Marshall SC20 or 900 MKIII

Studio Classic 20 head or 900 MkIII...

  • Marshall Studio Classic 20w

    Votes: 9 47.4%
  • Jcm900 MKIII 50w

    Votes: 10 52.6%

  • Total voters
    19

FIREpunkMEDIC

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What say you Marshallites?! Which would you go for and why? For insight, playing kinda punk rock/power pop style. My fear being 20w while still being LOUD enough might not have that growl....

Cheers!
 

TXOldRedRocker

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I have an SC20H, and I love it. I also have a JCM 2000 DSL 50w. Both provide me with a platform for making beautiful tones. But there's nothing like having a 50 watt, or 100 watt, moving some air. I only play classic rock and blues tones, nothing heavy. But with what you play, that 900 should be spot on.
 

marshallmellowed

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Agree. I also have the SC20, and several other larger Marshalls. The larger amps do have more "authority" than the lower powered amps, which I like to feel when playing at home through an amp/cab. That said, if you're playing live through a small mic'd cab and most of your sound is via the PA, the 20w may be all you need.
 

scozz

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I think either amp is a great choice, both are pretty versatile in their own way. The 900 covers a lot of ground and a great sounding amp imo.

The SC20 also sounds great and the low sensitivity input, which some folks tend to over look, has some really beautiful cleans.

If you’re interested in that kind of thing. :D

I’d say you really can’t go wrong with either one, generally speaking. :cool:
 

1234_thumbwar

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I voted for the SC20. It isn’t going to be an exact replication of a 50w or 100w head but I think the only difference is in the lows that would be obliterated by a bass guitarist and drummer in a live context. At home you’ll notice a little difference but a big closed back speaker cabinet like a 2x12 or even more preferably a 4x12 will bring some of those lows back.

100w with a master volume is going to be difficult to use at home depending on a few factors. I played a 50w JCM 800 at home and the sweep on the master volume made it a bit tricky to use. If the sweep of the master volume on the 900 is similar it’ll go from bedroom/apartment use at 1 or 1.5 to 2 on the dial then ready to gig at 3 or 4.

The big amps with a master volume still are useable at nearly at volume without an attenuator. You’re going to have to work with the amp to find a sound at reasonable volume. The SC20 is definitely going to be easier to use at home and will be loud enough for most gigs with a PA. The lows might flub out a bit if the gain and master volume are way up there but with efficient speakers and a good PA system there won’t be a lot of low end articulation that’s lost and you’d be fighting with the bass player in that range anyways
 

Deftone

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900 MKIII all day long. If for no other reason, they are rare and from what I understand, awesome. If they are even close to my 900 SL-X (they are supposed to be, some say even better) they are incredible.

The 900 should have a half power switch as well so 50w/25w. Way more versatile.

SC20's are easy to find. You can always get one later.
 

mrjones2004x

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Half power switch with the guit vol rolled off?
I tried the half power once and didn’t like it. Sounded like a 20 watt amp, lost its balls.
Don’t get me wrong I can get cleans from having it set dirty just it’s more edge of break up cleans and if I hit it hard it’ll breakup. To be fair I got a fender bassbreaker for cleans used it once and never again. The distortion sounded terrible so I swapped it for an epi custom 1954 lp.
 

Deftone

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I tried the half power once and didn’t like it. Sounded like a 20 watt amp, lost its balls.
Don’t get me wrong I can get cleans from having it set dirty just it’s more edge of break up cleans and if I hit it hard it’ll breakup. To be fair I got a fender bassbreaker for cleans used it once and never again. The distortion sounded terrible so I swapped it for an epi custom 1954 lp.
I agree. Half power does not sound as good as full power. As you said, it loses it's balls. This has always been the case on every amp I have tried.

That being said, IMHO there is a variety of different but good tones to be had with the half power switch, just like the low power input on earlier Marshalls. More blues tones, where less balls are needed. Maybe that's why they call it "Woman Tone"......no balls? LOL.
 

tonycaster

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For the use I do as a gigging musician, I voted the SC20, because of its transportability and a no compromise tone, It may lacks some bass compared to the bigger irons, but most of the times in a live situation I find myself forced to cut them, and the character of the bigger JCM800 is "almost" all there anyway
 

mrjones2004x

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I agree. Half power does not sound as good as full power. As you said, it loses it's balls. This has always been the case on every amp I have tried.

That being said, IMHO there is a variety of different but good tones to be had with the half power switch, just like the low power input on earlier Marshalls. More blues tones, where less balls are needed. Maybe that's why they call it "Woman Tone"......no balls? LOL.
I actually forgot. My squier classic vibe tele cleans up really well from high gain. Almost completely clean. My p90 and humbuckers not so much. So it can be very versatile if using a lower output pickup
 

Geeze

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Play 'em both at the volume you'll be using them. I'm a big iron amp fan as they sound bigger / fuller at all volumes. Plus you can turn them down - smaller amps can struggle in a low environment to keep up with good tones. If you always have good PA support that's not as critical but it comes down to which one delivers the goods you want.

One note on the 900 series - they have received lots of slams over the years as players didn't understand the gain voicing through the Masters / Sensitivity / Preamp controls or they needed to have the bias checked. I got a MKIII in a trade and the bias was COLD thus it was wimpy. Warmed up the bias and out came the monster.

Russ
 

Neptical

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Another vote for the JCM 900, especially for punk rock. You really want to get that headroom. I have the JCM 900 SL-X 2500 and man does that amp do some grind.
 

SGFA

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I have a JCM800 2203X and a JCM900 SL-X (both 100 watters) and in my opinion the 800 has more GROWL, but that depends on YOUR definition of GROWL... The 800 has more clarity and rawness, the 900 has more compression and distorsion.

So I voted SC20 as I prefer the 800 tones. But I think it depend on what you prefer. The 800 may need to be boosted or have an overdrive in front, while the MKIII can reach quite high distorsion with no pedals and lower volume.
 


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