Power amp for Marshall 100w tones

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by dibble, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. dibble

    dibble Member

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    Still awaiting delivery of my A6. But, I’m anxious and planning my setup.

    One of the main reasons I got the A6 was in my quest for a bedroom volume JCM800 1/2 stack. Number 1, it’s just too large/cumbersome to try and set up in the bedroom. And, number 2 I need to be in a cement bunker with headphones on to play it—which honestly would be fine with me. But, the neighbors don’t like it ;-)

    In any case, my bedroom setup currently is a fender super 60 1x12 (2x 6L6) and a JCM 2000 401 (2x EL84). To emulate the 800 sound now I pump positive grid software through in to the return of the 2000. It does ok. Just ok. I don’t hate it. But, in to the power amp of the fender 6L6 is garbage (as far as trying to get Marshall tones). But, the glowing reviews of th A6 I’ve seen have me hoping for a more faithful reproduction than the positive grid software.

    So, (finally) to the point—for anyone else out there trying to reproduce the 100w Marshall tones, is it necessary to plug the A6 in to an EL34 power amp to get “that tone” I’m after? I don’t have access to a low power EL34 setup, so I’m hoping to hear from anyone who may have tried the amplifire on both EL34 and EL84.
     
  2. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Senior Member

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    Product Specialist Atomic Amps
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    Hello,
    Personally I've never liked the sound of amp modelers through the FX Return
    of a guitar amp, but some people really like it. You'll likely want to bypass the CAB IR
    on the 1/4" (Main) output going to the FX Return.
    You might want to consider an FRFR active cab like our own CLR:
    https://atomicamps.com/clr-reference-frfr-monitors/
    Here's some other options that you might want to look at:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=FRFR
    Cheers,
    Jace Nuzback

    Product Specialist

    Atomic Amplifiers

    www.atomicamps.com

    www.facebook.com/atomicamps
     
  3. dibble

    dibble Member

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    Thanks for that. One of the main things that pushed me over to AA was a video with Tom King. As far as whether to go FRFR or not, his statement at 13:54 is what sold me, especially with regard to pushing the preamp model through the return of a tube amp for low volume growl.

    ?t=13m54s

    But, in that clip I also see that Rob is running a v30 which uses 2 EL34s—this being the root/source of my original question. He (Rob) seems ecstatic about the 800 tones in the 8:30-11:00 sections of the vid. I’m just wondering if there’s a chance I will be as thrilled through El84s. I guess we’ll see shortly.
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Active Member

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    You are going to be so blown away by your AA6 when it arrives... especially if you are a Marshall guy. My new AA6 does better and more Marshall tones than my DSL. I play it through 12" FRFR speakers, 8" monitors and also a stereo power amp with two 4x12s. Honestly, the 8" monitors sound better than the 4x12s because the cabs color the sound a lot. The FRFR and Monitors also give that amp in the room sound so I am going to be selling my power amp and cabs soon and freeing up a lot of space in my office. I was blown away by the first preset (Hot Brit) but they all sound great. There is a Boosted 800 preset you'll probably enjoy but I've learned that I am more of a Plexi guy since getting the high end modelers like the AA6.. to me the Plexi is the sound of the 80s. The AA Plexi and Friedman amps sound phenomenal to me.
     
    Filipe M. likes this.
  5. dibble

    dibble Member

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    Which FRFR and monitors are you using?
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Active Member

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    I have a Headrush FRFR and two Mackie MR8 MK3 monitors.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Active Member

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    I also forgot to mention that I have a Laney IRT Studio that I play through the return (EL84s) and it sounds good but I enjoy the FRFR and Monitors more... I never would have thought I would have enjoyed these more than 4x12 cabs but I am glad I do because they take up way less space. I've played my Headrush Pedalboard through my old DSL (EL34s) and it sounded terrible compared to the Laney. I think the DSL's controls still manipulated the tone of the power amp whereas the Laney's does not.
     
  8. dibble

    dibble Member

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    Thanks Jem--you're helping me out a bunch here with the path of trial and error I'm headed down. I'm already mentally re-arranging my space.

    When you say that you enjoy the FRFR and monitors, is that discretely or together? That is, are you saying you're running the headrush and monitors together as a single rig? or are you saying that a pair of mackie monitors sounds better on their own than pushing an amp through a 4x12 cab?
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Active Member

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    I don't use the FRFR with the Monitors though I could. They both sound the same at most levels but I can run the Monitors in stereo. I got the Headrush FRFR for $65 with coupons and discounts so I couldn't pass it up, otherwise I would not have it. I would recommend starting with 8" monitors because they are so versatile and sound so good if you have to choose between the two for now.

    At the bedroom levels I play at (and I do play pretty loud a lot of times) the Monitors sound just as huge as the 4x12s but with more clarity and better tone IMO.
     
  10. flynv

    flynv Member

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    I have a buddy who runs his Atomic the the effects loop of a 1x12 blue line Peavey and it'll crush most high gain amps.
    That little Peav's heavy but it can get LOUD and it sounds amazing! BL Peav's are cheap too.
     
  11. Jem

    Jem Active Member

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    Did you get your AA6 yet dibble?

    I just found a preset that does 80s Hair Metal really well. It is #034 - Fat Heavy Lead. It is using the Kornfield amp and and Orange cab. Sounds really good and has a lot of thump.
     
  12. dibble

    dibble Member

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    Forgot about this thread. Got my AA6 last friday. The whole idea of going through my marshall EL84 poweramp was a bust. It works, it's just not what I was hoping for. I wanted the EL34 sounds, and I was hoping the Amp modeling for the EL34 would shine through the IRL EL84. Such is not the case. I actually couldn't tell much difference between the AA6 my 5 year old iPad running Jamup Pro software with an apogee Jam in to the EL84 poweramp.

    Fear not--that was just the experiment. I did have to go out and get a mission IO FRFR 1x12 cab. But, that has made all the difference. Now, modeling the EL34 and 4x12 greenbacks, I'm getting that 1/2 stack sound I was after (at a fraction of the volume). No, it's not 100% accurate. But, I don't think that's possible unless I actually run a 4x12 setup--which isn't happening in my bedroom.

    As for preset, I just loaded the Brit 800, set the bass at about 10:00, mid at 12:30, treb at 1:00, presence at 1:00 and gain to 10. Scooped the middle a bit with the EQ and added a tube screamer, and IRs for a 4x12 greenbacks I'm golden.

    For that hair metal sound, I need to play with the delays. But, It's a very nice start.
     
  13. Jem

    Jem Active Member

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    Yeah, I have found that I prefer the sound of FRFR or Monitors over cabs now that modelers like the Atomic Amplifire are out. I can get the tones I like that beat any DSL I've ever played through a 4x12. I've never owned a real Plexi or JCM 800 because they are too expensive and too loud. Now I can get their tone and much more at better volumes but can also crank it really loud and still enjoy it.

    One thing I have discovered whilst playing my HX Stomp is I like the 20 watt Greenback better than the 25. I'd never heard of it before seeing and trying it on the Stomp (and Spider V actaully too). I'll have to see if I can find a good IR to try on the AA6.

    BTW, posted this with Chrome. I use two different computers with Chrome on this forum and no problems.
     

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