Looking For The Ultimate Marshall Amp (80's Style)

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by jchrisf, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Stock is most definitely good enough.
    Case in point: yesterday evening, I ran sound for Reb Beach (of Winger, Alice Cooper, Dokken, Whitesnake fame) and his band. He also played my own DSL100 head and '80 JCM800-badged 1960B (with G12Ms and G12T75s). He was playing his Suhrs into a Boss tuner, Suhr Shiba Drive and MXR mini Carbon Copy in front of the amp, and an always-on DD-7 in the loop. And sounded INSANE.
    For sure, he's a world-class player and has been for 30 years, but that was one of the best rock tones I ever heard in my life. And coming from a rig I've been gigging for 10 years (actually re-biased the amp on Sunday for EH EL34s), so no mod whatsoever (apart from swapping tubes, that is). And he commented on how fat the amp sounded.
    BTW he actually specifically requests a JCM2000 DSL100 on his rider. Guess it's a known quantity for him, and he's confident he can sound good on them. Which is a major understatement.

    So yeah, he (and Nuno Bettencourt, amongst others) uses the DSL100 and sounds god-like on it, and he's one of the biggest 80s guitar gods still around these days.
    Boosted DSL100/Lead 1 definitely will get you there.
     
  2. jchrisf

    jchrisf Well-Known Member

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    That is pretty cool. I saw Reb a few months ago touring with Whitesnake.

    Is there a certain DSL (year/model) that is the best for this or will they all do it? I know the 20 watt head won't because I've owned one.
     
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  3. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    I can only talk about JCM2000 DSL100s, since that's what I've played and owned for over a decade and I have little to no experience with the others, but honestly, they are pretty consistent. Swap preamp and power tubes and bias to taste, but you can get them to sound pretty much the same. Which to me is part of the appeal for Reb, he knows how they sound and that chances are, he won't have any bad surprise with them.
    Though there's the famed reliability issues about the earliest ones (that tbh I haven't experimented in hundreds of gigs, only blew my first one because I let a power tube die and take the amp with it...now I know better),so if you get one, having it checked by a competent tech and possibly re-tubed and re-biased would be a good idea.
    But they are super available and super cheap (got the one Reb played for a whooping 350€). And they sound great.
     
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  4. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree on lack of good amps. Nommarshall astorias or any marshalls typically unless used.
     
  5. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    Ours only sells all the low end stuff from Marshall, same with Fender and some Orange amps. I buy almost everything from Sweetwater now, it's the most convenient, I get the stuff in 2 days, can send it back with no problem, and they give me good prices. ie: $6500 '59 LP would be $5000, just got my new Helix LT for $890 and always free shipping. Just get a good guy to deal with and stick with him.

    *If anybody needs a good guy there I'll turn you on to mine.
     
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  6. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    I've put a JJ in the V1 position. It's really rounder and I think a little bit gainier too. I've tried also a Ruby, but it sounded like crap.
     
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  7. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 Well-Known Member

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    I had a JJ there before I tried the Ultron and I agree it's also a great choice. The Ultron is a relabeled RFT tube which was a highly regarded brand on this forum along with the NOS Mullards.

    It has a touch less gain but the tone is great and I still have more gain on tap between the amp and overdrives than I need.

    IIRC I have EH in the other positions and the power tubes are currently stock.
     
  8. Goldfinger

    Goldfinger Active Member

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    JCM800 or 80's era Silver Jubilee.
     
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  9. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    I've tried the JJ because it was free... I had it hanging around in my parts bin... I might give a try to a different tube later, for now it is what it is. I have a new KT88 Quad (JJ too) in my major, but I wont swap it. The next step is to check the bias and set it properly.

    I think I have more ECC83 (JJs) in my parts bin, I'll change all of them and see what happens, but in my experience the change in the V1 is the most noticeable.
     
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  10. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 Well-Known Member

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    For sure man, there isn't a huge difference between the JJ and the RFT. It mostly tamed some highs a little more. Like the difference of 1 on the treble knob. I wouldn't go too far out of your way to buy another one.
     
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  11. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks !!.......appreciate !!..........that's with a $150 crappy El Cheapo Ibanez and no pedal exept for a Nova Repeater in the Loop !
     
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  12. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    a year ago at Charlotte GC- a millenial manager sneered at me when I complaned about lack of of quality amps in his store. " He said, " dude, music has changed".....
     
  13. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    There you go, you can't fix stupid. I'v only been in 2 GC's and both were a joke. Most of the people working there are low end musicians waiting for that "big break" that's never going to come. (Because his grandmother told him he was so talented) And even with all the time in the world to learn the product's they sell, very few can answer a question with any certainty. I would gladly trade our GC for a small Ma & Pa guitar store with quality stuff in it.
     
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  14. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in Brazil and "normal stuff" in USA is fucking high end top tier motherfucker from hell in Brazil due the 60% import taxes and the general greed of the distributors. So I've always pictured that "dreamy' image of GC and Samash when I was a teenager. When I've had the opportunity to actually visit it it was such a deception and since them I've been in a LOT of GCs and SamAsh, and I'm still disappointed. The jokes we use to make about the people working in Brazilian stores are the same you guys do about GC Staff.

    It's kind of a bummer that the commercial entity of "musical instruments stores" are dying and being replaced by online retailers. I really love buying online (mainly because I don't have to deal with idiots), but there's something magical about guitar stores (the good ones). entering and being amazed by the infinite amount of visual information, looking for something you like, testing it and falling in love.

    Recently I went to a "special fender day" at a very nice store that only sells fenders. I was about to buy a MIM 60s strat and I've asked to see the tweed case. All the fender I ever had, had that "smell of fender case" and It's been a long time since I've sold my fenders and I was looking for that nostalgia. FUCK NO! They've changed the manufacture process and fender cases does not have that special smell. In the end of the day my wife put some sense in my head and I walked out the store empty handed and heart broken.
     
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  15. colchar

    colchar Well-Known Member

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    If you want the ultimate '80s amp then your search begins and ends with the JCM800. If you look at what people playing those genres played at that time you will find that damned near every one of them played an 800.
     
  16. bonzo boy

    bonzo boy New Member

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    I own an '83 JCM 800 2204 stack and it's an amazing amp that is capable of every tone from bell-like clean tones to the absolute raunchiest of hard rock-even the heaviest of Hendrixesque 1959 Plexi tones.I brought the amp into a local guitar store to get new tubes and to be re-biased and the guys said that it was without a doubt the best Marshall they had ever heard. The amp is totally stock except for having the tubes replaced and I have to honestly say that I have yet to hear a 2204 that comes anywhere near mine for tonal range and quality.
     
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  17. Tonz

    Tonz Active Member

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    I've been contemplating getting the 40C or the new 40CR (DSL100 and JVM are on the list as well) it's interesting to hear that you like the 20 better. What do you mean by in between channels? Have you tried the 20 in a band setting? Are you using an overdrive with it? What didn't you like about the newer 40CR? I like the green channel crunch on the 40C. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  18. JBA

    JBA Well-Known Member

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    My 40c has the c19 mod but it is mostly the Century Vintage that sets it above the 40cr (for me.. And my bud who is too cheap to buy a speaker lol). They are both great amps and I'd be happy with either one... More of a classic guy? Then go 40c for the green clean and save some money) like the heavier stuff (Red 2) then go CR. I think most of us play green crunch and lead one so it doesn't really matter which one. Otherwise it really comes down to the speaker of your preference.
    As soon as you say band I say 40 over the 20 if your back agrees. If weight is an issue than you have to try it out.. So many variable.. Do you play clean.. Is the band loud then no, you play dirty and the band isn't angry lol then ya it will work.. Mic'ed, Hell ya if you're man enough haha. At first with the 20cr I was thinking I got the shit of both my 40 channels but after a bit of playing around.. turn up that classic gain with a greenback and wow! Red channel gain around 8:45... Surprisingly sc800'ish in the zone. (Gents, don't dare knock that last comment until you try it).. I've had them side by side into the same cab. ;-)
     
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  19. JBA

    JBA Well-Known Member

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    :facepalm:....:lol::lol::lol:
     
  20. Tonz

    Tonz Active Member

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    Thanks for the input. I will be giving them all a try soon. I would love to have an amp that does clean, crunch and lead like the 40CR, but wasn't liking the gain tone for crunch and lead like the 40C, especially the green crunch. But it sounds like a celestion, v30, greenback or GT75 or eminence swamp thang speaker may make a big difference with these amps. I haven't been a fan of the V-type that comes in the 40CR, actually prefer the 70/80 over it. I'm not opposed to the 20HR if it would work at band volumes miked or unmiked, clean and dirty and then throw in some overdrive pedals for crunch and heavier stuff.
     
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