NAD: 1984 Marshall JCM800 Superlead (Modded 100W 4-input)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by jase, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    Photos first:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gut shot:
    [​IMG]

    Picked this up last weekend and I've been playing through this non-stop, in band rehearsals and recording with it. It is a riff machine! Here's my impression of it:

    Like any other amp I get from overseas, the first thing I did was to pull it out of the shell to check if anything was loose and to visually inspect the tubes. Indeed some parts were broken (snapped filter cap mounting screw and power tube key) but everything else looked fine. It has a full set of JJ preamp and poweramp tubes, and updated filter caps.

    This is a model 1959 made in 1984. It doesn't sound like an usual 2-input master volume JCM800. From what I understand, the circuitry is very similar to the non-master volume JMP's made in the late 1970s. Compared to a normal JCM800, this amp is darker and warmer (still pretty bright!), the attack is a bit slower, and a bit more open sounding. Normally there is no master volume on a 4-input Marshall but this was modded with one (I think it is a PPIMV from looking at the gut, but Marshall gurus, please confirm!). The seller also said it has the input cascade mod but I'm not sure as I am still able to jump the inputs. Without a master volume or attenuation, I have no idea how this amp is even usable, it is fcking loud!!

    With the inputs jumped, the two input volume levels can be blended. The bright channel volume I have it set quite high but the normal channel volume it is below half way as a setting too high got muddy and really bassy. With EMG's this amp needs no boost at all. With passive pickups I boost it with a Maxon OD9 pro+ with mid boost mode engaged, drive at 9:00, level at 3:00. I have tried a Boss SD1 with it but it feels too stiff. With a ABY box, this amp can be turned into a 2 channel amp.

    For the longest time I didn't care for Marshalls but this amp has changed my opinion completely. As easy to work with as the 5150 series. Cuts through a mix effortlessly while still sounding thick, without over powering other instruments. Riffing and chugging is AWESOME with this amp, chords sound huge, leads is not as impressive but still totally usable. Another thing I like about this amp is that it has a DI output, which is the poweramp signal lowered to line level. I have made a few Kemper profiles with it from the DI output and they sound killer. But I think it records the best through a cab with a SM57.

    This is all I've got for now! Cheers!
     
    Randy, thraxil, Harry and 1 other person like this.
  2. tuttermuts

    tuttermuts SS.org Regular

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    Aaaaah the Britisssssh.
    Like all British amps this one is fermented in a bottle and vintage dated.
    [​IMG]

    Gotta love those kind of finds :yesway:
     
  3. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    Very cool!

    "But I think it records the best through a cab with a SM57"

    And clips of this you shall deliver please sir :D
     
  4. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    Best NAD topic I've seen in a long while,I bet it sounds crushing:metal:
     
  5. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    [SC]https://soundcloud.com/janalogitalfrequencies/jcm800-game[/SC]

    Did a quick test a few days ago.

    The settings were like this:
    JCM800 SL (MV3, P8, B7, M9, T9, BGain10, NGain4)
    Maxon OD9 Pro+ (D9:00, L3:00, T12:00, mid boost mode)
    Skervesen Swan 8, F# standard, BKP Painkillers

    - Kemper DI profile, Bogner 212 Redwirez IR
    - Kemper Mic'd profile, Mesa 412 + SM57
    - Cab Mic'd, Mesa 412 + SM57

    The riff is pretty much played on the low B and E strings. Power chords, some chugs, some single notes, some 16th notes. So you can have an idea how it handles low frequencies.

    For the first two clips, I did 2 separate Kemper profiles, both with the Maxon within the signal chain during the profile. The 3rd clip is the actual mic'd rig. I didn't touch any settings on the amp and booster on these recordings.

    I was meant to use a Mesa IR with the same mic configuration for the 1st clip but I realised it was a Bogner 212 after I finished. With the Mesa IR it sounds closer to the 2nd and 3rd clip but not quite the same, the high end is less pronounced. I didn't trim off the start and end of the clips, so you can hear there is a lot of noise in the 3rd clip.

    The only processing I did was low and high cut filters on the guitar bus at 55Hz and 8.5kHz, and some compression and volume leveling to the main output.

    Let me know what ya think!
     
  6. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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    Sounds mean! I think I like the 3rd clip best although the second sounds really very close to it. Not quite as bright.

    Love old 4-holers! I've had many of them and they are brutal beasts after tweaking. They all sound different too which is cool.
     
  7. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    Thanks man! I am digging the tones I can get from this amp and I prefer it over the 2-input JCM800's. I like the warmer tones I can get from this. I haven't played enough JCM800's or Marshalls to feel how different the same model can sound. I'm intrigued to hear the difference myself!

    For the sake of convenience, I always profile my amps into my Kemper for writing and recording. The 2nd clip does sound very close to the real thing, Kemper does a bloody good job capturing amps!

    The tones reminded me of the 5150's so I A/B'd the two, with the same tone stack settings. The highs and mids are very similar. The Marshall cuts through the mix better but the 5150 sounds thicker overall and the frequency spectrum feels wider. I can dial in more low end with the 5150's resonance control but it gets muddy quickly. Compared with my stock 5150, this Marshall has better response and feel, low end clarity is better, and very inspiring to play.
     
  8. p4vl

    p4vl SS.org Regular

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    Congratulations.

    EL34's or 6550's?
     
  9. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    JJ EL34L's
     
  10. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    Wow, it handles ERG's well? I assumed this was always the weakest point of Marshall stuff. But I guess being so open and uncompressed you can control the attack a lot more with your picking hand. Its just the lack of saturation that would worry me. I have to balance between the drop C stuff my band does and the A standard 7 string stuff in my band, and its always a balancing act between amp sims/modules/preamps I'm using.
     
  11. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Vintage Marshall= :yesway: Sounds killer. 3rd clip for sure.

    I'd imagine with the right boost pedal that had some kinda low end control, you'd be able to find the right balance of loose/tight in reference to the "feel", and get more saturation if needed.

    Yep, PPIMV. Can't really see what's going on at the other end, but I reckon the "one wire" (cascaded) mod was done here to achieve that much distortion without a boost.

    Did you use that V in the first pic? Still have the 500T in the bridge pos.?
     
  12. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    Dayum, definitely a lot of potential in this beast (just listened to the clips some more).
    Can see what you're saying about it being a bit darker than a traditional 2203.
    In this case, that's not a bad thing at all, arguably better in instances.
     
  13. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys!

    @op1e: I think it handles the low end reasonably well as is. Most of my guitars are tuned down and I play a lot of stuff in B standard, and I haven't got much problem with it as long as I keep ch2's gain low. There is a sweet spot with ch2's gain before the amp begins to fart handling low frequencies. I think this amp handles the low end better than the 5150. I personally try not to saturate my tone too much because the dynamics start to disappear, it makes it harder to judge and synchronise timing.

    @wakjob: The clip I posted, I used the Maxon OD9 Pro+, with a little bit of drive to thicken up the tone, and BKP Painkiller bridge pickup. Without the overdrive it feels much weaker. However, with an EMG equipped guitar, I can almost get the same amount of gain without an overdrive. Yea the V is all original, 2000 model with the 500T, and it sounds fcking awesome with this amp, the pick up really brings out the true colors of the amp. And an overdrive that has some sort of mid boost works really well with this amp.

    @Harry: I don't own a 2203 but I have played one and also the JCM800KK. They are much brighter, the attack feels much quicker. I generally like a slightly darker tone and palm mute tone that is open and throaty. And I really like mids in my tone. Before I got this amp I spent forever trying to get a tone like this out of my Uberschall and I failed. Mid is always difficult for me to dial in for the tuning I play and this amp can do it with ease.
     
  14. Fathand

    Fathand Tube Snake Boogie

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    Great purchase sir, can't go wrong with a Marshall. :yesway:
     
  15. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    Recorded a cover video with this amp's Kemper profile, check it out!

     
  16. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    It does kinda sound like a darker 5150 without the mid honk. That's pretty much the perfect tone I'd like to run. My RM100 with the SL+ module sounds similar.
     
  17. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    I've never tried the RM100. Have you every A/B'd the modules side by side with the amp they are modelled after?
     
  18. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    No, unfortunately. But I wanted a head I could finally run big glass in without dumping a bunch of mod money into. Once I saw this;

    https://youtu.be/lUh3gI8rdJ0

    I was happy I landed one with the SL+ module. It does sound spot on to an 800 but with way more gain. Been using it for metalcore and thrash tones. Need to get the cap mods done though, cause neither of my high gain modules have the attack I want for 7's. But I've always been more happy with real preamps than modelling, even if solid state or pedal form. The feel is just right there and immediate.
     
  19. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    That sounds really good! I will look into this system! Thanks for that!

    Yea, I love playing through real amps and cabs. I am lucky to be able to use my amps in a place where I can crank them as loud as my ears can stand. However, I use my Kemper the most. It is just too handy for a lot of applications and it sounds really, really good.
     

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