Have Orange Rockerverb 50, considering JCM 800. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by retroLS1, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    Hi all. First post here on TGP... have done plenty of lurking and reading though for various subjects. Thought it would be a good place to post this question.

    I play in a cover band (anything from some 70's/80's through current... no hair metal type stuff but we'll juice up some older songs with a little more gain and whatnot) and I am admittedly a gear whore. I recently got the itch for gear again and I am thinking about amps. I primarily play a Les Paul and HSS Strat to cover just about all the sounds (have a Tele due in soon as well).

    I currently have an Orange Rockerverb 50 MKII 2x12 combo. I have found it is much easier to lug around a combo than a separate head/cab combo as I used to in the past and would like to stick with it if possible. If not, I would want a "micro" head and a standalone 2x12. I am dead set on tube amps. As far as I am concerned it's tube amp or no amp. Anyways, I have always dug JCM 800's and know there are quite a few variations and preferred models etc. and I am not all that well versed on them. I am also not sure if I am just bored/crazy and am perfectly fine just keeping the Orange. I am not looking for more gain or anything, but the 800 has a pretty classic sound to it.

    I have a local guy with an '83 Marshall JCM800 4212 combo (2x12) that is interested in trading for my Orange (plus extra on his end, obviously). Couple things I am not sure of - am I crazy to do this? If not so crazy, what would an appropriate value be on the 800? They seem to vary quite a bit. From what I have heard it is not modded, has new 6550 tubes within the last few years and was biased around the same time. How does the 4212 combo stack up against other combos, or against the standalone heads? I was at a local shop yesterday and played a Friedman Pink Taco and it had a pretty killer tone to it but I am a little concerned with it being only a single channel. It's only 20 watts but I mic up at gigs and 20w is plenty loud for where we play (even though my other guitarist plays a 100w Dual rec tremoverb). Sorry, getting sidetracked.

    TL;DR: Maybe getting bored with Rockerverb 50 combo, have offer for JCM800 4212 combo +extra... not sure if crazy for considering it.
     
  2. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    Actually been doing some reading and the Bogner Atma has popped up as a contender too. The shop I was at last night had it but I didn't demo it... will have to go back and A/B it with the Pink Taco. They had a Dr. Z 'Z Best' cab that looked very nice... would maybe make a nice matchup? Then again, JCM800. Hmmmm...
     
  3. mix2much

    mix2much Member

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    First off, I would not hesitate to aquire a JCM800. Given the music you play, I doubt you'd regret it. This is my opinion though. That said, Marshalls vary from amp to amp. So play it before you make a deal. Early 80's combo with 65 watt speakers can fetch up to $1500 if it's in great shape.
     
  4. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

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    I've thought about getting a 2x12 Marshall combo before, but I believe that they're literally around 75 lbs or more. I'm not a small guy, but that's a lot of weight to lug up and down stairs.

    I have a 1982 JCM 800 4210 (1x12) combo that's about 60 lbs. It's my "little" amp. Great tones. I can make it sound much like my '76 JMP or go for heavier distortion if I wanted to. The clean channel is not really a clean channel in the Fender sense of the word. It's more like a cleaner version of the drive channel, thick and not real clear or pristine, but a nice option to have at the click of a pedal.

    Even though it's a Marshall 50-watter, it's not really loud, nowhere near as loud as my 50-watt JMP. I can regularly play with a drummer with the volume between 5 and 7.5 (1/2 way to 2/3 volume) so there's not a whole lot of juice left beyond that. It's not just because it's running through only one speaker either. I hear that the single channel 4010 and its 2x12 and head versions are louder than the channel switching 4210 and its counterparts.

    If you don't need the volume, then it's nice to have the channel switching and reverb to go along with the classic JCM 800 crunch. The weight of the 2x12 is what always made me look in a different direction, though.
     
  5. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    I am used to the weight by now - the Rockerverb 50 combo I have now is approximately 83lbs. I would love to go lighter if possibly but not a deal breaker necessarily. The only issue with the guy that is willing to trade is he is probably 2.5-3 hrs away, not really a quick trip just to give it a whirl.
     
  6. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I would definitely take the drive and try the amp out. . I drove way further than that regularly for gear stuff!!! On this forum ,you'll have almost everyone say 'take the jcm800' but that's not my inclination. . I have a SWEET sounding Jcm800 but it was so loud and bright that I got it modded. I have many other amps too ,including an old Orange or120. . I have not played a Rockerverb BUT have loved all of the tones I've heard from them on the net and wish I had one. . Anyway , if you can drive get out of Norton and make that drive! Good luck, Eric
     
  7. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    Tough choice (though a good problem to have). What would people put as a value on the 800 combo? I know it's hard to tell without seeing it but just figure on very good condition, works fine, comes with footswitch. Just really trying to gauge trade value on it at this point.
     
  8. Leftyman

    Leftyman Silver Supporting Member

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    For the music you play, you can't go wrong with a JCM800 unless it sounds happens to sound like crap. Some of them do and why I also recommend playing the amp before you do a deal. I think the Rockerverb is also a great amp. The only negative I see with the JCM800 is you are going to lose your clean channel.
     
  9. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    There's 1 on Ebay that has NOT sold at 999.00 starting price, and then at 799.00 . It's listed again at 799.00 . I'd put that value at that tops if in good shape. Remember filter caps might need maintenance unless already done. It's a 30 year old amp. . Then again some come with the original great Yugo preamp tubes like mine did! The Rockerverb 2x12 is worth quite a bit more and would be more versatile without pedals. Different tones. . Take the drive if you're interested.. With gas prices now, these drives are more affordable. .I live in VT , and went to Boston all the time for gear, or NYC, or Albany.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  10. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    Not to trash the 4212s but they were one of the first Marshalls that used diodes in their audio path. They're great sounding amps regardless, but you'd be trading in your amp for a 30 year old amp. I think you'd be better off with a small head and a 2x12 cab.

    I'm in a similar situation, so I'm building a 2203, but with 2 EL84s in the power section.
     
  11. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    Think I might make the trip out on Saturday AM to check it out.

    Leftyman - this model JCM800 is a dual channel that has a dedicated clean channel. I'm sure it isn't as nice and sparkly as the Orange but I know and expect that.

    He had this one listed up originally I think for around $1100, which I do know is high but didn't know if it was anywhere in the ballpark. I am looking at that one on eBay now. Hard to say why it didn't sell... could be the expensive shipping, or the "reverb acts up sometimes, dunno" thing. Could be hairy, who knows. Hard to find prices on 4212 models... not sure if that's a good or bad thing.
     
  12. dirtyfunkg

    dirtyfunkg Member

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    I would recommend not doing the deal. I had an '83 4210 (1x12 version of the 4212) that I just could never get to sound good on the drive channel. The single channel 800's diminished in quality (supposedly...YMMV) after '83, but the channel switching 800's got better as the 80's progressed. It's a very grainy, thin, nasty distortion sound on the early ones. I tried numerous different tubes both in the pre and power sections, and the best drive sound I was able to get was by cranking the clean channel and using a Rat. FWIW when I got it, it had KT88's and sounded horrible. I had it modded to take EL34's and it sounded marginally better but still pretty crappy.

    The later 2 channel 800's sound way better, and they're the ones that are more known (Morello, etc).

    Obviously Rumble5's experience is different from mine, but I've heard it from multiple places that the earlier model 2 channels are worth less and are known to sound worse.
     
  13. Bieling3

    Bieling3 Member

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    I think you'd be better off with a JCM 800 4104. They're all going to be bright, that's just the nature of the beast. If you're worried about volume put a PPIMV in the Direct Injection jack.
     
  14. Robm422

    Robm422 Supporting Member

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    Both are awesome sounding amps. As long as the marshall is tuned up and running good, you can't go wrong either way.
     
  15. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    I am not super concerned with volume as my Rockerverb is 50w and a Bogner Shiva 2x12 60w combo before that. The Friedman Pink Taco I played yesterday had plenty of volume on tap... my only concern is that since it is a lower wattage tube amp and it gets dirty a lower levels, to get a good clean tone it might be too quiet keeping up with a "regularly" loud drummer and my other guitarist's 100w Tremoverb. I am most likely going to make the trip out but reading about the diode in the path and how the later 4212 models were more highly regarded makes me a little uneasy. That, and I feel like his asking price is pretty high. Pretty much looking to keep a super portable rig that doesn't break the bank too too much that is going to sound killer. I keep going back and forth between the 800 combo and something like the Pink Taco or Bogner Atma/2x12 setup.
     
  16. Franktone

    Franktone Member

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    Forget that channel switcher and either get a JCM 4104 combo, or a late 70's JMP 2104 2x12 combo. These are almost the same amp and sound really good with 2x12 Celestion G65 speakers. I have a year 1981 JMP 2104 combo 50W master volume with 2x12 G65's and it is an incredible sounding amp. I did a couple of mods to fatten up the sound and it sounds like a mix of Marshall and either a Super Reverb or Bassman on steroids. The Low channel is still clean, brighter and greatly boosted in volume now. This amp is incredible. Otherwise, keep your Orange Rocker.
     
  17. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the advice. That's why I like this site - you guys know your stuff. Like I said I have never been a big Marshall guy so I don't know all the in's and out's of all the models and variations. The guy I am dealing with is a little lacking in the communication department so it's a bit hard getting more out of this guy.

    I know I mentioned it before but I really dug the tones I was getting out of the Friedman Pink Taco I was playing last night (through Bogner 4x12). Sounded like a really nice hot rodded Marshall, which got me on the Marshall kick. Guitarists in my old band (I also play bass) both had JCM800's amongst other amps and they sounded good if my memory serves me correctly (up for debate). My only hang-up, which would be the same with any normal JCM800, is that it's single channel and that's pretty foreign to me. I do have a volume pedal and I could get some pretty nice sounds out of it when I turned down the volume on the guitar I was using at the shop. I guess I am just used to stepping on the footswitch to go from clean to dirty.
     
  18. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    I'm with ya on this one... Got a JCM 4104 with 75's,tried a bunch of different speaks but came back to the 75's which marry perfect with this amp, imho.Would like to try 65's but I can't imagine this amp sounding any better. I use the low input exclusively and crank the master with a pedal in front,no need for two channels can go from beautiful cleans to mean with a twist of my guitar volume knob. I never knew I was a Marshall guy
     
  19. mix2much

    mix2much Member

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    I am finding the T75s match really well with my 2204. That speaker has such a bad rap but for some amps it is absolutely the right speaker.
     
  20. Raymond Lin

    Raymond Lin Member

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    Try them all and find out, between the Atma and Pink Taco however, I'd pick the Atma. It can do what the Pink Taco does and then some, and then twice on Sundays. So much more versatile.
     

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