Master volumes on Marshalls from JCM800s on

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mlj_gear, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    I'm thinking about getting a Marshall from the JCM800 era or later (I've already got a bunch of JTM-ish and Plexi-ish stuff). How well does the master volume work on the 800s? Is it better on the later ones? I had a 900 for one day -- something blew after 15 minutes of use at very modest volumes -- and the master on that worked very well at low volumes. I'm thinking that's because the 900's are much more focused on gain in the pre-amp, though. I had a Sovtek Mig 60 at one point, which is close to an 800, and the master on that was decent at low volume levels but not great. The masters on the high gain Peaveys that I've owned worked well at low volumes, while the master on the Carvin Legacy I had was like a hair trigger between off and blow-the-windows-out.

    Other questions that I'll get to in more detail later (and after I do some further thread searches):
    - How reliable are the Marshall amps from the 800s to the DSLs?
    - Do all Marshall in the 800 and 900 era get mushy in the bottom end if you crank the bass and/or scoop the mids?
    - Exactly how large are the tonal differences between Splawns and Soldanos (aside from the SLO) and the various Marshalls?
    - Why am I even bothering, seeing that my Thundertweak Buzzbom V6 really rocks at all volume levels? :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  2. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    If you're talking about the single channel JCM800 2203/2204 models, they go from no sound at all to pretty loud for home use with the master on like .5. It's crazy really. I don't have a problem playing loud at home with the family or the neighbors, so it was never a big deal to me. But don't expect to fire it up at midnight with a baby sleeping anywhere in the house. They don't go THAT quiet.

    The master volume on the DSL heads works differently in that the taper is more gradual or whatever. You can go from off to bedroom volumes with a small turn of the knob. It doesn't jump up in volume immediately.

    Alot of people on the web report that the DSL heads are unreliable. But I've owned four total (two DSL100s and two DSL50s) and have gigged with them countless times and never had an issue. Am I really that lucky or are the reliability issues listed on the web exaggerated?
     
  3. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    That's what I was afraid of about JCM800s. I suppose I could attenuate, but I would love it if I didn't have to. I do have my own house now, so maybe it's not quite as big of a deal (although the neighbors are relatively close still).
     
  4. freaksho

    freaksho Member

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    100% true about the volume. attenuation is a must. i use a hot plate with ok results, but you can't go down too low without serious degredation of tone imo.

    but what sounds really great is using the line out feature on the hot plate. if you have a decent power amp or even any tube amp with and fx loop this is the way to go. i had always been using my hot plate the usual way with meh results until i got a head with an fx loop (Shiva) and plugged the hot plate's line out into the fx return. wow, what an amazing realization! huge cranked 800 tones at talking volumes. i promise i'm not exaggerating.
     
  5. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    A 100w JCM800 is NOT a bedroom amp. Their mojo starts happening around 6 on the volume knob(and that's pretty loud). The 50w is a little better, but still very loud before giving up the goods. If you use pedals then they might work better for you. JCM800s are very reliable(moreso than the later models).
     
  6. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Dang dude! "6" on the volume knob of a stock JCM800 2203 is pretty much unusable in my opinion! That's freaking whomping loud (and I'm a loud player...) Waaaaay too loud for anywhere I've ever played (and I've played some huge clubs - even a few very large theaters and a stadium.)

    Chris
     
  7. Don L

    Don L Member

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    Jubilees sound great at all volume levels.
     
  8. Big White Tele

    Big White Tele Member

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    Ive had a few 800's in head and combo configurations, and i also have a JCM900 high gain Dual reverb, and ya know what, i like the 900 the best. Im in the minority i know, but if you spend some time with the 900, you can get a great variety of sounds from it. As for reliability, Yes they have been known to have problems. But I also know of a lot of people that have used them for years with no issues. I bought my 900 212 combo for 300.00. Put in some new tubes and its working great. How can you go wrong. The 800's are awesome Rock amps, and if thats the sound your looking for, nothing wrong with that either. I just like the range of clean to crazy gain, and the reverb on the 900.
     
  9. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    I pretty much feel that way about the DSL heads... They sound great, cover alot more ground than a single channel JCM800, have an effects loop, more usable master volume, etc... I love the JCM800s, so don't get me wrong. But you crank up a DSL on the clean channel with the crunch switched in and it's a convincing JCM800 tone and of course, can do much more.
     
  10. PRS_CU22

    PRS_CU22 Member

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    I have an old JCM 800 100 watt master volume. It works pretty well, but it sounds best when I crank it up to 10. The neighbors said they didn't hear me playing guitar at all...
     
  11. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    I agree- that's why I was making that point though. 5-6 is where I noticed the amp really shining though, not to say that there aren't usable/cool tones at quieter levels. I can't imagine ever playing anywhere at that level either though.
     
  12. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    Dude, that's because the music was too loud. :D
     
  13. GrecoVee

    GrecoVee Member

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    I'm going to have to try that!, Always wondered how the line out would sound into a power amp. I got an 800 50watt master that sounds best with a Hot plate on -8dB with the deep switch on and used with a Boss SD-1.
    Have you even ran the line out into a Delay or a multi FX unit then into a power amp?
     
  14. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I have had three early JCM 800 2204s. I love those amps. For lower volume try the gain at about 6 and use an RC Booster and/or a Tubscreamer, with whatever volume you need. It will sound fantastic but be careful, with every extra dB it just sounds better, and better, and better...
     
  15. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    I never had any issues with my DSL100, but it was louder than billy hell.
     
  16. Mattbedrock

    Mattbedrock Silver Supporting Member

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    My JCM900 is a great sounding amp to me, but it sounds best when it's pretty f$^& loud. I usually run the A (clean) channel MV up all the way and the preamp at 1/2(12:00). It just crunches a little with the guitar all the way up. Add a TS-9 and it cranks. The B channel is usualy set with MV at 2:00 and the preamp at 3:00 - it's vicious and awful loud at those settings.

    My Ceriatone Plexi clone (1986x) doesn't have to be so loud to get the goods - both MV and preamp at 2:00 is loud but bearable and great sounding.
     
  17. wedewer

    wedewer Supporting Member

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    Get a jubilee. Great sounding at a reasonable volume. I a/b'd it against a couple of 800's and it's not even close. I bought a 2210 a while back and couldn't believe how much it fell short of my jubilee. They are from the same era, but completely different animals. Do yourself a favor, if you buy a 800 stay away from the the channel switchers. You might as well flush the clean channel down the toilet on those.
     
  18. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    This is all good info... thanks.

    I own a bunch of attenuators and have tried a bunch more, but I'd always prefer not to have to use them. That said, I do use them regularly for my non-MV amps.
     

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