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Which Marshall JCM800
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Which Marshall JCM800

I'm planning on purchasing a JCM800, but I'd like to know which one is the best to get. I want to be able to get that 80s thrash metal sound like Slayer- Hell Awaits, Haunting the Chapel, Metallica Ride the Lightning etc. Which 800 is the best to achieve this sound and which year models should I aim for? The originals seem to go for $1800 to $2000 AUD. Is that a fair price? Please feel free to list other JCM800s which would come close too.

Last edited by Force101; 4 weeks ago at 08:34 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Force101 View Post
I'm planning on purchasing a JCM800, but I'd like to know which one is the best to get as there is a few of them. I want to be able to get that 80s thrash metal sound like Slayer- Hell Awaits, Haunting the Chapel, Metallica Ride the Lightning etc. Which 800 is the best to achieve this sound? Feel free to list other JCM800s which would come close too.
Well, theres not that many. The original 2204 and 2203 are the ones you want for that sound. Slayers were stock, and Metallicas were modded. The other two JCM800s the 2209 and 2210 are later two channel models with distortion channels. They have their own sound, but its not that classic 800 grind. Theres a couple other models but thats the Superbass and the 1959 Superlead that was only made for like the first year or two before they quit making em.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

2203 with vertical inputs from early 80s.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
2203 with vertical inputs from early 80s.
Yep thats THE ONE right there. I have an '82 2204 (the 50w version) and that thing is god. Mines one of the US models so its got 6550 power tubes in it, not the standard EL34s. The thing has serious balls and is LOUD as all hell.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the replies guys.

Are the other 80s models any good? Like the 1988 ones? They seem to be a bit cheaper than the early 80s vertical input ones.

Last edited by Force101; 4 weeks ago at 11:40 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Force101 View Post
Thanks for the replies guys.

Are the other 80s models any good? Like the 1988 ones? They seem to be a bit cheaper than the early 80s vertical input ones.
It all depends.. The 100 watt 2203 went through a ton of changes in its brief lifetime. Theyre all pretty much either THE ONE or complete crap hehe. The 2204 stayed the same circuit the entire time so its guaranteed to be the 'same' amp no matter what year. There isn't a guaranteed one, you just really have to play them all honestly. I know that sounds a bit much but with older Marshalls its absolutely a must Ive heard early ones that sounded killer, Ive heard early ones that made me ask 'Wait is this the same amp as mine?'. Its the same with old Superleads too.

The BIG difference between the vertical/horizontal input models is the way the PCB is mounted inside. The original models with vertical inputs, the board is wired to all of the pots and jacks on the front. In the horizontal input models, the pots and jacks are mounted TO the board and its attached directly to the faceplate. Tends to make then a bit more fragile which is why everyone wants the older ones. When a pot or jack goes bad, it means removing the entire board, removing the jack or pot from the board and then redoing it. On a vertical model, just pull the pot or jack out, replace it and reconnect the wires that go to the board.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

Oh yeah definitely early 80s JCM. Alternatively a JMP. I think they might even be the same circuit.


Or scoop up a VTM if you can still find them on the cheap. Not 100% jcm but in the family. Looooooooots of tweaking there.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dranzangos View Post
Oh yeah definitely early 80s JCM. Alternatively a JMP. I think they might even be the same circuit.


Or scoop up a VTM if you can still find them on the cheap. Not 100% jcm but in the family. Looooooooots of tweaking there.
The 220x JMPs for the most part SHOULD be pretty close. I think the JCM ones had a little more gain in em but none of those Marshalls are what people would call 'high gain' nowadays any way hah. The early like 77-78 2200 amps are different though so be warned. Theyre not bad but the preamp is wired a little differently. Theyre wired kinda like a jumped Superlead as opposed to the later cascaded circuit that gave it that metal grind. Its been a long time since I looked at the two so Im probably a little off but thats the gist of it with the JMPs. First run aren't so 800, later ones are pretty much the same as the JCMs.


VTMs are pretty rad, a super hot rodded JCM800 in a nutshell. You can still find good deals on em but the hipster kids jumping on the 'doom metal/stoner rock' bandwagon 20 years too late are driving the prices of them up pretty crazy now just like Sunn's.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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bash's Avatar
 

Any buyers of the Studio Classic SC20C that can comment on how closely it recreates "that" tone?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bash View Post
Any buyers of the Studio Classic SC20C that can comment on how closely it recreates "that" tone?
Probably not through that little 10" speaker haha. Looks legit though, they did a 1W one for their anniversary a few years ago that was pretty awesome too. There was a 1 watt JCM800, JMP 1959 and a JCM900. Those things sold so quick and now theyre expensive! I wish this was out about 7 years ago, I probably would've bought the SC20C for my 'bedroom' amp instead of my Vox AC15, so I could have it sitting next to its big brother. If anything I bet these are more consistent than the original ones.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

You can also get the Studio Classic as a head. Coupled with a 2-12 closed back cabinet, it will rattle your teeth. Guys at the local shop are having a blast with it. Might be worth your checking out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlee7 View Post
You can also get the Studio Classic as a head. Coupled with a 2-12 closed back cabinet, it will rattle your teeth. Guys at the local shop are having a blast with it. Might be worth your checking out.
I was just thinking that last night when I saw the ad. My Marshall 4x12 is in my storage unit but I have my Mauler 2x12 here it would look so cute on. Unfortunately that damn Mauler is huge so its just loud as my 4x12 haha. The 50 watter and even my AC15 shake the crap out of the walls when I crank it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
I was just thinking that last night when I saw the ad. My Marshall 4x12 is in my storage unit but I have my Mauler 2x12 here it would look so cute on. Unfortunately that damn Mauler is huge so its just loud as my 4x12 haha. The 50 watter and even my AC15 shake the crap out of the walls when I crank it.
I think it could be the ticket. The 20 watt JMP heads are wicked sounding too
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
also ive heard great things about the Kerry king. Brendan small uses one. may save a little cash
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
The KK2203 (or 2203KK whatever) is a little different. Think they put KT88s in it like Kerry does and its got his MXR eq built into it as a mid boost. Pretty sure that can be turned off though. The KT88s are even heavier than the 6550s in mine, that thing probably hits hard when you palm mute, its gotta be gnarly.

A 20 watt JMP would be awesome hehe. I love using the low input on my JCM800 like a Superlead. That thing hurts so bad when you get the master volume up enough to start breaking up holy hell.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the replies everyone. I've found a 1981 2203 model with vertical inputs for sale. Looks to be in good condition, but the guy selling it has advertised it as 100 watts when according to the serial number it's 50 watts. Would the 100 watts version be better for the thrash metal sound I want to achieve?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Force101 View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've found a 1981 2203 model with vertical inputs for sale. Looks to be in good condition, but the guy selling it has advertised it as 100 watts when according to the serial number it's 50 watts. Would the 100 watts version be better for the thrash metal sound I want to achieve?
Well, a 2203 is 100 watts, thats it. The serial number might start with SL but it might also start with just an S. SL usually meant 100w Superlead, but Superleads weren't made after like 1980/1981 so who knows.

Look at the back of the amp. Two things right away will tell you which it is. One, the most obvious, how many power tubes are in it? If its 4 its 100 watts. If its 2, its 50 watts and its a 2204, not a 2203. You're either going to see 5 tubes in it total, or 7. It should also say on the back near the left side of the faceplate 'Master Model 100W Lead' or 'Master Model 50w Lead' unless someones sanded off the back of it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
EDIT;; Sorry, I'll try and reply to the right post

Quote:
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've found a 1981 2203 model with vertical inputs for sale. Looks to be in good condition, but the guy selling it has advertised it as 100 watts when according to the serial number it's 50 watts. Would the 100 watts version be better for the thrash metal sound I want to achieve?
Tube amps produce their best sound when the power amp section is running hard. 50 watt amps are VERY loud when running flat out. 100 watt amps are just ridiculously loud when running flat out.

Do you have a space to run a 100 watt amp flat out? You'd want to be playing a 1000+ seat venue to be able to unleash a 100 watt amp.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
True, there is a point on the volume on mine that goes from weak and anemic to HOLY HELL THIS IS A MARSHALL. But the difference between 100w and a 50w isn't that noticeable unless you're talking about playing with a bunch of cabinets connected. Its about a whopping 3db of 'headroom'. The 50 matter MIGHT stop turning up and compressing a little quicker than the 100w but the 100 watter isn't some gargantuan Godzilla compared to the 50. Both amps are brutally loud, the 100 watt just has a little more room before it gets that squishy Marshall sound when theyre cranked.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

This is a great article/website about the nuances of Marshall amps. It goes into detail about changes in production too. The original 6 cap JCM800 sounds like the one to get.

https://legendarytones.com/marshall-shoppers-guide-2/
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
CEG85's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
2203 with vertical inputs from early 80s.
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