Question for you JCM 800 folks...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by grizdeluxe, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. grizdeluxe

    grizdeluxe Member

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    I recently sold my 4210 channel switching 800. With a set of GT-M EL34's and a well broken in Vintage 30 it sounded great. Big,deep,nice saturated tone that worked great for heavy ZZ Top and old Priest.\

    I'm thinking about picking up another 800 and have never played through a non channel switcher. I have heard lots of people say the single channels are better. I thought my channel switcher was fantastic. Best hard rock tone I have ever had.

    How are these amps different tonally?.
     
  2. JamesT

    JamesT Senior Member

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    The only Marshall I ever played through is my 2204 JCM 800 through a 1936 2x12 sealed back cabinet.

    I *like* 2 channel amps best because there is a cable from guitar to amp and a seperate cable with a footswitch.

    I do not like my guitar cord going to the floor to some stompers on the flor and then to the amp. If I walk to far away from the amp the stompers come up in the air and everythig gets disconnected.

    Having said that...

    I am not an amp guru. However I am 50 years old and been playing since I was 14.

    I have never found an amp that had the clean I wanted and the OD I wanted so thus a 1 channel amp and deal with stompers.


    Many say a 2204 was last great Marshall- not including something like the hand wired 1974 reissue...

    I cannot compare the 2 amps, but this 2204/1936 sounds like a B and O stereo with the potential with stompers to sounf like anything you want. Besides used amps only go up in price.

    I do not know what you want or the band, but another amp that is totally different is a 40 watt Fargin Blackbird. Fender clean and with right stompers can sound like a 1 speaker Marshall. So I think you should buy the 2204 if it is a good one. If it is not what you want keep it for 20 years . I would never say invest in a vintage amp instead of Mutual funds, but in the bigf skeem of things $1K is small....
     
  3. JamesT

    JamesT Senior Member

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    If you gig out a lot ou might want a newer amp. I am not here to tell you what to buy although a 2204 is nice to have in the house :) if you want to set the amp and all songs are the same it is is a nice single sound.

    On the bright side once I set the tone the way I liked it and set the input and output levels at "10" and in my basement my wife said it was so loud it hurt her chest... kind of famous story in local areas. :lol :rotfl
     
  4. Alvis

    Alvis Member

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    I own both ,Single channels are better
     
  5. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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    I have a 83 JCM 800 2203 and I really like it alot. I also have a 79 or 80 JMP 2204 and really like it also. I have tried a couple of ch, switchers The Rake, Boogie MkIII, Boogie Single Recto and I have sold them all. I dont know why but the single ch. amps sound better to me. Switchers seem to do clean or dirty good but NEVER both. So I am really into the 2203s and 2204s. The only ch. switcher I have ever liked, and that is if you can ever call it a ch. switcher, is the ADA MP1....can you even call that a ch. switcher???? Stick with the singles.
     
  6. Flameout12

    Flameout12 Member

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    Mostly depends on if you need a clean channel or not. If you really wanted to do it right, use the JCM800 for gain and a Fender type for cleans.
     
  7. dave s

    dave s Member

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    I wouldn't hesitate on an 80s JCM800 single channel head. Probably one of the most bullet-proof amps every built. Over the years, I've owned several 800 heads and a combo. All were extremely reliable and each had it's own tone print.

    Now that you KNOW what a JCM800 is supposed to sound like, start looking for them and buy one that sounds (if you can demo it!) like you know it should.

    Good luck. GREAT base tone for so many of the guitar tones we hear every day of our lives.

    dave
     
  8. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I've owned a 50 watt channel switcher and a 50 watt single at the same time and I ened up selling the channel switcher. I couldn't bond with the clean channel and the OD channel was a bit mushy compared to the single. And the single packs more "wallup". The singles are a very simple, direct circuit. The channel switchers have reverb, loops, diodes etc.. The singles get the lable of a one trick pony. True in the sense that all your different tones are NOT a footswitch away. The singles are capable of really good cleans, (with the right guitar) incredible crunchy rythyms and blazing lead tones(with a simple boost) but you have to tweek to get there sometimes.

    Having said all that , I kinda wish I still had that channel switcher. It had some of the best higher gain liquid lead tones I ever got from just an amp. I figured I can get close to that tone with a single and an SD-1 and still have a more articulate rythm tone. Gotta roll the volume on the guitar for "marshall" cleans!
     
  9. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    As far as JCM800s go, single channel versions sound the best IMO.

    I have owned and played through several examples of single and dual channel version 800s.
     
  10. bek

    bek Member

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    I have a 4210 and just use the clean channel and pedals, since the lead channel doesn't (usually) do what I want. A very experienced player friend told me "never sell that amp." Another said she flat couldn't believe how good it sounded, though she was running it through a 2x12 cabinet. They're real good. Get another one, they're around.
     

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