One 80's hard rock amp to rule them all?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Exodus5, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    I have a sound in my head. It runs the gamut from pristine Marshall cleans to AC/DC, Gary Moore and the Cult. Maybe a bit hotter with my SD1 or TS9 pedal but I don't necessarily want the amp itself to be that gainy.
    I've owned JCM800s (single channel - nope), JCM800 switchers (dual channel but OD channel not good), JCM2000 DSL (don't really remember why I didn't like that one) and much higher end stuff like Soldano (Hot Rod/Avenger...great gain...sucky clean) and Splawn Streetrod (good at both but I had some issues with the builder). I know for sure that Mesa and Fender aren't what I'm looking for....
    Now I'm trying again to locate that one amp that has a great clean but can get me into the late 80's Marshall gain territory. There are literally so many options that I need some help narrowing down my field.
    Has anyone got that one "precious" amp that can do it all?
     
  2. VICOwner

    VICOwner Supporting Member

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    A 1959 Marshall is pretty good if 100 watts. Or a early circuit JMP 50, say 1968.
     
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  3. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    Suhr PT100SE will do it all.
     
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  4. MylMoosic

    MylMoosic Member

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    I find that, despite how "easy" it'd seem to do this, I have never encountered an amp that is perfect at both gain and clean. My Fender Supersonic 22 is a pretty good compromise, but its lead isn't as good as a Soldano or anything like that.

    My forever opinion at this point is that you need two separate amps for a perfect clean and lead. Get an amp with a great lead, match it with great lead speakers, and set it up JUST for an amazing lead tone. Set up the second amp for cleans, and JUST for cleans. I think the easiest way to do this would be with a stereo 2x12 cab and two heads. Some sparkly, bright speaker for the cleans, and something darker and more mid-focused for leads.

    This is just my opinion, but I really do feel like speakers and output sections are massively important to the feel of clean vs. lead, and you can't really get that in a single amp package. There are compromises, but I do not personally believe there are any amps that are do-it-all perfection. Speakers and output tubes are just as important as preamp structure.
     
  5. Schlep

    Schlep Member

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    Marshall JCM800. Done.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  6. fusionbear

    fusionbear exquirentibus veritatem Gold Supporting Member

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    The Suhr is awesome. Another one is the Redplate Magica if you can find one.

    I am happy with my Splawn Quickrod for everything you mention. Not sure why you wouldn't give that amp a shot.

    Happy hunting!
     
  7. Sean Mac

    Sean Mac Supporting Member

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    A Superlead is the obvious choice.

    It was back then, anyway.

    :)
     
  8. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    I sometimes feel this way. I had a 1984 JCM800 50w combo that COULD sound perfect both clean or, once you tuned the eq, dirty and went where I wanted with a good pedal. I don't understand why a two channel version can't be done to cop both of those sounds.
     
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  9. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    this where the PT100SE comes in.
     
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  10. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    You could go modular: get a Synergy dual channel amp and load with a 1959 and something like a Soldano or Bogner?
     
  11. NatGardner

    NatGardner Member

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    Get the Marshall SV20H or the SC20H. Sweetwater will send you both heads and take back the one you dont want with free returns. Those are the amps that created the sound in your head. Both are crazy loud, have loops and DI if needed. Don't fall into the boutique amp fantasy trap that imo permeates this board.
     
  12. JB6464

    JB6464 Member

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    Soldano , from clean to mean tube overdrive without needing pedals to get you there .
    And with the 47k tone stack it's right between the Fender (56k) and Marshall (33k) lead amps which gives you that fat guitar tone for cutting through the mix .
     
  13. FracStrat

    FracStrat Supporting Member

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  14. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    I was looking at those. How close does the SC20 come to the ACTUAL sound of a single channel 2203/2204?

    I've had a Hot Rod, Hot Rod + and Avenger. I always loved the full on gain but the clean is NOT for me.

    I actually JUST saw one of those on the local Facebook marketplace.
     
  15. Pidgin English

    Pidgin English Member

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    I think the DSL series could do that for you. If you want to peel the paint off the wall, I don't think you can go wrong with the tried-and-true JCM800.
     
  16. Smashed Fingers

    Smashed Fingers Member

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    Ever tried a Bogner 20th Shiva? Maybe a little too hot...
    Mesa MK 3 was also a good 80s sound.
    Soldano Hot Rod was killer too.
     
  17. FracStrat

    FracStrat Supporting Member

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    Look um up …… It’s really what you decribed
     
  18. Unexplainedbacon

    Unexplainedbacon Member

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  19. murky69nz

    murky69nz Member

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    I do it - with a variety of amps: Jubilee, AC30, JTM45, 1987X.

    I’ve realised it’s not just the amp - having a “clean pickup” (a really good neck single coil), good volume pot (that has the right taper), and the right speakers, all play more of a part than you’d think.
     
  20. tea312

    tea312 Member

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    Soldano Hot Rod!
     
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