Recommend A Marshall - JCM800 Super Lead, SV20H, Or SC20H

colchar

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I am thinking of dipping my toe back into the Marshall waters. I currently have an Orange AD30 (not going anywhere), and a vintage Traynor YGL3 (their version of the Twin) which I might get rid of if I can get my money back out of it.

My options are a 1990 JCM800 Super Lead (not sure if $2500 Canadian is a reasonable price on one of those), an SV20H, or an SC20H.

The AD30 does vintage British rock tones but the Super Lead and SV20 will hit similar territory and are what my favourite players used (obviously the SV20 is a scaled down version). I'm talking Dickey Betts, Page, etc. The SC20 might be a bit different and offer tones the AD30 doesn't, but I have previously owned an '83 JCM800 2203.

With all three, but especially the Super Lead and SV20H I will need an attenuator (probably a good idea for the AD30 and SC20H as well). I am seriously considering the Weber Mini Mass as it seems to get great reviews here.

But for someone who plays classic rock, blues, and '80s metal (only ever at home) which of the three amps I mentioned would you go for? Or would you not bother and just stick with the two amps that I already have (I don't need another amp, I just have GAS).
 

Old Punker

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I have no experience with the Orange or Traynor amps you mentioned but I do have the Marshall SC20H. I can say that the SC20H will easily do classic rock, blues, and '80s metal. I got a beautiful AC/DC Malcolm tone easily with my Gretsch through the matching 2x12. With my Jackson and LP I get nice RR and ZW Ozzy tones through my V30 equipped 2x12 cab. Sticking a Boss SD-1 in front of the amp in boost mode gives great higher gain tones at reasonable volumes for at home.

I do have a good attenuator (Fryette PS-2) that works very well with my Studio Classic head but I don't use it very often with this amp since I get very good tones from it without the attenuator. A simple volume pot (JHS LBAB) in the FX loop allows you to turn the MV up to about 3 while keeping a civilized volume.

That 1990 JCM 800 would probably sound really sweet but may be a bit much if you're only going to use it at home IMO.
 

Maggot Brain

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All depends on the volume you can or need to play at.

The SV20 being a NMV is pretty loud in a bedroom setup. The SC20 benefits from a MV and both are limited in maximum volume and headroom compared to the 50w and 100w obviously.

I just picked up a SV20H so I am biased but I'd suggest for home use either of the Studio series will excell.
 

marshallmellowed

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Take this for what it's worth, and from someone that cycles through playing the SC20, SV20, 2203x and 1959 SLP. IMO, nothing compares to the 100 watt versions of these amps, not even the 59 watt versions, and definitely not the 20 watt versions, but that's not to say they're not all good amps. It comes down to whether you "have to have" the real deal (which to me, is the 100 watt), or you're happy with something "more practical", or "close enough". I personally have to have the "real deal", and that's what makes me happy in life, while it may not apply to others. For those that say you "can't" use a 100 watt SLP at home, I do it at least 3 days a week, and not at deafening volumes. Even attenuated to the same level I normally play the SV20 (also attenuated), the 100w wins. Same goes for my 2203x, which, when played at the same volume as the SC20, always wins. So, to sum it up, at least in my world, life is too short, get what makes you happy, whatever that may be.
 

colchar

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I have no experience with the Orange or Traynor amps you mentioned but I do have the Marshall SC20H. I can say that the SC20H will easily do classic rock, blues, and '80s metal. I got a beautiful AC/DC Malcolm tone easily with my Gretsch through the matching 2x12. With my Jackson and LP I get nice RR and ZW Ozzy tones through my V30 equipped 2x12 cab. Sticking a Boss SD-1 in front of the amp in boost mode gives great higher gain tones at reasonable volumes for at home.

As I read your post I look across the room at my Hughes & Kettner 2x12 with V30s, my Gretsch, my Jackson, and my LP. Also a Tele and SG for good measure. But yeah, you're talking about gear very similar to mine.
 

colchar

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Take this for what it's worth, and from someone that cycles through playing the SC20, SV20, 2203x and 1959 SLP. IMO, nothing compares to the 100 watt versions of these amps, not even the 59 watt versions, and definitely not the 20 watt versions, but that's not to say they're not all good amps. It comes down to whether you "have to have" the real deal (which to me, is the 100 watt), or you're happy with something "more practical", or "close enough". I personally have to have the "real deal", and that's what makes me happy in life, while it may not apply to others. For those that say you "can't" use a 100 watt SLP at home, I do it at least 3 days a week, and not at deafening volumes. Even attenuated to the same level I normally play the SV20 (also attenuated), the 100w wins. Same goes for my 2203x, which, when played at the same volume as the SC20, always wins. So, to sum it up, at least in my world, life is too short, get what makes you happy, whatever that may be.


I get what you are saying about the 100 watters, but to me the 50 watters are the 'big boys' too since so many legendary players used them (ie. Duane Allman with his 50 watters while Dickey used 100 watters to stay clean at the same volume as Duane).

My last few amps have been '83 JCM800 2203, Fender Twin (twice), Traynor YGL3 (their version of a Twin and insanely loud), Vox AC30 (twice, and a very loud 30 watter), a JVM 210, and the Orange AD30 (twice, and insanely loud for a 30 watt amp). I used all of those without an attenuator but think I should get one (even for the Orange) just so that I can push the amps a bit more.
 

jimmyo

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If it were me, I’d go for a 100 watt JCM800, either reissue or a good condition original. The 2203x reissue is very good, though expensive new, try finding a used one if possible. I’ve always found the 100watt amps to have more chunk. Not to say there are not some amazing 50watt or 20watt amps out there that you would be very happy with. But, even at comparable volumes, a 100watt Marshall just has bigger balls.
 

marshallmellowed

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I get what you are saying about the 100 watters, but to me the 50 watters are the 'big boys' too since so many legendary players used them (ie. Duane Allman with his 50 watters while Dickey used 100 watters to stay clean at the same volume as Duane).

My last few amps have been '83 JCM800 2203, Fender Twin (twice), Traynor YGL3 (their version of a Twin and insanely loud), Vox AC30 (twice, and a very loud 30 watter), a JVM 210, and the Orange AD30 (twice, and insanely loud for a 30 watt amp). I used all of those without an attenuator but think I should get one (even for the Orange) just so that I can push the amps a bit more.
Yes, the key is using the right attenuator for the amp. With that accomplished, any amp can work in any situation you want. Only downside to the big amps is, well, they're big, but I don't haul mine around. Having said that, if I were going to use an amp & cab at a gig, and space allowed, I'd have no issue with hauling one of my big amps and 4x12, would both sound better, and look cooler. :) I believe you mentioned you play primarily at home, so at least transporting a bigger amp wouldn't be an issue. Good luck with whatever path you take.
 
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Gene Ballzz

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Whatever amp you end up with, The JohnH design (detailed below) blows those Webers completely out of the water on many levels! And yeah, I even own a Weber and plan to keep it for specific uses, but it sounds like doo-doo, by comparison. It is however, handy as a grab & go for going to test amps, given that I'm aware of how it ruins the sound!

I highly recommend this attenuator! I won't elaborate too much on the glowing praise, but it absolutely blows away any other unit in the sub $500-ish range, by a wide margin! It only costs $75-$125 for parts, (depending on sourcing/choice) and all it requires is the skills to use simple hand tools, a drill and fair to good soldering skills! I suggest the simplest 16 ohm M2 version, without the added outputs, line out, or other bells & whistles! While all the info for component values shows up in post #1 of this huge thread, great ideas for actual layout and packaging start at about page #110, or so. The whole thread is worth the read though, and most of any useless chaff is easily skimmed past!

Simple Attenuators - Design And Testing

Summary: September 2019 This thread started with a few resistors to make a simple attenuator for valve amps, and then developed into multistage resistive and reactive designs. The latest designs work much better than I’d expected and have been built and tested by others. April 2020: After...
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Also some pics of various packaging of completed units can be seen here:

Completed JohnH Attenuators?

Hey Fine Folks, The Simple Attenuator thread has become so lengthy that it is difficult to ascertain how many successfully completed builds there are of the fantastic @JohnH attenuator design. :thumbs: I'm starting this thread with the intention of showcasing all of these great builds. It is my...
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And yes, these units/this design really is "ALL THAT!"

Even if you don't have the skills, space, tools or ambition, commissioning someone to build one for $100-$150 in labor should be fairly easy!

Just My -3.5db,
Gene
 

dro

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But for someone who plays classic rock, blues, and '80s metal (only ever at home) which of the three amps I mentioned would you go for? Or would you not bother and just stick with the two amps that I already have (I don't need another amp,
t have GAS).

Sorry but what you are describing is AAS not GAS
 

middy

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The 100 watt amps are definitely thicker, but if you’re mixing with a SM57 all that low end gets rolled off anyway. Your bass player can fill out that part of the sound.
For small and medium clubs or studio, the 20 watt amps are best, IMO.
For large stages, the 50, or the 100 if you need big cleans.
For wallowing in pure glory in your basement, the 100 with a good attenuator.
 

Gene Ballzz

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The 100 watt amps are definitely thicker, but if you’re mixing with a SM57 all that low end gets rolled off anyway. Your bass player can fill out that part of the sound.
For small and medium clubs or studio, the 20 watt amps are best, IMO.
For large stages, the 50, or the 100 if you need big cleans.
For wallowing in pure glory in your basement, the 100 with a good attenuator.

You are so right! Some of the most important parts of my sound/tone (especially in a three piece) exist in the sound of a great bass guitar. This is why I own a full SVT rig (including he 8x10 refrigerator) and a truly stellar P-Bass! No bassist has ever complained about playing my bass setup! Having a bassist who plays well doesn't hurt either! :naughty:
Just Playin'
Gene
 

middy

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You are so right! Some of the most important parts of my sound/tone (especially in a three piece) exist in the sound of a great bass guitar. This is why I own a full SVT rig (including he 8x10 refrigerator) and a truly stellar P-Bass! No bassist has ever complained about playing my bass setup! Having a bassist who plays well doesn't hurt either! :naughty:
Just Playin'
Gene
It’s the best bass rig, period.
 


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