Marshall tone??? What do I want?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by satchmo72, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. satchmo72

    satchmo72 Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hey all,

    I am really having a hard time deciding which way to go amp wise.

    I am looking for a good rock tone. Currently I am using a Line 6 Flextone III with an Ibanez RG370 with a Dimarzio Breed in the bridge. Every tone I find in the Line 6 just sounds blah and processed (because it is) No tone has balls.

    I am looking for tones like Screaming Cheetah Wheelies (early 90's), Classic rock overdriven guitars, 80's Dokken, Vito Bratta and such.

    I even thought about buying a Les Paul and getting away from the Ibanez but wasn't sure if a guitar change was it or if my amp sucks as bad as I think it does.

    Price is an issue, around 1000 is my limit. I do not gig, this is more for recording and jamming with friends. I dont want a practice amp wattage though. Size does not matter. I want tone. good hard rocking tone.

    I also write guitar instrumentals and would need a good lead tone. Looking for both a chunky rhythm and searing lead.

    Too tall of an order? I ha ve played a JCM800 of a friends and it is awesome but out of my price range right now. There are some good shops around here that carry some of the more boutique stuff but most of it is out of my price range.

    This is the only place I would ask such a question, you guys know your stuff!!!
  2. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    sub lacum
    A good Les Paul will definitely help, but I think a better amp will probably help more. Sometimes pickups that are too powerful get mushier than trad style pickups.

    Chunk usually means moving air. You CAN do it with a 2x12. I don't think a quad is a given. You can get some huge tones out of a good open back 2x12, it doesn't have to be closed back. In fact I find open back cabs louder because of more spill and freer moving speakers. Some pedals will help sometimes - check out the BYOC version of the Shredmaster - I bet that will get you towards where you want to be.

    But the best thing would be to find a late 70s/early 80s 50W JMP/JCM800 head and tune it. You should be able to find one around a grand. Or learn how to solder and build a Metroamp kit. That's kinda what I did and you can build a killer amp for around $1000. If you can build well you will have a boutique quality amp for heaps less.
  3. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    Blacksburg VA
    There are several Budda SD II 18 watt combos on the emporium for your price. They are hard to beat.
  4. bonchie123

    bonchie123 Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    You could buy my Silver Jubilee :dude
  5. J.T. Guitar

    J.T. Guitar Platinum Member Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    Rocky Mountain High
    Not a huge fan of L-6 but the new Spider-Valve actually sounds pretty good. They offer it in a 2x12 configuration too.
  6. Phil M

    Phil M Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I like the Splawn Quickrods for what you describe, but even used ones run at least $200-$300 over your limit.
  7. eyeball987

    eyeball987 Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Buy a Sovtek Mig 50H, Mig 60, or a Laney AOR Pro Tube Lead. $400-$500 range. They might need a retube so figure $100 and then a good OD pedal to boost them. Will keep you under a grand and you will have the tone you want.
  8. satchmo72

    satchmo72 Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions, the Budda 18 would fit the bill nicely. I went and heard the soundclips of it and that is what I'm looking for. Have to buy used though as a new one is $1450 or so.

    Still open to other suggestions though.

  9. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    1. Blackface/Silverface Bassman: 50w, all tube, great rock grind and loves pedals. All handwired and can be had for $400-600. Get an Avatar 412 cab with V30s or G12H30s and you're golden.

    2. Late 70s Marshall-pretty close to $1000, nothing left over for a cab but killer amps. You could get a later 80s JCM800 (which aren't as well liked) or a JCM900 SLX (the only 900 without the nasty diode distortion).

    3. Musicman 50-100w head/cabs: hybrid tube/solid state. The ones with the PI tube probably sound the best and they're about $500.

    4. Traynor Bassmaster: sort of a cross between a plexi and a JTM45 with better transformers. Easily modded to JCM800 territory, usually have the EL34 output tubes. Cost $400-500 so you've got money left over.

    5. Ceriatone or Hoffman kits: build your own amp, you won't save money over the above but it'll be JUST what you want.
  10. Hellfire999

    Hellfire999 Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Check out the Traynor YCV 50...
  11. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill Silver Supporting Member

    May 15, 2006
    A used JCM 800 50 watter, which is all the volume anyone could want, is right in your budget when you factor a cabinet as well.
  12. plexirocker 68

    plexirocker 68 Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    The Cheetah Wheelies used Peavey classic 30's in the studio for the first and second record. I was there. Mic'd from the inside of the combo cabs with the combos on their backs, speakers pointing up to the ceiling.

    Use the gain from those and for a searing lead sound just buy a good OD pedal. A MI crunchbox would be cool here. As well as whole slew of others.

    Amp first , guitar change later. With your current amps your not really hearing what your true tone of the guitar is!!!!!!!!!!

  13. satchmo72

    satchmo72 Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    What do you all think of a JCM 2000 DSL50? Youtube had some A/Bing of a JCM 800 vs. JCM 2000 DSL50. I could not tell a bunch of difference, the JCM seemed a bit darker but not by much.

    I found a JCM 2000 DSL 50 around here for about $600. He is also going to let me know when he see's another JCM 800 come through so I can play both of them.

    Doing research on most of the suggestions here.

    Plexi!!! that rocks!!! I saw them at the Melody Inn here in Indy about '98 or '99 but did not remmeber what they were playing on. thanks for the info.

    I completely agree about the tone of the guitar. A friend and I get on Ninjam and swap tones back and forth and try them on each of our guitars, he was playing a Les Paul Studio and I was playing my RG with a Breed and I really could not tell the difference between the two. He uses a PodXT direct into the board, I was on my Flextone direct from the XLR output into my UB802 then into a MAudio 24/96.


    Nov 17, 2004
    Fayetteville, NC
    I'd get the JCM800 personally. Just save for another month or 2, and get what you really want, rather than setting the limit now at $1000.
  15. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Memphis, TN / Cambridge, MA
    The Splawn Quickrod will nail those tones...
  16. Han Solo

    Han Solo Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    If you liked the sounds of a JCM800, look for one of those. A used 80's model should be in your price range. However, I have a 2203 model JCM which I mostly pair with a 2x12, and at the sweetspot it's VERY LOUD.

    So is the 50W model but in the long run it is slightly more managable/useable for most people.

    Don't let Youtube vids color your choice too much. Lots of JCM's sound differently even though it's the same model.

    For the tones you're looking for you will probably enjoy a JCM800 more than a DSL/TSL over time.
  17. mgarrison99

    mgarrison99 Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Allen (Dallas), Texas
    Have you tried a good pedal before you splurge for an amp? MI Audio Crunchbox and CMATMODS Brownie are two that come to mind. I also have a Marshall Guvnor Plus that would get you close. You could get any of these for less than $150 and most for less than $100.

    Good luck on your quest for tone!
  18. Rossl

    Rossl Member

    Nov 2, 2005
    Northern NJ
    If you really want a Marshall, then get one. JCM800's are very good, you might have to spend more than $1000....................

    Do some research. Save a little more and get what you want, if you settle for something else, you may regret it and it will cost you more on the long run
  19. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Sedona, AZ
    How's about a JCM800 4010 1x12 combo?

    Well under a grand, and sound great. Add a 2x12 for bigger gigs.

    The cool thing about 800s is that any tech can tweak the tone to your specs, very easily.

    Plus, it's a Marshall.

    I'd stay away from any of the 18-watters. They don't have the thump you need.

  20. Kitarist

    Kitarist Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Jcm 800 50w


    Plexi 50w

    Both are really great amps and classics

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