UPDATE: reveal posted! JCM 800 Studio (vs Kemper vs Helix vs Axe Fx III)

Old Punker

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I get this every bloody time!

I put it down to ear fatigue. Generally its like I eq brighter and brighter as the session goes on. Next day it sounds awful :lol:

I think you're right. I usually have my tone dialed in at the end of a session and the next day it sounds like a swarm of wasps!
 

BatmansMarshall

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But, my “rounder/smoother JMP” is dead-nuts Celtic Frost 2203 when so set/dialed, so as to say, while some are smoother, or rawer or punchier or whatever, the 2203 is there and unmistakable. No (stock) variation makes someone go “Yeah Amp A is an 800 alright, but B... IDK, maybe a Vox?

Great you have a fantastic JMP amp. That is not what is going to happen to everyone who buys any valve amp though. Like I said, studios go through lots of different heads of the same models to find one they like the most. Artists often do the same and have an amp farm of the same model. They collect them to find the one that sounds like what they want and this is what we hear in their recorded music. It's only fair to let people who buy expensive valve gear know what they will be in for. That is why everyone is told to try before they buy.

Nobody is claiming that a JCM800 can turn into a VoxAC30. What I will say is that the JCM800 you heard live at some gig or on some album will likely not sound the same as the amp you buy. How close they are will depend on a lot of factors because even what you heard live or on an album depends on lots of factors also.

Profiling gear can get an edge here by providing profiles of specific amps. Profiles of the same amp models can sound very different even if using the exact same IR.



Today (as then) you can bring a modeler or a lunchbox amp to mic/jack into the PA. But now you can bring a head and a I/R load box, which is equally compact +/- AND retain the headroom and low end of 100w... AND that rig is useful from bedroom to festival without having to buy venue-specific gear.

Sure. I run an EVH5150III into a Two Notes Torpedo Live like Gojira does. Does that mean I sound exactly like Gojira? No. It won't. I will sound close. Also if you are happy with cabs being profiled and using IRs, then really there is nothing preventing you from doing the same with an amp profile instead of a valve amp either. The science behind audio engineering demonstrates that there is nothing digital can't recreate from any of these amp systems. That would be in the realm of magic if the amp could do something that modern profilers can't. We hit the technology to process this long ago. Hence why Kemper didn't change its toaster model in a decade. It won in the blind test challenge. These are just hard facts and yes we all have to bite the bullet and just accept that it is what is. If Kemper was around in the 1970s you can be sure people would never have paid out the huge sums of money they did for amp gear over such a long period of time. They would have some valve amp gear and lots of profiles. Would people do it all again now that the profiling gear is here? I think not for the most part. The biggest mistake big valve amp companies made was not getting into profiling gear. Line6 seems to be one of the few to actually have gone and done it.

If Marshall released a Marshall profiling system with only their select best of the best Marshall gear being profiled, you can be sure that would sell like the hottest amp ever made. However, they don't because it's like chocolate companies that release an exceptional chocolate bar that just kills off their other bars. Ice-cream companies have that problem also.
 

Biff Maloy

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I can't make heads or tails on what's what but the OP does great demos and Thanks for Sharing.

I'm a tube amp guy but I'm so glad I honestly have no prejudice against either format of tube vs modeling. I like them both for varying reasons. I think some of you are just on your high horse just to be on it. Arguing a point on what's real. Even between tube amp representations. 100 watts vs 20/5 watts. I don't care if my SV20H isn't a 1959 because i don't go around making comparisons between such a wide range of tube power output. That never makes sense to me. Same goes for modeling. A modeler isn't ever going to sound exactly like the same amp in a room with you in it no more than an isolated and miked tube amp will either.

What's one of the first things you do regardless of whether it's virtual or tube when recording or mixing. EQ it so the low end isn't getting into the rest of the band mix as well as the highs. You've already further manipulated the signal.

I wonder if these same arguments are had in auto repair forums. You got one sold on compressed air and another all sold on the wrench and done by hand. Whatever man. As long as my nuts are tight is all i care about.
 

Rikamortis

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Well what can I say they all sound really close one of the replies said that A&D sounded less shrill I agree I am going to have to say the kempler is D, the jcm 800 is A, the Helix is C and the kemplerIII is B. Basically just an all-out guess basically because the riff that you're playing to meet is more of a MODERN sort of Pop metal kind of sound!NOW WITH THAT BEING SAID HAD YOU PLAYED MORE OF AN OLD SCHOOL 80S RIFF EVEN GUNS N' ROSES SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GUESS IT PERFECTLY OR MAYBE SOME OLD SCHOOL METALLICA OR SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES IS WHAT I WAS EXPECTING. LIKE I SAID I HAD IT HAVE BEEN A GOOD LATE 80S METAL RIFFAGE WITH SOME BASS I THINK IT COULD HAVE CAME CLOSER! BUT THANK YOU IT WAS KIND OF FUN TRYING TO GUESS UNLESS OF COURSE I'M WRONG LOL!
 

Rikamortis

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Big difference two of the apps I really liked and two of them I didn't and I definitely like the Les Paul better than the strat strat was very shrill and tinty which I sort of expected and is kind of to be expected! Thank you great comparison!
 

lonewolfsx

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I wouldn't use any clips from this video or any other on this channel to make any kind of amp tone decisions, and wouldn't ever listen to a clip on this channel then go onto an internet forum and talk like I know what amp "X" sounds like. It's fun to compare within the scope of the video - and interesting to see just HOW similar amps/modelers etc can be dialed to sound exactly the same, especially through IR's or when recorded in stereo with two guitar tracks, or in other videos with a full mix. This one didn't blow my mind but for the most part I enjoy the playing and tones of the SDS videos.

Sure a true comparison would be a raw/unedited, mic'ed cab into a mono track. Even better, use a condenser mic in the room instead of a close mic and you could really convey what it sounds like in that room/setting. There's some merit to that kind of test, but at the same time there's nothing wrong with this video either. I agree with whoever said the amps were intentionally set to sound as similar as possible to each other, but that's kind of the point of the video.

That said, I've made a few comparison clips myself. I tested out a torpedo live and IR's and thought it didn't accurately convey what I was hearing in the room, so I'm sticking with the tried and true mic/cab method. Seems like a more useful comparison to your average guitar player (who plays at home, or with a band, in a room with a speaker cab or miced cab + PA), whereas the SDS videos would be more useful to a sound/recording engineer (someone who is tracking guitars for a new song etc).
 

OriginOfTheSpecies

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This is interesting - are they all running to an IR?

Listening on Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones:

My guess is D for the real amp. Seems to me a tiny bit more dynamics in the mutes and chaos in the note trails.

B sounded the harshest and least "real" to my ear (being pretty picky though).

C is my second guess, it sounds slightly more organic to me than A and B, but also slightly rolled off on the high end which might mask some detail/artefacts. It's probably my preferred tone as is.

Either way they're all close enough that what the player prefers to work with is probably a more important consideration than how the sound recorded; and if the player just wants the marshall tone in which case the real deal tube SC20 is probably the most affordable.
 

Guitarjon

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This is interesting - are they all running to an IR?

Listening on Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones:

My guess is D for the real amp. Seems to me a tiny bit more dynamics in the mutes and chaos in the note trails.

B sounded the harshest and least "real" to my ear (being pretty picky though).

C is my second guess, it sounds slightly more organic to me than A and B, but also slightly rolled off on the high end which might mask some detail/artefacts. It's probably my preferred tone as is.

Either way they're all close enough that what the player prefers to work with is probably a more important consideration than how the sound recorded; and if the player just wants the marshall tone in which case the real deal tube SC20 is probably the most affordable.

Thanks for sparing your thoughts! I'm going to post the reveal later today! Stay tuned :)
 

Guitarjon

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UPDATE: Hey everyone, thanks for participating and joining the discussion! Here are the results:




They all sounded good, they all sounded pretty close so don't feel bad if you didn't get them all, or even one right. It's not super easy for everybody to hear all the super small differences. We all listen in different ways, also based on our experiences as people, musicians and listeners! Let me know how many you got right or how many you got wrong etc. Which one sounded the best to you and why?
 
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Marshall50w

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Old Punker, I do think that the Studio Classic did an excellent job likely at a more useable volume.
I wonder if the JC800 could get as good as sound as the Studio at the same volume as the Studio ?
 

Jethro Rocker

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Great you have a fantastic JMP amp. That is not what is going to happen to everyone who buys any valve amp though. Like I said, studios go through lots of different heads of the same models to find one they like the most. Artists often do the same and have an amp farm of the same model. They collect them to find the one that sounds like what they want and this is what we hear in their recorded music. It's only fair to let people who buy expensive valve gear know what they will be in for. That is why everyone is told to try before they buy.

Nobody is claiming that a JCM800 can turn into a VoxAC30. What I will say is that the JCM800 you heard live at some gig or on some album will likely not sound the same as the amp you buy. How close they are will depend on a lot of factors because even what you heard live or on an album depends on lots of factors also.

Profiling gear can get an edge here by providing profiles of specific amps. Profiles of the same amp models can sound very different even if using the exact same IR.





Sure. I run an EVH5150III into a Two Notes Torpedo Live like Gojira does. Does that mean I sound exactly like Gojira? No. It won't. I will sound close. Also if you are happy with cabs being profiled and using IRs, then really there is nothing preventing you from doing the same with an amp profile instead of a valve amp either. The science behind audio engineering demonstrates that there is nothing digital can't recreate from any of these amp systems. That would be in the realm of magic if the amp could do something that modern profilers can't. We hit the technology to process this long ago. Hence why Kemper didn't change its toaster model in a decade. It won in the blind test challenge. These are just hard facts and yes we all have to bite the bullet and just accept that it is what is. If Kemper was around in the 1970s you can be sure people would never have paid out the huge sums of money they did for amp gear over such a long period of time. They would have some valve amp gear and lots of profiles. Would people do it all again now that the profiling gear is here? I think not for the most part. The biggest mistake big valve amp companies made was not getting into profiling gear. Line6 seems to be one of the few to actually have gone and done it.

If Marshall released a Marshall profiling system with only their select best of the best Marshall gear being profiled, you can be sure that would sell like the hottest amp ever made. However, they don't because it's like chocolate companies that release an exceptional chocolate bar that just kills off their other bars. Ice-cream companies have that problem also.
Good points. Most people who own JMD 1s love them. Tube power, yes. Modeling, not profiling. Whether it sounds just like amp AB or C well no but similar and sounds really good. The "feel" is good too.
I think a JMD 2 with more modern tech but still tube powered would be fantastic! That should be Marshall's move , not a Code 2.
 

OriginOfTheSpecies

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UPDATE: Hey everyone, thanks for participating and joining the discussion! Here are the results:

Cool I was pretty much right then.

Kemper is impressive, especially when you consider it's decade old digital tech. Your comments on compression might have been what I heard as slightly rolled high end and what I liked about its tone.

Interesting the Axe FX III sounded worst to me, being the latest and greatest (and most expensive). Maybe the additional processing to get the tone in the ballpark was lending it a more artificial sound.
I was surprised when I looked up the cost and that for the price doesn't include a power amp section.

For me personally, the "fidelity" differences between real/modelling gear is smaller than the fidelity of my guitar playing and studio chops.

However, I like a real tube amp because:
  • They can be had much cheaper these high-end profiling amps (a reversal of the old Tube vs SS argument).
  • I mainly gravitate toward a base Marshall tone/don't need a bunch of amps in a box.
  • They play nice with pedals (never had great results running into digital).
  • Instant analog control and interaction of the circuit. I've heard of Kemper guys capturing profiles with different Gain/EQ settings because they're dissatisfied with the results of post-tweaking on the Kemper.
  • The novelty of tubes and real analog.
  • I have PC's/software modelling if I feel like playing something different (at least at home). Software plus an interface is inexpensive vs a kemper/axe fx.
 

uselessoldman

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I think companies like Marshall shuld consider tming (Trade Marking) their unique algorythm since the record companies appear to do the same for all their artists. I do not see why anyone who copies their tone should not pay a royalty cos its ripping off the original
 

Mystic38

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well, given Marshall ripped off Fender......

its a non starter.. everything is based off of some old rca circuit.. with a couple of tweaks here and there..
I think companies like Marshall shuld consider tming (Trade Marking) their unique algorythm since the record companies appear to do the same for all their artists. I do not see why anyone who copies their tone should not pay a royalty cos its ripping off the original
 

OriginOfTheSpecies

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I think companies like Marshall shuld consider tming (Trade Marking) their unique algorythm

I don't think it would be possible as everyone is using their own methods and coding to emulate the sound.
Also I'm not sure its a bad thing for Marshall. It maintains their reputation for iconic and "standard" amps, and those who like how the virtual models sound might be guided toward buying a real one.
 

AlboK

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They all sounded the same to me. Did you put the head through a cab and mic it? I am very leery of comparing direct outs of heads into load boxes with modelers. IMHO, this is not the same as comparing a head into a cabinet, vs a modeler. BTW I am a big fan of both modeling AND real iron, and most of my gigs (before the pandemic) were with modelers.

For me alot of these types of videos are in essense saying, "if we take away the physical aspect of speakers, the interaction of the speakers with the room, the interaction of the amp with that speaker cabinet, the impact of the microphone and use a direct out on the amplifier and model a speaker, room , and microphone, it sounds the same as a modeler!" Well, at that point, the head is only a small factor, so of course they are going to sound similar.

Like comparing a cheap car to a ferrari, but you use the same engine and same tires on both.
I agree with this. All these Youtube guys using IR's, sounds nothing like if you miked up an amp. Becuase when playing live, hardly anyone uses IR's with a tube amp. He seems like a nice guy but these demo's using IR"s are a joke and not a realistic tone of these tube amps.
 

AlboK

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1. SC is NOT a JCM 800. I am hearing 4 things I don’t use, none of which (as played) sound 2203-ish to me.

2. Could this dude even try to play something more out of the familiar range of JCM riffage?! All this “chicka fucka dicka” bullshit is done to obfuscate the real amp and doesn’t really serve the purpose, IMO.

out of those terrible ear-grating clips, B seemed (at times) to be the least shrill and C seemed worst. Tossup between A and D.

so far all I have walked away with is I don’t like the SC (as played) or the method of hiding the ball.
Totally agree!
 

AlboK

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With this fuss over whether the SC20 is a "JCM800", why not agree that it's not a "full size" JCM800, but a "mini" JCM800, which is exactly what it is. After all, they are called "Studio" amps. Having said that, and having owned both the full size and "Studio" version, you wouldn't hear much difference in a recording. The full size has a bit more low end thump, which is the biggest difference (IMO).
I agree with your statement. However JCM 800's never had much low end thump unless cranked really loud and it still not a heavy bottom end amp. So that SC20h doesn't have much low end at all. I'd take a Mini Jubile or the Sc20h. Have way more bottom end and thicker meatier sound. I.M.O
 

AlboK

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In my opinion the company that made the JMP and JCM800 is no longer the same as now. This SC surely is not what a real JCM800 was all about. It's using the name to sell more stuff. "What should we do next to make more money? Make a small amp and put the JCM800 tag on it"
Ok, but it's close and if your playing live no one in the audience would know the difference.
 


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