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What's up with JCM 800's?
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Wardo



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: What's up with JCM 800's? Reply with quote

I'm looking to round out my amp sounds with a Marshall. I want a combo.

The 80's JCM 800's seem to command a huge premium vs. the JCM 900's. What's the story here? Are they really that much more "Marshally"?
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always heard that the JCM 800 was a better amp than the 900. Not sure. I did own a JCM 800 2x12 combo and it was a killer amp. I traded it for a 1964 Fender Blackface Concert amp. Love the Concert but would have liked to have the JCM 800 as well...Dean
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Vince



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 11429
Location: Decatur IL

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just like any amplifier manufacturer... some are more desireable than other. The 800 covers allot more territory than a 900. A 900 is a metal amp only for the most part but does have a decent clean channel.

The 800 is the mark that most guitarists go for that are buying a Marshall. Although there are different flavors of the 800 and there are more desirable 800's than others.

It's a big can of worms....
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Wardo



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Ok, so help me out. I'm confused. If I go for a combo, which one do I want? What's the difference in tone between a 4010 and a 112 or a 2204?

All I know is, I'm pretty sure I'd like the single 12" speaker for compactness. Youtube clips of the 4010 sound outstanding to me. But it's not like these things grow on trees and it makes me wonder what I should be trying for.

PS, I'm in Canada, so these amps come with the EL34's up here.
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Vince



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 11429
Location: Decatur IL

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The JCM800's were not made in huge quantities and that's why these demand a high price. They are monsters....

Generally speaking, like most amplifiers... the earlier the model you can get, the more desireable they are due to construction methods and components. Vintage still fits the bill for Marshalls.... this could mean the difference between a year or two for the 800. Personally, I have never looked at a 800 combo for myself due to the prices but have played through one and I can see why they demand a high price.

Vertical inputs are more desireable than horizonal inputs on these 800's and pretty much determines which circuits they have.

Do you have any in particular you are looking at?
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Wardo



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:47 pm    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Well, the one I'm looking at right now is a beat up 1983 4010 combo. From what I read it has the more desireable vertical input.

I haven't played it yet...guy wants 700 Canadian for it. I guess that's about 725 US at current exchange rates.
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Vince



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 11429
Location: Decatur IL

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is unmodifed and beat up means only tolex damage... then it is probably worth it. Ask him if it has been recapped.... if not, you got some bargaining power....
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Wardo



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Would it need to be recapped?

Tolex: if it's ugly, I'd have to redo it and I wouldn't have the patience to do it myself.
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Vince



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 11429
Location: Decatur IL

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes... figure it is almost 30 years old.
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Joe Desperado



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 3911
Location: Waikiki, Hi.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JCM 800 early models are the same as the JMP from the mid to late 70's. Combo's never seem to command as much as heads. Go figure!

I had a 76 JMP 4 hole 2x12 combo in the 50 size. It was so freakn' loud I had a hard time using it even at outdoor events. Paired with vintage Greenbacks...killer sound when cranked.

4 holes are two channel no switching. You can bridge the two channels together to blend. The bright channel is bright but it breaks up sooner. The normal is cleaner all the way up. 2 holers get into master volume and at some point channel switching. I am not sure what year.

A JCM 800 from the late 70's and early 80's are the sound of 80s rock n roll. Its hard, tight and focused. oh....and LOUD! A combo can be had for about $700 USD. A head will be closer to $900-1000 USD.

Go 2x12 if your going combo. A single 12...nah it won't handle a JCM 800. It will just fart out.

J
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Guitfiddler



Joined: 08 Aug 2008
Posts: 158
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recaps aren't too bad price wise. Usually under 100 bucks and you know your amp has a clean bill of health. If one of those caps explode you'll have some serious problems on your hands.
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Structo



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
Posts: 26415
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason the vertical jacks are more desirable is because the horizontal jacks mean that the jacks are mounted or soldered directly to the PCB.
And we all know what happens when you wiggle a part too much that is mounted on a PCB, the solder joint cracks and you have a problem.

So the vertical jack JCM800's just mean that the jacks are panel mounted and therefore stronger.

Not sure about the rest of the components like tube sockets but I assume they are the same way. The older amps will have them chassis mounted.

So even though they started using PCB's back in the 70's, it wasn't until later when they started soldering the jacks and tube sockets directly to the boards, causing the maintenance problems you read about.
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fenderfool



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 646
Location: Georgia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of agree with Joe D. on the 2x12 over the 1x12. I had the 1x12 combo modded with a speaker out so I could use a cab with it. Drove a 2x12 or 4x12 depending on the gig, and it sounded killer!! Just my $0.02 to muddy the waters!

Peace! Cool
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Wardo



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

So, I saw the amp and decided to take it home. It is a 1983 4010 combo. On the looks side, the amp is fair at best - 5/10 for torn tolex. But it sounded sweet to me. I walked out with it, a new, spare set of matched EL34's, and it cost me 500 bones. Not to bad, eh?

On the way home in the car, I kept turning around to see that luminous "Marshall" logo lying there in the backseat.
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Vince



Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 11429
Location: Decatur IL

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Awesome dude!

Great amps.... just great!
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