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Unread 10-15-2010, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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JCM 800 - Which Year, Model, Version Is Best

I was looking into getting a JCM 800. There's so many versions, models and years they were made. I've heard people say some are better than others for one reason or another. I was leaning towards a 2204; which are the good ones? The 2205 also caught my eye as a channel switcher, but I've read alot of mixed reviews. Not sure where to go with this. Any input is appreciated.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: JCM 800 - Which Year, Model, Version Is Best

Vertical inputs indicate that the pots and jacks are mounted seperate from the PCB. The horizontal inputs have all of the pots & jacks mounted directly onto the PCB. From what I know (just to clarify, I am not a tech), the basic circuitry is the same between the two.

Aside from that, I'd recommend trying a few of them out and letting your ears decide.

fwiw- I have 2 2204's and I like them very much.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: JCM 800 - Which Year, Model, Version Is Best

Replies to my recent thread "Metallica Kill 'Em Tone" pointed out some of the differences within the JCM800 family - should be worth you taking a look there.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: JCM 800 - Which Year, Model, Version Is Best

Also, they reduced the number of caps in the 2203's in the mid 80's. Some say that "ruined" their sound. In the 2204's they remained the same for every year. I bet you can't go wrong with any year tho...
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Unread 10-15-2010, 02:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: JCM 800 - Which Year, Model, Version Is Best

So if you want the JCM800 labeled box go for the 81-83/84 model with the vertical inputs.

If you don't mind an older box, the late 70's JMP Style go for a 78-81 model 2204 with the two vertical inputs as they are nearly identical in circuit.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 05:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: JCM 800 - Which Year, Model, Version Is Best

I've owned a 2210 and currently own a 2203, and my Pop owns a 2204. To me, the 2203 and 2204 sound better than the 2210, but the 2210 was certainly more versatile. My preference is for the 2203 for the maximum bottom end thump and best tone, but after modding my 2210 it wasn't a slouch either.
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