Which JCM 800 best delivers 'that' sound?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ryanverbena, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. ryanverbena

    ryanverbena Member

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    I know there are so many models of this amp, which one is THE one?
     
  2. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    NMV Model 1959 is the one for me.
     
  3. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    Canadian 2204 with vertical inputs.
     
  4. Kapo_Polenton

    Kapo_Polenton Member

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    Mine is.. lol, probably anything 80-82... or with vertical inputs. Mine has vertical inputs and runs 6550. Great amp. Only problem is it is pickingup radio like a mofo all of a sudden :(
     
  5. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    American 2204s has vertical inputs all of 1983 and I have seen some 1984 ones as well. I have also seen a Canadian version with vertical inputs advertised as a 1985.
     
  6. RockDC

    RockDC Member

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    The 2204 is a 50 watt... more perceivable gain, and more compression.

    The 2203 is 100 watts... more head room, LOUD!!!, the sound of our forefathers of 80's rock.

    The 2204 is "THE ONE" for me... I've had both... played many. All Vertical Inputs.
     
  7. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    If you want the "real" JCM800 you need the vertical input, early 80s. American ones came with 6550s, which gives them big bottom end but a bit harsh for breakup (to my ears). Easily modded, or the Canadian ones came with EL34s. As to 50 vs 100w, Tietjen has nailed it. My choice was the 2204, the 2203 was just as loud as my 1959 by the time it sounded good...
     
  8. rdobson

    rdobson Member

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    I love my 2203 with vertical inputs...I think its an 83...not sure though.I have heard that the side by side input 2203s sound different....?
     
  9. JamesHealey

    JamesHealey Member

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    81-83, 2203 for that awesome heavy rock tone that JCM800s are known for.

    81-83 1959, for that classic rock plexi tone in a JCM800 head box.
     
  10. cheesey

    cheesey Member

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    2204 early jcm 800 vertical inputs canadian version.
    i want a great 2x12 cab , what do you think?
    bogner OS closed back ? what speakers?
    port city, avatar? i really dont want to go 4 x 12.
     
  11. AlexF

    AlexF Member

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    1977-83 2203 and 2204 is the classic sound of rock.
    Al
     
  12. chadprsman

    chadprsman Supporting Member

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  13. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    Personally, I like the early 80's 2204, 50 watt, American version.. with 6550's!
     
  14. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I ended up buying the Canadian 2204 (which is closer to the European version) which I referred to earlier. It has a serial number beginning with an S, which makes it a 1984. The transformers and choke are dated 1984. The signed build sticker on it shows that it was actually assembled on Jan 7, 1985. It has the earlier, chassis mounted, vertical inputs. Rather than being like the American/Japanese market version that have two external fuses, speaker outputs for 4, 8 & 16 ohms, plastic rocker switches and 6550 tubes, it has 4 internal fuses, outputs for just 4 and 8 ohms, metal toggle switches and came with EL34 tubes. Its Drake output transformer is also slightly different because of not being wound for a 16 ohm tap.
     
  15. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

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    I had a 1981 2204 that was cool. Sold it to buy a Fargen Olde 800. Both fine amps that'll get you that sound.

    Also, the Laney heads, I forget the model name, sounded similar if money is an issue. When I bought my marshall, he had a pre aor laney head that sounded equally as good.
     
  16. DICKIE C

    DICKIE C Member

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    +1 on this, I personally had a 2204, think it was an '82. Not just the "80's thing" that many people hate, but I was able to get any and all classic Marshall tones w/ it. Loved it!
     
  17. CraigSuperLead

    CraigSuperLead Silver Supporting Member

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    My fave was actually a '86 2204. Yeah, I know most people like the vertical inputs more, but this one sounded amazing. I used it for years without any problems. Sounded like it was cranked, but I could still keep the master at a usable level. God, I wish I still had that amp!
     
  18. NortheastHick

    NortheastHick Supporting Member

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    It is only the vertical input 2203's that changed the circuit filtering. The vertical and horizontal 2204's are the same.
     
  19. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I think that is true of the first couple of years for the 2204 but that changes were made after. Having the pots mounted to the chassis makes their wires much easier to get to. Either method sounds the same and I don't know of their being any more problems with the horizontal models.
     

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