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Help Requested: New AFX XL + and digital distortion in the sound


After this thread had ran its course, I have to say I still was not satisfied with the conclusion.
In fact, I considered returning the XL+ but was informed of the new return policy and was denied. Again, I fumed a bit and didn't mess with the XL+ for a couple weeks.
I ended up pulling out my old JCM 800 50 watt and checking it out to see if I could still hear these artifacts.
To my complete surprise, guess what?
My real JCM 800 produces the exact same artifact when striking the G string at the same places my XL+ did!
I mean the sound of the AFX JCM 800 is so close to the sound of my real amp. Especially when the same style cab and speakers are used, (Marshall 2x12 with Vin 30's), that its pretty difficult to hear a difference between the real and the simulated. That's impressive as Hell.

I want to apologize for not believing the first conclusion everyone came up with, when it ended up actually being the correct answer!
Their is no doubt that the XL+ is AMAZING!!



Fractal Audio Systems
That means you have one of the "good" JCM 800's. Some of them are really dull. We have two 50 watters. One is a Canadian export with bat-handle switches and sounds glorious. All nasty and spitty and full of "artifacts". The other is a "regular" one with the rocker switches. It sounds like it has a blanket over it in comparison. Our model is based on the Canadian one.

Oh, and I should add that someone removed the bright cap from the Canadian one. Probably because it's so nasty with it in. I installed a new one to bring it back to it's original glory.

The key to JCM800's is to crank the MV to overcome the brightness of the preamp.
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I've owned quite a few 800's over the last 35 years. 4010's, 2203 & 2204's, Canadians with the toggles and red print on the back, European versions that came stock with el34's back in the early 80's and the US versions with the 6L6's.
I agree, they were all different. Get the wrong one and it will turn you against JCM's. But get a good one? Oh mamma, hold on tight!!


Fractal Fanatic
I hope you don't mind me using this thread to tell my little JCM800 story :)

Mid-90's I was working in a music store and had just joined my first band. One day a guy rolls up looking to sell his mint FULL STACK JCM800 (50w Canadian head, two 4x12 cabs). The store was known to take used gear for trade or consignment, but the floor was full at the time and the manager said no. Besides, JCM900 was the new thing.. he figured no one would want that old 800 stack.:)

Next thing I knew I was handing the guy $600 and loading it all into my truck. Woohoo!

I took it home and stacked it up in my garage in all it's glory. I had very little amp experience at that point, having started out on a 1x10 ss combo and moved up to a Peavey. Hearing that monster stack changed my life! Except I quickly found out what Cliff said. Very bright amp and it only sounded Holy Grail awesome with the MV cranked. Which in the physical world meant LOUD as F!

I soon realized it was way too big and loud and impractical to actually use it for music. So I just kept it in the garage and went out there every night to blast out the half-dozen chords and riffs I knew. It was like a drug habit. I'd sneak out there, put little wads of kleenex in my ears for earplugs and stand to the side or behind the stack and fucking let it roar, cranked. I could feel my rib cage vibrating.

After a week or so doing this every night I finally got a visit from my friendly local police who convinced me to stop my bad habit and choose life. I ended up selling, but it was an experience I'll never forget.


That's a great story! Lol
I bought my first jcm 800 2203 stack after joining the Air Force. In 1982 While at tech school at Chanute airbase in Rantoul, IL, there was this little mom & pop music store that mainly sold pianos there was this brand new, full Marshall stack. The price was around $3000 if I remember correctly.
I really knew nothing about music gear except that AC/DC always had these amps behind them. Anyway, that stack was way out of my budget. lol
By April I had been stationed at RAF Bentwaters & Woodbridge near Ipswich, England. I had started teaching myself how to play on a Hondo II plugged into my stereo. Lol After basic training & tech school I had a little cash saved up, so I was looking to upgrade. I went to an Ipswich pawn shop and bought a spanking new 1981 Gibson Les Paul custom Silverburst for $550. I then went to a place called Axe music and bought a brand new JCM 800 2203 for $375. Shortly after I bought the 2 cabs new. That full stack cost me less than $1000! I had it all set up in my dorm room. I bought a 100' guitar cable and on Friday nights while everyone was out of the dorms spending their pay checks, I would crank that 100 watter up to "10", close my door and go downstairs and play AC/DC tunes for a couple hours. Lol
By the mid 80's I had 2 full stacks. I've owned a lotta Marshalls and other amps since then.
I'm still amazed after the volumes my ears endured for the next 10 years I have no hearing damage.
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