Marshall JCM800 w/pedals vs. Mesa

raul

Member
Messages
707
what do you think? a Marshall JCM800 2203 with pedals to get dark mean and evil...or a Mesa head of some sort? marshall w/pedals just seems so cool. tone wise, what would be more explosive and have just all around massive awesome tone?

and...what pedal in a 2203 to get it to that over the top place?
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,109
Pedals can get the mids and fizzy stuff, but they can't get the bottom. Marshalls are just plain looser than Mesas, and it's easier to fake a loose amp with a tight amp than vice versa.
 

jetdriver

Member
Messages
231
Mesa Stiletto Deuce II. Marshallesque flavor - lots of options. Gets mean and takes pedals very well.
 

-analog-

Member
Messages
3,269
A buddy of mine is using a 4104 2x12 combo, low input channel, dime the master vol and use pedals for dirt- just did a vid with him running the marshall
theres a few vids here

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/785622

the 2nd video is live, marshall 1936 cab with G1275's and a 50 watt landry head which I've found to be similar to a 2205 marshall and the 2nd channel in his stereo rig is the 4104.
 

Jack Luminous

Member
Messages
684
what do you think? a Marshall JCM800 2203 with pedals to get dark mean and evil...or a Mesa head of some sort? marshall w/pedals just seems so cool. tone wise, what would be more explosive and have just all around massive awesome tone?

and...what pedal in a 2203 to get it to that over the top place?
Here's my own experience about your question :

stock 2203 with a TC booster/dist in front -> crushing tone with cutting high-mids and over the top saturation and harmonics. Instant (old) Zakk Wylde tone. Excellent for hardrock/heavy/thrash... Cuts thru any mix or any live situation. Heard countless bands with them and it always sounds great.


older 2-channel dual recto -> instant earthquake happening with enough volume. Will do death-metal out of the box without the need of any pedal. Huge bone shaking low-end ! Harder to mix/record and can be lost in a live situation, unless you really know what you're doing. Heard ****** concerts with those but also witnessed amazing tones with Cannibal Corpse/Deicide/Napalm Death/Testament etc.

Both are great but very different...
 

Melodyman

Member
Messages
2,341
what do you think? a Marshall JCM800 2203 with pedals to get dark mean and evil...or a Mesa head of some sort? marshall w/pedals just seems so cool. tone wise, what would be more explosive and have just all around massive awesome tone?

and...what pedal in a 2203 to get it to that over the top place?
Having been on both sides, a good 800 with a boost can easily hang with the majority of the big league high gainers, just imo.

You give up all the on the fly switching and have to go old school roll off for the cleans, but the (gain) tone is right up there quality wise at least for me.

Also alot of players are anti-pedal so they are automatically relegated into a certain class of amps for their needs...
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,020
what do you think? a Marshall JCM800 2203 with pedals to get dark mean and evil...or a Mesa head of some sort? marshall w/pedals just seems so cool. tone wise, what would be more explosive and have just all around massive awesome tone?

and...what pedal in a 2203 to get it to that over the top place?

Well first off - you've asked about comparing one Marshall amp against more than 50 different Mesa amps - and every Mesa amp is different. So what you're asking for can't be done in a short reply.

2nd - JCM800's are great amps imo - I owned one for years but they aren't dark at all. They're very bright sounding amps. The distortion channel is fabulous if you like that JCM flavour & the clean side is just ok imo. It's not a very versatile amp, it's heavy and takes most pedals ok.

There's about 10 Mesa's I prefer to the JCM800 and another 10 I don't.
None will get close to the JCM distortion tones except the Electrodyne but then the JCM800 won't do any of the the Mesa tones. So just depends on what flavour you want.

The Mark IV and V, the Roadster, The Electrodyne, Stiletto, Express 5:50, Tremoverb, Rectoverb all have similar (or more) high gain capabilities to the JCM800 but have much better cleans and OD, are much more versatile and take pedals better imo. Some of these Mesa's are also much lighter. That's why I prefer them :)

I still luv the JCM800 distortion tones though so I have a Crunchbox pedal for that. Does a good job and have no regets in selling the JCM800 for a Mesa 5:50.

Go play em and decide for yourself
 

MGSchindel

Member
Messages
941
I have all kinds of cool high-gain amps in the collection, including a few boogies, but I almost always come back to an old 2203 with a few pedals out front when it's time to get down to business. An SD-1 or two, and any old Tube Screamer or TS clone (or two) can boost it for tons of clear, useable gain. Big roaring crunch, tons of playable sustain, and cuts through a live mix like no other, with good tone. This is the original sound most of the modern amps are trying to emulate.
 

GrecoVee

Member
Messages
880
Althought I do like the tone of my two first year (`92) Dual Rectos, I've been going to my`79 Marshall JMP 2203 boosted with a Tubescreamer or TS clone for my prefered tone at the moment.
Both the early DR's and the`79 JMP 2203 are great sounding amps but are definately two different animals are far as tone goes, just depends on the application. The JMP does seem to cut a little better at high volume compared to the DR's I've found.
 

raul

Member
Messages
707
ok so a JCM 800 2203, can it get as aggro and heavy as a mesa dual recto or a roadster? maybe not as earthquake heavy but still heavy enough with the right pedals?

and the pedals would be a russian muff, fuzz factory and tubescreamer clone...

at the same time...could a dual recto or roadster take those pedals well, just for different flavors, not that they need it to get heavy, but like i said just for different flavors and tones of heavy, do they take pedals well?
 

somedude

Member
Messages
7,603
ok so a JCM 800 2203, can it get as aggro and heavy as a mesa dual recto or a roadster? maybe not as earthquake heavy but still heavy enough with the right pedals?

and the pedals would be a russian muff, fuzz factory and tubescreamer clone...

at the same time...could a dual recto or roadster take those pedals well, just for different flavors, not that they need it to get heavy, but like i said just for different flavors and tones of heavy, do they take pedals well?

Heavy is in your right hand. You either have it or you don't, and if you don't then your choice in amp doesn't really matter.

Me personally, assuming your right hand can pull off heavy then I'd recommend trying multiple amps and choosing the one that makes you giggle while you play.
 

wizard333

Member
Messages
2,208
Marshalls arent "looser" than Boogies, they are far, far tighter.

Mesa low end moves your pants legs, Marshall low end punches you in the chest like Mike Tyson in his prime.

In stock form, if you want over the top overdrive, the 800 you want is the channel switching version. Gobs of gain, just dime the channel and master volumes.

If you put a boost in front, a 2203 will cut a mix like nothing Mesa makes. Totally different frequency response, totally different design. If you want it to have tons of gain, you can 1) get it modded, easy enough to do I do it not infrequently, 2) put the right boost in front and stand back.
 

skoora

Member
Messages
769
I highly recommend a Barber Small Fry in front of a JCM800 2203. Get's a lot more gain but still sounds like the amp. Usual setting of gain less than noon and level just above noon, tone to taste. Put the preamp of the 2203 at about 1-2 O'Clock and with the pedal, thrash/heavy heaven, without the pedal, perfect classic hard rock and still cleans up great with the guitar volume knob. I bet their Dirty Bomb pedal sounds interesting into a 2203.
 

shg

Senior Member
Messages
1,219
To me the sound of a boosted 2003 is Zakk Wylde's tone on the Ozzy album "No More Tears", while IMHO the ultimate Mesa tone is John Petrucci's tone on the Dream Theater live album Live at Budokan.

I've owned two 2203s and I have a Rev F Dual Rectifier. For dirty tones I much prefer the Mesa.
 

MGSchindel

Member
Messages
941
Marshalls arent "looser" than Boogies, they are far, far tighter.

Mesa low end moves your pants legs, Marshall low end punches you in the chest like Mike Tyson in his prime.

In stock form, if you want over the top overdrive, the 800 you want is the channel switching version. Gobs of gain, just dime the channel and master volumes.

If you put a boost in front, a 2203 will cut a mix like nothing Mesa makes. Totally different frequency response, totally different design. If you want it to have tons of gain, you can 1) get it modded, easy enough to do I do it not infrequently, 2) put the right boost in front and stand back.
+1 THIS

Although I would add that most people are not aware that you can get a convincing, cutting, and very toneful 80's marshally, warm, midrangey crunch sound out of a Recto, by 1) running the gain way back, maybe 11:00; 2) using the "vintage" voicing instead of "modern", and the "spongy" rather than "bold" power section voicing, which shifts the massive lows and nasty treble away and puts the mids back up front; 3) using EL34s instead of 6L6s, which smooths out the edgy treble, softens the thuddy, muddy punch of cold-biased 6L6s, and pushes a nice crunchy midrange tone; 4) put away the harsh, chesty, piercing, icepicky, stiff, muddy, oversized subsonic V30-loaded recto cabinet, and plug into a 1960BX or a standard 1960B cab; and 5) then hit the front end with an Sd-1 or tube screamer....Now it sounds more like a really nice, modded marshall than a bunch of crappy Korn riffs in a mudslide....

Here's a sparkledrive-boosted Dual Recto into marshall cabs ; ) Big, big difference.....This is the same way I run mine....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXyGgH2vWpQ
 




Trending Topics

Top