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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, i'm thinking of buying a new amp. After looking at the Mode Four and deciding against it, i'm looking for another head/4x12" around £1000~

I've put it up to 2 different Marshalls so far (but you can suggest your own brands. Word of warning though, i'm not fond of Solid-states)

A Marshall JCM900 SLX head into a Marshall 4x12"
or
A Marshall DSL100 head into a Marshall 4x12"

Which do you guys think is better and for what reason?
I play heavy metal in a band but generally play anything from SatchVai[etc] to clean stuff and whatever.

Cheers,
Chud
 

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What Laney do you have though? Because the GH series are cracking amplifiers. Either the GH50L or the GH100L- they are both amazing. The GH50L is my next amp garuanteed. They are just so good. For metal/rock they are perfect, and Gilbert uses them too so they are obviously ace for any Gilbert/Satch/Vai leady stuff too.

But if you really are set on a Marshall of some sort, I suppose I would choose the JCM900. But I am not a Marshall fan at all really, apart from their speaker cabs. I think their amps are over-rated though in general. So I am not the person to ask about Marshalls really.

I dont know how this affects your budget, but maybe try a Carvin Legacy head?
 

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i would say jcm 900 over dsl100... iv played the dsl100 and the so called "ultra" channel is still just a light crunch. and the clean isnt that good
 

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phlame said:
The JCM900's suck get a JCM800 for sure.
Not all of them. The first model was the worst of the lot but still not nearly as thin as the 2205/2210s were. The Dual Reverb was okay but you can't turn the clipping diodes in it off so you are stuck with them if you don't like the way they sound, and the SL-X just owns (even better if you get one with a Drake transformer).

I would not waste cash on a JCM2000. Even used, you pay way too much for what you get.

The other things with 900s is they came biased really cold. The purpose of doing so was so that you could put any 5881 or El34 tube in there and not have to bias it. The downfall was a great sacrifice in tone. Get them biased and they sound pretty good.

I own a SL-X. I would strongly recommend it if you want a high gain Marshall that sounds like a 4 12AX7 modded JCM 800 without having to get one modded. Mine has a Dagnall transformer (which are really cheaply made!) and still sounds great. I am going to put in a Drake transformer and see what that does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's a few JCM900 SL-X's knocking around forsale around at the moment, which is why i'd like to know if it's worth buying one of these, a JCM2000 DSL100 or a reissue JCM900 (which Marshall are now doing)
 

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I have a JCM900 SLX - it totally owns. It beats all the TSLs and DSLs I've played - one problem. It's as loud as hell; I can't practice with it now I'm living in a flat :(

That's what you get for buying a 100W stack...

Recomend it for gigging though. I used it mainly for blues with a strat (that when I was still gigging) and nothing could touch that tone. I think with having so many valves on the input stage makes the tone really warm. With a humbucking guitar (PAF Pros for me) it has the tone from hell (in the good sence you understand...). Really can't recomend it enough. I'm quite a purist though, I only ever use a wah and mainly just use the volume control to back off the distorsion; sometimes use my Jimi Hendrix Fuzz to push it over the edge. I did use with my Boss GT5 in a cover band a few times and when I had the space to Jam at home and got very good results - again it does like being loud...

Just my 2p.

-Bob
 

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Chud said:
There's a few JCM900 SL-X's knocking around forsale around at the moment, which is why i'd like to know if it's worth buying one of these, a JCM2000 DSL100 or a reissue JCM900 (which Marshall are now doing)
Buy an older 900. The newer 900s use cheaper parts and if you get an older one you might get one with a Drake transformer instead of a Dagnall. And I am not sure but I have been told that the Dagnall transformers in the newer Marshalls are much cheaper than the Dagnalls in the 900s as well.

If you want a distorted Marshall sound you must have a SL-X (unless you really want the Slash-tone). They are a bit better than the dual reverbs or the original hi gain JCM 900s (one channel dual reverb that sounded much thinner than any other Marshall amp!).

Expect to have to get it retubed and biased. They came biased cold and a lot of them stayed that way. Get them biased properly and they are really warm as HeadSound had said. If you play thrash/death metal, you would want 5881s or 6550s to hold their lows most likely. If you play classic/prog/power metal or hard rock, try SED EL34s - those things get incredibly warm but at a sacrifice of lows.

I use Classic Leads with my head. As the amp gets warm, the speakers get warm but stay clean - the way I like it! :) I would suggest trying to find a 50 watt head and using G12H30s if you are hunting for a cabinet too.

Go play some of them and see if they are for you. If you have any questions about the head, feel free to ask me.
 

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I have a JCM900 2100. I think it's one of the first models. It does sound pretty cool when cranked up. sounds bad at low volumes. It sounds better than my friends TSL 60 (which sounds similar to the DSL). It has more balls and distortion with more clarity. I use a SD-1 infront of it too though, so it evens out the sound abit and adds more punch. Sounds excellent with that and you don't need to go re-tubing everything to get a good sound.
 

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i have a tsl 100 and im not complaining...


thing you have to do

go get a dsl and a 900 side by side, and whichever you like, thats the one you get :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, i would try them both out, except it's hard to get JCM900's nowadays, especially the model i'd like to buy.
 

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I have a 4101 (1991), it's a very versatile combo. 100W means it's seriously loud. The penthodes in the poweramp (EL34s in my case) are just so powerful that they remain relatively clean at lower volumes.
I can get really close to a Carvin Legacy tonewise (compared to the samples on carvin.com) Hendrix stuff is also easy, they are very responsive to dynamics as well as your volume pot. I don't know much about the DSL100, but you may also want to have a look at the anniversary series. The 25th (25xx Jubilee) is very sought after, but you may run into a 30th (61xx)

A lot of rubbish is said about "diode clipping", Marshall started using this in some of the JCM800, those & the JCM900 dual reverb use hybrid cascaded gain stages. This even applies to the Jubilee and Slash signature JCM800. The JCM900 has a preamp with op-amps, a boost channel with diode (LED!) clipping and pre-boost EQ into tubes, with semi active EQ powered by an ECC83 (for more info check http://www.thinlizzy.de/Guitar/earlymarshalls.html or look for the electrical schematics at http://www.drtube.com/marshall.htm)

The JCM900 has three ECC83 "preamp" tubes, only one is actually used in the preamp (but it's used as a double triode giving you two gain stages)
The second is used (again as double triode) as reverb driver and after reverb recovery
The third EEC83 is used in the power amp section. Each triode side driving a pair of EL34s.

I think the advantage of these pre-amp solid state circuits is that you can easily reach hi-gain sounds, at the expense of sounding a bit buzzy at lower volume (without power amp warmth added) In fact using a typical distortion box (RAT, Fuzzface, Tubescreamer, OD1, MT10 etc.etc.) into a pure lo-gain tube amp gives you a similar thing.

Even with the partially solid state hi-gain channel it doesn't quite reach extreme gain in JCM800 or 900 (supersaturated perhaps) This is probably why they came out with the SL-X. If you want an over the top metal sound, I still would suggest experimenting with an additional pedal and/or an active EQ in the Fx-loop. The first thing your guitar signal will see in a dual reverb is indeed an op-amp so overloading the input will give you clipping in that circuit before you even reach the gain stages. In master volume amps the first thing your signal will see is a tube. If you plan on using an overdirve pedal, these may have an advantage.

I have to admit that I rarely use the pre-amp section on mine, I use it as a power amp with my GSP2101 on preamp duty. Buty that's for flexibility not because I don't like the sounds of the JCM900.

Most people agree that the best sounds are generated when you start pushing the power tubes (EL34s or 5881) which is difficult in a 100W amp without scaring the neighbours. Switch to half power (triode mode) or use a powerbrake/loadbox.
 

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I've gotta side with the JCM 800 crowd, and I'd suggest getting a 50 watter as well. Look for a used one and spend some cash on some mods or a good overdrive pedal. I had a modded TSL and it sounded great, but 100 watts was just way too much and most marshalls sound like crap at lower volumes. I'd even suggest going lower than 50 watts, something like a cornford hellcat at 35watts...but those are 3x the price. Low wattage tube amps rule in my book, but folks are right on the transformer issues, one of the best mods you can make to a decent marshall.
 

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Chud said:
Well, i would try them both out, except it's hard to get JCM900's nowadays, especially the model i'd like to buy.
You said there were a few of them kicking around... **** or some online store?
 

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eviltwin said:
A lot of rubbish is said about "diode clipping", Marshall started using this in some of the JCM800, those & the JCM900 dual reverb use hybrid cascaded gain stages. This even applies to the Jubilee and Slash signature JCM800. The JCM900 has a preamp with op-amps, a boost channel with diode (LED!) clipping and pre-boost EQ into tubes, with semi active EQ powered by an ECC83 (for more info check http://www.thinlizzy.de/Guitar/earlymarshalls.html or look for the electrical schematics at http://www.drtube.com/marshall.htm)
I thought the 900s sounded much better than the 800s with clipping diodes personally. The 800s sounded thinner and did not have enough gain to work with clipping diodes, where the 900 and Jubilee sound was a bit dirtier and did the job. The problem with clipping diodes is that they are always on and you cannot turn them off, and the end result limits the varied tones you could otherwise get from the amp.

Both channels have a clipping diode in them, but it's not as unmistakable on the clean channel as on the gain channel. If they were not there on the clean channel at all, they would not be an issue.

The JCM900 has three ECC83 "preamp" tubes, only one is actually used in the preamp (but it's used as a double triode giving you two gain stages)
The second is used (again as double triode) as reverb driver and after reverb recovery
The third EEC83 is used in the power amp section. Each triode side driving a pair of EL34s.
Wrong. The reverb in the JCM 900s is completely solid state. No tubes are used for reverb. The third tube is called a phase invertor, but some of the tube is still used in the preamp section along with the first two.
 

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Gresh said:
I've gotta side with the JCM 800 crowd, and I'd suggest getting a 50 watter as well. Look for a used one and spend some cash on some mods or a good overdrive pedal. I had a modded TSL and it sounded great, but 100 watts was just way too much and most marshalls sound like crap at lower volumes. I'd even suggest going lower than 50 watts, something like a cornford hellcat at 35watts...but those are 3x the price. Low wattage tube amps rule in my book, but folks are right on the transformer issues, one of the best mods you can make to a decent marshall.
But JCM800s are a little more expensive and gain mods are expensive. If you are modding it for gain, might as well get a SL-X.
 
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