GAS for British voiced amp...

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by prlgmnr, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    You know when you've got your Mark V and you want to pair it up with some biting, acidic British grindyness?

    I've about narrowed it down to these options:

    JCM 800 2203 - Original and best, but obviously comes with the attendant pitfalls of looking for a 30+ year old amp.

    JCM 900 sl-x or JCM2000 DSL - Might do the job but not quite the mystical (possibly imaginary) mojo of the 2203, can be had for cheap.

    JVM410 - Maybe more bells and whistles than I need.

    Splawn Quick Rod / Friedman Runt - Feels exceptionally silly paying the amount necessary for an imported US amp to get a British tone, but these are obviously great amps. Can't quite conceive of forgiving Friedman for calling a £3000 amp "Brown Eye".

    Budda Superdrive 80 - Bit of an outside choice because it's 6L6 powered rather than EL34, but seems to do the thing.

    Cornford MK50 - Not so easy to track down, some say amazing amps, some say likely to set on fire (obviously those aren't mutually exclusive).

    Quite helpful just writing that all out, actually. Finding it a touch frustrating that the best current manufacturers of this sort of thing all seem to be in the US.

    Anyone got any ideas that I've missed out/reasons to scratch something from my list? Any UK based manufacturers I haven't thought of?

    There's always the cheap and cheerful option of a Valvestate 8100, they seem to be going so cheap that someone might just give me one if I wait around long enough.
     
  2. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    For that iconic Marshall grind, nothing beats a 2203. But you don't have to find an original, the remakes are even better IMO. The 2203KK is the cream of the crop, and you can find them easier than most.

    Avoid the 900s, all of them, ALL of them, they are trash IMO.

    JVMs, not worth it, nothing like 800s.

    Splawn and the the other boutiques are great, but way overpriced new. A used Quickrod is probably the best deal at around $1300 US, but you do get a great build for that. I still think a used 2203KK is better.

    For the cheap road, a DSL is good, they just are not built up to Marshall standards IMO. And they don't have that 800 grind done quite right. But for the money on a used one, as long as the PCB is not causing runaway (more common on TSL), they are a hell of a deal around $600 US.

    Valvestate 8100 or VS100 are nothing like a JCM. Good at what they do for such an old amp, but unless you get one that has been serviced and restored, they will no sound very good today, if they even work properly.

    In any case, good luck finding that grind at a good price.
     
  3. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Thanks, hadn't considered the KK as I'd only heard bad things about the reissues - will definitely add that to the list.
     
  4. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    Victory kraken if you've never considered it.
     
  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Had one, didn't love it - power stage didn't really contribute to the tone.
     
  6. Mikeitloud

    Mikeitloud SS.org Regular

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  7. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    If I were getting one today, I would probably do the DSL100H. They have that sort of "Modded 800~ish" tone, and have enough modern features, and are easy and cheap to get. They sounded decent at lower volumes. One of the biggest issues with those older single channel designs that that sound pretty bland and thin until you turn them up....
     
  8. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Behind a DSL100H, I would probably look at Ceriatone. A Ceriatone Chupacabra 100 looks like a pretty awesome amp.
     
  9. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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    I have a modded SL-X and its pretty dam decent. Keeps up with my other amps. It's just getting the boot because my MTS obsession. Its a modern voiced tight amp, not real girthy in the lows is all.
     
  10. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    Disagree about the JVM. Loved the .... out of the one I tried. Definitely give the 410 a try.

    I'd say give the 8100 a try. More aggressive and abrasive than your standard tube Marshall fare, but if you want britsh br00tz, it's worth a shot.

    Since you're in the UK, also check out the Laney GH or Pro-Tube.

    I know you're in the UK, but how common is a Peavey Butcher or Peavey Windsor? They're very Marshall-like.
     
  11. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    I was looking for something similar a few months ago and ended up getting one of the new Fender Bassbreakers. I put one directly up against a DSL40 and vastly preferred the Fender. Here's a video I made using the Direct Output of the 15 watt combo version if You are interested:



    I went with the 15 watt combo and it's loud enough for gigs and band rehearsals, they do make a 45 watt version if You really need the extra volume. Haven't had a chance to record any rhythm tracks with it yet, but believe me it can absolutely nail that classic 'british' guitar sound with ease.
     
  12. lemeker

    lemeker SS.org Slacker

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    I have an older dsl that I use for that "British" flavor. It covers all the ground I need it to, and would be what I would suggest.
     
  13. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    The "repairs on a 30 year old amp" is simply a recap once. In another 15-20 years it may need one again.


    JCM800 2203, OG edition.
     
  14. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Thanks guys, plenty to think about.
     
  15. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Jeepers creepers... you're in the UK... aren't you tripping over old 2203's on the used market? :lol:
    Well, that's how I envision it anyways.

    Trust your gut. Your first choice is usually the best one.
    And if you have the place to play a Mark V, then a 2203 shouldn't be a problem.
     
  16. Wolfhorsky

    Wolfhorsky Regular idiot

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    Orange Dual Dark or Rockerverb or Marshall KK imho.
     
  17. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    If you want to go REALLY inexpensive you can probably find a used Peavey Windsor head for about 100 US of you look hard enough. In the US anyway. From what I've read those do a pretty okay job doing the jcm800 thing.

    But yeah if a 2203 or a (swoon) 2204 is in your budget, do that.
     
  18. maggotspawn

    maggotspawn SS.org Regular

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    Sovtek Mig's supposedly do the JCM 800 thing for cheap.
     
  19. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    There's no denying it, only a 2203 will suffice.

    GAK have an absolutely astounding deal going on the last 2 Budda Superdrive 80 watters in the country, someone needs to jump on it so I can't.
     
  20. ImBCRichBitch

    ImBCRichBitch SS.org Regular

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    +1 on Orange. I personally wish all amps were Orange and/or Matamp :wallbash:
     

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