Non-Master Volume Marshall Vs Master-Volume Marshalls

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Marshall50w, Feb 26, 2021.

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  1. Marshall50w

    Marshall50w Well-Known Member

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    Back in the olden days, the general consensus was that Master Volume Marshalls were not the way to go. The core tone was better on Non-MV's by old school cranking and/or using a pedal or two to get a good rock sound. All my Marshalls are Non Master volume and this is how I use them. Come full circle, ironically I have 'discovered' that one of my favourite amp sounds from Helix LT, Digital gear is the 2204 (I think JCM800) model. This has a great solid rock sound and cleans up to a degree with the guitars volume. I have never tried a real JCM800 thinking that between my JMP 1987(1970), JMP 1959(1975) or JTM45 reissue (combined with turning up/pedals) I would not achieve a 'better' sound using a more modern amp such as the JCM800. All this is very subjective but I would be interested to know others opinions on this and their journey.
     
  2. saxon68

    saxon68 Well-Known Member

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    2203 and 2204 are considered grail by some. I’ve never had a non master, can’t speak to it but I imaging it has to get deafeningly loud to get that kerrang....
     
  3. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Certified B.S. Launcher Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Well, first and foremost it's all a matter of taste and application.

    I love both. Which type I prefer depends on the musical material at hand. I think the key to getting the best sounds from both MV a.nd NMV amps is to get the power section dialed into it's sweet spot. At that point less preamp gain is needed from an MV amp. Glorious.

    I don't like attenuators. They take speaker stress out of the equation. So I crank big amps, run em into big cabs and wear heavy duty ear muffs

    Edit to add: I think my all time favorite amp is the JMP 2203. It sounds very plexi-like when it's really cranked hard, and I can dial in a bit more preamp gain for solos or whatever if I want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  4. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    I have a selection of both (in fact 3 amps that can be used NMV and MV).
    Trelween hit it on the head. The best sounds are with the power section working at its optimum. Then get the preamp distortion level right.
    Problem a lot of people is that they set the distortion level and EQ of preamp and then bring the master up but in most rooms the master on less than two is the limit.
    Personally I like a well set up pre-pi Marshall because you can get really nice classic rock and use your guitar to clean up at sensible master settings. Crank the
    Master, use a decent LP and drop tune and they can do heavier stuff too without pedals. Of course doing this you will need a smidge of an attenuator to preserve your ears, domestic relationships and your speakers (most of mine are greenback varieties).
     
  5. AndyD

    AndyD Well-Known Member

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    All sound advice above. I have both and love both for different reasons. I tend to set my non master volume amp at the point of clean colouration , using an attenuator if need be, then have an overdrive pedal for mild overdrive and then a tube screamer or Timmy after that for singing leads with a touch of feedback. It’s working the output section for the best tone. Master volume amps are brilliant for setting up for Rock and leaving alone. But once again, setting the master up a bit first then bringing in the preamp gain. I prefer the JMP 2103/4 rather than the JCMs. The JMPs sound more connected to the old sound to my ears.
     
  6. Marshall50w

    Marshall50w Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for your input. Taking a 2203 for example, is this amp very much more useable due to its MV enabling a great rock tone at a lower volume than say a JTM45 in general terms ?
     
  7. BftGibson

    BftGibson Well-Known Member

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    Been fighting this since switched to guitar. Finally settled on the 2205 with Normal side running NMV like & Boost side for leads. Really helped me stop searching. Went through so many amps in the process. I like the 2205 bottom a bit more than my 2204 for what i play & it def works at any level required, if anything..am turned down a bit lately even tho don't have to. work my guitar knobs mostly & can get many varied needed tones with this amp. Love my other amps & they stay but this just had all the ingredients without forcing it..modding it..taming it..it just plugged in & delivered.
     
  8. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Certified B.S. Launcher Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Yes they do! Not a huge difference but it's there.

    Yes. I can do a lot more with a 2203 than a JTM45. A much stronger and tighter power section and a master volume gives the 2203 a much broader range.

    Edit: I'm not implying that the JTM is any less valuable as a musical tool....the 2203 can't do the squishy sag like a JTM no matter what. Two different animals. Comparing them is like saying "What's better? A fender Deluxe or a Bogner Ecstasy?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  9. Marshall50w

    Marshall50w Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. My other amps stay also but there's always room for another and what you say encourages me further. I tend to run next to nothing on the Bass on my amps perhaps due to my cab having 4 x G12 30H's so more likely to go down the 2204 route.
     
  10. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Get a 2204 you wont regret it. :yesway:
     
  11. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    simple fix to NMV is attenuation. tHD Hot Plate does it all for me even with MV marshalls like my 2210. tone o matic
     
  12. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    go big , get a 2203 and be done. they are magic. the attack and touch from a 2203 is unlike any other
     
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  13. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    I love the channel 1 on my 2210 with volume cranked and treble at 4 and bass at 4. that crunch is just awesome and then Channel two with the gain at 5.5 to 6.5 its a nice blend.
     
  14. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Yeah the 800 is what many consider the "Marshall tone". They are great amps. But don't let the "master" label fool you--they need to breathe to sound good.

    There is no "better" than what u got there tho

    I want your amps BTW. All of 'em.
     
  15. dro

    dro Well-Known Member

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  16. BftGibson

    BftGibson Well-Known Member

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    yes sir ! got it for the Boost side & the Normal just fell right in line to how i like to hit an amp for chords & crunch.. very responsive
     
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  17. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Just got done playing the 2210 with attenuator and it gets the sweet spot every time. Love that amp. Paired with2x12 budda its a tone machine
     
  18. AndyD

    AndyD Well-Known Member

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    The 2203 is a very powerful tool! The JTM has its own thing going on, for sure. For rock, the 2203 pretty much does it all. If you are interested, I plan to do a physical comparison between the 2103 and 2104 (both combos of course!) tomorrow.
     
  19. FogDweller

    FogDweller Active Member

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    I’ve had a JMP 1987 (year ‘76) for years but was rarely able to crank it up. I almost sold it because I just couldn’t use the amp the way it was designed. An attenuator was OK, but sounded a bit thin.

    I had a friend and tech of mine install a Frondelli PPIMV and it’s completely changed the amp, for the better. I can get lightly overdriven tones to pretty much the Brown Sound.

    If I ever move into a large house where I can crank it up, I may have the PPIMV removed, but for now I love it. I just wish I’d had it installed many years ago.
     
  20. OriginOfTheSpecies

    OriginOfTheSpecies Active Member

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    Is there any difference circuit wise to a pre (or post) PI MV wide open, and no MV at all?
     

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