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JCM 2203x Thrash tone (Need Help)

Felipe Veiga

Member
Messages
275
I want a 2203 tone similar to early thrash (Overkill, Nuclear Assault, Sepultura’s Schizophrenia, Exodus, etc.).

I have a TS808, SD-1w, CH-1, Flashback Delay, NS-2, Dime Wah, a VHT FatBottom 212 (P50e speakers) and a Torpedo Reload.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I thought it was clear from the title but I actually HAVE a 2203x...
 
Last edited:

Dr. Diabeetus

Member
Messages
76
There are a ton of options that would work for that specific tone - obviously an actual 2203 would be the best.

Are you asking for a lower cost option amp, or what?

Boosting a jcm2000 DSL green channel can get you in that territory.

Another lesser known but excellent sounding option would be a Fargen Ye Olde 800, or some of the splawn stuff.
 

MrTAteMyBalls

Member
Messages
4,192
I am not seeing an amp in your list unless I am crazy. Maybe one of those new 20 watt JCM 800 plus your 808/DS1 would get there??
 

Felipe Veiga

Member
Messages
275
Ok so I guess it wasn’t clear but I HAVE a 2203x.

The EQ however seems very...meh. Maybe I am used to my Mark IV A but I can’t seem to find a thrash tone because whenever I wanna play Eb thrash it sounds very much like Ozzy stuff from Wylde era (I know, SD-1 and all but hell I even copied Jeff Waters’ EXACT settings from Annihilator’s Alice in Hell).

I want a classic thrash tone as I mentioned. I want it tight, lean and mean (no clashing with bass). The closer to Nuclear Assault’s “Handle With Care” album the better.

Also, I know most people who I have asked for tips always refer to Lambchopper...he plays mini amps and his setups mostly miss the mark. Michael Nielsen (Big Hairy Guitars) and Circle of Tone are much more accurate and sound way better - alas, none of em have made a video on Classic Thrash such as Overkill, Nuclear Assault, etc.
 

Dr. Diabeetus

Member
Messages
76
Ok so I guess it wasn’t clear but I HAVE a 2203x.

The EQ however seems very...meh. Maybe I am used to my Mark IV A but I can’t seem to find a thrash tone because whenever I wanna play Eb thrash it sounds very much like Ozzy stuff from Wylde era (I know, SD-1 and all but hell I even copied Jeff Waters’ EXACT settings from Annihilator’s Alice in Hell).

I want a classic thrash tone as I mentioned. I want it tight, lean and mean (no clashing with bass). The closer to Nuclear Assault’s “Handle With Care” album the better.

Also, I know most people who I have asked for tips always refer to Lambchopper...he plays mini amps and his setups mostly miss the mark. Michael Nielsen (Big Hairy Guitars) and Circle of Tone are much more accurate and sound way better - alas, none of em have made a video on Classic Thrash such as Overkill, Nuclear Assault, etc.

Okay, so you want SETTINGS then. I'm a little confused, as IMO an 808 or an sd1 straight into a 2203 with every single knob at noon instantly gets into that thrash tone area. But, it's not going to sound, feel, or behave ANYTHING like a boogie.

Perhaps check out Lasse Lammert or Resa videos? They very well might have a jcm800 video with settings as well.

What guitar/pickups are you running? Anything high output - a super distortion, JB, sh-6, invader, dirty fingers, EMG 81, just about anything with high output is gonna get you in the ballpark.
 

Felipe Veiga

Member
Messages
275
@Dr. Diabeetus I don’t get why you are confused - the amp doesn’t seem right for thrash with the settings I’ve tried. It sounds dull, lifeless, not mean at all. I know it won’t sound like a Mesa, but I was expecting the EQ to be more influential. Lammert’s tone is absolute garbage, way too scooped. Reza plays mostly modded 2203s.

I have an EMG 81/85 guitar (Schecter Hellraiser Deluxe) and a Majesty w/ Illuminator pups.

The 2203x sounds great for Glam and NWOBHM, but for thrash besides Megadeth, it is lackluster so far. But these bands I mentioned in my original post used 2203s so it has to be on my end, not the amp.

EDIT: I think you are confused in the sense that “it has enough gain”. Yes, gain is not the issue. It is the overall voicing that is the issue (hence the reason I ask for settings/tone rather than simply throwing more gain at it)
 

Dr. Diabeetus

Member
Messages
76
@Felipe Veiga it's mean enough for all the bands you mentioned - perhaps it just isn't for you? Like your particular pick attack and style? Idk, its a really really simple amp, so there aren't too many "settings" variables at play, my dude.

With a backline 2203 I generally start with gain maxed, all other knobs at noon, and a boost pedal with level maxed and gain low/off, and make very, very minor tweaks based on cabinet and guitar/pickups.

If you're not even remotely in the ballpark it seems very unlikely settings are going to help. The only thing I could possibly add is perhaps a Graphic or Parametric EQ? Sepultura, for example, always used on in conjunction with their Marshalls to add mids after scooping them.
 

Captngeetch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,158
Less gain, scoop the mids, crank the presence. The rest around noon. Run the OD through the front, gain on 0, tone/vol at unity. At least that’s what I used to setup my 80’s JCM800 100w to. Still upset I sold that head. It Took me a long time to figure out that there really is such a thing as too much gain. It will change the tone and just sound like mush. Might need to boost the treble a bit. That should get you in the ballpark. Then just tweak in small increments.
 

SimAlex

Member
Messages
463
i've never heard nuclear assault before, just listening now, and the guitar sounds to me –– first off, the guitar sounds great, but also, less gain, more volume
 

Felipe Veiga

Member
Messages
275
I managed to get to a point I like EQ-wise which is kinda weird (Bass = 6, Mids = 3, Treble = 10, Presence = 8, Preamp = 10, MV = 2 (I am at home lol)).

But I just plugged in the Mark IV A and damn I just got a thought - what if I setup the amp with low bass and treble, lots of mids, and then hit it with the Mesa GEQ “V” shape? It is pretty much what Petrucci does, and the lead without the GEQ sounds very vintagey which the Marshall could easily do.
 

feet

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,164
i cue'd up "brainwashed" and i had a tone that fit in the mix before the song was over. fit ok into "from the past comes the storms". literally took less than 3 minutes.

tube screamer > 2203 > 1960b 412

that's it. that simple. the eq and amp settings barely matter, just get it to sit in the mix. maybe you don't like that sound in isolation, but that's what works. you can do post eq if you want, but that's the basis right there.

it's your cab. a marshall 412 with t75s is the sound of all 80s metal. you're over thinking this. you can keep fighting it, or you can try some t75s irs with your two notes. it'll fall into place the second you play through one. if you insist on that exact sound, it's the fastest way to get it. anything else is making things too difficult for yourself.

edit- they're literally playing 2203s into 1960s in the brainwashed video :D
 

Dr. Diabeetus

Member
Messages
76
i cue'd up "brainwashed" and i had a tone that fit in the mix before the song was over. fit ok into "from the past comes the storms". literally took less than 3 minutes.

tube screamer > 2203 > 1960b 412

that's it. that simple. the eq and amp settings barely matter, just get it to sit in the mix. maybe you don't like that sound in isolation, but that's what works. you can do post eq if you want, but that's the basis right there.

it's your cab. a marshall 412 with t75s is the sound of all 80s metal. you're over thinking this. you can keep fighting it, or you can try some t75s irs with your two notes. it'll fall into place the second you play through one. if you insist on that exact sound, it's the fastest way to get it. anything else is making things too difficult for yourself.

edit- they're literally playing 2203s into 1960s in the brainwashed video :D

Yep that literally IS the sound of the era, and all those famous thrash bands, and for some people it is unpleasant outside of a mix.
 

Well Done

Member
Messages
716
It's either a JCM 800 with a Tube Screamer or a Rat (early - mid 80s) or a Mark series Boogie (mid to late 80s).

You say you have all of that so I don't understand what else you want. If you can't get that sound then it's definitely you, not the gear.
 

Felipe Veiga

Member
Messages
275
Ok look - I am not saying I can’t get a good, hell even great tone with my gear.

What I am saying is that TO ME it isn’t final. There is something missing. Now, my cab isn’t the problem - Fryette makes state of the art cabs and V30s suck ass. Not willing to buy another cab for this. Besides, I don’t live for Nuclear Assault/Overkill thrash as much as Big 4 thrash (which I can get an amazing tone out of) so I can live right now.

But let’s be honest - MANY tones from 2203’s are MODDED. Exodus modded by Langner, Jose Mod (Kill em All, etc.), Sykes’ Marshall is modded, and the list goes on and on. So it isn’t as easy as saying “TS/SD-1w into 2203/4 with V30’s” because that is only part of the equation (besides micing which is an art in and of itself, and then countless studio tricks like Double/Quad tracking, Compressors, Exciters, etc.). Hell, even Chris Poland’s tone in Peace Sells is a Rocktron Headphone amp as a PREAMP into a Marshall 2203/4.

So again - can I get close? Sure. Does it satisfy me? No. But neither does the Boogie without GEQ. So I will probably try the GEQ at it. Early Sepultura did it, and Slayer still does it to this day.
 




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