Disappointed with my JCM1 Purchase

Ride

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Ok, its a 1 watt JCM800 for the most part, but I feel that its still too loud, and this is causing significant problems for me.

I live in an apartment where noise easily moves around, so I cant crank this baby's master volume beyond 2 when running at 1 watt, and even if I turn the switch to go to 0.1 watts on, I still cant go past Master volume at 5.

As a result I find that the sound coming from the amp is a bit too distorted and fuzzy. Its nowhere near the natural sound, and if you turn boost on, expect some VERY distorted sound, to the point where it sounds absolutely awful.

I haven't changed my strings in over 3 months (the treble strings are very rusty) which may be contributing to my disappointment in sound, but surely this alone is not the case to providing sound which is overly fuzzy and unnatural.

I'm truly disappointed, and I spent $1200 Australian on it. Heartbreaking, devastating to say the least. To everyone who will come here and rip into me, go for it, I don't think I can feel any worse having wasted so much money as a kid. To everyone willing to offer advice, thank you in advance.
 

Ed B

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Can you return it? If so do not hesitate.
 

G.L. Mitchell

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You ever thought about some type of head phone amp like Vox, Zoom, Boss, Line 6. Some of them are pretty cool.
 

Ride

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Can you return it? If so do not hesitate.
Even if I was to return it, I dont know what to switch to, if anything a higher wattage amp would have a worse problem.

Im thinking maybe I can turn my master volume to 10 but turn all my volume knobs on my guitar waaaay down. Maybe that will help?
 

Scooter2112

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It sounds to me like it's not the amp's fault, it's just being forced to try to sound good at an extremely reduced capacity....which never works well with tube amps.

Look to possibly add an attenuator, or return it and go with something that is designed to be quiet or, for the most part, silent (headphones.)

To me, "1 watt amp" doesn't really seem to mean that it sounds great at bedroom levels. I take it more that you can stroke it out without blowing out the windows...which is where it's designed to sound good.
 

Ride

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It sounds to me like it's not the amp's fault, it's just being forced to try to sound good at an extremely reduced capacity....which never works well with tube amps.

Look to possibly add an attenuator, or return it and go with something that is designed to be quiet or, for the most part, silent (headphones.)
This is what Im thinking too mate, so what if I turn up my master volume to 10, and drop the volume of my rhythm and treble pickups on my les paul to about 2. Keep my tone for the rhythm and treble pickups on 10.
 

TheDevice

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Put a clean boost pedal in front of it (bb preamp or even a cheaper mxr wylde overdrive) and turn the "level" on the pedal down using it to control you overall volume, then master on the amp up with gain set low. Use the gain on the pedal to dial in gristle. I use this technique to run 100 watt Hi-Watt halfstack in my apartment here in Sydney past midnight.

Use the amp for clean volume, the pedal for crispy crunch and overdrive.

Amps will always sound much better at volume, nothing you can do about that - it's true for any amp because it's as much to due about speakers move air as anything else.

Goodluck.
 

Scooter2112

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This is what Im thinking too mate, so what if I turn up my master volume to 10, and drop the volume of my rhythm and treble pickups on my les paul to about 2. Keep my tone for the rhythm and treble pickups on 10.
I think your logic makes sense, and I get where you're trying to go with it. But it's sorta the same thing. Now the amp is pushed, but the input (guitar) is reduced, which would probably give you similar results to what you had before.

I suppose it's worth a shot though....let us know how it goes. :fingersx:
 

Ed B

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Even if I was to return it, I dont know what to switch to, if anything a higher wattage amp would have a worse problem.

Im thinking maybe I can turn my master volume to 10 but turn all my volume knobs on my guitar waaaay down. Maybe that will help?
If it were a choice between an amp I'd yet to discover or keeping an amp I do not like. I would choose to keep searching. They're out there. Don't be fooled by brand names. Go try EVERYTHING in your price range. Do not fear higher watt amps either. A good master volume will change everything, within reason.

I'm a home player who also needs bedroom levels. I haven't played any of the amps out there now. I bought a Phaez before the bedroom market took off. Not sure it's for you, but I'd recommend you give them a look if you decide to keep searching.

Good luck!
 

Ed B

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Put a clean boost pedal in front of it (bb preamp or even a cheaper mxr wylde overdrive) and turn the "level" on the pedal down using it to control you overall volume, then master on the amp up with gain set low. Use the gain on the pedal to dial in gristle. I use this technique to run 100 watt Hi-Watt halfstack in my apartment here in Sydney past midnight.

Use the amp for clean volume, the pedal for crispy crunch and overdrive.

Amps will always sound much better at volume, nothing you can do about that - it's true for any amp because it's as much to due about speakers move air as anything else.

Goodluck.
This is the best alternative if you're keeping your amp. Just make sure you get the right pedal. Some pedals sound like crap when you choke em. A clean boost should be perfect.
 

mdubya

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Ok, its a 1 watt JCM800 for the most part, but I feel that its still too loud, and this is causing significant problems for me.

I live in an apartment where noise easily moves around, so I cant crank this baby's master volume beyond 2 when running at 1 watt, and even if I turn the switch to go to 0.1 watts on, I still cant go past Master volume at 5.

As a result I find that the sound coming from the amp is a bit too distorted and fuzzy. Its nowhere near the natural sound, and if you turn boost on, expect some VERY distorted sound, to the point where it sounds absolutely awful.

I haven't changed my strings in over 3 months (the treble strings are very rusty) which may be contributing to my disappointment in sound, but surely this alone is not the case to providing sound which is overly fuzzy and unnatural.

I'm truly disappointed, and I spent $1200 Australian on it. Heartbreaking, devastating to say the least. To everyone who will come here and rip into me, go for it, I don't think I can feel any worse having wasted so much money as a kid. To everyone willing to offer advice, thank you in advance.
So there is nothing wrong with the amp.
 

River

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I have to play pretty quietly sometimes, with 2, 15, and 50 watt amps. Quite regularly, I'll have the guitar volumes down as low as .5. I picked amps on which I like the pre-amp distortion, but even then if I need to play as quietly as you seem to, I deal with a pretty clean sound. And my amps have GREAT cleans (with cleans like this, who needs dirt?, as I say).

I see no real alternative for you except for headphones.

PS: I can't believe you're playing with rusty strings. I did that once, on a 27-year-old guitar that I think had the original strings on it when I purchased it. Rusty strings sound like shit.
 

Jack's back

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You ever thought about some type of head phone amp like Vox, Zoom, Boss, Line 6. Some of them are pretty cool.
Headphone amp, multi Fx pedal, or an amp with a headphone jack.

For quiet practicing at home late @ night, I use a Zoom G2 multi Fx pedal strictly as a headphone amp. It has tons of models and Fx and will not disturb the neighbors.
 

Ride

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I think your logic makes sense, and I get where you're trying to go with it. But it's sorta the same thing. Now the amp is pushed, but the input (guitar) is reduced, which would probably give you similar results to what you had before.

I suppose it's worth a shot though....let us know how it goes. :fingersx:
Will try it sometime, really hope turning volume down on the guitar works
 

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I have to stop eating those funny mushrooms. I'm having flashbacks again...
 

eaglewolf

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Honestly if the low setting on the JCM-1 (.1W) is too loud, then I think a tube amp is unlikely to work in your situation.

"Bedroom volume" is really subjective and depends on the individual. I've been able to dime my 1W Marshall's and not get thrown out of the house by my better half - and she suffers from migraines. No, I'm not trying to say a 1W amp dimed is "bedroom volume" - it was quite loud - but that my situation is different than yours.

While it does seem to be absurd, an attenuator may work in your situation. With a 1W amp it might not have as much of an issue with sucking the life out of your amp as it doesn't need as much attenuation. I've never tried this so take it for what it is worth - maybe someone else has and can comment. Then the issue becomes if you want to spend that much on a solution that may or may not work.

By the way, there are several discussions over on the Marshall Forum regarding reamping - taking the line out of an attenuator and running it through another clean amp to get whatever volume you want. In the clips of this you can hear the picking on the shings while the guy is blasting away on Van Halen and Journey songs, among others. In his case he was using high powered amps, in the 30 - 100W range. If it can work with that I would think it could work with a 1W amp, though I personally have not tried this.

If all else fails, look to some of the solid state amps that are available. If you are not getting that tube goodness anyways, why not look at one of the better modeling amps if you decide to switch? The Fender Mustang series gets good reviews, with the Mustang III being a common favorite. True, it is 100W, but my understanding is that it still sounds good at low volumes. It might be worth checking out, and it would be a heck of a lot cheaper than a lot of the other options.

Ultimately, you only have to please yourself (and obviously your family or neighbors.) Just because someone here thinks you have to have a tube amp to be a real guitarist doesn't make it so. Pick what works for you and don't look back or worry about justifying it to anyone here.

Good luck in your tone/volume quest. I feel your pain as I had to deal with a similar problem, though to a lesser degree. I let an incredible Mesa Roadster go that cost considerably more than a Marshall 1W (even at Australian prices) because it was just too damn loud for how I was mostly using it. Hence the large number of small wattage amps in my sig.

Sorry for the overly long post.

David
 




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