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Differences between the Marshall 8100 and VS100 valvestates


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Yeah, another 8100 discussion thread.

 

I have searched the forums and have not found a discussion that pits these two heads side by side in a comparison. We all know that the 8100 is made famous by the various death metal acts that used it in the early 90s, and some continue to use it to this day. Marshall also made the VS100, which was the second generation of these amps.

 

My question is, what are the tonal differences between the two, if any? It seems that the VS100s are a bit easier to locate and are usually sold for the same price. Logic would tell me that the VS100 should be better, just because the technology should be more advanced. However, I worry that perhaps Marshall decided to "tone down" these amps after the initial success of the 8100s so they can keep their higher priced stuff. I also worry about build quality, as the VS100s are a bit lighter than the 8100s.

 

Any help would be pretty cool. :thu:

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I think the main difference is the sole 12AX7. In the 8100, it affects the gain, on the other, it doesn't. The 8100 is better.

 

Are you sure? I've read that in the VS100 model, the 12ax7 does not affect the clean but does indeed affect the gain / overdrive. Where as in the 8100 the tube does both the clean and the distortion channel.

 

edit - Well, it appears we are both a little wrong on our assumptions. Here is a link from Marshall's website regarding the tube: http://www.marshallamps.com/heritage/valvestate_ii/valvestate_ii_01.asp - Look towards the bottom of the page when it explains the 100 series.

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Are you sure? I've read that in the VS100 model, the 12ax7 does not affect the clean but does indeed affect the gain / overdrive. Where as in the 8100 the tube does both the clean and the distortion channel.

 

Other way around dude. The tube affects the 8100s distortion, that's why there's a little delay on the gain channel before it gets going. I know, I used to have one. The 8100 has a better distortion channel, trust me. Plus, Chuck used it man, he knew his shit.

 

Why do you want one? They sound like little toys compared to 5150s. I know, I used to have a 5150 too, lol. Great little amp that I'll probably own again some day.

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Other way around dude. The tube affects the 8100s distortion, that's why there's a little delay on the gain channel before it gets going. I know, I used to have one. The 8100 has a better distortion channel, trust me. Plus, Chuck used it man, he knew his shit.


Why do you want one? They sound like little toys compared to 5150s. I know, I used to have a 5150 too, lol. Great little amp that I'll probably own again some day.

 

Did you read the link at the bottom of the my last post? It clearly says that the 12ax7 is active on all channels on the VS100 :confused:

 

I pretty much want one just for the Schuldiner factor. The 5150 is my garage amp, as it's too loud for my apartment. Atleast with one of these valvestates I can play them at low volumes in my room.

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Did you read the link at the bottom of the my last post? It clearly says that the 12ax7 is active on all channels on the VS100
:confused:

I pretty much want one just for the Schuldiner factor. The 5150 is my garage amp, as it's too loud for my apartment. Atleast with one of these valvestates I can play them at low volumes in my room.

 

 

They don't talk about the 8100, it's different from the VS100 line in terms of the sole ECC83. But what the fuck do I know, maybe I'm wrong.

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They don't talk about the 8100, it's different from the VS100 line in terms of the sole ECC83. But what the fuck do I know, maybe I'm wrong.

 

I'm sure we're probably both atleast a little misguided. What we need is some sort of expert to set the record straight. I'm hoping that there isn't too much of a difference because that means locating one will be a lot easier :)

 

Have you ever checked out a VS100 before? I had a friend who has played on both and he said he couldn't really tell a difference. Then again, he's not exactly the best judge when it comes to tone in the first place, which is why I came here to ask.

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The vs100 has the "power dimension" switch on the front that is supposed to add more saturation at lower volumes. I suppose that it means it gives it more gain??? Anyway the 8100 does not have that switch, also the vs100 has seperate reverb controls for clean & dirty channels.

 

Other than that I belive they are the same amp tone wise, I will eventually ge one as I love solid state tones, I would chose the vs100 over the 8100. But I have never actually played either one, so what do I know.:thu:

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The vs100 has the "power dimension" switch on the front that is supposed to add more saturation at lower volumes. I suppose that it means it gives it more gain??? Anyway the 8100 does not have that switch, also the vs100 has seperate reverb controls for clean & dirty channels.


Other than that I belive they are the same amp tone wise, I will eventually ge one as I love solid state tones, I would chose the vs100 over the 8100. But I have never actually played either one, so what do I know.
:thu:

 

 

This is what I was kind of thinking. I've been researching these two models for a few days now and this is all I can get, so I'll probalby get the VS100. Some people have reported that the VS100 doesn't sound as nice, but, I think this is perhaps because the tube in the vs100s wear out easier since it is active on all channels instead of just one like in the 8100. I'm sure if there were fresh tubes in both, there may not be a difference at all.

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I posted some of this in another thread yesterday, but I'll post it here and add the VS100r.

 

Here are the preamp schems, 8100 and VS100R, respectively-

http://www.drtube.com/schematics/marshall/pc0689.pdf

http://www.drtube.com/schematics/marshall/v100-60-02.pdf

 

All it takes is a quick glance at them to see that the VS100R is a completly different amp/design, the only thing similar is the format(tupe preamp/SS power amp).

 

And remember that is just the pre's, the power sections are totally different too.

 

And yes, as you can see in the VS100R schem, it looks like the signal goes through the tube on all channels, unlike the 8100.

 

There is no way in hell these 2 amps sound the same.

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I used to play through a VS100RH head exclusively. I used it for five years, running it through two matching VS 4x12 cabs. It was a fantastic little amp. My biggest gear regret in over 20 years of playing was getting rid of that amp. It sounded great and was totally consistant and trouble free.

 

I did quite a bit of research when i decided to buy a hybrid amp. The biggest differences in the newer VS100RH vs. the older 8100 are as follows....

 

1) The pre-amp tube was run at a much higher voltage in the VS100RH. I believe it was 270 volts.

 

2) The pre-amp tube was included in the signal path of all channels in the Vs100RH. The 8100 only had the tube in the gain channel signal path.

 

3) Seperate, adjustable reverb on the two channels of the VS100RH

 

4) The VS100RH featured an "improved" f/x loop. I believe the levels were adjusted to better compensate rack or pedal f/x and the frequency range was improved to cut down on the noise floor. I know the VS100RH had a parallel loop with a switch to select levels for rack or pedal f/x and also a mix level.

 

5) The power dimension feature was available on the VS100RH. All it did was act as a low volume boost. Just to goose the gain and bass at low volumes where it might be lacking for quiet practice. I found it made the amp a little darker and more saturated at lower volumes. I actually just used it as a voicing button to add a different tone.

 

Supposedly the amps were voiced alike, but I`ve never played through both at the same time so I can`t say. I personally liked both amps, but would take the VS100RH in a heartbeat. It was more versatile and sounded great. If I ever find one in minty shape I`ll snatch it up on the spot. IMO, they are the best hybrid amp ever made.

 

Marshall really dropped the ball when they discontinued the VS100RH and replaced it with the new "jack of all trades" AVT series. I thought the VS100 was a bad ass little bitch.

 

Eric

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I used to play through a VS100RH head exclusively. I used it for five years, running it through two matching VS 4x12 cabs. It was a fantastic little amp. My biggest gear regret in over 20 years of playing was getting rid of that amp. It sounded great and was totally consistant and trouble free.


I did quite a bit of research when i decided to buy a hybrid amp. The biggest differences in the newer VS100RH vs. the older 8100 are as follows....


1) The pre-amp tube was run at a much higher voltage in the VS100RH. I believe it was 270 volts.


2) The pre-amp tube was included in the signal path of all channels in the Vs100RH. The 8100 only had the tube in the gain channel signal path.


3) Seperate, adjustable reverb on the two channels of the VS100RH


4) The VS100RH featured an "improved" f/x loop. I believe the levels were adjusted to better compensate rack or pedal f/x and the frequency range was improved to cut down on the noise floor. I know the VS100RH had a parallel loop with a switch to select levels for rack or pedal f/x and also a mix level.


5) The power dimension feature was available on the VS100RH. All it did was act as a low volume boost. Just to goose the gain and bass at low volumes where it might be lacking for quiet practice. I found it made the amp a little darker and more saturated at lower volumes. I actually just used it as a voicing button to add a different tone.


Supposedly the amps were voiced alike, but I`ve never played through both at the same time so I can`t say. I personally liked both amps, but would take the VS100RH in a heartbeat. It was more versatile and sounded great. If I ever find one in minty shape I`ll snatch it up on the spot. IMO, they are the best hybrid amp ever made.


Marshall really dropped the ball when they discontinued the VS100RH and replaced it with the new "jack of all trades" AVT series. I thought the VS100 was a bad ass little bitch.


Eric

 

 

Thank you for your input. This seems like the most coherent representation between the two that I've seen. As one poster said, the two are going to have wired completely differently based on how the tube works in each one. However, they're both made by the same company so I can't imagine it's a drastic change... maybe even made by the same personelle who worked on the first series.

 

Your testimony has convinced me to try and obtain a vs100. I'm dealing with a guy right now for 210 + shipping, but it all depends on whether or not he agrees to put it on ebay for buyer protection. Either way, I'll end up getting one somehow :)

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Thank you for your input. This seems like the most coherent representation between the two that I've seen. As one poster said, the two are going to have wired completely differently based on how the tube works in each one. However, they're both made by the same company so I can't imagine it's a drastic change... maybe even made by the same personelle who worked on the first series.


Your testimony has convinced me to try and obtain a vs100. I'm dealing with a guy right now for 210 + shipping, but it all depends on whether or not he agrees to put it on ebay for buyer protection. Either way, I'll end up getting one somehow
:)

 

 

Good luck bro. I hope you like it.

 

Eric

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Well, my VS-100 should be shipped on saturday if everything goes well. Seems to be in really kick ass shape, so I'm excited. And hey, I can always track down an 8100 through guitar center's nationwide search.

 

Regardless, I'm sure it's going to sound better over my powerblock + jackhammer pedal combination that I'm currently using on my 4x12 :)

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ZeroTolerance good stuff

i have been looking at these amps my self. im instrested in trying one mainly because chuck used one for most of his years.

Let us know how it goes and what guitar you use to play through it (pick ups n shit)

cheers :thu:

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