Hi Guys and Gals,
I've been searching for a list of basic amp profiles in Rig Manager to satisfy my mainstay rig collection and came across a "workable" JCM 800 profile that sounded like it had enough fullness in spectrum to possibly mold into something I was trying to find. To be honest, it was somewhat lackluster and didn't sound like what we all knew as the JCM 800 back in the day. Too much low end saturation (almost flubby) and not enough "crunch" to get that full and tight "cutting" 80's sound. So I made some quick gain and tone adjustments and got some of the tone where I wanted it, but by no means was this what I was searching for. Just couldn't get a clean bottom end, tight crunch and balanced high-end. Put it to rest for the night.
With fresh ears I came back to it yesterday and decided to "try" to refine it as much as I could although, had serious doubts it would be salvageable. And I really didn't want to resort to "stomps" or "effects" to get the amp to sound tight and crunchy, so I focused on the amp settings first to see if it was even possible. I kept balancing saturation and bass until it was as good as it could be (not great) and refined the mids and highs making sure I tamed the presence without losing fidelity. And that mid section had to be musical without that "boxy sounding" 500 Hz "fake" modeler midrange sound. Then I went deep...real deep...and it started to come together in ways I never thought possible. Nothing drastically changed in the deep settings, but it all started to line up and come into harmony. One more reality check...Drop tune and see if it sounded like a "Recto" (I know my inner likings). NO RECTO VIBE. It's definitely Marshall all the way.
Well, I have to tell you, after brief breaks and minor refinements I finally hit gold and found "the dream amp" with all the tight crunchy definition AND balanced fullness you could ever hope for. I actually doubted this was "true". Could I have been locked in my own tone world? That happens. So I kept walking away and coming back fresh. Nope...it's "there". And would anything I "tweaked" now make it any better? NO, that's the balance right there. Later I did add a couple of stomps, but they didn't change the core tone, and just added a little more edge (minor treble boost). Did a quick A/B with the original patch. OMG! What a transformation! But here is where the rubber meets the road...Would it work on ALL of my guitars? And would it "dial back" to clean and the point of breakup...and still sound good? Holy crap! It works on EVERYTHING, and still sounds balanced and detailed. I thought the Tele would be ear piercing, but it was fantastic! P90's incredible. High gain Flying V ceramic hummies mega crunch, yet still full. You can't "oversaturate" this thing! It just gets crunchier. NO HIGH END FIZZ, and NO BUZZIENESS. Completely tight and balanced from clean to full saturation without any frequency loss or dynamic collapse. And it sounds and feels "real". Even my ESP on mid and neck single-coils did incredibly full and convincing breakup, full-tone and detailed, Jimi Hendrix and SRV tones. The real JCM-800 would not have cleaned up with that kind of dynamic definition and detail when set for high gain. And what about "Pure Cab"? (had fears it would fall apart and die) Honestly, I like it without Pure Cab slightly better (more in your face), but I also think the factory default Pure Cab set at 3.0 sounds great too. A bit darker and slightly more distant, but would be great for double-tracking as an alternate tone (a common practice). Both sound really great.
I guess I got carried away painting this picture, but it really transformed into magic. I'm amazed that it came so far into perfect dynamic range and detailed full-range tone focus. All 10 of my guitars (didn't try my bass) sound incredible with any pickup setting or type. And it sits just perfect in real studio mixes. Not overly bass heavy, and could easily be wide-band EQ tweaked into any mix.You would't think it possible, but it's really "there" now. My real tube amp is obsolete!
I would love to share this. Only one problem! I'm not the original author. The profile was offered as a "free to download pack" from Kemper, but originating from a well known commercial profiler. Can I still share this modified profile? I'm not trying to claim credit, as this "dream come true" amp profile would not have been possible without the excellent tone captured by the original author. I see so many people searching for this type of tone. So is it possible to share this?