Depressed with my live sound and Amp rig again. Maybe I need to downsize .

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riffpowersriffpowers Frets: 117
edited June 9 in Amps
played in 2 mid level venues over the last 2 days that are fairly typical of the types of places that bands at my level play. I.e normal type of onstage volume and balance and mic’d up for FOH. 
ive downsized a little from a jcm800 2203
to a 2204.
its still too powerful. Last night I had it on 2 and it was barely coming alive. The night before I had it on 3 and it was just about starting to sound decent . 

I’m getting sick of it . Im lugging big gear about that I’m not getting the best out of . I love jcm800’s but I’m thinking (again) that they’re just too powerful.

I’m seriously thinking of selling all the big stuff and getting something smaller , more portable , that I can get a decent sound out of at the volumes I need to play at . 

It’d be something with a British style over drive and preferably some kind of solo boost.
i play mostly punk / metal crossover type stuff .  

Ive even been thinking of just getting a 1x12 combo or something. 

Anyone done this ?? Anyone feel my pain ?? 

Im seriously thinking of selling the lot and getting something else. 

Help!

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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 2244
    Budda SuperDrive 18 would be a starting point for me. Great rock sound in a compact package. 

    How loud is your drummer?
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  • DanRDanR Frets: 602
    You could try some of the smaller Friedman amps.

    Especially if you don't a perfect clean.

    Maybe a Jet City aswell as they are well thought of.
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  • vizviz Frets: 4806
    I run my 100w valve amp at the 50w setting through a 1x12 wedge monitor which I mic. I can turn my amp up and get a good sound. 
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  • DanRDanR Frets: 602
    Id also consider @musteatbrain MJW and use pedals in front.

    You can get some great sounding MIAB pedals and even stuff like the VH4 pedal.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31629
    Try an attenuator. Now you've mentioned your settings I think it will work.

    If the amp was starting to sound good at 3 then it isn't power-stage overdrive you need, but just having the power amp working a bit harder. An attenuator would let you get the sound of 3 (or 4-5) at a controllable volume.

    Failing that, and if you want a 1x12", try a JCM900 2501 combo.

    50W switchable down to 25W
    Similar to JCM800 sound (closer than a Jubilee)
    Dual footswitchable master volume controls for solo boost
    Small and easy to carry (great side handles)
    Reasonably well-made and reliable
    Not expensive nowadays

    The stock speaker (G12T-75) probably isn't the best but there are a lot of good options now.

    The only real problem I can think of with them is that the pots are very poor and have an odd taper, so they do nothing at all from 0-2 then it all kicks in, and again not much from 2-8 when there is then another big boost - but you get used to it.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11604
    edited June 9
    It sounds to me like you need the EL34 version of the Victory Kraken in your life.

    Either that, or a Jet City Amelia (although they're not exactly small).

    However, with that said...I had many of the same problems as you, and it wasn't until I got the Helix that they've all been solved. I now run the Helix through a Yamaha DXR10, and all is good with the world. Literally any sound I want at any volume, and none of the weight.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16307
    edited June 9


    However, with that said...I had many of the same problems as you, and it wasn't until I got the Helix that they've all been solved. I now run the Helix through a Yamaha DXR10, and all is good with the world. Literally any sound I want at any volume, and none of the weight.
    ^^
    This

    Or try a Boss Katana ...


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • sw67sw67 Frets: 54
    I downsized a couple of years ago as i was fed up storing and moving heavy amps. I now use Helix with a RCF Art 310 or a MJW 18watt roadstar depending on my mood. My amp has everything you want - small , lightwight , boost

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  • timmysofttimmysoft Frets: 1656
    I toured with 4x12s for years but now I’ve gone over to an 18w 112 combo and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been with my tone.

    im now playing direct too, no pedals at all and it’s liberating. The Buddas preamp is a Dave Friedman design, so it’s pretty touch responsive.


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  • GadgetGadget Frets: 560
    Another vote for a small Friedman - perhaps the Dirty Shirley Mini head or combo?

    Alternatively, there's the new PRS MT15?
    I think, therefore.... I... ummmm........
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1581
    EVH 50   Use it as a two channel amp.
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 811
    A 15-20 watt 1x12 combo really is all you need these days.
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 556
    edited June 9
    Mini Jubilee! Mines for sale as it happens would love to keep it but I only get to play it once a month if I'm lucky. I reckon you'll like it if you like 800s. 20w is perfect if you want to get the valves working a bit and still more than loud enough for gigs - I never get my master up more than 6-7 in rehearsals and it's one of those masters that actually works all the way up the dial.
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  • musteatbrainmusteatbrain Frets: 498
    TTBZ said:
    Mini Jubilee! Mines for sale as it happens would love to keep it but I only get to play it once a month if I'm lucky. I reckon you'll like it if you like 800s. 20w is perfect if you want to get the valves working a bit and still more than loud enough for gigs - I never get my master up more than 6-7 in rehearsals and it's one of those masters that actually works all the way up the dial.
    I’d second this, above my MJW and pedals. The cleans are much, much better on the MJW I’m selling, but it’s not a rock amp. If I wanted to play just metal or hard rock in a pub, I’d take my mini jubilee along.

    The MJW toasts it for everything else though 
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1342
    It sounds to me like you need the EL34 version of the Victory Kraken in your life.

    Either that, or a Jet City Amelia (although they're not exactly small).

    However, with that said...I had many of the same problems as you, and it wasn't until I got the Helix that they've all been solved. I now run the Helix through a Yamaha DXR10, and all is good with the world. Literally any sound I want at any volume, and none of the weight.
    I'll second that, use exactly that setup and my live sound has never been better, the fact I'm at a sensible stage volume the whole band sounds better for it too.  Have a ENgl ironball that would also fit the bill for what you're after, but it never gets out of the house, the Helix gets all the gig time
    Do me a favour and like this:

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  • markr76markr76 Frets: 17
    I've been there. I downsized from Marshall rigs to a 2x12 and head setup. Got a badcat hotcat and never had a better live tone. It's still a shockingly loud amp. But being 30 watts it gets to that sweet spot at lower volumes. 
    As an amp idea though, what about the Orange stuff. Like the rockerverb mk3. The built in attenuator is fantastic. I think they do a combo version too. 
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  • jdbwalesjdbwales Frets: 114
    edited June 9
    Blackstar HT5R through a decent 2x12, mic’d up or DI’d to the desk. Onstage sound is great when cranked, PA sound is huge as they have a 4x12 speaker sim on the direct out. 

    Same applies for a Ht20 or 50 - I turn up the gain channel volume on my 50 when playing medium sized venues and then turn the master up to just over a quarter and it sounds immense. Mic’d up or direct out too, job done. 
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 645
    It's not so much 'why downsize' as 'why have something so unnecessarily big in the first place'?
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • AlexHunterAlexHunter Frets: 246
    I’ve tried downsizing from a Soldano 50 watt and 4x12 several times:
    2x12 and smaller head.
    2x12 combo.
    1x12 combo with natural OD.
    1x12 clean combo and pedals.
    Modeller and speaker simulator direct to PA.

    What I noticed:
    very few punters, if any, could notice the difference between any of them.
    i could tell the difference and it impacted how I was playing....some I just didn’t enjoy.
    Modeller didn’t work for me at all as no sound behind me was just weird.
    Combos had to be elevated and I like actual amp overdrive rather than pedals.
     
    For me, I keep going back to the Soldano (using a 4x12 or 2x12) as that’s the sound I like and I want my nuts shaking on stage (personal preference). So there’s a little cornford combo for home noodling but the big amp for anything else. I’m going to try the Universal Audio OX as that looks a stonking bit of kit and that way I get to continue my cliche of using an amp that goes to 11, loaded in with thousands of pounds worth of other gear to drive 100 miles for a £50 gig.
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1713
    Bad Cat Hot Cat 30 would be ideal, small but heavy and easy to dial in great tones at sensible volumes
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31629
    edited June 9
    Hattigol said:
    It's not so much 'why downsize' as 'why have something so unnecessarily big in the first place'?
    Because they sound better than small amps to some people, even at low volume. I know some other people just don't understand this.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1342
    ICBM said:
    Hattigol said:
    It's not so much 'why downsize' as 'why have something so unnecessarily big in the first place'?
    Because they sound better than small amps to some people, even at low volume. I know some other people just don't understand this.
    Don't think a JCM800 falls in to this category.  They don't need to be up past 3 ot 4 to sound great, but that's certainly too loud for a small gig with most bands IMO, certainly for a controlled sound for the band mix when the guitars in the PA as well
    Do me a favour and like this:

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31629
    John_A said:

    Don't think a JCM800 falls in to this category.  They don't need to be up past 3 ot 4 to sound great, but that's certainly too loud for a small gig with most bands IMO, certainly for a controlled sound for the band mix when the guitars in the PA as well
    Exactly, so you need to control it with an attenuator.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1342
    ICBM said:
    John_A said:

    Don't think a JCM800 falls in to this category.  They don't need to be up past 3 ot 4 to sound great, but that's certainly too loud for a small gig with most bands IMO, certainly for a controlled sound for the band mix when the guitars in the PA as well
    Exactly, so you need to control it with an attenuator.
    Certainly an option.  Used to run mine with a powerbrake. Today, there are smaller, lighter and easier ways that sound just as good IMO.  Loved mine though, great sounding amps
    Do me a favour and like this:

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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 408
    John_A said:
    ICBM said:
    John_A said:

    Don't think a JCM800 falls in to this category.  They don't need to be up past 3 ot 4 to sound great, but that's certainly too loud for a small gig with most bands IMO, certainly for a controlled sound for the band mix when the guitars in the PA as well
    Exactly, so you need to control it with an attenuator.
    Certainly an option.  Used to run mine with a powerbrake. Today, there are smaller, lighter and easier ways that sound just as good IMO.  Loved mine though, great sounding amps

    How would you rate the Powerbrake? Was there much tone suck while using it?
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1342
    @zepp76 for knocking a cooking Marshall down from 'far too loud' to 'perfect for a smallish gig' levels it's brilliant. Basically the quieter you want it to go the worse it gets, so betdroom levels are not perfect, it's still good but just not as good.  


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  • KDSKDS Frets: 35
    I have Cornell 18/20 for sale, if you are ever in north Devon you are welcome to come and try it.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31629
    edited June 10
    zepp76 said:

    How would you rate the Powerbrake? Was there much tone suck while using it?
    The Powerbrake is excellent. It doesn’t noticeably affect the tone until it’s down to about halfway, which is a long way down in volume terms - certainly low enough to make a 2203 usable at a gig.

    The trick is not to just crank the amp right up - use both the attenuator and the amp’s master volume together. Set the attenuator to roughly the right volume first then dial the amp in for that volume, not the other way round.

    On the Powerbrake, each click is a 3dB reduction, even though they're not marked. So just one click halves the effective power of the amp, two clicks is a quarter of the power etc. Even with a 100W amp, using it as if it's a 12W amp is only three clicks down.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • riffpowersriffpowers Frets: 117
    I have a friend who has the jcm900
    mkiii 50 watt head you mentioned above , I might ask him to borrow it so I can see what it’s like. 
    Whats a good speaker for it ??
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31629
    I have a friend who has the jcm900
    mkiii 50 watt head you mentioned above , I might ask him to borrow it so I can see what it’s like. 
    Whats a good speaker for it ??
    V30 or one of the Creamback models, or a G12-65 or G12-80. Not bad with a Classic Lead but it brings out the fizz/buzz a bit much, like the G12T-75 does. Still OK to try it with any of them though.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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