(VIDEO) New Comparison Marshall vs Friedman (JCM800 Studio vs Smallbox20)

thunderkyss

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I agree, both sound really good. So we know both can get that tone.

Can you do something highlighting their differences?
 

purpleplexi

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In this one I prefer the Friedman. They're similar but the mids are in a slightly different place. I like that graunch from the Friedman. Damn now I have to save up again. How much is that one?
 

Gene Ballzz

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Its odd, but I can't find that specific model of Friedman anywhere? What does it use for power tubes? How many preamp tubes? This "Small Box 20" sounds much more similar to the "SC20" than the "Dirty Shirley Mini" did in your other great video. And @Del Rei , you mentioned that being in Brazil makes it difficult to find an "SV20." I'm curious why the various Friedmans are more easily/readily available than the Marshall? It does seem that the "SV20" is the most popular of the Studio series, and maybe they just sell out more quickly?

While I would not toss either of these amps off the stage, I somewhat prefer some of the more complex tones available with the "SV20" even though it provides a tiny bit less overall gain/overdrive. There's a certain "magic" that can be achieved with jumpered, parallel triodes/channels of the 4-hole, "SV20" design that gets sacrificed for the added gain of cascading those same two triodes on an "SC20" style design. When/if you get your hands on an SV20, you'll quickly and clearly unerstand what I'm getting at. With that said, the "SV20" will be a bit louder when giving up its goods than the "SC20" needs to be!

Just Askin'
Gene
 
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Del Rei

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@purpleplexi Hey, man!
This Friedman is was about $1,8K with white tolex and shipping to NY. \o/

@Gene Ballzz
Hi, Gene.
This is a special order made directly to Dave Friedman. He built it from an empty Runt20 PBC and chassis. Actually, it looks like a Runt20 with an extra knob, but sounds different. Not a Runt. Dave said he spent a lot of time voicing this amp and, in his opinion, sounds even better than standard Smallbox50. But I guess it's all about taste, right? Actually they can't really compare in a fair way because there's some things different... Different schematics, PCB/PTPish, different tubes (EL84 vs EL34). In fact, I noticed a bit more gain and less tightness in the 20W version. I think both are great amps, but not exactly the same.

Considering the Marshall and Friedman in Brazil, I got only the SC20H here - in an acceptable deal about 2 or 3 months ago. All Friedman I bought in the USA when traveling over the years... They're also hard to find here - even harder than Marshall, sure.

These days it have been much harder to get Marshall here. This pandemic moment made Brazilian money worth even less. Brazilian money today is about U$ 0.20 - So, you can guess how expensive it would be to buy a $1,299 amp here (about 7,050.00 Brazilian money - not mentioning the taxes and profit of local dealer). The thing here is that we don't have listed prices, that means each store sells in a different price. Not cool for me, but some people like it as they can negotiate prices.

The Mini Jubilee is more available here, but I can only find 220V - and when I find a 120V it's almost double priced... Maybe some day I'll consider buying a 220V and send it to some tech to converto to 120V...

About the SV20, I can imagine how "magic" it can be. All owners says that, and that's why I'm so curious about it. Never played a Plexi (except for the clones out there, including the Smallbox 'Plexi' channel), but I can imagine how loud it must be. In fact, the SC20 can sound "good" in low volumes, yes, but once I tried it with an attenuator and an opened Master, it's hard to go back to low volumes.

Cheers, man!
 

Gene Ballzz

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@Del Rei
Yes indeed, the only way to really compare the differences of the two different preamp topologies is to have the Master of the SC20 fully cranked. Much like a comparison between a 1987 to 2204 or 1959 to 2203. Sure the SC20, 2204 and 2203 can certaily get a bit more grind and gain at slightly lower volume levels by bringing the Master down than the SV20, 1987, and 1959, but the magic is different. The Master Volume and 4-hole units are nearly identical in every way, except for how those first two triodes are used, and the Master Volume, of course. In the SC20/2204/2203, those triodes are cascaded (run in series) into each other and in the SV20/1987/1959 those same two triodes are in parallel with each other, with slight different voicings on each that allow for variable "blending" of the two, along with some really fantastic interactions. Now easily adding an identical Master Volume to these amps (or a volume in the effects loop, if it has one) can certainly allow you to crank the preamp a bit more without going deaf, you're simply not going to get get quite as much preamp overdrive grind as with the cascaded design. There's long been the debate of whether or not its more worth giving up that little bit of tonal complexity for a bit of added gain or giving up a little bit of gain to get the complexity. I guess it depends on whether or not a person is a total gain junkie or a tone nuance chaser. I tend to fall into the latter category!
Sorry For The Long Winded Rant!
Gene
 

ken361

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@purpleplexi Hey, man!
This Friedman is was about $1,8K with white tolex and shipping to NY. \o/

@Gene Ballzz
Hi, Gene.
This is a special order made directly to Dave Friedman. He built it from an empty Runt20 PBC and chassis. Actually, it looks like a Runt20 with an extra knob, but sounds different. Not a Runt. Dave said he spent a lot of time voicing this amp and, in his opinion, sounds even better than standard Smallbox50. But I guess it's all about taste, right? Actually they can't really compare in a fair way because there's some things different... Different schematics, PCB/PTPish, different tubes (EL84 vs EL34). In fact, I noticed a bit more gain and less tightness in the 20W version. I think both are great amps, but not exactly the same.

Considering the Marshall and Friedman in Brazil, I got only the SC20H here - in an acceptable deal about 2 or 3 months ago. All Friedman I bought in the USA when traveling over the years... They're also hard to find here - even harder than Marshall, sure.

These days it have been much harder to get Marshall here. This pandemic moment made Brazilian money worth even less. Brazilian money today is about U$ 0.20 - So, you can guess how expensive it would be to buy a $1,299 amp here (about 7,050.00 Brazilian money - not mentioning the taxes and profit of local dealer). The thing here is that we don't have listed prices, that means each store sells in a different price. Not cool for me, but some people like it as they can negotiate prices.

The Mini Jubilee is more available here, but I can only find 220V - and when I find a 120V it's almost double priced... Maybe some day I'll consider buying a 220V and send it to some tech to converto to 120V...

About the SV20, I can imagine how "magic" it can be. All owners says that, and that's why I'm so curious about it. Never played a Plexi (except for the clones out there, including the Smallbox 'Plexi' channel), but I can imagine how loud it must be. In fact, the SC20 can sound "good" in low volumes, yes, but once I tried it with an attenuator and an opened Master, it's hard to go back to low volumes.

Cheers, man!
My APC Line R voltage regulator I can switch from 110, 120,127 volts maybe something you can use?
 

Del Rei

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@ken361
Hey, man. Thanks for the advice! :)
I have a transformer - 220 to 127. But I don't really like to use it, specially in a gig. And, for now my goal is the SV, that generally shows up in 120V around here. The SV problem now is the price here. Just a few people selling and a lot trying to buy... So, those selling guys asks a big price, as you can imagine...

@Gene Ballzz
"a person is a total gain junkie"
LOL
Good definition...
Now I'm worried, because in my videos I'm probably being a gain junkie... :)

Good explanation about the Plexi and JCM schematics. I'm a complete noob about this.
In my amps (MV) I tried sometimes to use a volume pedal into the loop in an attempt to work as an attenuator. But, even though I could open the Master a bit more, didn't feel that great tone as it was supposed to. I mean, its possible to use more gain from the pré, but the master section will still be quiet. But I think in a Plexi it would make much more sense, as there's no MV.
Hope I can try that some day soon! :D
Thanks, Gene!
 


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