Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Non-Master Marshall (and other loud things)


Recommended Posts

Many moons ago (almost a snow ago, actually) i asked for some amp recommendations. Someone mentioned: "Save up, buy a non-master Marshall and be done with it. Don't screw around with anything else" Many other denizens concurred. But my question is this- If this amp is non-master, does that mean that the only time you get *The Sound* is when it is cranked up so loud that it will rattle the teeth out of your head? If i understand correctly the real magic happens when the output stage tubes start clipping. But can this amp produce any distortion at practice or even "reasonable stage" volume? Something tells me that this amp by itself would be serious overkill for most clubs and whatnot. And how would you record something like this? Do musicians and studio engineers just grit thier teeth and bear it, or do you compromise with lower volumes? What happened in the days before powerbrakes and hotplates? Is this why Pete Townsend is legally deaf? And finally, there are surely going to be some recorded examples of "That Definitive Rock Sound of the Marshall Non-Master" in the legendary rock catalogue. Anyone able to point out: "on this song, Jimmy Page is running his LP through a Non-Master"... or "For this solo, Jeff Beck is running a strat through the Plexi" Surely i've heard this before, it's just a matter of identifying it.

Dr. Seuss: The Original White Rapper

.

WWND?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply
a big Pete Townsend is deaf is because Keith Moon decided to blow up his kick drum on TV while Townsend's ear was next to it. Townsend blames it on too loud studio playback. I've read interviews with Jimmy Page where he says his hearing is still good, and I can't imagine the Who were that much louder than Zeppelin since Zeppelin had that line of half stacks on their stage (or at least in the pictures I've seen).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you must crank a non-master volume Marshall (or any n/m tube amp) WAY up to overdrive the power tubes -- that's where the "magic" happens. By that point, it is TOO LOUD for almost anything except a large club or outdoor stage. Makes them hard to record, as well. You'd be better off getting something like a TopHat Emplexador or a Dr. Z Route 66. They are available in the 30-watt range and can give that "Marshall-like" magic without killing anyone. A 30-watt amp, with 2 or 4 speakers, can cover a variety of venues, and still be handy for recording. Still, these puppies are loud, if you crank them up. Loud enough to damage your hearing, fer sure. If you only play small clubs, or just need a recording amp, TopHat and Dr. Z make 18-watt models that work great. That's all I use now. In fact, I am trying to get rid of a 50-watt Marshall head because it it IS way too loud. Small amps, carefully miked, can sound just as big as a cranked stack, if you are careful with microphones and EQ. Even at 18 watts, if you dime these amps, they are loud, but not nearly as loud as a Marshall half- or full-stack. Four or eight speakers move a hell of a lot of air. One or two speakers can sound great and keep the SPLs at a manageable level. There are other manufacturers that produce fine 18-watt (give or take) amps, but I am personally familiar with the amps I listed. NOTE: Never buy an amp that you didn't personally listen to -- chances are, you won't be happy.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before powerbreaks/hotplates everyone went deaf. I'll bet Townsend's hearing loss has more than a little to do with his standing in front of Marshall and HiWatt full stacks. Lots of those guys have hearing problems. Ted Nugent too. You are right in that those amps need to be cranked to sound good. BTW, a 50 watt Marshall is still loud as hell. There are a lot of smaller amps that will get you that sound without the massive volume. Otherwise, get a Marshall and a Weber MASS speaker attenuator.
"You never can vouch for your own consciousness." - Norman Mailer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by phaeton: [b]Many moons ago (almost a snow ago, actually) i asked for some amp recommendations. Someone mentioned: "Save up, buy a non-master Marshall and be done with it. Don't screw around with anything else"[/b][/quote]That would have been me... [b]Many other denizens concurred.[/b] Hey wait, I'm not a "denizen"..... [b]But my question is this- If this amp is non-master, does that mean that the only time you get *The Sound* is when it is cranked up so loud that it will rattle the teeth out of your head?[/b] Yes, if what you desire is the classic "saturated Marshall" sound. HOWEVER... A 50 will start distorting at "reasonable" volumes. Depending on what kind of music you play this is either desirable or maybe not. A 100 watt IMO is better for *modern* metal - the extra headroom makes the low end tighter and quicker, the cleaner output makes the high end more percussive. Regardless, what I'm suggesting is to look at the non-master Marshall not as a lone amp, but as a power amp. The addition is that you get a very useful set of tone controls, and a classic coloration, AND a particularly responsive low end. More individual variety can come out of one of those than any other amp I think, because just about all settings you could come up with will still yield an interesting tone. [b]If i understand correctly the real magic happens when the output stage tubes start clipping. [/b] If you want that. With a 50 it happens fairly quickly. But you may or may not want that. For an "all around" sound I don't like a fully saturated "vintage VanHalen" sound. Nor do I like the gained out front in into the maxed Marshall Jimi at Woodstock thing - UNLESS that's what I'm going for. The point is that you can get some of the flavor of the Marshall sound at all volumes; you can still set the amp for many different sounds and it's still useful. [b] But can this amp produce any distortion at practice or even "reasonable stage" volume?[/b] A 50 "yes" to a degree; they start breaking up around 4-6, sing around 6, garble beyond that. A 100 - clean up until about 2 (which is about as loud as a 50 on 5), doesn't really get much more saturated until suddenly around about 8 and up - the VH thing starts happening then. So if you want power amp gnarl, get a 50; if you want more percussiveness and dynamic flexibility, get a 100. If you just want output distortion, get a pair of tweed Blues Jr.s Something tells me that this amp by itself would be serious overkill for most clubs and whatnot. And how would you record something like this? Do musicians and studio engineers just grit thier teeth and bear it, or do you compromise with lower volumes? What happened in the days before powerbrakes and hotplates? Is this why Pete Townsend is legally deaf? And finally, there are surely going to be some recorded examples of "That Definitive Rock Sound of the Marshall Non-Master" in the legendary rock catalogue. Anyone able to point out: "on this song, Jimmy Page is running his LP through a Non-Master"... or "For this solo, Jeff Beck is running a strat through the Plexi" Surely i've heard this before, it's just a matter of identifying it.[/QB][/QUOTE]

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote][b] That would have been me... Many other denizens concurred. Hey wait, I'm not a "denizen"..... [/quote][/b] Yes! Chip! How's it goin! Where you been? I wasn't sure if it was Chip or Sylver, and i didn't want to say it was one guy when it was the other, so i said "someone" to be all generic-like. If you're not a denizen, does this make you a vagrant? "Think of them as a power amp" Gotcha.... pull out the DS-1 or TS-10.... *This* is the distortion you use. Use the amp to provide volume, warmth, compression and colouring. Otherwise, crank it up for that Saturated Marshall Sound, which is only desireable if you want that Saturated Marshall Sound. Obviously i'd have to play one to see if the sounds i could get out of it would be what i'm trying to achieve. There are guitar sounds i hear on record that i say "i want to have THAT sound", and there are others where i say "ew, definately not that". However, i don't know enough about vintage ampware to say what amp is what. Oddly i can usually identify the guitar by sound though. I have other amp questions, but in hindsight i feel i probably should have posted this in the Guitar Forum instead. Sorry Folks.

Dr. Seuss: The Original White Rapper

.

WWND?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to your nearest vintage shop and play some classic Marshalls and Fenders. You'll find the sound your looking for. They're all right there. I have an '83 JCM-800 with a gain mod. I LOOOOOVE it! The mod can be turned off. Ive heard MANY Marshall mods and this one takes the cake, slices off a piece, and eats the rest. Today I played through a Silver Anniversary Jubilee edition with a switchable 50/25 watt amp section. That thing got that "Marshall" sound at [i]any[/i] volume. I am seriously considering buying that amp. My 100 watt JCM-800 is too much for recording sometimes.

"Meat is the only thing you need beside beer! Big hunks of meat and BEER!!...Lots of freakin' BEER."

"Hey, I'm not Jesus Christ, I can't turn water into wine. The best I can do is turn beer into urine." Zakk Wylde

 

http://www.hepcnet.net/bbssmilies/super.gif

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15_1_109.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...