Found a good deal for MArshall JCM900 4101 combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by nieveulv, May 29, 2008.

  1. nieveulv

    nieveulv Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Its the dual reverb 100 watt 1 x 12 combo. I can get a really good deal at the moment, cheaper than even 2nd hand classic 30s and ac15s etc. So should i even consider itor just go for any other amps.

    I use it for bedroom and for small gigs and garage
    Any reviews and comments??
    I use a epi les paul custom with PGN/customB and usually play classic to modern rock music.
    Thanks any opinions is much appreciated!!
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,958
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia

    I've got the 2x12 version. Hmmm. It's an amp that gets a bad rap, especially if it's not the EL34 version.

    I like the A channel. I'm personally not so crazy about the B channel. I see many reviews that agree with that.

    Also, many people say this is not a very "marshally" sounding amp (unless you get the El34s blah blah). I think it's pretty throaty though. If you've ever seen the beginning of the TV show "Psych" on USA network, mine sounds just like the opening G chord of the title song.

    The gain on the B channel also goes through a clipping diode, and many have commented that that's not a "true" tube circuit. It's sort of like having a distortion pedal "built in" the amp.

    Now, I'll say that it can get to pretty heavy distortion on the B side. It's what I'd call a "raunchy" distortion - good for maybe - I hate to say it, but Punk (I'm thinking of the Clash) but it can get pretty saturated - to a more 80s metal sound (though many people describe it as "grunge" because it came out in the 90s).

    If I had it to do over again, for what I spent on it (it was NOS) I'd get something different as the high gain doesn't suit me - so I felt like a bought a two channel amp with only one useable (for me) channel. I have Fenders that are the same but I knew going in that the Normal and Vibrato channels were not footswitchable. But I do like, and have absolutely no problem with the A side. It's very nice. And to be honest, the sound is not so unlike my Fenders that I feel it's a "drastic" difference (again others might complain that this is less "marshally" though.

    It also does a really decent clean - I've heard that other amps, like a JCM 800 don't stay (or are never really) as clean. I think this would be a really nice Jazz amp for someone who needs clean volume with just a tad of breakup.

    My problem is, it's enough like my Twin (not just like mind you, just similar) that I'm really just duplicating what I already have, and I was looking for something more unique sounding.

    Oh, many have described it as brighter, more brittle, harsh, etc. I think as far as the gain is concerned, I'd have to agree that it's a tad on the scratchy side, but agian, with just a touch of hair on it it's quite nice. It also has an effects loop and you can get in there and do some fine tuning with EQs and such. So, I think with some work I'm going to be able to make this amp work for me, but let's say that "out of the box", it wasn't the AC/DC sound that I was expecting.

    By the way, mine is switchable from 100 to 50 watts, and I think you can pull tubes to make it 25. But I'll say that even on 50 watts, it's pretty loud.

    Overall, I'd say, if you like the sound of it, then go for it. But, if there's something else you're considering, you might want to do some research on the 900s before buying and make sure you're getting what you think you're getting (they made a lot of changes in that model over the years).

    HTH,
    Steve
     
  3. nieveulv

    nieveulv Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Wow thanks for such an amazing feedback :D How do you think this compares with amps such as the classic 30, laney vc30, orang tiny terror and the hughes kettner 20th edition tube. These are my choices and the jcm900 is the cheapest of the lot by a huge margin
     
  4. go7

    go7 Member

    Messages:
    2,502
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Isl.
    The JCM 900 is a constant contender when people post "name the worst amp ever".The other choices seem much better IMHO. BTW 100 watts for home and garage gigging, you will be playing volume on 1 a lot.Good luck!
     
  5. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Messages:
    16,945
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    Theres the correct answer. No need for 100 watts for home gigging.
     
  6. nieveulv

    nieveulv Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    I understand that 100 watts and bad reviews is an issuee..but itss soooo cheap :D cheaper than a classic 30 used in australia!! Decisions decisions!!
     
  7. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Messages:
    16,945
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, if it's that cheap, grab it up and see if you like it. If not, sell it and maybe make a few bucks.
     
  8. nieveulv

    nieveulv Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Im loving the tone on The hughes and kettner edition tube and its perfect for room use. Not sure whether its worth twice the price of a 100 watt valve amp though. Im also looking at the tiny terror with a matching 1x12 cab. Decisions decisions. Thanks guys
     
  9. bosstone

    bosstone Member

    Messages:
    3,405
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Location:
    Oakland CA
    Will you still consider it cheap when you have to buy a $200.00 to $300.00 attenuator to manage the volume?
     
  10. nieveulv

    nieveulv Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Still cheaper than a classic 30 and and still around half price of the edition tube :)
     
  11. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,958
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia

    I agree. Play it. If you like it, buy it. Even at 50 watts though, it's loud - you can play it quiet, but if you're doing that, you might as well buy a Fender Champion 600 - unless this 900 is going for less than 200 bucks!

    "worst amp ever". Well, we all hate solid state too for the most part but that didn't stop JC120s from finding their niche. I think the problem with the 900s (or at least this version) is we all think the niche should have been rock and roll (and that's what Marshall seems to be telling us too) but I think if you don't use the B channel, this would be an excellent Jazz amp. Of course, they should have named it the "Jazz Combo Marshall 900" and less people would be peeved (of course, they'd be wondering what that high gain channel was doing on there!). If you're thinking you're buying an AC/DC Marshall though, think again (IMHO).

    It's a GOOD amp - it sounds GOOD (on the A channel IMO). It just sounds different from what most of us expect.

    My inflated $0.02 worth.

    Steve
     
  12. nieveulv

    nieveulv Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Thank you so much for the recommendation, but im indeed looking for that crunch and lead sound that slash had. Is this possible with a JCM900 channel A with pedals?
     
  13. diacomo

    diacomo Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    I have a 4502 (50w, 5881 tubes). I have no other tube amp experience but it's definitely useless for bedroom levels as it sounds colorless and tasteless in low volume. If you want to get the decent sounds it can give you, even the garage is not enough, you need space.
    Now, supposing you got that space, cranked up the clean channel is very nice but I have a feeling that it lacks warmth and roundedness (you can't have that tasty Robben Ford/ Larry Carlton/ BB king sweetness) but I guess this is a matter of taste. The lead channel doesn't offer the lows and the punchiness I've always dreamed of and if you set the gain too high it cuts through (which is good) because it is throaty-ish (which is bad).
    What kind of annoys me is that when you switch from the clean to the lead channel you feel something is missing- think of the sound of a Harley Davidson compared to the sound of a 2-stroke scooter or a chainsaw (I hope this makes sense).
    I've also tried to find a Slash tone but eg the Sweet Child.. intro is always sort of muddy through my 900.
    Another thing; I can't find a sweet spot, I always feel that I have to experiment with the controls, which -I guess I have to admit- means that I should look for another amp. Remember though that I've owned no other tube amps, so it might be just me...
    Pedals? Yes, it's pedal friendly, I have an EMMA compressor, an RC booster and an LTD SR overdrive before the preamp, but I think everything starts with a good amp.. I mean if you add salt and pepper to a badly cooked dish...
     
  14. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Messages:
    16,945
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin


    I don't think so. Getting close to Slash's tone regardless of the amp requires a cranking loud amp with speakers and air moving. And chasing a professionally played and recorded guitar sound is an impossible task. There are a lot of great amps that sound good at low volumes but IMO, no way your gonna get that kind of tone quietly. There are a million amps and pedals that claim they do but I honestly think there is no substitute for volume.

    The best you can hope for is to find a tone that you like and work on PLAYING like Slash. Just copping his amp sound doesn't matter. Yes, i'm in the "tone is in the hands" camp. We all know Slash could make a 900 sound fabulous.

    I'll still say grab it up, work with it and sell if you don't like it. If it's that cheap, why not?
    FWIW, there are indeed pro's that like 900's.
     
  15. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,958
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia

    To me it's not as "articulate" as Slash's tone. It's a little "saturate-y". The other poster was describing the harley to scooter scenario and I think this is true (though that explanation might be a bit extreme). But the two channels are tonally different, and share the EQ, so for me it's hard to get both of them to sound right (which for me was part of the reasoning behind buying a two channel amp!)

    I think the gain structure is a little more "brittle". One of the main complaints about this amp is that the high gain channel has clipping diodes built in meaning there's a "distortion pedal built in the box" and of course the major downfall is, unlike your own pedal, you can't try different ones. So basically, on the high gain channel, you've got a "Marshall-built Distortion Pedal" ON all the time - all you can do is turn down the "gain" control. I thought I could turn that gain all the way down and run the master hot for the high gain channel (essentially using it as the low gain channel instead) but even with the gain to 0.000001, you've got dirt in there, and, moving it from 0.000001 to 0.000002 means the amp gets incredibly louder with the master cranked. It's just not very usable (in my experience).

    Still, if it's VERY cheap, and you need a loud amp that takes pedals well (at least in one channel), I would recommend it - as long as you get your Slash tone from the pedal, and not the amp. Of course, as said before, the right pedal can make a SS amp sound good enough to be usable depending on your needs.

    Peace,
    Steve
     
  16. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Messages:
    2,924
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Planet X
    Yeah I was going to be facetious and reply "a great deal on a JCM 900? how much is the guy paying you to take it?"

    There may be people who love this amp, more power to 'em.
     
  17. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Messages:
    2,924
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Planet X
    Actually in the Marshall line, there is an excellent answer to the (usually intractable) problem of 100 Watts. Get David Bray to stick one of those post phase inverter master volumes on your Marshall and you can indeed use 100 Watts all the way down to bedroom level.
     

Share This Page