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Marshall JVM or Mesa/Boogie Road King?
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rocknroll9225
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#1
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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Marshall JVM or Mesa/Boogie Road King?

Where to start...

I play mostly rock/metal (primary a lead player), but still want a really versatile amp for multiple styles. I own a Marshall JVM410H thats only about 6 months old. I absolutely love the lead tones that come out of it, and the cleans are shimmery, the mid-gain bluesy crunch tones are delicious, and the digital reverb sounds pretty awesome for digital reverb. that being said, this amp gets pretty close to my dream tone, but for the most part falls just short. a couple reasons why:

- it gets some good heavy metal rhythm tones on OD2 orange & red, but it seems pretty saggy and undefined especially in the bass frequencies. people always complain about rectifiers being flubby but the JVM is much flubbier than any rec ive ever played (and the bass and resonance knobs on the JVM are only set at at like 10 o'clock, and the gain at like 2 o'clock). ive always preferred dual rectifiers for that kind of heavy power chord riffage.
- anyone that says the JVM is a low noise amp is full of crap. i cant turn it up even close to loud enough to hear over a drum set without getting disgusting amounts of hiss on the high gain channels. the dual rectifiers and mark V that ive tried all seem to have much less hiss than my JVM. i have an iSP decimator (rack version) that i use to get rid of the noise, but then it cuts off long sustained notes after a few secs (even with a compressor) cause i have to set the threshold higher to deal with all that background noise and feedback. as a lead player, that is unacceptable.
- and my biggest problem with the JVM is the construction quality. the knobs on the front panel actually jiggle quite a bit if you wiggle them with your finger. the gold cover on the front panel was put on pretty loosely; if you tap an the panel on a certain spot in the middle you can feel the gold cover is loose. and on the back panel, it clearly says, "OUPUT 100 WATTS RMS". they forgot the T. ya, its not really that big of a deal, but i think it definitely says something about just how closely the guys at Marshall look at their amps before they leave the factory.

So, on to my main point. Im considering selling this amp to buy a Mesa/Boogie Road King II. mesas are much quieter as for as high gain hiss goes, have amazing cleans (much better than the JVM's, IMO), tube reverb as opposed to the JVM's digital, and the ability to switch between/mix 6L6 and EL34s on the fly, which is a huge plus for me, cause ive heard a common problem with mesas is that the 6L6s prevent them from really cutting through a mix. and the biggest reason is simply because i keep trying to eq my JVM to sound like a dual rectifier, so it would make sense to just get a dual rectifier.

thoughts, please.
#2
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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lynyrd is offline
The only way to know if the Road King is for you is to try it. If you like it, buy it! As a side note, I was in a guitar shop recently and a guy was playing through an Engl of some sort. Now he was an absolutely staggeringly great player and would've sounded good through a cardboard box I'm sure, but that Engl sounded really impressive. You might want to give one of them a whirl.
#3
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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As a fellow guitar player i know what you mean about the marshall being spongey. the attack is really squishy, it drove me nuts.

the road king is a good amp, but i've got a few issues with it - the whole EL34 vs 6L6 thing - yeah, but both are very cold biased, so if you want the hard-driven EL34s tone, you're better off keeping the marshall.

To be honest I've gotta admit I'm a fan of neither amp, so take the following with a grain of salt, but i think that if you A/B the recto with something like a fryette deliverance or sig:x, a hughes and kettner, or an engl you'll find that the mesa's distortion really aint that great. And with the road king you're way up in the price range of those other amps too. In fact, you can get a Sig:X for cheaper. Thats what i'd reccomend you try out as its the one with funky rectifier and power tube stuff in addition to channel switching which you might like if you're drawn to those aspects of the road king. It 100% sounds better (IMHO) and I think you can get it for cheaper.

Just try out some of the others, and then decide. if you prefer the road king, then buy it, but be fair to yourself and give the other ones a shot - cause they don't disappoint.

HOWEVER. Its a mesa, and it sounds like a mesa. If you are a huge mesa tone fan (esp. if you like the lone star amps and the mesa cleans) then the road king may be your thing. On the distortion side, I feel its lacking in intensity and refinement, but even there - it sounds like a mesa. If thats what you want, go for it.
rocknroll9225
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsnyder View Post
As a fellow guitar player i know what you mean about the marshall being spongey. the attack is really squishy, it drove me nuts.

the road king is a good amp, but i've got a few issues with it - the whole EL34 vs 6L6 thing - yeah, but both are very cold biased, so if you want the hard-driven EL34s tone, you're better off keeping the marshall.

To be honest I've gotta admit I'm a fan of neither amp, so take the following with a grain of salt, but i think that if you A/B the recto with something like a fryette deliverance or sig:x, a hughes and kettner, or an engl you'll find that the mesa's distortion really aint that great. And with the road king you're way up in the price range of those other amps too. In fact, you can get a Sig:X for cheaper. Thats what i'd reccomend you try out as its the one with funky rectifier and power tube stuff in addition to channel switching which you might like if you're drawn to those aspects of the road king. It 100% sounds better (IMHO) and I think you can get it for cheaper.

Just try out some of the others, and then decide. if you prefer the road king, then buy it, but be fair to yourself and give the other ones a shot - cause they don't disappoint.

HOWEVER. Its a mesa, and it sounds like a mesa. If you are a huge mesa tone fan (esp. if you like the lone star amps and the mesa cleans) then the road king may be your thing. On the distortion side, I feel its lacking in intensity and refinement, but even there - it sounds like a mesa. If thats what you want, go for it.
ya i was also considering an engl powerball and a peavey 6505, but neither really seemed perfect for me. really close, but not quite what i hear in my head when i think of my dream tone. to be fair, ive never tried the engl myself, although ive heard some high quality recordings, including my friends bands recordings. randalls seem pretty popular too but they seem a little harsh to my ears. for some reason i keep coming back to the mesas.

as for the road king, i cannot find a single damn store that carries them. if i could try it for myself, believe me i would.

on a side note, i went to a small local store in my area for the first time last week, and finally got to test drive the elusive boogie mark v, another amp that no stores seem to want to carry. i gotta say, its giving the rectifier a run for its money. only thing is its missing the bottom end of the rectifiers. and its a shit ton cheaper than the road king.
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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What you want is a soldano SLO100

Absolutely awesome heavy tones and massive headroom.

Plus they record really well, not all amps do!
#6
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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Never played a JVM - But i've owned various Marshalls over the years... JMP - JCM800 - 30th Anniversary... I now have a Mesa Road King and I'll never go back man.

I play progressive rock/ metal and am also a lead player too... And you're so dead-on when you mentioned the Marshall lead sound. It's great IMO... But falls short on the crunch IMO. The Mesa lead tone is a bit darker overall, but for the chuggy stuff, the differences are easier to live with.

What about Engl??
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rocknroll9225
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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thnx ill look into the SLO100. ive actually heard good things but it never really occurred to me to try it.

ya Blister, im a progressive metal kinda guy too. basically what i need is an amp (or 2 amps that i could MIDI-footswitch between) that could give me a great sparkling clean, aggressive modern metal rhthym tone, and really good smooth lead tone that can still cut through a mix. i personally like the boogie cleans much better than marshalls, or anything else for that matter. best lead tones would go to either marshall or the mark v, even though ive heard some pretty good lead tones from the rec and road king. and like i said, i seem to keep coming back to the heavy chugga-chugga-wugga riffage of the recto. but im still open to suggestions
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknroll9225 View Post
on a side note, i went to a small local store in my area for the first time last week, and finally got to test drive the elusive boogie mark v, another amp that no stores seem to want to carry. i gotta say, its giving the rectifier a run for its money. only thing is its missing the bottom end of the rectifiers. and its a shit ton cheaper than the road king.
I have a Road King II and my son has a Mark V. They have the family similarities, for sure, and the V is diverse enough that my son doesn't miss playing the RK very much. If you need the extra clean headroom, the RK has it and as you say, it will hit harder on the bottom end. You won't miss the size or mass of the RK unless you really need the little bit of extra punch it provides. I think it has a better range of distortion than the V, but that's just my opinion. I like its Brit and Tweed tones alot. I also have the Engl Gigmaster 15 and it's a great little studio head. Awesome if you like drenched feedback tones.
#9
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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When I was firt introduced to the sig:x I was in the store testing the mark V. I thought hey this sounds pretty good, and then some dude sat next to me and plugged in his sig:x head that he brought in to test a guitar through. It smoked the mark V's distortion on his first chord. I was like whoa lord have mercy that's f*cling heavy! See if u can test drive that head or even listen to some clips. And read the manual. I don't recommend trying anything before u buy it but if you really can't, fair enough.

Also, check out the engl FIREBALL too, i like it more than the powerball.
#10
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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We have the following amps:

Boogie mk 3
Boogie mk 4
Boogie mk 5
Boogie loanstar
Boogie roadking 2
Boogie dual rec
Soldano slo 100
Bogner ecstacy 101b
Pevey JSX
Custom audio OD100
Diezel herbert

For the tone your talking about, nothing beats the soldano.
rocknroll9225
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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another thing about the whole 6L6 vs EL34 thing... does anyone that has experience with a rectifier agree that they dont cut well through a mix? i think that if the EL34s that the road king offers are unnecessary, then i should just keep the JVM and save up for a dual rectifier and just A/B for riffage and lead sounds. the progressive linkage on the road king is really the selling point for me. the rest of the features are really awesome too but not really awesome enough on their own to justify an extra $1000 on the expense.
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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have you considered doing a mod to the amp...similar to what voodoo amps does? seems that the mod would solve most of your problems with the amp. in other forums people have said that if you change out the output transformer and install a choke the difference is pretty huge.

ej
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9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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i´d get xxx and einstein
solid 2x12 v30 + greenie
#14
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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I see the SLO100 is being reccomended a lot, and now that I think about it thats a wonderful idea. The dual rectifier was originally based on the SLO100, so the tones are similar. the Soldano is just a little bit better all around.... Costs more too, but not more than a Road King.
#15
9th November 2010
Old 9th November 2010
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The problem I have with recto designs is that although they are almost unequaled in their ability to provide timber-cracking thud when dialed in properly and using the right speakers, they just can't sing like I need them to - and chord muddiness can be a pain to deal with when tracking. For a long time I used a Recto in a dual mono rig because of this.

After many amps in and out the door (Mesa, Marshall, Soldano, Budda and others) I arrived at the perfect rig for me, one which will rattle the rafters, chug, growl, scream, sing and also provide great medium and lower-gain tones. Metal, classic rock, blues, neo-classical, just about anything. Extraordinary tone with the ability to dial in massive amounts of harmonics. Superb note separation and chord definition all the way up to extreme gain settings. A/Bing with many other rigs widened a lot of eyes around here.

Very simple rig, nothing to it really, it's in the choice of components:
Mesa V1 bottle rocket tube overdrive pedal> '78 Marshall JMP 2203 running 6550 power tubes> Marshall MF400 4x12 cab(G12K100 speakers)

The rig is easily controlled using the volume knob on the guitar and the on/off switch on the overdrive pedal and also by changing guitars

Another plus is that the entire rig as listed above cost me about $2,350. They do make a 2203 reissue so that is also an option.

Try it before you say this rig won't do what I say it will

P.S. There's one point which may be a down side to some, and that is the fact that this is an exceeeeedingly loud rig and does not begin to display all these wonderful attributes until the master is at 4 or above, which is loud enough to bury an unmiked drum kit
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10th November 2010
Old 10th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smutbasket View Post
this is an exceeeeedingly loud rig and does not begin to display all these wonderful attributes until the master is at 4 or above, which is loud enough to bury an unmiked drum kit
Yup. Same with rectos. They only give the tone you hear on 80% of metal records when they're obscenely loud.
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10th November 2010
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Those Marshall JVM's just have way too many knobs dfegad
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10th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeters86 View Post
Those Marshall JVM's just have way too many knobs dfegad
Really??? Compared to this? . . . . . or this? stike
Attached Thumbnails
Marshall JVM or Mesa/Boogie Road King?-ssl_1.jpg   Marshall JVM or Mesa/Boogie Road King?-fender-champion-600-2.jpg  
#19
10th November 2010
Old 10th November 2010
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Have you tried the Diezel VH4? I find that to sound unbelievable! You get four channels just like the JVM but it is much more streamlined. I think that it has a unique tone to it. Plus one of the guys in my band used a Mesa and I found that during recording the gain sounded fuzzy.

Just a thought...
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11th November 2010
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I like older Mesa. The road king is over kill. I also think that modern boogie is unreliable. I have used the jvm and like it. If you want to get a really great second amp that will give you great heavy tones, get a used boogie .50 caliber.

You can get one for less than $500. It will sound great on your rhythm tracks. The jvm will sound great on the leads.
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rocknroll9225
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#21
12th November 2010
Old 12th November 2010
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somehow i failed to mention that i was also looking at a bogner uberschall. never had the chance to play it myself, but it sounds pretty good from the clips ive heard. only thing im not nuts about is the lack of versatility compared to the marshalls and mesas. any thoughts on that?
#22
12th November 2010
Old 12th November 2010
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Or ENGL?
#23
12th November 2010
Old 12th November 2010
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#24
12th November 2010
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If you really love the tone of the amp you have... but it just doesn't quite get all the way there..... I would recommend sending your AMP to Voodoo Amps for a mod. Just tell them what you would like it be different about it. It will come back sounding like the amp of your dreams....

They are great guys up there. Trace is super cool and will really listen and work to make sure you have the world class amp of your dreams.
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#25
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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Joey A is offline
Try a tubescreamer to tighten up the "flubbiness". Preferably a ts808 (or I prefer the Maxon od808). Makes tha smalles difference that is the biggest difference in the world.
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20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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Joey A is offline
Also, IMHO, the Mesa will not come close for leads tones, at least in my case for fast legato runs that need to be smooth. The JVM has a nice mid frequency that I crank when tracking solos to cut through the mix. I've owned the JVM410, DSL's, TSL's, JMP, 1959rr, single, double, triple recs, DC V, tracked with a Mark V, and recorded a session with a Road King as well. All of them can be pretty beast (the DSL's and TSL's being lesser for my taste).
#27
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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Cheapest route would be to get a Bogner Uberschall Distortion pedal for $249. Try it a local GC. They had a demo setup with a Fender HotRod Deluxe and it doesn't disappoint.
It has insane higain and total harmonic response.
#28
21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
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There are many great high gain amps out there. Some of them required you to get your head around the controls and how they interact with the gain and the headroom of the gain. This is especially true of Mesas. My 5150 is a little fussy to dial in too and I revoice the EQ to the output volume.

The Soldano SLO 100 is a great amp. As are the Mesa Rectifiers, DV Mark Triple 6, Splawn Hot Rod, Bugera 333 XL, Orange Rockerverb etc
#29
22nd November 2012
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Roadster FTW!
#30
22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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Old guitar player here... I recently had a Marshall Vintage Modern 50w and a quad box..now there's your old-school Marshall tones. I put a Fulltone GT500 pedal in front of it, and its very much in your face to the max. I find Mesa amps just too sterile, though lovely amp all the same and would suit others, though not me.
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