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AFXII JCM800 Model

LostInSpace

Inspired
Has anyone else found that the JCM800 model is particularly bright? I have been able to get very good tone from many of the other models, but this one has me vexed. I am using preset #010 as a basis. In addition to trying it through headphones, I disabled the power amp and cab sim, and played the Axe directly into the effects return of my real Marshall DSL100 and 1960A cab with V30s, using a Les Paul (I figured this was my best shot at nailing a Marshall tone). Still (to my ears) overly bright. I turned the bright setting off in the amp block, which helped a bit. Of course, there's the eq in the amp block, but I'm wondering if I should be "fighting it" this much.

Anyone else experience this, and have any suggestions?
 
Granted, this is coming from an audio engineer, but use your ears and EQ accordingly. No biggie. It's a digital modeler still.
 

LostInSpace

Inspired
Yeah, it's not the end of the world, but it'd be nice to know if that raw patch strikes others the same way, just so I know I'm not missing something obvious, as I'm new to this unit.
 

willowdale

Fractal Fanatic
If it is too bright just play the JCM800 model while Fox News is playing on tv in the same room. You will notice any brightness just fading away as if by magic.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
It is a very bright model. However, it sounds exactly like the amp it was based on. If it is too bright, you can adjust the various tone controls and parameters to reduce the brightness to your tastes.
 

kev

Inspired
It's brighter than any of the other Marshall based models for sure. I haven't had a JCM800 since the early 80's so can't compare it to a real one. :)
But yeah, my first impression was that it was quite bright. haven't tried tweaking it yet. It's not on my top 10 list of amps to use.
 

ethomas1013

Power User
Do you have any experience with a real JCM800? I don't own one, but I have played a friend's several times. They are way too bright for me. I'm assuming the model in the AxeII reflects the real amp. I don't have an AxeII to compare.
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Brightness will ease the higher the master is. Ease back on Treble if it's too bright, up presence to retain 'bite'.

R
 

sarge

Experienced
Yeah, JCM800 is one of my favorite amps, but very bright indeed. When I have played the real deal I have typically had to try and tame the treble.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
They are designed to be run loud and the brightness decreases as the MV is increased. The sound of 80's hair metal for sure.
 

LostInSpace

Inspired
I don't have a JCM800, but as I mentioned I do have a DSL100. I've become more of a Mesa guy in the last several years so I hadn't played the DSL in a while. Just got done messing with it, and it is significantly brighter than I remember... I recall now that I used to set the treble and presence quite low (maybe around 2). So if the 800 is similar, I guess it makes sense. 8)
 

jdolll

Inspired
I owned a jcm800 for a while about 9-10 years ago, sounded great, it could be bright if you dialed it that way, but as everyone else says, the louder it gets that goes away. It is the sound of 80's hair metal, but at lower gain it is just as great and quite versatile.
 

rickgk

Experienced
a real JCM 800 is way brighter than any marshall made after it imho.
A bandmate of mine years ago had a jcm800, it was way too bright for me, and cliff is right it loses it's brightness when it's up really loud (too loud for me), then it's just one angry angry amp.
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
It sounds absolutely brilliant to me - bright? Yes, just like the real thing IMHO. I've got clips of it up; no one has thought they were bright at all. Bite? yes, tons. IMHO, it's a KILLER model to work with. I had it dialed up in less than 5 minutes. That's no knock on any one that cannot get their own JCM goodness out of it; just counter experience to what the OP mentioned.
 

kev

Inspired
The other thing to consider is that it was typically played with two 4x12's which adds quite a bit of meat so it had to be bright to cut through the mix.
 

FPFL

Inspired
I think people have a dream of an idealized 800 tone, its been on so many recordings... but that's post mixing/mastering which is not a raw 800 sound at all. This causes much confusion.

On its own the 800 is not a beautiful sound IMHO. It barks at you. Its an amp designed for the mix of a live band first and foremost. Bluntly, the real thing always sounded harsh to me until it was looking for EQ space with drums, bass and vocals, then it fit but I was usually rolling the treble down, turning the cab off axis and/or swapping out the tubes for a different curve... That's how a real 800 needs to be handled and it was annoying then too. : )
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Sounds *decent* by itself, but it is absolutely awesome in a band situation. Cuts, turn up the mids and you are the center of attention.
 
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symphx

Fractal Fanatic
They are designed to be run loud and the brightness decreases as the MV is increased. The sound of 80's hair metal for sure.
now ya got me intrigued, is this meant to sorta replace the "non ported" FAS Hair Model? I dug that model.
 

guitarmike

Experienced
I have played many jcm 800's and with out fail the bass and presence were always dimed; treble was typically real low (maybe 2/3) and the mid may be just a tad bit higher (3/4). This varied to some degree on different amps but generally represents my experience with this amp. A great sound is accomplished with the master at 5/7 and the prevolume at about 5. It depends on the pot tapers which can be quite variable but the idea is to just start the pre amp to clip and then crank the master until it cruches up nicely. It also helps to rid yourself of the bright caps. This amp smokes when the power amp tubes distort and sucks like a hoover when they don't (imho). It is a loud amp and works well with any decent 2x12 cab to lower the volume a bit. This actually matches up with a drummers volume fairly well. You wont need any "amp in the monitor" and add to the foh not so much for volume but for "biggness" : ). I played clubs at full volume into a 2x12. Trick here is to knock out those ice pick in the head highs. A TS in front with tone and distortion rolled back and volume full drives this amp to sustain endlessly; a real joy to play lead on. Notes just fly out of the amp almost effortlessly; incredibly organic and dynamic. Minus the TS and rolled down volume on guitar yields almost totally clean tones. This is the essential hi gain circuit that inspired all the rest. In my opinion, the jcm 800 with a few pedals in front is still the greatest rock amp of all time. The trick is in balancing the distortion between the pre and power amp. In the hundreds of venues I have played my jcm in, the one knob that ever needed to be adjusted was the treble. The lower voltage amps (below 400 vdc on the plates - and they vary greatly) sound best by far (imho).
 

TheJudge

New Member
Bright is what I remember from my JCM800s and late 70's JMPs. Listen to some older AC/DC, such as Powerage or High Voltage! Angus' tones sound like a late 70's JMP (Master Volume models as well as NMV models) which were significantly brighter than the late 60's and early 70's JMPs/SLs/Plexis. The JCM800, if I remember correctly, is an evolution of the late 70s JMP Marshalls. With my AxeFx, I can get a great late 70's Marshall JMP tone using the JCM800 model with some adjustments.

As others have already pointed out, in solo, these amps might sound too bright for some people. In a typical rock mix, my personal opinion is that the guitar tone is right where it needs to be to cut and avoid stepping on the bass guitar and kick drum. Others have already given great suggestions to minimize the brightness, if that is what you want to do. I don't remember if anyone mentioned trying a darker IR cabinet model, so you might give that a try. Just my $.02. Good luck!
 
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