JCM900 Hated - Why?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by scozz, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    actually most marshalls ( with effects loops) will benefit from an eq in the loop it provides greater tonal control and ability to add a bit more torque. Even a JCM 800 benefits from the eq in the loop I know this cause I use one with my 2210/4212 combo. My 4100 dr gives up the goods even without an eq.
    I am quite shocked at the number of individuals who seem to never quit complaining, about most Marshalls, that it "doesn't sound good in their bedroom".
    I recommend taking one of teh reissues for a test drive before anyone denounces it.
     
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  2. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Thats a myth, It doesn't have to be cranked to sound good. once you get up to about 3 and above it opens up quite nicely and levels that allow to play most sized clubs
     
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  3. Emtbreid

    Emtbreid Well-Known Member

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    Exactly true. My DSL combo sounds like crap cranked and dimed. Around 4 and up on channel and master the magic happens. Above 7-8 and it sounds terrible.
     
  4. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the difference between the 2 amps is the 900 using diodes & the predecessor (800) used tubes in the pre-amp. The different characteristics of that difference in particular is one of the things SOME players beef about & fuel these types of threads.
     
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  5. Emtbreid

    Emtbreid Well-Known Member

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    I thought some of the 800’s had diode clipping too. Idk if the 2210 did or not.
     
  6. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The 2205/2210 JCM800's have diode clipping..and the JCM900 sl-x doesn't.
     
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  7. headcrash

    headcrash Active Member

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    We should avoid speaking of "the 800s" or "the 900s" because in both series there were different models.

    The Split Channel 800s (2210, 2205, ...) did have diode clipping. The first Split Channel version was in fact a pretty different topology than the later ones, which were introduced maybe around '85 or '86. I have never heard one of the early versions, so I cannot compare to the later ones. However, both versions had diode clipping.

    The 900 Dual Reverbs (which could be seen as some kind of successor to the Split Channels) have diode clipping, and most of the gain stages, FX loop and reverb buffering and recovery stages are done using opamps.
    The 900 Mk III Master Volume, which can be seen as the direct successor to the JCM 800 2203, 2204 et al, also had diode clipping involved, and some opamps for the FX loop buffer/recovery and master volume switching.
    The 900 SL-X does not use diode clipping, but a 4th preamp tube. Still there are some opamps for the FX loop buffer/recovery and master volume switching.

    A very large part of my life as a guitarist and tube amplifier enthusiast, I disliked any silicon semiconductor parts being used in the (direct) signal path. Only a few years ago I realized that, (for example) diode clipping can sound really, really great: I adore the Jubilee circuit :)

    Back in my very early days ('95 - '97) I played a 900 DR for a few years. I can't quite remember how it sounded, nor did I have any technical knowledge about (tube) amplifiers. It was just, that this was the only affordable channel switcher at the time, which said "Marshall". In 97 I exchanged it for a later 800 Spit Channel, in 98 I bought a black Jubilee combo (2554), but at the time never seemed to like the sound. All three had diode clipping, so maybe I blamed that for not liking them. But you know, it was the 90s and everybody and his dog played Rectifiers, and maybe I wanted something more like that.

    In my non-silicon phase I played in a band, where our singer-guitarist originally played a 900 DR, but then bought a Framus Dragon halfstack (which is in fact a take on the Soldano SLO/Recto preamp with different EQ topology and power amp feedback loop design). However, when we recorded an album, he switched back to the Marshall...
    I'm glad I got cured, too, and loving my Jubilee clone now.
    I can imagine, that I might also like the 900 DR, especially in a 2-guitarist rock band situation. I will have to give it a try, once I get the opportunity...
     
  8. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    I think people have become worked up on "diode" and channel switching. I respond on this thread to try to cut through the myths, rumors and internet falsehoods.

    For you guys who are on the fence of an amp to buy make sure you test drive as many as you can. your ears are what matter. I'd hate to see someone miss an opportunity to own a 4100DR for a deal just becuz "someone's friend, who knew someone, whosse sister dated so and so who was firnds with the guy told them..blah blah blah.. bs about the 900.

    When you try the 900 's out turn them to about 3 on volume and then play while adjusting the eq. Channels are very easily to balance levels and you can cover a lot of ground with this amp. Then try it with an eq in the effect loop. don't boost it too much to start but slowly open the eq up. you will be amazed

    I recommend the 4100 DR get the 100 watt. you wont be sorry.
     
  9. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    ive never played dsl amps ( i think i should, they get love here in the forums), Ive never played jcm2000 amps, ive never played jvm..dcm HIV or any other newish acronym marshall amp.
    ive just owned, own or played some old plexi style amps, jcm800 amps and i own a crazy hare-ass modded frankenstein jcm900.

    when the jcm900 was unmodified, i couldn't help but note how lacking the amp was in punch. there was plenty of dirt, but no impact, quite 2d when compared to those other marshall amps I've played.

    i like the diode dirt thing, this is quite a sophisticated distortion, a lot better than some of the awful blocky sounding cheap shit sounding pedals people run in front of their amps.

    sub-plot

    I have noted, that when you use a jcm900 100 watt output transformer in a trainwreck express clone, that the end product is arguably better than either a 50w marshall or a trainwreck.
    ( no 4 ohm tap though for speaker...dont think a 50w jcm900 o/t will be better, it needs to be a 100 ).
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  10. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

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    Here we go again smh
     
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  11. Cadorman

    Cadorman Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My 900's have tubes in the preamp section. Maybe mine are special?
     
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  12. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    I should not have generalized all 900 series amps as both the 800 & 900 evolved since I bought my 900 in 90-91. I'm not exactly sure exactly what the inferenced intended beef is here But there are many articles & documents that talk of diodes being used to generate JCM900 pre-amp drive & distortion (in addition to the power tubes!), if you search.
    Here's one source from Wikipedia. If it's not accurate please state your source & correct it.

    "There are three different variants of the JCM900. The most common models are the 4100 (100 watt) and 4500 (50 watt) "Dual Reverb" models, which are a descendant of the JCM800 2210/2205 design. These models feature channel switching and diode distortion. The 2100/2500 Mark IIIs are essentially JCM800 2203/2204s with added diode clipping controllable via a knob on the front panel and an effects loop. These are fairly uncommon and were not in production for long before being replaced by the 2100/2500 SL-X, which essentially replaced the diode clipping from the Mk III with another 12AX7/ECC83 preamp tube. These are easily the highest distortion of the three variants."

    My initial comments were about my personal amp & my personal experience playing & performing with it for 4 years or so. It was a 1991 Dual Reverb 100watter.

    I guess even the 800 series eventually offered diode clipping but initially the JCM800 lead Master Volume amps were a direct continuation of the JMP Master Volume amps which relied on an extra gain stage of a 12ax7 tube in the pre-amp section for Gain & Distortion / Drive.

    It is all too difficult if not impossible to generalize the 900 series because it was a series that was in evolution & change over the course of many years and had many different models as well.

    So for you nit pickers that find the intended essence of my reply lacking over any diode exactification (yes, I made date shit up) please excuooosze me.

    Carry on.
     
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  13. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Who gives a crap what causes the clipping? If you like the tone, play the amp. If not, move on. I happen to like my 900 DR, and I have a JCM 800 as well as a couple of JVMs as points of reference. The amp I plug into depends on the mood I'm in.

    If someone decides to dislike the 900 because of diode clipping, more power to you. If you just care about the tone, irrespective of how it is created (like me), then a properly working JCM 900 DR is an excellent amp.
     
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  14. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Well the point here is about the question being posed & that question is why is the 900 hated?

    The best answer I got is because it was new, different & didn't behave or sound exactly like the JCM or JMP amps of notoriety before it. Diode clipping is simply one of the reasons it sounded different. Thats all. It's all in perception & personal preference. There is no right or wrong when it comes to someone subjectively liking or hating something.
    Period!

    Unless of course you disagree with me! Har dee frik'n Har Har Har
     
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  15. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    This^,.......This is the bottom line for me.

    If you like the way an amp sounds, that’s all that matters, (all other things being equal)!

    Not having much experience with 900s, I started this thread because of the prices I’m seeing for these amps,.....$600, $700 for a 900 DR head.

    Now I’m thinking that these amps might be sleepers that can be had for a good price!
     
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  16. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    They totally are bargains, i got my 4500 for 675.00 WITH a 1960 cab! I know that was a crazy deal but they are out there. Great amp too but way bigger than i needed so i traded it on. I pretty much only play at home ( or other people's homes) so 10 or 20w amps are perfect for me, i have a Peavey Delta blues 1x15" for anything bigger but it don't get used much. I loved that Marshall, though i don't think my neighborhood cared much for it.:thumb:
    P.s. considering a Origin 50 and a 2x12 cab........i miss the power of Marshall.
     
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  17. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    Do you use an attenuator at all? I’m also an at home player and I’ve been using a Weber MiniMass 50 watt attenuator with my Jcm800 Studio. It sounds and works great!

    Take a look at these settings I’m using in my 13 x 13 room at home!

    The Weber lets me crank my 800 Studio and play at any volume I like! You can see the Weber is set at 20 or 25%,.....

    Oh, and the best part is it’s only $136!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member

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    ...and then stick a tube screamer in front of it.
    (I know - it's been said before, but it still makes me giggle...)

    :hippie::pirate::uk:
     
  19. Emtbreid

    Emtbreid Well-Known Member

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    I was waiting for someone to say this....
     
  20. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    Most of the amp companies were playing around with diodes for clipping towards the 90's i mean damn even Jubilliee's had them...................
     
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