Tried a JCM 800 last night

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jaysmithjaysmith Frets: 18
Had a play through a friend's JCM 800 2203 last night. What a great amp. A fantastic full sound, clean and overdriven. It sounded superb when boosted with an overdrive pedal too for high gain tones. This is coming from a 5150 / Mesa Rectifier player.
      I'm seriously considering buying one of these soon.
The simplicity of it appeals to me. Just roll back the guitar volume for clean sounds, then just step on an O/D pedal for dirty, heavy rhythm and lead.
               I was Impressed at how good it sounded at low volumes too.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 809
    I loved the Zakk Wylde JCM800 with a SD-1. It was quite a while ago now but I thought that had the perfect metal tone. Only difference with those is they run 6550 valves.

    Will probably try and get one some day
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    I'm sure I've said this many times before, but I think the 2203 is Marshall's definitive amp - not the Plexi - and it baffles me why they don't do more with this simple and reliable but great-sounding circuit. The only model they make with it is the reissue 2203 - which is a great amp, but it's far too big, heavy and expensive for most players now, even if the master volume does work much better down to lower volumes than a lot of people seem to expect. It also takes pedals brilliantly both as a clean platform on the low input and pushing it on the high input, and responds well to the guitar volume as jaysmith said.

    Where is the 20W version, or even the 50W? Why no combo with it - it's as applicable to a 20W 1x12" as it is to a full-width head on a 4x12"?
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13146
    That JCM 800 at the jam session yesterday was pretty sweet..
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  • DanRDanR Frets: 567
    I'd have a 20w version in a heartbeat.
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  • MoltisantiMoltisanti Frets: 910
    I've come back to mine time and time again, so simple but they just work for so many things and are super easy to work with

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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 316
    edited June 3
    Seen a lot of metalcore type bands switch from modern high gain amps to the JCM800. There's just something about it that they like.

    I'm a Peavey 6505+ owner and I love the tone to death. However the clean tones and middle of the rock overdrive sounds aren't easily achievable and don't sound nice on it. Its kinda a one-trick-pony but its a good trick!

    I have a TS9 too which I've used with amps and its my secret weapon. I have heard 800's paired with Full Tone OCD's and Tubescreamers, they got some serious balls!!
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  • PlectrumPlectrum Frets: 489
    ICBM said:
    I'm sure I've said this many times before, but I think the 2203 is Marshall's definitive amp - not the Plexi - and it baffles me why they don't do more with this simple and reliable but great-sounding circuit. The only model they make with it is the reissue 2203 - which is a great amp, but it's far too big, heavy and expensive for most players now, even if the master volume does work much better down to lower volumes than a lot of people seem to expect. It also takes pedals brilliantly both as a clean platform on the low input and pushing it on the high input, and responds well to the guitar volume as jaysmith said.

    Where is the 20W version, or even the 50W? Why no combo with it - it's as applicable to a 20W 1x12" as it is to a full-width head on a 4x12"?

    Hopefully we'll see a 20 watt version at some point.
    One day I'm going to make a guitar out of butter to experience just how well it actually plays.
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  • Guitar_SlingerGuitar_Slinger Frets: 1123
    That JCM 800 at the jam session yesterday was pretty sweet..
    +1 for this.I went in twice to play guitar and plugged straight into whichever amp was left.

    First time was one of TTony's guitars into the JMP combo and second time playing Rabs' single cut into the JCM800 (which would have been my last choice of amp).  Loved it, though.
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited June 4
    ICBM said:
    I'm sure I've said this many times before, but I think the 2203 is Marshall's definitive amp - not the Plexi - and it baffles me why they don't do more with this simple and reliable but great-sounding circuit. The only model they make with it is the reissue 2203 - which is a great amp, but it's far too big, heavy and expensive for most players now, even if the master volume does work much better down to lower volumes than a lot of people seem to expect. It also takes pedals brilliantly both as a clean platform on the low input and pushing it on the high input, and responds well to the guitar volume as jaysmith said.

    Where is the 20W version, or even the 50W? Why no combo with it - it's as applicable to a 20W 1x12" as it is to a full-width head on a 4x12"?
    Totally agree.  It's the definitive Marshall sound alot of middle aged people have in their heads.  If they did a 50w version in a 3/4 size head size they'd sell a shed load - JCM and JMP 2204 version reissue would be killer and I really think they wouldn't have a load of unsold inventory lying about end of each financial year.  I'd like to see their annual sales figures for the JCM800 reissue as surely they are in decline....kill it off and do a 20w and 50w version???

    I'm still considering a late 70's JMP 50w 2204 but the ONLY thing putting me off is the size of the head.  Marshall could solve that with a smaller 50w reissue AND a 1 x 12" combo version that doesn't weight a tonne like the original JMP 2103 2 x 12".  They could do it for half the price of the of Friedman (judging by current JCM800 prices) as they still have the name and volume sales. My Smallbox would cost me £2,600 now and that's just mental lads.
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  • MoltisantiMoltisanti Frets: 910
    edited June 4
    this is my number one for the last few years, i A/Bd it with a 4x12 and the sound from this little thing was crazy. 50w 1x12 with a 75w Creamback, it just works!





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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    That's a beauty...what year?  Did Marshall do the 800 combo as a reissue as I can't remember
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  • KarmaCannockKarmaCannock Frets: 2
    I know it's easy to say "They don't make 'em like that anymore", but they really don't. My biggest regret was selling mine many moons ago.
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  • Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1581


    Yup, the 1x12 combo is a great sounding amp and considerably more practical than a full size head and cab. I can fit it in the boot of a Skoda Citigo!

    Marshall really should reissue it with an added fx loop and maybe a switch to engage the bright cap.  You could add attenuators, emulated DI and all that stuff but I sort of think it would be missing the point a bit.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    edited June 4
    andyoz said:

    If they did a 50w version in a 3/4 size head size they'd sell a shed load - JCM and JMP 2204 version reissue would be killer and I really think they wouldn't have a load of unsold inventory lying about end of each financial year.  I'd like to see their annual sales figures for the JCM800 reissue as surely they are in decline....kill it off and do a 20w and 50w version???
    A 2204 in a 3/4-size box and a '2202' in a 1/2-size box would, I am quite sure, both sell like the proverbial hot cakes. I'd keep the 100W full-size head - it still seems to be in demand for touring bands - but also offer it (all of them, in fact) in the later-JMP styling as well. Virtually zero R&D or inventory cost to them at all - now they make the mini-Jubilee which has the right transformers for a '2202', they have all the components necessary to just knock all of them out, except the chassis.

    It just baffles me that they don't already.


    Marshall really should reissue it with an added fx loop and maybe a switch to engage the bright cap.  You could add attenuators, emulated DI and all that stuff but I sort of think it would be missing the point a bit.
    I'd put the FX loop in - since they already do on the reissue 2203 - but not the other stuff. That takes you onto the slippery slope they always go down of changing everything...

    Their R&D department need to just take a deep breath and accept that they don't need to re-invent the wheel every time.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited June 4
    Exactly...look at Gibson that still (sort of) exist on the back of the Les Paul and SG.
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  • riffpowersriffpowers Frets: 108
    this is my number one for the last few years, i A/Bd it with a 4x12 and the sound from this little thing was crazy. 50w 1x12 with a 75w Creamback, it just works!




    I had one of those, I need to get another one!!
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    Looking at that image does make you wonder if alot of modern amps designs have disappeared up their own butts...JCM was simple, tough and mean.
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  • McTootMcToot Frets: 1008
    That JCM 800 at the jam session yesterday was pretty sweet..
    Oh yes indeed it did, though it did nearly knock someone's fillings out when I flicked from a low vol neck pickup into a full chat bridge pickup and smashed a powerchord in Supernova. I loved it - @peteri less so...

     ;) 

    Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder

    I feel the need, the need  for CHEESE

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  • peteripeteri Frets: 699
    Much less so!
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 975
    McToot said:
    That JCM 800 at the jam session yesterday was pretty sweet..
    Oh yes indeed it did, though it did nearly knock someone's fillings out when I flicked from a low vol neck pickup into a full chat bridge pickup and smashed a powerchord in Supernova. I loved it - @peteri less so...

     ;) 
    I had no idea what the amps were yesterday, I was plugged directly into amp 3 (closest to the door, in case I needed a quick exit) each time, was interested to know what it was
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  • MoltisantiMoltisanti Frets: 910
    my 4010 is from 1983, it's very clean and has been super reliable so far. They are very simple amps too, and every tech that has seen mine for a service or anything else has said never sell it :)

    I had Martin Whelan add a metro zero loss FX loop to mine and it's adds a ton of versatility, especially with the FX8 being able to add volume and reduce gain which basically creates more channels. But to be honest these amps work just as well with a Tubescreamer/SD1/etc in front and your volume knob.

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  • McTootMcToot Frets: 1008
    munckee said:
    McToot said:
    That JCM 800 at the jam session yesterday was pretty sweet..
    Oh yes indeed it did, though it did nearly knock someone's fillings out when I flicked from a low vol neck pickup into a full chat bridge pickup and smashed a powerchord in Supernova. I loved it - @peteri less so...

     ;) 
    I had no idea what the amps were yesterday, I was plugged directly into amp 3 (closest to the door, in case I needed a quick exit) each time, was interested to know what it was
    Actually - I've just realised that was not the JCM - that was a 1977 JMP. It was fab-you-larse. 

    Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder

    I feel the need, the need  for CHEESE

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  • MoltisantiMoltisanti Frets: 910
    77 JMP is the same internally as the first JCM800s i believe

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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 514
    @Moltisanti I think my Danplifier is too...sure one of you must fancy it ;)
    My band, No Soap No Radio.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    77 JMP is the same internally as the first JCM800s i believe
    Basically, yes. The earliest ('75-'76) 2204s have a different circuit, and slightly later ones have a different power supply voltage, but the last JMP 2204s, and all JMP 2203s, and the vertical-input JCM800s are identical circuits.

    The first-version 2204 is a bit of an aberration - it has the input channels in parallel not cascaded, so the High input is thinner and weaker-sounding than the Low, not the classic 2203 High input sound we know and love...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 826
    When I was gigging the toilet circuit 25 years ago it was the stock amp you saw. People used them & they worked. It's taken a while for them to be recognised. I agree with @ICBM the 2203 is probably the definitive Marshall. 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13146
    McToot said:
    munckee said:
    McToot said:
    That JCM 800 at the jam session yesterday was pretty sweet..
    Oh yes indeed it did, though it did nearly knock someone's fillings out when I flicked from a low vol neck pickup into a full chat bridge pickup and smashed a powerchord in Supernova. I loved it - @peteri less so...

     ;) 
    I had no idea what the amps were yesterday, I was plugged directly into amp 3 (closest to the door, in case I needed a quick exit) each time, was interested to know what it was
    Actually - I've just realised that was not the JCM - that was a 1977 JMP. It was fab-you-larse. 
    Yep - I was pleasantly surprised by each of the Marshall offerings in the room - and that JMP was great. 

    The bass amp at the back not so much tho. Bill commented to me that it sounded “zingy and toppy in a not good way” - I agreed and decided to have a play. Tucked away in between “pre-gain” and the eq knobs was a “bright” switch which was on. Turns out the bright switch was actually a “get rid of most of the decent bass and mid, add a layer of treble, and then accentuate the metallic sound of anything going through it” or, in common parlance a “make the shit amp sound even shitter”
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1526
    Maybe a daft question but does the 20w jubilee not get close to the concept of a smaller jcm800?
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