Differences between JCM 800 combos and heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GrecoVee, May 13, 2008.

  1. GrecoVee

    GrecoVee Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Hey JCM 800 Marshall experts!
    Been thing about picking up a JCM 800 single channel or channel switching combo here lately but want to know if there are any differences in the electronics, curcit board, trannys, etc. Compared to an JCM 800 Single channel or Channel switching head.
    Are the combos the same amp as the heads except for the chassy and the added speakers?
    Thanks for any comments!:AOK
  2. bosstone

    bosstone Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Oakland CA
    I don't know about the channel switchers but as far as I know, the single channel amps of the same vintage are the same. All the 81-84 amps are the same whether there combos or heads.
  3. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    2204 head, 50 watt, single channel, 2 inputs, same as 4010, 4104 combos thru all production years with the changes being from vertical inputs to horizontal, and board mounted pots.

    2203 head, 100 watt, same as 4103 combo. same changes as 2204 but also with a change in filtering.

    2205, 50 watt channel switcher, same as 4210 and 4211

    2210, 100 watt channel switcher, same as 4211

    I'm not exactly sure when the changes of these amps happened. I'm thinking in 84/85 or so. The early channel switchers had channel bleed issues that were addressed, the 2204's changed from horizontal inputs to vertical and went to board mounted pots. But i'm pretty sure thats all that was changed. The 2203 100 watters had the same changes as the 2204 but filtering was also changed.

    So in short, yes the combo's and heads are all the same but different models went thru different changes in the mid 80's.

    Many favor the early 2203's and 2204's with vertical inputs but only the 2203's actually had things changed that affected the sound. The 2204's are killer amps thru all production years.

    The later channel switchers were improved by the changes and if I were looking i'd get one of those made after 86 or 87.

    I know thats more info than you really asked for but I figured it might be helpful.

    Disclaimer... i'm not an amp tech or expert, just a JCM 800 fan and owner.
  4. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    SE, MA
    Here is a good link to some history of the JCM 800. The early 80's with vertical inputs are considered to be the best. I do have a 88' JCM 800 2204 50 watt head, w/ horizontal inputs, and have been impressed with it.

  5. hamfist

    hamfist Member

    Sep 1, 2006

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