Silver Supporting Member
I just want a single channel 20 watt (maybe switchable to 5watt) 2203/4 in a small grab and go black and gold package. Loop would be nice too.
I know I'm gonna end up with a DS40 but wouldn't a JCM5 be a fun little toy to mess around with?gldtp99 and Sirloin hit on the options I'd recommend.
Fargen Olde 800 MkII combo or a Ceriatone chassis in whatever setup you decide. The Fargen, with the three different modes, is a very sweet amp. Love it.
The clips I've heard of @Sirloin Ceriatones were fantastic.
I actually had the pleasure of hanging out at @gldtp99 shop and taking some of his amps for a spin. There was one that was like a hotrodded 2204 around 20 watts, if I'm not mistaken, that nailed GnR tones. I actually saw one of his amps in use by a local band this past Saturday night. Sounded great! I'd be happy to rock one of his builds.
The DSL15 that's being blown out on clearance at the local GCs is probably close enough for Marshall.
Just get the DS and be done with it! Ha!!! (and by done with it, I mean for a while...)
I used to own a Fargen Miniplex MKII. Great amp. I sold it because it was a small amp in a huge head cabinet that was a bear to carry around with a speaker cab. He's fixed that now with with the smaller head cab and also added a few features to make it a much better amp in my opinion. I also used to own a 2204 head. I sold it because I have a Friedman JJ100 and if I'm going to load a head and cab in and out of the car, it sure as heck is going to be the better sounding JJ over the 2204. Are you seeing the theme here? I want a mini 2203/4 I can take to a blues jam, practice, jam with my friends, and play at home. I have the JJ and a JTM45 that can handle any live situation with a drummer that warrants volume and the work necessary to carry them. A small blues jam or jamming out with my buddy down the street is not worth dragging massive head and cab around.Doesn't Fargen make a similar amp ?
I built a 25 watt, 6V6 x 2 version of a JCM 800 several yrs ago (along with an EL84 x 2, 14 watt version)---- the 25 watt head was snapped up by a local player who loved it in my shop and was sure that it would have enough power to run with his band unmiked--- He brought it back because it didn't have enough clean headroom at band volume, and bought a 50 watt JCM 800 clone from me.
Later on another player fell in love with this head in my shop---- I did some moderate gain mods and added a Metro FX loop for him and he bought it, thinking that it would have enough power to work unmiked with his band----- He brought it back because it didn't have enough clean headroom at band volume and he bought a cleaner version of a 50 watt 2204 (with Metro FX Loop) that I was building at the time---- he's very happy with it.
A few years later another player falls in love with this 25 watt JCM 800 head and plays it extensively in my shop--- he even brings his band over to jam at volume in my shop to try out the head--- I listen to the whole band (loud three piece rock band) and it seems, to me, that the 25 watt amp is underpowered for this application--- I try to sell him a 50 watt JCM 800 clone but he believes in the 25 watter and he buys it----- He has a larger Bogner (not sure what model) he plays on stage and uses the 25 watt JCM 800 clone mostly for recording----- he is still happy with it.
JCM 800 25 watt head:
The "Guts" control is a Lar/Mar PPIMV.
After my experience with building/selling this amp i'm not in a hurry to build more of them---- most of my customers play onstage in loud bands and amps of this power range don't work well for them.
Even 50 watt amps sometimes lack the "punch/depth" that most of my customers are looking for so I do mostly 100-150 watt heads.
Most bands I deal with have practice spaces with only basic PA support (vocals and maybe kick drum) so the guitar amp has to hold its own in this environment----- sometimes the clubs they play have PA systems that are no better.
Fargen-- here's a similar amp built by Ben Fargen:
Here's a link to the band that owns the 25 watt JCM 800 that I built---- I understand it was used on their new album about to come out: http://www.sonarlights.com/
My thoughts on all this are that a 50 watt JCM 800 can be played at low volume levels (attenuator, regular MV, or PPIMV) and do everything a 25 watt JCM 800 clone can do and usually sound better while doing it----- more power usually yields a deeper, richer tone even at low volumes-----and a 50 watter has enough power to run with most bands on its own if necessary.................. gldtp99