JCM900 Hated - Why?

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

  1. Fiestared869

    Fiestared869 New Member

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    The 900 4100 channel B is just fantastic. It’s “higher” gain but still has that bright, articulate, Marshall sound. I’ve tried Blackstars next to it, even the JVM205 and the 900 Just sounds better come, to me . And I went into it wanting to like the ht100 and JVM more due to more flexibility but the 900 just had “that sound”.
     
  2. Cadorman

    Cadorman Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Here you go. The playing sucks, but you should be able to get an idea of the amp sound. Recorded on a phone.
     
  3. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    That sounds fine to me.
     
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  4. Cadorman

    Cadorman Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'll never get rid of these 900's. I love the versatility of my TSL100, but the 900's kick it's ass in the crunch department.
     
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  5. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! Too bad I didn't have the internet or the knowledge to do this back in the early 90's! It would have solved my biggest personal beef I had with my 100 watt DR! That & the shitty EQ were the big complaints back then that were giving the 900 DR its "bad reputation". Thats the simple reality of it.

    The DR was what it was & in the early 90's when it's initial reputation was being built as it just wasn't able to do what the JCM 800 could do! There was no undoing the 900's diode characteristics on a stock DR amp. If you wanted drive you were stuck with the 900's version of drive. Where as the 800 of the day could generate a rich organic tube enhanced harmonic compression & saturation and.. if you 'wanted' diode type effect you threw whatever pedal in front of the 800 & dialed it in to your sound to your liking!

    This simply made the 800 a much better amp & dare I say, a much better amp, period! Thus.. the 'HATE' on the 90's DR 900's started.

    You can personally like the amp all you please today or.. modify it to your hearts content or use whatever additional pedals, EQ & effects in front of the input or through the FX loop to change things for the better BUT again, the early 90's 900 DR amp on it's own merits simply wasn't as usable as the JCM800 Lead of the early 90's.

    And that's why the word was out on them. And if you think about all that in context I think any reasonable man despite any current love or affection for the 900 DR they may have today.. would have to concede the reputation of being inferior to the 800 was fact based & legitimate.
     
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  6. headcrash

    headcrash Active Member

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    I think if you'd remove the diodes in a 900DR, there won't be much overdrive/distortion left. Or you might overdrive the next opamp stage, which I assume might sound horrible (fuzzy/buzzy). As far as I remeber, most if not all preamp overdrive/distortion in the 900DR's comes from feeding an opamp-amplified signal into diode clipping stages, or having diodes in opamp feedback loops, which acts similar.
    So the getting-rid-of-diodes as Cadorman describes works for the MkIII HiGain Mastervolume series (2100 and 2500).
     
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  7. Fender

    Fender Active Member

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    I've tried some 4100 with diodes removed, I sounded less gainy but no unwanted fizz in my memory. I don't remember the exact mod used though
     
  8. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    These can be such great amps with a little bit of tweaking.

    For starters no two seem to be the same. I remember back in the 90’s me and the other guitarist in my band both brought 100watt dual reverb amps on the same day from the same shop fitted with the same valves. Totally different sounds.
    Apart from this variance I have also found that they are extremely sensative to preamp valve changes. Something as simple as pulling the back off and swapping V1 for V2 can make a big difference. I’ve had 3 JCM900 Dual Reverb heads and I always fine tune the preamp valve combinations to my liking.
    Getting a few hot Mullards and JJ’s and trying different combinations is a cheap way to fine tune things.

    There is also the old “patch lead in the FX loop” trick that gives the amp more balls.

    The other thing to note is that a JCM900 really needs its power section to be working hard to sound good. Switching a 50watt 900 head back to 25watts will give it a lot more gain.

    I really think they’re an underrated amp that can produce a sound that neither my Jubilee or JVM410HJS can. Mind you the the Jubilee and JVM410HJS can also do a lot that the 900 can’t do.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and scozz like this.

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