Which is the JCM 800 to get?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Obi-Jon, Nov 28, 2005.


  1. Obi-Jon

    Obi-Jon Guest

    I've heard alot of negative comments about certain JCM800 models. Like some getting their tone from a chip, etc.... Which is the one to get and which are the ones to stay away from?
     
  2. Swarty

    Swarty Member

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    None of them get their tone from chips. The 2205/2210 and combo equivs and the Jubillees (and subsequent JCM800 equivs) have bridged diode clipping circuits. Others (1959, 1987, 2203, 2204 and combo equivs) are all tube.
     
  3. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    you're usually safe with the mid 80's, single channel, EL-34 based 2203's (I believe the the correct model # is). I also bought a 1984 2203 that had 6550's and got it rebiased for EL-34s, though some people like the 6550's, more headroom.

    JCM800 are WAY fun. Rock on! :dude
     
  4. sparkle**

    sparkle** Member

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    Depends on what you need from the amp:
    Single channel go with a 2204/2203 Depending on watts with the Vertical inputs, early 80's.

    If you need channel switching the 2210 I have been told by amps is good, the 100 watter just sounds beeter then the 50 watter... Though Michael Schenker used/uses the 2250 or 2205?
     
  5. axpro

    axpro Member

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    2203.

    THat's the one boy!

    If you want that classic marshall JCM800 tone, it's in there.

    the 2204 is good, but once they stated adding features (clipping diodes, channel switch) they went downhill.

    Funny to think it was done in response to the number of people who were using tubescreamers to drive their marshalls... Jim just had them put a diode based circuit (in essence a built in tubescreamer) into the input... popular at the time, but funny how we look back now and say "What the hell were they thinking!?"


    Dave Mc
     
  6. el34power

    el34power Member

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    I just love my 1984 2203, pulled 2 tubes, goose it with a Super Chili, put on tight undies, cuz doze nuts arr gona start flappin':D
     
  7. GreenTea

    GreenTea Member

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    '82 4010 (JCM 800 50W 1x12 combo w/a celestion 65 spkr). EL-34s are the bomb. Absorutrey no chips.
     
  8. Hamilton

    Hamilton Active Member

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    Both the 50 watt 2204, and the 100 watt 2203 are killer amps. Don't let people fool you that the vertical inputs are "better" amps. I also agree that EL34's are they way to in these amps.

    Hamilton
     
  9. Swarty

    Swarty Member

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    The 2204 never had clipping diodes or channel switching. It is just the 50w version of the 2203. Please refer to my earlier post.
     
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I absolutely love my 2203 reissue with the Vertical Inputs.

    To me with a modern PCB ( which is OK in my book ) the Vertical Input is the only way to fly. The horizontal inputs me no likey. Thats just me though. If you dont know the difference it has to do with how the amp is constructed.

    Although mine is currently in the shop getting a Metro Amps Turret Board. Me likey Hand Wired even better. :D It should be done and I'm picking it up tomorrow.

    Jeff Andrews is doing the work for me and from what he told me this afternoon I couldnt have handled doing it myself.

    My favorite outright Gain Stack = JCM 800 2203 & Large Bogner 2x12 its the amp that will kill ya. :dude
     
  11. clunk

    clunk Member

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    Vertical inputs on the 2203 and 2204 are better in one regard. The volume, tone pots and inputs are not directly mounted onto the circuit board. But as far as the 2204's the difference between vertical and horizontal pretty much ends there as far as sound goes. As for 2203's different story. When Marshall switched from vertical to horizontal on the 100 watters the changed alot of the circuitry in '85 amps and up. Most people ive talked to prefer the pre '85 2203's (vertical inputs). They just seem to have a much fuller, richer sound to them. I dont know a whole lot about the details of the curcuitry but if you're going for a jcm 800 2203 DO look for vertical inputs with the 6 electolytic caps. I think the Re-issues also have the 6 caps in them too. Redplanet can probably verify this. I've wondered if the RI is a re-issue of the early or late 80's 2203's.
    As for the 2204, from my understanding the circuitry never really changed as much as the 2203 between the vertical and horizontal input amps.

    Clunk
     
  12. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I have a Voodoo modded '86 2205 that's killer. If clipping diodes are wrong, than I don't want to be right. Don't turn your nose up at clipping diodes just because it's not pure tube distortion. Try all of the above and buy what sounds the best to you.
     
  13. Shawn Lutz

    Shawn Lutz Member

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    2203 or 2204's. Single channel simplicity. I have an 83 2203 w/6550's and it is still a killer amp. I had it since 84
     
  14. retrospex

    retrospex Member

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    Mine is a 2204 made in 1989, horizontal inputs. It's killer to me and with my PhatAxe overdrive it is badass.
     
  15. Mcclassic

    Mcclassic Member

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    The 2203 vertical input...what can I say, I have a 83...hehe but still is a great powerfull marshall tone amp:dude
     
  16. steve10358

    steve10358 Supporting Member

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    All of them are good to get. I feel it's a misconception to label one better than the other. At times everyone wants the 50, and sometimes everyone wants the 100. And with pricing on the bay, it doesn't seem to matter which input it is. I've owned both and liked my later one better for whatever reason. I also would not advise modding one- unless its a RI. Why kill an old amp?

    I also feel the best sounding ones are the CHANNEL SWITCHING ones. And often overlooked 800, but one of the warmest.

    S.
     
  17. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I'm no Technical Guru or anything but I am a bonified gear freak. :D

    IMHO The 2203 reissue is a reissue of the earlier 2203's. What makes me say this is it has Vertical Inputs, Flying Leads, and plenty of Caps.

    Now something that confuses me about the number of caps is mine has 7. Not sure about the reason for that. I do know from my badly destroyed braincells of a memory that they swapped from Vertical Inputs to Horizontal and changed the number of caps at close to the same time. Though I have seen Vertical Inputs with fewer caps than six. So with all things Marshall your ampt to run across a few oddities.

    What I really think is cool is the JCM800 1959's (4 inputters) and am on the hunt for one.

    As I said before I prefer the Vertical Input versions by far. I'm not trashing the other versions in any way. I think they all sound good. Some I prefer over others.

    Mine is no longer a PCB Amp. Its a Turret Board Hand Wired Amp. I havent picked it up yet but Mr Andrews tells me it sounds killer. Of coarse mine has 3 ECC83 Mullards in the Preamp and getting a new Matched Quad of Winged C Svetlana EL34's. Though I havent picked it up yet.

    I'm being detained at the moment. I bought my Kid a pickup truck used from a local guy back in August. I never got the Title after applying for it the day I bought it. So I sent my wife to the Tag office to inquire about it and when they pulled it up it was showing as a stolen vehicle. Arrgghhh!

    Now I gotta take it to the Sherrifs Dept. and thier gonna impound it. So I'm out some money here and aint to happy. The guy I bought it from has a good reputation and said he would give me my money back if it cant be straightened out but I just dont need any extra BS in my life right now.

    Hopefully I'll get a chance to pick it up this afternoon.
     
  18. Swarty

    Swarty Member

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    Another thing to consider is that the JCM800s were merely a cosmetic change. The late '70s early '80s JMPs are identical to the early JCM800s on the inside.
     
  19. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    Absolutely Swarty and those or damn good amps.

    Here is a pic of a cool amp I saw posted on TGP BY Jeff Seal in another thread.

    [​IMG]

    Its a Marshall 2104 I believe.
     
  20. deadboy77

    deadboy77 Member

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    Go with whatever sounds right to you. I recently bought a JCM 800 4212 (2X12 combo version of the 2205) and I wouldn't part with it for anything. Of course the 1st thing I did was have it re-tubed and replaced the 6550's with EL34's. The whole "clipped diode" thing didn't bother me, I was more concerned about the 6550's.
     

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