Marshall JVM vs. Mesa Road King 2

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by alvagoldbook, Jul 2, 2008.

Which amp would you use for high gain rock (punk/metal)?

  1. Marshall JVM 410H

  2. Mesa Boogie Road King II version 2

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  1. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    Maybe I've played this topic to death, and my apologies if that's the case, but I wanted to throw this question out.

    If you plan on doing high gain (for punk or metal) which amp would you choose? The Marshall JVM or the Mesa Road King 2 v2?

    I only ask that if you've never used one of these amps don't vote for it or against it.
     
  2. VoodooChild24

    VoodooChild24 Silver Supporting Member

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    I haven't tried the JVM but the Road King slays. I suggest that try it and you won't be disappointed.

    What genre do you play though?
     
  3. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I would say Road Kind soley based off of Construction Alone.

    I have not played the RK but have played the JVM and I didnt like it at all. And Mesa is known for tough builds and consitency. Mesa has built a couple duds along the way and usually were the first to admit it. Have you seen any of the M Basis 2,000's lately? I had purchased one of those new and had problems with it. They told me soory that one didnt pan out bring it back they would give me whatever I wanted. I left with a 400 + very satisfied.
     
  4. jcoggins7

    jcoggins7 Member

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    I voted for Mesa, but I may be a little biased. You see, I love most of the amps they've put out, whereas, I hate almost everything that Marshall has come out with in a long time. It seems nowadays that everyone outdoes Marshall at their own thing, both in build and sound quality. I have played both of these amps though, and I definitely liked the Mesa better. For that kind of music you'd be fine with either though, depending on your tastes. Different strokes.
     
  5. recto-robbie

    recto-robbie Member

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    Ive owned quite a few Mesa's over the years. The last Mesa I bought was the Stiletto Deuce head and just prior to this purchase I wound up bringing home a new Marshall JVM head. The Marshall lasted just one evening with me,, I found the Deuce and couldnt be happier.
    The construction alone on the Mesa's are lightyears ahead.
    Honostly comparing the two above mentioned amps,, the Marshall seemed like a toy compared to the Deuce.
    I have never run into a cheaply made boogie.
    I know relatively little about Marshalls and their reliability but the JVM seemed like it would wind up being a whole mess of problems in the future with all those knobs.
    And by the way,,,the road king is a spectacular amp. I never had the pleasure of owning one but they are truelly works of art. Enjoy!
    I think you will be amazed at the sound possibilities of the road king.
     
  6. scruffydoo

    scruffydoo Member

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    I have the RK's little brother the roadster and a JVM, the mesa's is a clear hands down winner for me in both tone and build, it feels and sounds like a professional guitarists amplifier, I really want to like the JVM but Marshall's made it so damn difficult. I'm hoping to trade the JVM for a stilletto as soon as.
     
  7. Fixxxer

    Fixxxer Member

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    Whoa.....

    Its like buying a BMW or a Ford Festiva.....

    I voted MESA, as its just a better amp all around. The road king can do everything the JVM does, and MORE way more.:Devil

    This sholdn't even be close in my opinion
     
  8. recto-robbie

    recto-robbie Member

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    Its not.
     
  9. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    The JVM is a great amp... without question my favorite Marshall since the JCM800.

    It has an incredible amount of gain on tap but also sounds very nice on the clean channel.

    Both are good amps though and the best thing you can do is demo both to see which sounds best to your ear!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  10. Dearthian

    Dearthian Member

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    My biggest criticism of the JVM is construction. Any amp whose pots wiggle in the socket gets my vote as poorly constructed. I kid you not. Walk up to one and try to jiggle ANY knob. The whole pot moves in the socket. Also does it on the combo version, the Vintage Modern, etc. This is not a roadworthy piece IMHO.

    Also, it's a little too noisy in comparison to Mesa (plugged in straight, no pedals). Too much hiss.

    Too bad, because the sound would be a little better for punk.
     
  11. StudioRat320

    StudioRat320 Member

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    If I were you, I'd buy a used JCM800 and call it a day. I even played a reissue lately that sounded awesome, but is way over priced.

    The JVM is cool, but I'd be a bit worried about the construction quality. I've been hearing horror stories from my friends at the local GC. Many of the JVM's have been returned because of poor QC.

    Another amp you might like in the same price range is Egnater Tourmaster 4100. If you can find one locally, check it out. It's a killer amp.

    I never really got on well with Mesa amps, so I can't comment on the Road King.
     
  12. Mikey2201

    Mikey2201 Member

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    I voted for Mesa. I have played both actually side by side and the RK just kills the JVM. It was no contest.

    Please note i have owned both Marshalls and Mesas I still currently own a Mesa
     
  13. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    Loose knobs are not a sign of poor build quality. It's a sign of a loose nut. It's a simple fix. It requires removing a knob, and tightening the nut with a wrench. Technically, you're not supposed to overtighten nuts on a pot, as it can damage the shaft...and somehow that sounded very suggestive.

    Just looking at the number of tubes in each amp, I would think the Mesa would be the one more prone to breaking down. The Mesa has a total of 14 tubes. The Marshall has 9. The Mesa has literally twice the number of tubes than a Marshall JCM800. That's twice the number of tubes that can go bad. Then I'm thinking how much a complete re-tube would be. That worries me. But I would say the Mesa certainly LOOKS better (for me that certainly counts for something), and the Mesa gets a great clean tone, while the Marshall clean tone is very much sub-par.

    The Marshall JCM800 is a great amp, but I'm using a 30th anniversary now and I'm looking for something that can give me a more modern sound, but can do the vintage thing as well. Plus, I need a minimum of 3 channels. If I was going to go for a straight two channel amp I'd probably do the Marshall JCM 900 duel reverb.

    The Mesa has all tube spring analog reverb. The Marshall has digital verb with the signal sent through a preamp tube. The purist in me prefers the all analog thing, but if the JVM digital verb is based on the Marshall Reflector, then it's not all that bad.

    One thing that looks like a great benefit is that on the Marshall you can switch the different modes 1 channel has with the footswitch. Does anyone know if you can do this with the Mesa? For instance on channel 3 of the Mesa can you switch from Raw to Modern using only the footswitch?

    I lot of people, myself included, think that the newer Marshalls have been of poor build quality. I think that's certainly the case with the JCM2000 TSLs. The DSLs in my experience are far better. I think there's plenty of evidence today that the JCM900s were build just as much like tanks as the JCM800s. I've heard plenty of praise about the quality of the Vintage Moderns as well. Maybe Marshall has finally gotten the whole multi-channel thing down. Or maybe two channels is the only thing they can do well.

    Then there's the effects loop issue. I like to use a few pedals in my set up, and Marshalls typically have some pretty lousy effects loops. How would you guys classify the Mesa effects loop? I imagine if it's even remotely works properly, then it's gotta be better than a Marshall's.
     
  14. Melodyman

    Melodyman Member

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    There are no nuts, the shafts just go through the holes in the chassis directly to the PCB boards behind it...
     
  15. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    that's odd. I haven't messed with tightening a shaft on a Marshall pot since I had an old Valvestate 8100. Those things I know had nuts. I'll have to check that out at GC. thanks for the heads up.
     
  16. mesanatic

    mesanatic Member

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    I love Mesa amps. Check my screen name, but I know a couple of people that gig the JVM regularly with no problems so reliability wouldn't concern me especially if you're buying new.

    JVM has typical Marshall lead and crunch tones, nice verb, and best Marshall clean.

    I prefer the RK II because I like the Clean (Lonestar) and High Gain (Recto) tones better.

    It's the mid gain crunch tones that will really be the deciding factor though. You have to play them, but either will work for your music and are super versatile.

    Check the Roadster if you don't care about the tube switching on the RK. But, with the EL34's on Ch.2 Brit mode at 50 w. it does sound nice. Stiletto like I'd say.
     
  17. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    One thing I think is interesting to note is the number of knobs, buttons, switches, jacks, and LEDs each amp has. Here's the breakdown, if I'm reading the pdf user manuals correctly.

    Marshall JVM 410

    Front panel: 28 knobs, 10 switches (8 of them have LEDs), 1 plug.
    Back panel: 14 plugs, 2 buttons, 1 knob.
    Total: 29 knobs, 15 plugs, 10 switches, 8 LEDs, 2 buttons

    Mesa Road King II V2

    Front panel: 26 knobs, 13 LEDs, 6 switches, 1 plug.
    Back panel: 23 switches, 22 plugs, 6 knobs.
    Total: 32 knobs, 29 switches, 23 plugs, 13 LEDs
     
  18. digital jams

    digital jams Member

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    Hardcore Mesa lover and owner of a MK IV and JVM.

    I have owned my JVM for over a year and it has been through 40-50 jams, sat in summer heat gunned, and it has never let me down. So my experience says to listen to the doubters with a grain of salt unless they have had issues with theirs.

    USe your ears and if you want Mesa voicing get it. If you want Marshall bark then get the Jvm.
     
  19. scruffydoo

    scruffydoo Member

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    Guess it also depends where you live, you can get 3 JVM's for the price of 1 RK in england :NUTS, basically you've reeeeally gotta want a mesa over here to hand over that kind of dosh.
     
  20. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    The answer that Marshall gave for this in a review was that they'd rather have the pot shaft shear off in a mishap, than have the board damaged.
     

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