JCM800 Reissue, Yay or Nay?

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I've been looking at getting a jcm800 recently and have played a few. Has anyone been able to demo a reissue next to an original? I know there was a lot of variance in the early 800s and they have changed away from the Drake Output transformer as well. On the other hand, it has a buffered fx loop and it's not 30 years old.

I'm a strat player and I love the 800 for it's cranked just starting to breakup tones. Cranking the 800 and backing off of the volume of the guitar can get you some rich glassy clean tones. Another thing that I've always liked about them is the way that you can hear the individual string definition even if there is a lot of distortion going on.

I played a reissue today but I could never crank it in the store the way that I plan on using it, on the other hand I have had the opportunity to blow my head off with an original. But it's really hard to compare the two in different stores, one quite one loud.

So does anyone have any real experience with them? What are the major tonal differences or if I can get a killer deal on a used reissue does not make that big of a difference? :dunno
 

Purplexi

Member
Messages
2,245
I really like the JCM800X. I've only played a demo but a friend of mine has a stack and it's absolutely killer! No modding done, wah and clean boost out front, just screams. I'll tell ya though, if you're a Strat player than you should really check out the Marshall VM 2266(Vintage Modern 50 watt) head and Greeenback 'C' loaded cabinet or combo.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,776
I don't know the answer, but can confuse you more by suggesting you look at some of the used modded ones you might find locally. I bought a used Voodoo modded 2205 and am loving it. The resale value on an amp with mods is usually very close to the value of the amp without it. They do pop up once in a while, but you want to play through it, so I would stay away from out of state purchases.
 

jcarpenter

Member
Messages
1,851
Go back to the store and crank it. Don't be shy. You are serious about the purchase so the folks there should let you do it if it means a sale.

My bitch about 800's is they all sound different. I work in a music shop that buys used gear and I've seen/heard some good ones and some that needed mods, tubes... just missing something. If it sounds good, play it loud then buy it.

Also don't discount the Bugera 1990 head. Listen to these clips I think it may have what you want.

http://www.premierguitar.com/Video/20090302/580/Bugera_Amps_1990_Amp_Demo.aspx
 

ecbluesman54

Member
Messages
1,596
I have a reissue, but it has been modded by VooDoo. Like other posts have said, early 800's tend to vary. I have had two early 80's ones. One was great, the other was average. I love the reissue I have now though.
I agree with the above post. You should be able to crank it, or ask if they have a room where you can turn it up, or a short trial period of 24 or 48 hours.
 

the russ

Member
Messages
463
i've owned several JCM800/JMP amps. it's true, no two sound exactly alike, and the 2203X definitely falls within the range of how a proper one sounds. half the old 800's you buy need new filter caps anyway, so in that way the 2203X is ahead.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
Thanks for the info guys. As much as I would like to find the right original, after owning a 65 bassman for a while it would be nice to not have to worry so much about the stability of components due to age, not that I have had any problems with the fender. I think I'm going to pick up the amp this weekend, it had a great price and looked brand spanking new. I didn't want to crank it in the store because the sales guy looked like he had a really bad day, and there were all ready 3 people plugged into line6 amps playing chug chords. Plus he said they had a 30 day return policy, so I'll be able to better demo it on my own any way. Can't really go wrong there. The more of these amps I have played the more I realize that I just like the sound of the amp, and any attempts people make at "improving" it also change some of the character that attracted me to the 800's in the first place. I don't want more gain, and I love the way that it handles the treble frequencies. You got it exactly right Purplexi, guitar -> wah -> clean boost -> 800. Can't wait.
 

peanutavalon

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
720
I have one...at first I wasn't liking it because I didn't know how to use it. I dime the gain, and put the master at 5 to get the tubes cooking. then, I just use my guitar volume knob to get great cleans and great lead tones.

Also takes pedals like nothing else especially on the low input for home playing. I use an OCD and get great bedroom levels while my son is sleeping. I put it in the emporium just to see, but will most likely keep it now.

This amp does anything from allmans, acdc to VH..
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
If you've ever played a JCM800 cranked you'd know that really isn't an option in a store. They won't give you 15 seconds at volume.

The guys at time warp are great and they let me put a few of their amps through their paces to the point where the amp was rustling my jeans. I found this one at more of a typical music store and there is no way I would feel comfortable with this thing at volume.

I've played the Fargen as well as a couple of his more plexi type models and there is something subtle that the real 800's have that the fargen doesn't. One isn't better than the other, but one the reissue is more of a fit for what I am going for.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I have one...at first I wasn't liking it because I didn't know how to use it. I dime the gain, and put the master at 5 to get the tubes cooking. then, I just use my guitar volume knob to get great cleans and great lead tones.

Also takes pedals like nothing else especially on the low input for home playing. I use an OCD and get great bedroom levels while my son is sleeping. I put it in the emporium just to see, but will most likely keep it now.

This amp does anything from allmans, acdc to VH..

This is my plan exactly, can't wait.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,652
the loop is a real plus for these amps, because if you like to use it with a saturated front end and your guitar all the way up for rhythm, but still want to get louder for solos, there's a problem; any boost pedal you use will just make it more distorted, not louder.

by putting a boost pedal (or a volume pedal) in the loop, the amp will actually give you a real volume jump.

i use (and will be buried with) a '78 2203, which is the early version of the same amp (no loop). i had to rig up a switchable master volume in it just for this reason; now i can not only jump out in the mix with my leads, but by boosting up the output volume and turning down my guitar, i can get that "glassy" clean tone you're referring to at the right volume as well.
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,337
I played one of the reissues and it sounded amazing. I didn't want to turn it off! I was playing it through a Bogner vintage 30 4x12 cab. Phenomenal sounding.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I think I'm going to try and pick this bad boy up during lunch tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. Thanks for advice everyone. Keep it coming. I plan on trying out one of the Port City 2x12 wave cabinets with a pair of 8ohm Lead 80's
 

sonvolt

Member
Messages
896
I have an older JCM 800 and I feel it sounds a little warmer compared to the new ones. Also, the originals are most likely half the price ! Whichever route you go, enjoy.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,830
The guys at time warp are great and they let me put a few of their amps through their paces to the point where the amp was rustling my jeans. I found this one at more of a typical music store and there is no way I would feel comfortable with this thing at volume.
Understood.

I hope it works out for you. The only amp I ever regretted selling was my vintage non-MV JCM800 full stack. Playing that thing with the volume past 2:00 was pure rock and roll ecstacy.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
Sweet, bought the amp during lunch. Only got to play it for a couple of minutes before heading back to work. I'll let people know my impressions after I spend some real time with it. I'm also buying a new cabinet and speakers so I'll review it after I get some more appropriate speakers next week, right now I'm playing it through Jensens. A little bright!
 

the russ

Member
Messages
463
JCM800's can be bright amps, but they're meant to be. play them through celestions that aren't 75's and do not clip the bright cap.
 




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