SV20C, OR120C, or DSL40C For Original *Dry* Early VH tone

jb5150

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I have heard many getting the VH tone out of all those amps you mention, but what I don't know is if they have a pedal on. And yes, the Studio Vintage would be the circuit they started with but then you'll have to find out just when Edward had it modded. If it was me I'd go with the DSL and settle for a great approximation. A lot of difference between a 20 watt amp in your house and a modded 100 watt in a major studio, so the SV might not be any closer, plus you get all the bells and whistles. And an FX loop for the LBB. As for "dry", I remember those albums to have some phase shifter here and there and delay on every song. And don't forget ted Templeman drenching everything in all the reverb he could beg borrow or steal. I suggest a clean boost, phase 90, Digitech Obscura and a Wampler Faux Spring.
Sounds like the DSL might be the most versatile option.
 

jb5150

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Really the ‘Vh tone’ can be had by most amps w the right tweaks / mods.


I get he was likely using a ‘hot roded’ plexi (though he maintained to the end it was bone dry stock), he also had various incarnations of that setup over the decades moving to more of a wet / dry / wet setup w pitch shift and other modulators.

I do love the smooth tones of the Jcm 800/sv and I m told the build quality is leagues beyond that of the dsl which has a chiense built dual side mainboard and a daughter board - more to go wrong I suppose. In fact I bought a used dls40C two weeks ago which sadly turned out to have a defective board (I reached out to Marshall but I am not the original owner so maybe SOL).

At any rate i really enjoyed its clean channel w the gain rolled up - but the SV from what I hear sounds more refined / though admittedly I’ve yet to hear it live.

I do really like the 80s rock guitar tone and I suppose the DSL can do that, but the jcm800 seems like the quintessential 80s sound in addition to being made in jolly ole England.

That said maybe a DSL40CR is a good option.
 

jb5150

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Had all those amp listed except the orange the 5150 III is the bomb! I rebiased last night it's sounds even better it was set cold at 26 opposed to 30 each tube.
I have an original 5150. Great amp. Not a fan of the new 5150s, sound super compressed to me.
 

jb5150

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For me the VH sound IS Marshall (and the obvious fact that Ed was Ed).

5150 never had that VH tone to me, in fact he rarely used those amps save for live performances and a few on the last album with Roth. But the signature VH sound from Roth to Van Hagar is Marshall.
 

marshallmellowed

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For me the VH sound IS Marshall (and the obvious fact that Ed was Ed).

5150 never had that VH tone to me, in fact he rarely used those amps save for live performances and a few on the last album with Roth. But the signature VH sound from Roth to Van Hagar is Marshall.
I tend to agree. The other guitar player in our band has a 5150 III, and I don't think it has that early VH tonality. It's more compressed and has a different midrange focus to my ears. He always had trouble cutting through in our 2 guitar band, and ended up going to a Line 6 POD GO for gigs. I'm not too crazy about that piece of gear, but he seems happy with it, which is what matters.
 

jb5150

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I tend to agree. The other guitar player in our band has a 5150 III, and I don't think it has that early VH tonality. It's more compressed and has a different midrange focus to my ears. He always had trouble cutting through in our 2 guitar band, and ended up going to a Line 6 POD GO for gigs. I'm not too crazy about that piece of gear, but he seems happy with it, which is what matters.
The thing that captivated me with the original 5150 was yes the sound but also the mystique because it was tied to Van Halen and obviously I was a fan boy.

The 5150 does stand alone on its own and they are great amps particularly for heavy-metal. But rest assured it does not have the total characteristics that captures the Van Halen sound.

For whatever reason I find I get a lot of listening fatigue with the 5150 I’m not a fan of the fender additions they sound even more compressed. The marshals just have something intangible to me that words can’t capture - it’s a feel. I’ve never owned one until now but boy oh boy I get why the studio line is so highly revered.
 

jb5150

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I also know the 5150s even from the original have poorly designed circuits and are hard to work with from a repair stand point. The clean channel can be tamed but needs an external eq or compression (which sounds ironic) as I found it to be a bit sharp in the higher end frequencies and the amp’s eq alone wasn’t sufficient in softening it.

But I digress.

It’s looking like either the DSL or SC20H (which I can use the DSL40C speaker as my pre-amp is faulty) or SC20C for me.
 

SLA

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Im not into the vh tone, but owned many 100 watt marshalls, mainly 2203,s and some modded, but also some plexi clone- builts. My first conclusion was that the modded ones did not sound better than an original with pedals, my second..the 2203 vs plexi did sound different enough that i wanted both. Used an attenuator with them.
My third.. i dont need 100w. Sold them and got the sv20c and the sc20c..
great amps, the sc20 you dont need san attenuator.
The sv20..i skipped the sttenuator and built me an volumebox to have in the loop..same as the blackbox..sounds and works great.

About orange, original or dsl40c, hade them all.. orange is like having a blanket over the amp..tryed everything but could never like them. The frequensis and crunsh, distortion just sounds wrong
Original..much more headroom than the sv20 and did not sound right and react as i was yoused from my big plexiclones.
Dsl40c…to modern..i hoped it would work but no..sounds terrible

My 2c, get an sv20c and the blackbox, than have fun eith pedals
 

Maxbrothman

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The thing that captivated me with the original 5150 was yes the sound but also the mystique because it was tied to Van Halen and obviously I was a fan boy.

The 5150 does stand alone on its own and they are great amps particularly for heavy-metal. But rest assured it does not have the total characteristics that captures the Van Halen sound.

For whatever reason I find I get a lot of listening fatigue with the 5150 I’m not a fan of the fender additions they sound even more compressed. The marshals just have something intangible to me that words can’t capture - it’s a feel. I’ve never owned one until now but boy oh boy I get why the studio line is so highly revered....

I also know the 5150s even from the original have poorly designed circuits and are hard to work with from a repair stand point. The clean channel can be tamed but needs an external eq or compression (which sounds ironic) as I found it to be a bit sharp in the higher end frequencies and the amp’s eq alone wasn’t sufficient in softening it.

But I digress.

It’s looking like either the DSL or SC20H (which I can use the DSL40C speaker as my pre-amp is faulty) or SC20C for me.


What I would do is get the Helix Stomp first and EVH profiles. It is an essential piece of gear anyway for the price IMO. Best purchase I ever made.

Then aim to replicate tones by looking at the rig chains on the profiles.

This is the reason I own all the Studio series amps. I got the SC20h first and it is great but a Plexi is a Plexi and it covers the same amount of ground in terms of music (the 60s to late 70s; JCM 80 to 90s, 2525 90s onwards, DSL for modern metal.)

This video by the way has me today totally reprogramming my Helix to now become my Studio pedals for complex tones like EVH which really is up there with the most difficult I have ever tried to work on. Took me days, but I think... I think I got there in the end somewhat.
 

ken361

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The thing that captivated me with the original 5150 was yes the sound but also the mystique because it was tied to Van Halen and obviously I was a fan boy.

The 5150 does stand alone on its own and they are great amps particularly for heavy-metal. But rest assured it does not have the total characteristics that captures the Van Halen sound.

For whatever reason I find I get a lot of listening fatigue with the 5150 I’m not a fan of the fender additions they sound even more compressed. The marshals just have something intangible to me that words can’t capture - it’s a feel. I’ve never owned one until now but boy oh boy I get why the studio line is so highly revered.
Pete thorn suhr SL 68 or 67 does a good hot rod Marshall.
 

jb5150

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Here's another idea entirely that may present the greatest flexibility along with the sound I am looking for.

Another DSL40C along with a Fractal FM3. I posted this video on another thread of a guy (below) who gets pretty close to the Hagar era tone using a Factal FX3. I can get my hands on the FM3 for about $1300, and a used DSL40C for about $500 which is still cheaper than a new SC20C/SC20H.


 

Rooster-p

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Here's another idea entirely that may present the greatest flexibility along with the sound I am looking for.

Another DSL40C along with a Fractal FM3. I posted this video on another thread of a guy (below) who gets pretty close to the Hagar era tone using a Factal FX3. I can get my hands on the FM3 for about $1300, and a used DSL40C for about $500 which is still cheaper than a new SC20C/SC20H.



That's all good if you're Andy wood.
 


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