JCM800 model 1959 and 1987

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by RevolutionMan, Jan 28, 2006.


  1. RevolutionMan

    RevolutionMan Member

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    Hey guys, hopefully some of you will have some info on these. How rare are the JCM 800 model 1959 and 1987? Seems like I never see them around. Were they made in very small #'s? Thanks.
     
  2. backwater

    backwater Member

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    I've been doing some searching on these and have found very few. There seems to be loads of 2203, 2204, 2205, and 2210's but the NMV's seem pretty rare.

    I was lucky I picked up and almost immaculate 1987 a few weeks ago - a few light marks on the tolex and a couple of marks on the back panel. Dated 6th March 1981 and serial 00021N which probably makes it one of the first JCM800's. Ebay UK has had about 3 in the last 6 months (I bought mine from a shop). I seem to have found more 1959's than 1987's which suggests that the 1987 may be the rarest. :angel
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    They are extremely rare. I've never even seen a JCM800 1959 in 20 years as a tech, and I think two 1987s (but maybe only one, I can't remember for certain). OK, JCM800s very rarely break, so I don't get to see too many of any of the models, but I've probably worked on at least a hundred of all the varieties of 50 and 100W MVs, Split-channels and combos (mostly for tube failures, and the occasional channel-switching problem). Which on a crude sample means that only 1 or 2% of all JCM 800s were non-MV models.

    I can totally understand why - it just wasn't the sound of the times. Those players who did want the non-MV sound generally had older pre-JCM800s already. Remember also that attenuators were almost unknown and pedals pretty unrefined back then, so the MV was perceived as a major upgrade, since the non-MV versions (even the 50s) are almost unusably loud except on a really big stage... and maybe also tastes in tone were less refined - most people thought that it was basically the same sound, just controllable. Who would want to intentionally buy a new non-MV amp when you could have an improved version? That may seem odd now, but 20 years ago the most common mod I was asked to do was to fit a master volume to a non-MV Marshall. (I did quite a lot, and I'm still happy that I did not drill a single front panel.) It's also why the 2203 is more common than the 2204 - the price difference was relatively small, so most people would buy the bigger amp in order to cover more situations, and just turn it down a little further if they didn't need it.
     
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  4. AlexF

    AlexF Member

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    they do turn up in the UK, its not that unusual to see them, but most seem to be bass models, perhaps unsurprisingly
    Al
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Those are a bit more common but they aren't the same thing at all. Just before the JCM800 series came out, the bass amps were redesigned with a completely different circuit and had only two inputs, one channel volume and a mid sweep control. They don't IMO sound very good for guitar, and - judging by the almost total lack of bass players who used them - they didn't sound very good for bass either. They simply weren't loud or clear enough to compete once decent solid-state amps (eg Trace Elliot) started coming out in the early 80s.
     
  6. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    john

    ive played one of the 1959 jcm800 heads, funny thing is it had a fault , you could turn the vol control up to 6 and still talk over it, shop owner says "hmmm, it must have a fault somewhere" ............."you arent kidding !! " :jo , i snapped back, 6 on one of those things in a shop woulda cleared the place.

    jimmy
     
  7. RevolutionMan

    RevolutionMan Member

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    Thanks for the info guys, I have one of the 1959's, and it's a terrific amp, thought it would be nice to pick up another someday, but haven't seen one since. Then I saw that post about Sykes tone that was here a few weeks back, guess he runs the 50 watters, and I've never seen one of those amps in person.

    I can totally understand how unpopular it must have been at the time with out the master, because it's some serious type of loud. Still, very cool amp, just surprised that you don't see them much, or really hear of them much either. With the attenuation options we have today, these can be real useable.
     
  8. plato67

    plato67 Member

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    I've got a JCM800 1987. Loudest amp I've ever played through. Always used sed a Hotplate for club dates. Decided not to use it for an outdoor gig thinking the sound would disperse...

    Wrong.

    Spent the first part of the set playing with my guitar volume on 1.
    Completely ruined any Mojo.
     
  9. RevolutionMan

    RevolutionMan Member

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    It's been awhile since I started this post, in the meantime I was able to track down a few JCM 800 1987's, and I'm really taken with them. I got one from England that was made in 1980, excellent condition, serial # is actually earlier than some JMP's. Anyway this thing is brutal, I really dig it. It's a whole different thing than the master volume marshalls, the distortion is not the typical master volume sound that we're so used to, it's less gainy but bigger in general. I'm thinkin Social D has to be using these, cause I can nail that sound to the wall with this amp. A few pedals and a new found use for the guitar vol knob and this amp is what I've been looking for. It's now one of my main amps, but it's a bear, definitely not for everybody. Using a clean boost with these yields some very cool results, even when you're lowering the line signal with it.
     
  10. RevolutionMan

    RevolutionMan Member

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    Plato, loud? Yeah I have to agree. One of my JCM 800 1959 heads is especially loud. I like it loud, but this thing is ridiculous. I had it pegged around 7 one day, just jammin away, all of a sudden I start not feeling very well, I really think it was the concussive effect of the amp. It was stupid loud and I was diggin it, but had to put it away, first time volume has effected me like that.
     
  11. Griz

    Griz Member

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    I bought one new around '89-90. The output section had a problem: there was what I think people call a "wolf tone" shadowing the notes as you'd play; it was particularly noticeable the louder you played. :(

    Took it back; the shop (an authorized Marshall dealer/service place) couldn't fix it. Otherwise I'd have kept it. Absolutely killer AC/DC type hard edged crunch, and nice fluidity on single notes. Bloody loud, though.

    I haven't seen another one since. Soon after that, I got my first used Hiwatt DR103. I liked the Hiwatt much better. Broader range of tones, and no problems.
     
  12. protoangel

    protoangel Member

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    I played through one yesterday... Fun to play. Raucous 70's/Hendrix tone. Very big/deep tone through a 4 x12, even with the bass control off!

    Jumpered the channels, and had them on around 12 o'clock, and lost all my fillings LOL

    Knocked it back to t -8db on the hotplate and sounded great!

    I presume these are PCB amps?
     
  13. jezzzz2003

    jezzzz2003 Member

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    Yep, they are most certainly PCB.
     
  14. protoangel

    protoangel Member

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    Cheers!

    "mine goes to 12!" :YinYang
     
  15. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Vintage NMV Marshall Head - $2,000.00
    Matching 4x12 cab - $1,500.00
    Concussion from too much volume - Priceless:dude
     
  16. Voxy Foxy

    Voxy Foxy Member

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    They are fantastic! I had a 1987, and I couldn't bring myself to MV mod it or attenuate it, so it had to go. Would YOU cut the balls off of a fire-breathing dragon? I wouldn't either. :dude
     
  17. protoangel

    protoangel Member

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  18. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    EC runs his Leslie from a JCM800 1987.

    To Griz: I believe that your's had less power supply capacitance than the an early 80's model.
     
  19. JamesHealey

    JamesHealey Member

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    I've just got one of these babies, not had chance to hook it up yet as im awaiting a cabinate.. but it should be great fun when I get to bust my ear drums with it.
     

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