Any Love for the 80s Solid State JCM 800s?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by cudamax2343, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer 1st new member 2020 VIP Member

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    My take on solid state Marshalls:

    Many were great, some not so much. I still like the MOSFET's (don't recall much about model numbers and names). I saw a KISS make-up tribute band at a bar WAY back in the 80's after KISS took the makeup off, and they sounded really good. The Paul Stanley/singer guy had a great guitar sound, so during a break I asked him what his amp was. He took me over and showed me his Marshall Artist head and cab. He told me he got it dirt cheap from a music store because nobody wanted solid state amps. He said this humbly as if he felt embarrassed because he couldn't afford a tube model. I told him he sounded really good and I think that made him feel better.

    The only early(er) Marshall SS I played was, as I recall, a Studio model? Whatever that was, I know the Peavey Bandit (tube) was more popular; it sounded great and had a lot more features.

    Moving into the 2K era, I really liked the early MGDFX series, not for live use, but for home practice. I had a couple/few MG15DFX's. They were the first solid state Marshall amp I ever had that could get you some killer tone with built-in FX for home rehearsal, learning guitar, jamming to tracks, etc. They were so cool - find the tone you want, then set it and forget it. You had reverb (spring? I forget) plus any choice of chorus, delay, flange. Like a dunbass restart, I sold them all at a garage sale for chump change during a time when I had other agendas in life. I'd pay $400 for a NIB one today, unopened and never touched by the humans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  2. EADGBE

    EADGBE Well-Known Member

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    I think Marshall makes the best solid state amps.
     
  3. Sunburnstudios

    Sunburnstudios Member

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    Lol, I caught the bug! Now I’m hosed until I find the Plexi.
     
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  4. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You going to leave the grille faded or fade it back to black?
     
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  5. Sunburnstudios

    Sunburnstudios Member

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    I think I’m going to leave it faded, kinda like it.
     
  6. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    My 1985 3210’s have the faded look to them just as do yours.
     
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  7. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Cool..do they all sound the same? My 2 sound identical in every respect. They were both made in 1987.
     
  8. Sunburnstudios

    Sunburnstudios Member

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    They are all pretty close in sound. The red and white are 87s, black 86 and silver 88. Played all on high input with gain at 8 and tone levels at 6, To me the black sounds like it has more punch than the others.
     
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  9. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    All the same speakers?
     
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  10. Sunburnstudios

    Sunburnstudios Member

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    Yes, all have the originals in them.
     
  11. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    I feel that the Marshalls ,particularly that era , are a cut above most ss offerings .They really managed to, near perfectly, emulate their own amps . If I do a gig with a Lead 12 or 5010, I feel like it's gonna come out right ,and I don't have to worry about a bunch of knob twiddlin

    There's a pawn shop around here ,got a 3210 . But we haven't come to an agreement yet

    I think......that thing we don't like about solid state amps, once you get it in a band mix , you can't hear it anyway (that thing)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  12. lespaul339

    lespaul339 Well-Known Member

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    Man, I remember not too long ago where you could grab those Lead 100 heads for around 100-150 bucks. I wish I would've snagged one back then.
     
  13. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    The best time to buy a classic anything is just a couple of years ago....
     
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  14. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    Not how I think of the 3210, it will cut, and you can hear it.
    But you already know that little secret..
    Cheers
     
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  15. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    Best $99 I ever spent

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Distorto

    Distorto New Member

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    first post here but I think I’ve read every post on the forum relating to the Lead 12 while I was down the rabbit hole. I picked up one of these a few weeks back. I remember them fondly as a young guitar player but wasn’t sure how well my memory would hold up. It’s as cool as I remembered. It got even cooler once I ditched the original speaker. Before the switch it was great at super low volumes but way too thin and raspy at louder levels. I stuck in an Eminence 1058 and now it has a much wider usable range. I dig it. I can definitely see recording with it as it has a real nice midrange honk that my other small amps don’t.


    lead12.jpg
     
  17. jmp45

    jmp45 Well-Known Member

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    Cool gear Distorto.. I had a maestro phase shifter many years ago, unique phaser. I think Jones used one in Houses of the Holy.
     
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  18. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    PSA, the Eminence ceramic (Fender Special Design) that came in the Pro Junior for so many years , is a GREAT replacement for the G 10 D that comes in the Lead 12
     
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  19. Distorto

    Distorto New Member

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    I sorta hated pulling that cute little G10 D since the amp was so clean and original. But that speaker really does suck so it'll most likely sit in an Eminence box for the rest of its life. I'm guessing there aren't many speakers out there that wouldn't be an improvement.
     
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  20. johan.b

    johan.b Well-Known Member

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    To me, the hidden gem of the series is the lead 20... it's the same as lead 12, but with bigger transformer and better speaker (g10L35)... they are pretty rare thou..I guess people either went for the 12 or the 5010 (30 watt)....
    J
     

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