Band now owns a JCM800...

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TESLA_EL34
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Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by TESLA_EL34 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:27 pm

Our other guitar player now owns an JCM800. To be honest we were quite disappointed.
Its an older model, 50 watts.

It was very loud and harsh. Maybe i need to rebias it again and pop in some other tubes.
I think it needs tubes that smooth it out a bit. Kind of the opposite of the Orange which needs brighter tubes.

Im used to loud playing. I always turn up my AC30 and my R30 but the JCM was just painful to listen to.
Not saying it sounds bad, its just the frequencies that rip the ears apart.
I compared my Matamp to the JCM800 and it was a world of difference. The R30 also sounded much smoother and less harsh than the JCM800.

I have a hard time figuring out why this amp is such a classic. I love its recorded tone but the live tone just wasn't for me at all. Maybe we check it out again in the rehersal, with different tubes. But i found it to be okay with many pedals in the low input.

Its funny for me because as a Matamp and Orange owner i always thought the Marshalls would be equally nice.
But this isnt the case for me. The Matamp is so much more a BETTER amp in any way. More dynamic, more transparent, better frequencies (less harsh) and more possibilities to adjust the tone. Its also a lot smoother and super quiet.

Of course it needs time but thats the first impression. The R30 is much more usable in terms of volume.
You also get all the gain you ever need if you dont play metal at all. I think i wont sell my matamp now :P
accept darkness.

a.hun
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by a.hun » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:11 pm

Well they were all Marshalls, but not all '800s were the same!

Some (after about '84 or '85 I think) used LEDs for diode clipping in the gain channel. The actual gain was all valve, but the distortion wasn't, and they did sound different.
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showpo ... stcount=51" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Good ones do have the classic sound. (Not lots of sounds, just the one. As you crank the amp higher the tone controls do less and less! :wink: ) Best way to get that sound is to go into the low (not high!) input, and just dime everything. (And then walk away a bit before making some noise...)


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

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Tango
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by Tango » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:03 am

My JCM800 sounds fantastic, better than the Matamp I used to own. It's a keeper :D

Don't give up on it yet!
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ironlung40
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by ironlung40 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:42 am

a.hun wrote:Well they were all Marshalls, but not all '800s were the same!

Some (after about '84 or '85 I think) used LEDs for diode clipping in the gain channel. The actual gain was all valve, but the distortion wasn't, and they did sound different.
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showpo ... stcount=51" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Good ones do have the classic sound. (Not lots of sounds, just the one. As you crank the amp higher the tone controls do less and less! :wink: ) Best way to get that sound is to go into the low (not high!) input, and just dime everything. (And then walk away a bit before making some noise...)


Andy.
The dual channels had the diode clipping. The singles (2203, 2204, 4104, 4010) never did, but in 85 marshall started mounting the inputs on the pcb. This is when u see the cbange from vertical to horiontal. Also on only the 100 watters the input change coincided with 3 fewer filter caps. This changed the tone some and the early models r considered best with the 6 caps. As far as the dual channel ones go (2210, 2205, 4210, 4212), the later ones after about 86 are better due to a circuit change that eliminated the channel bleedover exhibited on many of the 84-85 and earlier ones, no reduced filtering on these
Last edited by ironlung40 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Randy Bass
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by Randy Bass » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:49 am

Turning down the tone knobs on the guitar always worked for me. You should be able to find a great lead tone with a Les Paul-style guitar and a healthy set of tubes. You do need to have it loud though. They are pretty thin at low volumes.
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everdrone
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by everdrone » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:17 am

I have not had good experiences with marshall. but I am not an 80s hair metal spandex guy ;)

had a marshall jcm800 2203 half stack that sounded HORRIBLE. you have to crank that thing for the distortion to sound good, but by then it is insanely loud so you cannot hear your bandmates really.

just sold my marshall jcm 900 4500 dual reverb. reverb did not work one day I think. sounded good for 80s hair metal and maybe rockabilly and the cult etc, but I play heavy rock. it seems the controls for bass and low mids do not work on marshalls. I was running my proco rat II through it, but I still wanted more distortion that only my tv50 could do really. you could get an eq and turn the presence and treble to zero and fiddle with it ad infinitum, but I just dig my tv 50 low end chug.
My solo downtuned HEAVY rock project: https://soundcloud.com/earthalliance

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fiveightandten
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by fiveightandten » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:03 am

Are you plugging into the high gain input? If so, that's your problem right there.

Low gain input...put every knob on 10 and hit an open A chord. If it doesn't sound good, something is wrong with the amp.

-Nick
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ironlung40
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by ironlung40 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:14 am

The bright cap mod may help it if you're not cranking it. Google it, it's a very simple mod, you can just clip one leg of the cap to take it out of the circuit. and solder it back if you want later. This will tame the bright shrilly harshness you hear, especially at the less then gig volumes.

It may need maintenance too, (caps, etc.) I've had 800's before and they had plenty of raw rock tone goodness in them. They're a legend for a damn good reason...and 80's hair metal is not all they'll do.
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TESLA_EL34
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by TESLA_EL34 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:50 am

Its a 50w 2203 without diode clipping.
We will test it again... but the GT-1 rips it apart. Sorry.
accept darkness.

fiveightandten
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by fiveightandten » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:37 pm

TESLA_EL34 wrote:Its a 50w 2203 without diode clipping.
We will test it again... but the GT-1 rips it apart. Sorry.
2203 is the 100W. 2204 is the 50W.

They only do one thing. And the knobs don't do anything to adjust the tone when it's at volume. Forget the pedals. Just plug a Gibson into the low gain input, put it on the bridge pickup, put every knob on 10 and play some rock and roll. That's what the amp does.

It's ok if you don't like it. I don't like Fender Twins. It doesn't mean they don't sound good. It just means I don't like them.

-Nick
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Woodsie
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by Woodsie » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:52 pm

I wanted a JCM800. I still do. I actually ordered a used one but then thought better and changed the order to my AD30. I need a clean channel and I wasn't sure the JCM would clean up enough with the guitars volume.
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baytamusic
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by baytamusic » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:39 pm

I owned a 50 watter for a long time back in the late 90s. Great amp. I'd buy another one in an instant if I wasn't trying to quit buying gear I don't need.

To me, they sound best with Humbuckers. You also have to turn them up pretty loud to sound good and set the tone controls sort of weird, like rolling off the highs and mids more than you'd expect. They record well because they are sort of bright and have a good EQ curve for a mix without much fiddling.

Gtr_Pkr
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by Gtr_Pkr » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:54 pm

I owned a 2203 (100w) for a long time and it was my favorite amp. It's no Matamp GT-1, but a good amp anyway. I only used the High input and never really had any brittle/too bright issues with it. Always used with a JCM 900 straight cab. I found that the best tubes to use were Electro-Harmonix 12ax7's and 6CA7's (not EL-34's). Give those a try and see if that helps. Again, it's no Matamp GT-1, but you will get your classic tone from it with the new tubes and a good re-bias.
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by Gorgar » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:01 pm

For me, the secret to getting a good sound out of a 2204 (mine's a '78 JMP, but I'm sure I'd do the same with a JCM 800) is: low input, bass at 5, mids somewhere above that, treble at ZERO, presence at 10. I run the master volume at 10 and use the gain knob for my overall volume. Essentially I'm running the amp clean, and for distortion I use an MXR Distortion+. There's plenty of bite to cut through, but I don't get the ice pick effect.

everdrone
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Re: Band now owns a JCM800...

Post by everdrone » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:56 pm

TESLA_EL34 wrote:Its a 50w 2203 without diode clipping.
We will test it again... but the GT-1 rips it apart. Sorry.
yes! undoubtedly.

jcm800 is great for certain styles; each amp excels in its own right ;) ;)
My solo downtuned HEAVY rock project: https://soundcloud.com/earthalliance

Guitarist and Bassist in Fort Worth, TEXAS
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