaven
Unless you like buying & trying in your space for a few weeks to several months and selling if not up to snuff do yourself a favor - if Friedman is what you want then Friedman is what you should get. Save your shekels and do it right the [first?] time.

Of what you listed I'm with @crossroadsnyc on the 1987. OK sounding demo you posted but to me the big mojo of the NMV magic is putting the high and normal channel together - you want low end you got it. Hit it will the boost/dirt box to taste.

Russ
 

Seventh Son

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
1,440
Location
Naples, Florida
The DSLs are more modern and have a bit of a fizzy top end with less mids than, say, a JCM800. If you end up with a DSL, stay away from Vintage 30s. Those things are pure fizz and a terrible pairing with the DSLs. The G12T-75 is good at keeping that fizz under control. I have a DSL20HR and both the G12T75 and Vintage 30. Speaking from experience here.

The 6100LM is a cheap and classy amp that was designed around the G12T-75. I have the amp. It’s not super modern high gain, but close. You can’t go wrong with those. I know you want to buy local only, but consider other options, as well. The 6100LM has a huge bottom end and is traditionally medium tight.

If a hot-rodded JCM800 is what you want, the Silver Jubilee would fit that bill pretty well. Slightly darker than a JCM-800 and a beautiful, saturated gain structure.
 
Last edited:

Deftone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2021
Messages
1,302
Reaction score
3,964
Location
Auburn, CA
Imma have to swap the cab with 1960a, speaker and all. Sad to let go a pair of good speakers, fortunately I actually like the G12T 75s in the stock Marshall cab. Dunno what is up with all the hate.

Budget is a tight $1500 but like I mentioned those 5 amps are the only ones available locally (drive-then-test distance. I'm not dealing with shipped amps anymore) so it doesn't really matter.

The SLX is going for something like $760 which to me is a bit sus.
I got my SL-X for $725. I love that amp. But yea if you have the $, I'd probably go for the 1987x.

Get some cheap speakers and put them in the cab you sell. I happen to have four of them I could sell you if you were in my area. (Nor Cal)
 

Kinkless Tetrode

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
2,051
Reaction score
3,303
Imma have to swap the cab with 1960a, speaker and all. Sad to let go a pair of good speakers, fortunately I actually like the G12T 75s in the stock Marshall cab. Dunno what is up with all the hate.

Budget is a tight $1500 but like I mentioned those 5 amps are the only ones available locally (drive-then-test distance. I'm not dealing with shipped amps anymore) so it doesn't really matter.

The SLX is going for something like $760 which to me is a bit sus.
The G12T75s have enhanced bass and treble, but not enhanced mid range. They could help you get the big bottom end your after. But they could come across as scooped, too.

Depending on which amp you choose might determine which speakers you want to keep. Jubilees like V30s and work with greenbacks. Plexis like Greenbacks. DSLs seem to get paired with G12T75s a lot, although I liked them better with V30s, personally.

The SLX will be coming up on 30 years old. It might need some work. Although I think they are good rock amps.

Since they are local amps you can test drive them, and pick the one you like best. Probably the most Friedman like would be the Jubilee although maybe not the most aggressive gain.
 

Latest posts



Top