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Thread: 5150 & Jcm 800

  1. #1
    Baluchitherium
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    I have been playing guitar for about a year and a half, and I am involved in a band now, and I have decided I am going to purchase a half stack within the next few months. I am trying to decide between a Marshall JCM 800, and a 5150. So could some of you guys give me opinions on each? You know pros and cons, or if one has an advantage ofver the other. I'd really appreciate it.

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    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    I've had both amps, so I'll offer my 2 cents

    The jcm 800 was a great amp for me. I was playing in a cover band at the time and I found it very versitile for a one channal amp. I used a tube screamer for leads and my volume pot to get clean tones. I always felt like I had to really work hard playing to squeeze the tone out of the amp. They are NOT a high gain amp so for lots of gain, they ain't it. That being said I loved to tones I got from it, and for me it had enough gain. We used to do some Metalica stuff and for that I would use a Super Overdrive which worked great. They sound like a marshal so if that's the tone you want that's your best bet, (unless you went for a re-issue Plexi which rule). My biggest complaint with it was it had one sound, and didn't have a second channel. I found the tone hard to work, but it did sound great.

    I bought a 5150 as soon as it came out, and unlike the Marshal that thing had sooooo much gain it was nuts!! The cool thing with the 5150 was it had 2 channels, (and the 5150II has seprate EQs for the channels) The tough thing about them is they sound like absolute dog crap until you turn em up, I mean way up!! I used to run my pre between 6-7, at that point the output tubes are cooking good enough the get rid of that dog crap buzz shit. The only problem with running them this loud is you drown out everybody else, and soundmen hate you. I found the 5150 a real hard amp to get great tones out of. I ended up using my lead channel and my main tone and a super O/D for leads. I kept the rythme channel for clean stuff. IMO the 5150 has way too much gain. I used to run my gain between 3-5 and that was more then enough.
    The best tone I got from a 5150 came when I used it as a pre-amp. I'd run the 5150 into a rack with a power amp out into two 4x12 cabs and that way I had great control over my tone.
    I really didn't like my 5150. It did one job well, but I really had to tinker with it to get it to sound right. It was too fucking loud and in clubs when your too loud they make you point your cab at a wall, or baffle it to shit so you loose your cab as a monitor.
    I've player a few hot-rodded 800's and they sound great, but again your quite limited as to what you can do with them. Tribb has couple, so he'll be able to spill the beans on a rodded one better then me.


    I don't know about down in the states, but in canada the 5150 cost $1450.00 and to me if your going to spend that much on an amp I'd say get neither!

    Here come the shameless plug..........

    Get This......

    A 3 Channel Triple Rectifier http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_In...rectifier.html

    In canada they're $400.00 more but with these bad boys you can do anything!

    At the very least, play through one of them before you buy anything!

    That's my story, and I'm stickin to it

  3. #3
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I gotta disagree with Homeunit on this one...


    To get ANY kind of sound out a JCM800, you need to crank it WAY too loud to be useful. Even all the way up, to my ears the Marshall is raspy and brittle.

    The 5150, to me, sounds FINE at low volume, but better turned up. The clean sound, however, sucks donkey balls. Even with the bright switch in and the presence at 10, it has no high end 'air'. I use the rhythm channel for a SLIGHTLY overdriven sound, and use a separate preamp altogether for a clean sound. As for the lead channel, I use single coil pickups in my Strats and the pre-gain usually sits at 5. Too many players seem to turn that knob WAY too high, especially when they have humbuckers already hitting the front end hard.

    Overall, I think the 5150 is not nearly versatile enough, and the Marshall is even LESS versatile due to its having one channel. The Rectifier is a nice idea, but that is an amp for either a very wealthy amateur or a steadily working (read: getting PAID) musician.

    I have a problem with this concept in general: So many young players believe all the hype about how cool tube amps are, and conversely, how NOTHING else will do. Well, there are MANY amps out there, transistorized to the nines, that will do a GREAT job for you, with MUCH less of a price, weight, and upkeep costs. Also, the modelling amps ala Line 6, Johnson, etc., are GREAT amps, and even a better value. They can get ANY type of sound, you can switch between them all, going far beyond the 2-channel capabilities of most amps.

    Another possibility is the rack set-up. Get a decent preamp and effects unit and a power amp and you're set. Digitech's 2100 series, Rocktron's Chameleon and Voodu Valve, etc., are good preamps WITH effects built in, not to mention Line 6 POD's, although the latter is weak on the effects side, but strong on the preamp side. There are hundreds of combinations out there, affordable, reliable, versatile, and good-sounding. Check out Ebay..there's LOADS of stuff out there.

    Finally, there is one more thing to consider. Too many young players feel they need a half or full stack to be cool. Well, let me tell ya...it kinda sucks. A stack is not very conducive to practice volumes, and they are a BITCH to lug around. Unless you are gigging on a regular basis, especially in places that may not have much of a PA, you do not need a stack. The BEST idea is to have a gool, solid combo with an external speaker jack; that way, you can use the combo as a 'mothership' amp, and hook up an extension cabinet if you need it for performing. I know a combo isn't as 'cool' looking, but it's FAR more practical. I have seen way too many players (students mostly) waste their money on a head and cab only to find out 2 months later that, once their friends all saw it and said 'dude you are so cool', the thrill wore off and they were left with 140 pounds of guitar rig to tote around, not to mention only having 1 or 2 sounds at a HUGE price.

    To illustrate the point, here's a little story. The VERY first time I played out was at an open stage night in a club. The purpose for the open stage was for bands to audition for weekend gigs there, as well as sell some extra booze for the bar on Wednesdays. There were 12 OTHER bands playing that night...we all shared ONE drum set, but amps and guitars were 'bring your own'. I was nervous enough as it was, being my first time and all, but I watched what these other guys had. I was using a $250 guitar, and a $165 used Fender M-80 1x12 combo with a Digitech RP-1. (my previous equipment had been stolen) There were guys with two 12 space racks filled to the brim, guys with 2 full stacks (!), a full stack and a big f/x rack, wireless units, $2000 guitars, pretty hair and clothes, and groupies. I was feeling pretty low after seeing all that. I had shit equipment and NO experience....much like the rest of my band...

    When I heard these other bands play, I actually literally LAUGHED. They had all this stuff, but they sucked BIG TIME. My band was well-rehearsed, well-prepared, and we went out there with the following attitude: if nothing else, let's enjoy the experience for ourselves, just like we would at the 'bandroom', and to hell with anyone else.

    It paid off.....we had no gear and no experience, but we were sincere.


    We got the gig.



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    Official Calculator of the VHLinks...and damn proud!

  4. #4
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Both HomeUnit and AVH, make a lot of sense.
    5150's are a pain in the ass to work with in anyhing but a real large venue where you can crank it, and then you have to contend with the hiss, and the squeeeel when you don't want it, and it's feeding back like crazy. Remember, Ed doesn't just go straight into his amp.
    As well, the standard marshalls have to be turned up LOUD to get any amount of gain that sounds natural, and even then it's not that much. The marshall, like the 5150 is a one horse wonder, and tends to have one basic sound. Like AVH says, shitloads of rackgear onstage is a joke, unless you're Steve Vai and have years to tailor your sound, and really know what you're doing.
    My marshalls are early 70's, and are heavily modded for high gain with or without volume. They're also filtered to keep hiss way down, as well as seperate clean chanel with separate controls and a variable loop channel, and more, so it's definetly not off the rack, so to speak, and doesn't sound like a regular marshall.
    I hate using pedals but I have to use a wah, chorus, and some delay at times.
    I don't know AVH, except to say it sounds like he's quite knowledgeable, going by his posts, so I'd say he definetly knows what he's talking about.
    When it comes to studio work, and a good live sound, I doubt there's any one more in the know than Homeunit. This guy will think nothing of trying out every peice of equipment he can get his hands on for a good sound, and I've picked his brain many times for advise on equipment. I'm the kind of guy that has to rip a guitar apart and fuck around till I'm happy with it, but I don't have much patience for amps, so I rely on Homeunit to fill me in on amps, and he hasn't been wrong yet.
    If you have the money, and want something really versatile, you might want to to think about a mesa boogie rectifier amp. Homeunit can tell you much more about them.
    If you don't mind going digital and don't want to spend a real large amount of money. You might think about a flextone or line 6 amp. I've experimented with the flextone head, and the flextone 100 watt combo, and I think they both kick ass. The 50 watt models aren't really loud enough for a full band unless you're p.a. miked, but the 100 watters will do it easily.
    I know there's others in this room that use different amps, so I'm curious as to their opinions as well.
    Well, that's my two cents.

    [This message has been edited by tribb (edited March 10, 2001 at 07:45 PM).]

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    Ok Homeunit you've got me interested.... I'm all ears. Share a little bit of your expertise with the little guy. lol

    Tell me about the Mesa Boogie's.

    BTW thanks for the help!

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  6. #6
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Check the link on HomeUnit's thread right above you.

  7. #7
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    Abe, I never said a Marshal didn't have to loud lol. It's just that the 5150 is a LOUD 120watts lol.
    The triple rectifier is 150 watts and it has to be loud to, so....
    I think this whole amp thing (and gear in general) raises an intresting point that Abe touched on. Gear is nothing but a tool to help you comunicate your music. It is not going to make you a better musician. Having said that, if your a serious player, serious about your music, you need the proper tool for the job. The idea is to try everything you can with the idea of how is this going to help me comunicate? I've been playing for close to 20 years, and trying to go cheap on your gear is just going to frustrate you. Not saying that you can't get great tones with cheap gear, I mean Ed's guitars were all cheap peices of crap until he hooked up with Ernie Ball.
    The amp modeling stuff (line 6 in particular) is great, if this stuff was around 10 years ago I would have been using that.
    I'm currently using a POD Pro and intend to use it live, but the thing with these units are you need to have a clear picture of what kind of tone you want, AND how that's going to transmit in a live situation. I'm using a tube pre-amp and tube compressor with mine. We also have a soundman so we'll know that the sound out front will be the sound I'm sending him. I'll be going direct with this stuff, but it's a real tricky proposision cause it can sound like shit if you don't have the experience with these thing (and a great soundman) to make it work.
    The moral of the story is gear doesn't replace hard work, but the proper gear makes your hard work sound great.

    For more on the Triple Rectifier check out this thread http://www.vhforums.com/vhlforum/For...ML/000538.html

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    So about how many watts should the cab. be if I purchased this sweet Triple Rec. head?

    Like I said I'm not that great of a musician, I am still learning, but I keep practicing hard and I take music seriously. So I want to get a good quality product, something I can still use 5 years from now. So it looks like the Mesa is it. Sure I'll have to save a little bit more, but it seems very worth it!

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    [This message has been edited by Unchained Wolfie (edited March 11, 2001 at 10:20 AM).]

  9. #9
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    This is what Tribb said, and he knows his stuff


    If you're going for a 4x12 marshall cab, and can get an older one with early celestion greenbacks, or blackbacks, those are great.
    Do "NOT" get one with greenback reissues. The don't sound like the old ones.
    Another really great sounding marshall cab is the one with Vintage 30's in it. They're actually 60 watt speakers, but sound very much like the old marshall cabs.
    I've been experimenting lately, putting together a smaller cab for smaller clubs, so I won't have to lug a 4x12 green back cab around. I got a smaller 4x10 cab, cut a new baffle, and put 2 Vintage 10's on top(a vintage 10 is a 60 watt 10" marshall speaker, just like the Vintage 30, but 10" version)I then put an old 71' celestion Greenback on the bottom(center), and the sound is perfect. The tens have lots of punch, and bottom end, but they really have that vintage sound, and the old green back..well, it's a greenback, which has it's own sound altogether..

  10. #10
    Eruption
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I've only ever played the JCM800 at low volumes (in stores and stuff) and I've always liked the tone. Its more natural sounding than the 5150 I reckon.

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    RD

    "Rock 'n' Roll is my second favourite thing in the whole world" - DLR (1983)

  11. #11
    Eruption
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    12.07.17 @ 07:31 AM
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    Homeunit, the reissue greenbacks are not too bad. I have them in two of my cabinets and I have vintage 30s in a third cab. I actually prefer the sound of the reissue Greenbacks.

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Jape, "not too bad" is not a good way to feel about your rig.
    Put them up against an original greenback cab., and you'll see what I mean. I agree with you about about the vintage 30's though. they are good sounding speakers depending on what head's pushing air through them.

  13. #13
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Iam doing a school research project on the mesaboogie triple rectifier and when comparing to other amps the mesa is simply outstanding. But I read that it works best for heavy music and blues ..if you use the clean channel. So I not expecting a brown sound. Any way Iam going to get a mesaboogie this summer because i plan on doing some gigs. Iam going to split with my band because they are starting to hate the music I like....they laugh when I mention van halen and ozzy or vai. Iam going to form a band to do some alice in chains and van halen. But when I play that kind of music there jaws drop when I reach they solo...there just gettin into that punk stuff...which personally is a bore to play on guitar. MESA BOOGIE KICKS ASS

  14. #14
    Eruption
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    12.07.17 @ 07:31 AM
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    Tribb, I didn't mean to sound lackadasical about my rig. My rig sound great. I was just saying that the reissues are still great speakers and people should not dismiss them just because they aren't vintage. I'd take the reissue greenbacks anyday over the modern G75 or whatever is in the standard 900 series cabs. I still haven't been able to play through the originals, so maybe after I do I'll have a much stronger opinion of the originals. I'd love to get a hold of an older cabinet. . .maybe soon?

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    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    I plead ignorance when it comes to cabs Jape.

    I use to use a 5150 slant and it sounded like shit, so I switched to Marshals.

    I just go by sound, (which may be a little ignorant on my part, lol) I've used lots of cabs and for me I can tell within 2 minutes if it's going to work. I've never had to resourses or patients to mess around with different speakers. To me if it sounds good, great, if not I just move onto the next cab.

    My buddy had these 25th aniversery Marshals and he used to rave about em, but to me they sounded like shit, so I guess it's all up to the listener

    Now that I think of it though, I do mess around with how my cab sits. It all depends on the room, if it's big and bright sounding (the room) I'll generally pop the casters off to warm things up, and if it's dead sounding I'll leave the casters on.

    I'm done babling now

 

 

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