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

Gene Ballzz

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Most chasers of this sort of tone don't realize that most of the low end punch is NOT in the guitar sound directly, but instead created by the way the bass and kick drum gets mixed with it. If you get all the sound and low end that you THINK is on the recording (while playing by yourself, alone in a room) and then put a bass and drum kit with it, there will be nothing but undefined mush in the bottom end! I've been a touring sound engineer for +50 years, I've seen it all before and I know what I speak!
But, Do As You Will!
Gdene
 

Neptical

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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

Speaking my language right here. :agreed:

I have both the DSL 50 and DSL 100 heads - also, a JCM 800 1960 G12T75 4x12. It's a very FAT and PUNCHY tone capable of everything you've requested in an amp. These amps sure do have a ton of gain especially the Red Channel. I reside there with little gain and clean boosting with a Boss SD-1 and it's still ferocious! I use Green channel for my spanky Bassman-ish cleans. The compression in these amps only gets them FATTER WITH VOLUME especially with the G12T75s. Very versatile indeed.

Good luck in whatever you may choose!

... and absolutely, if you ever see a 1987 amp for a great price, certainly do not pass it up!
 
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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)
Any chance you happen to live in South Korea??
 
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Hello everyone, thank you so much for helping me out! I do feel like I have to try all five out but atm I gravitate to the 1987x. Theres an aftermarket part called the Hotmod (updated version of the original Soldano Hotmod) which is an extra tube gainstage that can be plugged staright in. I think this is where I should start..
 

marshallmellowed

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Hello everyone, thank you so much for helping me out! I do feel like I have to try all five out but atm I gravitate to the 1987x. Theres an aftermarket part called the Hotmod (updated version of the original Soldano Hotmod) which is an extra tube gainstage that can be plugged staright in. I think this is where I should start..
The 1987x is a great amp, I've had a few and still have the last one I purchased. Just remember the comments regarding an attenuator, you'll need one with any non-master volume amp, except fpr maybe the smaller SV20 (depending on how loud you play).
 

scozz

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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.
This ^
 

Gene Ballzz

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Due to cost:

DSL 100H/HR
Laney AOR Protube Lead 50/100

No pedals needed

I just sold an '86, LANEY AOR ProTube Lead 100 (8 knob version) and couldn't agree more! It will achieve almost any "Hot Rodded Marshall" sound, at both extremes of the spectrum, "WITHOUT ANY PEDALS!" Of course it weighs almost as much as an Ampeg SVT and is capable of vaporizing small pets and children, at ten paces! Conversely, so much of the overdrive can be achieved in the preamp section, that it makes the Master pretty darned useful! On the other hand, once those power tubes get cookin' WATCH OUT!
 

TheSaz

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Just a heads up. In order for you to enjoy those amps, you're going to have to crank them. But a DSL20CR may do the trick, you're on the right track with tube amps. Id recommend a DSL40CR because you can cut the wattage in half if you have a small room for yourself.

I had a 2203, not sure of the exact year, but i had to crank it to scratch the surface of getting a solid tone. Phenomenal amp. Period. I then got a JCM900 MKIII, sounded like the JCM with more gain, no complaints with either. I sold them both years ago sadly. I now own a DSL40C(not the CR) and the JCM800 studio. Using the DSL as a cb for the studio for now. The DSL is versatile which is awesome, try various speakers, I personally think a V30 really brings out the best of these amps. the green channel is really clean and if you find a nice pedal you can really get a thick tone to push it.

Screenshot_20220814-212607.jpg
 

maico996

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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.
In 1990 Jerry was using a Randall head in their rehearsal space. This was before their first tour with Extreme. No idea which Randall it was but it sounded killer.
 

abkeller1

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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..

JCM 2000 or DSL 100 has a shitload of low end, they have extra switch for low end and a ton of gain. SL-X doesn't have much low end. Would have to put EQ in loop. Plus they are really hard to find.
 

abkeller1

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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.
Your correct about everything you said. Most people don't know but your spot on. DSL's get paired with 75's becuase it's such a bright amp, it tames it a little. SL-X I think sounds best V-30's then Greenbacks as it's a little darker more squishy tone but still can be bright, but not DSL bright and doesn't have much low end.
 

abkeller1

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Most chasers of this sort of tone don't realize that most of the low end punch is NOT in the guitar sound directly, but instead created by the way the bass and kick drum gets mixed with it. If you get all the sound and low end that you THINK is on the recording (while playing by yourself, alone in a room) and then put a bass and drum kit with it, there will be nothing but undefined mush in the bottom end! I've been a touring sound engineer for +50 years, I've seen it all before and I know what I speak!
But, Do As You Will!
Gdene
This is the exact reason why Marshall's are so popular. They are midrange focused amps which cut through.
 

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