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brettchinery

How to dial in a Marshall sound

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Hi - any tips on how to successfully dial in a Marshall type classic rock sound - all he Marshall plexi & jcm 800 type amps seem mega super-bright and even with presence and treble on zero it is pretty bright and a pretty unusable tone 

 

I already am using low & high cuts on the cabs at 100 and 5 

 

I am using mainly fenders with single coils - all help welcomed apart from telling to buy a Les Paul LOL !!  

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What kind of speaker/cabinet are you playing through?  Some of it could very easily be due to the single coils as the VAST majority of classic rock used Les Pauls.

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It all comes down to personal taste, of course. But I tend to keep the tone controls around noon (e.g. bass 4, mid 5, treble 6 and presence 6). I also go easy on the gain and use a klon or timmy for gain boost. For my 'fatter' JCM800 Marshall sound, I ended up using the 412 Greenback 20 cab with the 121 mic (5" away, lo cut at 80, hi cut at 10kHz) and the Matchless H30 with the 409 mic (lo cut at 90, hi cut at 6 kHz). The master volume parameter is at 8 as higher settings muddy the tone).

 

Marshalls are made to scream, but I use the above as a basis for my crunchy, mellow lead sound. I also play a lot with my fingers and that mellows the tone too.

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How is your master volume set? Consider backing off on the pre-amp gain, cranking the master, and hit the front with a Minotaur or Timmy for more gain.

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The Marshall Plexi is my core tone, and I've had no real problems getting what I want from the Helix. Plexis and JCMs are bright sounding amps to begin with, so I'd say try to work with that rather than against it. You don't mention whether you're using internal cab sims or not, but in general, a cab with Greenback G25s is going to yield the warmest tone. Also, the mic used will have a huge impact. The R121 is pretty warm sounding, for dynamics I like the 421, and condensers, the U67. The SM57 is a bright, raspy sounding mic, so I'd avoid that. Also, try adding some early reflections, and moving the mic further away from the cab. If using IRs, then the same principles apply.

 

With a Strat, assuming your bridge pup is wired to a tone control, try knocking the tone back about 20-25% from full on.

 

Hope that helps.

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I use the Plexi Bright model with my Strat and Tele. I prefer the low/mid/high and master set to 10, drive around 7-8 to taste for that mid gain crunch. It won't sound like a LP cranked, but it will sound like a Strat cranked. You can still back off the volume on the guitar and it cleans up a bit. It is my favorite Marshall setup in the Helix I have at the moment. 

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I think most of the people above seem to be not hearing you say that the sound is "mega super-bright".  Assuming your mega super is anything like what the rest of us call mega super - something's wrong!  I don't find the Marshall models bright at all and I use a Strat. (so did Richie Blackmore and that other unknown Jimi Hendrix) I suspect either your low and high cuts are not set correctly, or the chain after the Helix is weird.  You don't say what you play through - and amp, FRFR etc.

I'd turn on and off your EQ cuts to make sure that's working first (do you do it in the preset or with globals?).

And please tell us what your total signal chain is.

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This is a "work in progress", but since you're looking for starting points, I uploaded this to the Custom Tone just now.  I've been working it for a while, and the idea was to integrate 4 different Marshall sounds into a Single Preset.  It uses 3 amps (J45, Plexi, 2204 - one at a time, of course!) in one preset with a single cab (4X12 1960 T75).   I am experimenting with IRs, and it sounds really great with a few different IRs I have, but this way you can play with it without buying IRs.

 

So this is like a 4-channel "Ultimate Marshall" that goes from Clean to pretty nice overdrive in steps.   There is a Teemah Pedal that is "on" for the final highest-gain snapshot, but is also footswitchable on/off in the other snaps.    

 

https://line6.com/customtone/tone/3624187/

 

Stomp/Snap mode - 4 stomps on top, 4 snaps on bottom.  3 of the stomps are populate (Teemah, Tremolo, Chorus) and one is still empty.  

 

The 4 Snaps are "JTM45 Clean"; "JTM45 Crunch"; "Plexi Drive"; "JCM Drive"  

 

These are definitely NOT bright at all... nice, classic rock-ish stuff.  I am cutting the lo/hi in a post-cab Hi/Lo Cut EQ block.

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Here’s my Marshall crunch recipe: Brit Plexi Brt - drive 10, bass 9.5, mid 9.9, treble 7.2, presence 5.7, Ch vol 7, master 10, sag 7.5, hum 5, ripple 5.5, bias 6, bias x 4. Add a Scream 808 in front for OD if needed. A Celestion Redback IR “hi-gn all mics†from their 4x12 closed back collection will finish it off nicely! I run 80 Hz low cut and 12.5 KHz high cut in the IR block. Monitor is FRFR - JBL EON 612 in floor wedge position with “monitor†EQ setting engaged.

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