just a quick question because I want to get a new amp and can not decide which one I should get. I don’t “need” the amp in the sense that I need a new workhorse for a band or something, I already have enough gear to satisfy my use cases. But to show you where I am actually I will list the few things I have:
-Marshall JCM800 2203
-Marshall JCM900 2100 (SL-X, not the High Gain Dual Reverb)
-a 19" rack, mainly consisting of a Lee Jackson GP-1000, a Rocktron Intellifex and a H&K Poweramp
I also own an Engl Ironball (this thing is amazing, seriously!) and a Laney Cub Head for playing at home. In my band, which plays some kind of power metal/black metal blend, I mainly use the two Marshall heads. I previously owned a Peavey 6505 which I kind of liked, but not enough to keep it.
As you can guess my favored sound is very much british. I love the voicings of my Marshall heads, the 800 is just phenomenal. I tried various other amps, some bigger Engl heads, the (already mentioned) 6505, some kind of Mesa Rectifier (don’t know which one), but they don’t do it for me. The Engl amps were definitely the ones I liked the most, but I found myself trying to approximate some kind of Marshall sound with the EQ. So I don’t see a point in not getting a Marshall, although I already have two excellent ones
Anyway, I always looked for a Silver Jubilee but couldn’t find one. I tested a regular 50 watt head around 10 years ago (it was the model 2550 I think) and was in love. Now that the 100W version was reissued a couple of years ago, I thought why not get this head? I already tested it and I really, really like the amp and am constantly thinking about it.
The other amp I am thinking about (and which I couldn’t test anywhere) is a JVM410. I don’t need flexibility, but the JVM probably has one sound for anything I will ever do in my musical career. And needing but not having is worse than having but not needing, right?
At the moment I am gravitated heavily towards the Silver Jubilee because this is the one I ultimately fell in love with. But I already own two “similar” heads (similar in the sense that they don’t have many switchable sounds like the JVM does).
I didn’t want to mention artists as examples, but I want to give you an idea of what sounds I am typically after: Paul Gilbert, Zakk Wylde, Children of Bodom, Opeth, Necrophagist
I know that Alexi Laiho used the Lee Jackson preamp I own and later on a JVM. Zakk Wylde is the prime example of JCM800, Opeth and Paul Gilbert used some kind of Laney/Marshall in their past. Necrophagist used Engl as far as I know, but I don’t want to approximate their sound (and this style of music should definitely be possible with a Marshall amp).
What would you choose and why? Or would you recommend something completely different?
My heart says Silver Jubilee, but my head says JVM. But I fear that I will regret not getting the SJ if I get a JVM…
Edit: I should note that I use almost all my amps with a Boss SD-1, usually with drive kept on zero and level on full. Only the JCM800 gets a tiny little bit of drive to get it to a higher gain region. I play not with a lot of gain, I think the “Still Life” record by Opeth is a good example for the gain region.