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Amp Volume Issues?


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i own a JCM900 100w, MkIII, model 2100, El34s, w/ 4x12 cab. when i play with my drummer i have to turn my marshall up to 6-7 area to be heard over him. does this mean something is wrong with my amp/cab or do i just have a really loud drummer? My other gutiarist uses a ENGL Ritchie blackmore sig. 100watts w/ 4x12 cab. He only need to turn his up to 2-3.

Ive tried the head thru several different cabs and it still is quiet. It was biased when i had the tube replaced last year so i dont know whats up with it. ever since ive had it its been like this even before i had the tubes changed.

also just for your info i do not scoop my mids.( i asked this on another forum and the reply i received is " dont scoop your mids")

i cannot find any info on this model of amp only the SLX and Reverb Models. i dont know if theres anything wrong with it. it sounds good it just seems abnormally quiet.


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How long have you owned this amp? Did you buy new or used? Did it always have this problem or has it started recently? How hot are your pickups compared to your friends? Trying playing one guitar through both amps with silimer EQ settings and see if one is much louder than the other.

iev had the amp for about 2 years now i bought it used for a guy i knew. its always done this but it never occured to me as a problem until i started playing with other gutiarists. ive play with 3 guitarists for months, on several different occations and they always put their amps at about 2-3 then i began to get suspiciouse* about mine. ive played my guitar thru his rig with the same Eq and his is still louder. he runs Duncan JBs i run EMG 81s or Bill Lawrence USA L500XLs. i know its not my guitars, pups or Eq settings.

mah eq set as follows:

Presence: 3

Bass: 8-10

Mids: 4-5,

Treble: 3

Preamp: 5

Gain: 10 (off)

Vol A: 6

Vol B: 7

let me explain the preamp/gain thing. the preamp is the actual preamp dist on the amp. the gain knob goes from 10 to 20 (spinal tap +9) but from what i have read and experimented, the gain knob it esentially a mini dirt box built into the amp.

even with the pre and the gain both all the way up the volume is the same.

i run into a metal zone dist. i know this is also not the problem because i have tried other overdrives/distortions, ala tubescreamer and boss ODs and there is not volume drop when i turn it on. i do not scoop mids on this pedal either. the pedal is set bout the same as the amp.

Edited by Rob G.
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I don't think there is anything wrong with the amp. Remember that numbers on a dial only pertain to your particular amp - certainly not across different manufacturers. Your master could be an audio taper and the other amp could have a linear control.

Personally, I think your settings are way too bass heavy. It takes much more power to produce bass at the same loudness and if you're also heavy on the distortion the resulting sound can be easily masked by something cleaner and more distinct even if it's at a lower volume. Such as "sharing" the same frequency ranges as a drummer's tom-toms and bass drum.

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iev had the amp for about 2 years now i bought it used for a guy i knew.

OK, so it's a used high-gain amp of indeterminate age, and you've been playing for two years without checking it - sounds like it's probably time to call a tech. It could need power tubes, preamp tubes or even a cap job. You might also want to check to see what kind of speakers you have in your cabinet, as compared to what's in your partner's Engl cab, since speaker efficiency varies wildly between drivers, but theoretically you should be able to keep up with even a power drummer at the volume levels you're talking about - BTW, you're going to end up very deaf very quickly if you're not using hearing protection at those SPLs. And turn up the treble just a wee bit if you want to cut through the mix.

Edited by lovekraft
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no, i have brought it to a tech about 8 months ago and had the powertubes changed, they said nothis was wrong with it. also it was just as quiet before and after i brought it to get the tubes changed.

ive tried my head through his cab and its still just as quiet.

yes i wear ear protection, always have. i use those cool earplugs that look like x-mas trees.

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i have the same issue with my crate blue voodoo half stack. changed tubes, biased, different cabs...all that stuff. the other guitarist in my band uses a 5150. his colume stays around the 3-4 range. mine is up in the 7 area. i also played with some one with a 5150 combo...which is 60 watts and it was the same story. i have no idea what the problem is. i think its just dependant on the different amp manufacturers...


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Personally, I think your settings are way too bass heavy.

This was my first thought as well. Crank those mids up and add some treble. Bass just doesn't cut. It tends to sound a little boomy and flubby when you have it that high as well. What's always hard is that what sounds good while you're tweaking your amp and playing by yourself is often too bass-heavy for playing in a band. Let your bassist and drummer get those low frequencies and keep the mids for yourself.

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can i interject here?

I have played nearly every major make and model amp, i did the whole scooped out mids thing and got over it. but what i found out was a couple of things.,

I am 6'3" tall. i am around 335 a very large guy indeed. when playing a half stack even and angled cab i have to be across the room from it to hear it. all i hear is my guitar player and feel the wind hitting my legs otherwise. and even then sometimes its difficult to make out. for me, i like the feel of a closed back cab but the only time i have been able to hear myself wihtout inear equipment was when i played with my open back cabinet turned around backwards it was louder out the back and this way i could use a vol pedal in the fx loop for on fly controls to get feedback at lowervolumes on full blown dist while the guitarist wsa on clean channels.

i have run my rig through a crown poweramp and couldn't hear myself. so now i monitor with a smaller amp and save the bigger ones for miking and for the deaf drummer.

ear protection man

for the record too. depending on tonestacks and such but every marshall i played was weak with the mid less than 7.5-8 and i run the treble at 4.5-5.5 in terms of 6 being the middle of the silkscreen on the knob

hope that helps, but honestly its ounds like you got a problem with the amp. does that have the dual fuses one for the highvoltage one for mains in it that you get in from the back. i worked on an 800 that was doing the same thing and it had a crap fuse it wasn't blown enough to stop operation but it wasn't getting full power, i changed the fuse with the exact same kind and rating and it worked like a charm. hope that helps.



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