NAD: JCM800 2205 Split Channel Head

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by lonewolfsx, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. lonewolfsx

    lonewolfsx Active Member

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    After a bit of a screw up with a modded plexi clone, I lucked out and while returning that amp, found this one in the store. I spent a lot of time with it in the store as it was a previous customer return, but I'm not sure why - I can't seem to find anything wrong with it. The only complaint I have I suppose is that the reverb is a little fuzzy if you turn it to max - but I'm pretty sure that's just the natural of this kind of amp circuit (and Marshall's first iteration of built in reverb, as far as I know at least).

    It's dated from 1985, so I wasn't sure if it was the new or the old version of the circuit. Thanks to some old threads I knew to remove V2 and see if the clean channel stopped working - which it did, but the boost channel is unaffected. So it seems like this is indeed the later version of the circuit which is just great since that's what I wanted. I never got along with my 1982 2205 which I sold years ago.

    Anyway, it's in good shape and looks clean on the inside. The logo is a little worn/yellowed, same with the piping, but it has a full set of pretty new looking tubes and a pair of fat Sovtek 6550/KT-88's in the power section. Drake transformers all around and the caps don't look bulged or weird, although they do have 1985 date codes so they are the originals. I suppose I'll just keep my eye on them and play the amp a lot to keep them in good shape.

    I won't go into a ton of detail on the sound like I have in some of my previous NAD posts, but suffice to say it sounds fantastic, and I'm actually really surprised how much I like the clean channel. I have the master very low but the clean channel gets SUPER loud, louder than the boost channel, but stays very sparkly. I did test while I was on the boost channel if I turn the gain down and the clean volume to max I can hear the clean channel just a tiny bit through the boost channel, but I really can't imagine a time I'd ever use this amp with both the boost channel gain and clean volume maxed at the same time. I actually think the clean channel maxed and the boost with the gain lower has a unique kind of grit to it, fills out some of the sound, sort of like mixing in the clean signal with distortion (for example, like the Voodoo Sparkle Drive does), I wouldn't use it all the time but it could be a neat trick for an interesting recorded sound.
    The boost channel is the main reason I wanted one of these of course and I'm very pleased. It has enough gain for what I want to play on its own, gets an extra push with an SD-1 or tubescreamer up front of course, and cleans up nicely with the volume despite what people say about the clipping diodes. To my surprise, it actually feels like it has more gain than my JCM900 SL-X, probably because that amp is very immediate and clean sounding gain, while this JCM800 has a bit more hair on palm mutes and the like so it sounds a little nastier. I like the two together a lot - it's supidly loud but it's a great sound.

    Now that I have a JCM800, 900, 6100, and 2000 I really need to put together those sound clips I keep promising. Hopefully I will have some more time to set that up tomorrow or next weekend.

    Anyway, a few pics:
    [​IMG]
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  2. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on your new amp !
    Really like the aged logo and piping , goes well with the gold brushed faceplate !
    My 1988 had one if not the best lead tone I ever heard !
     
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  3. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    HNAD
    Looks great bro
    Play it in great health.
    Cheers
    Mitch
     
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  4. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Congratulations!!!

    I love these amps. I played 2205‘S & 2210’s for nearly 25 years with a Boss SD-1 in front and an Alesis Quadraverb.

    IMO It was the first Hot rod Marshall with a pretty simple Clean, Reverb, Effects Loop and added clipper in circuit.

    Here is my 2205 live in 1991 doing Dr Feel Good nailing the parts. in a club back in 1991.

    I am the tall guy on the left lol.

     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  5. lonewolfsx

    lonewolfsx Active Member

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    Thanks for the kind words guys.

    @NewReligion damn man, that's an awesome video. It is nailing that sound dead on and your singer isn't too bad either! I'm a bit jealous, I only played out a couple of times with some buddies in college and A) we never got that good and B) there's no video evidence of it (I'm okay with that...)

    I like the Ibanez RG550 too. My go to guitar at the moment is a pretty beat up 1987 Ibanez Pro540S. These 80s Ibanezes are killer players and while it's not my "favorite" or "best" guitar it's a real easy one to pick up, play, and sound great without much fuss.

    I just got an SD-1. I've wanted one a long time but ever being the deal-conscious type I was waiting for the right opportunity and finally got one. I'm really enjoying it and it has more gain than I thought it would - previously I was using an Ibanez TS7 (almost the same internally as a TS9 but only cost me $19). At the moment I have them both in front and the SD-1 is grittier and nastier, but the TS7 is smoother. They both have their roles depending on the song so honestly I'm going to keep them both. I'm not a boutique pedals guy so I'm plenty happy with those two standard cheap models and a knock off phase 90 up front just for adding a little texture to EVH riffs.

    Anyway, I've been playing this amp a bunch tonight and I wanted to make a quick update - and maybe I'm jumping the gun - but this is probably the best amp I've ever had, for the sound in my head. The 900s SL-X is cleaner/tighter, my Splawns all have varying degrees of coolness, I have Mesas for that kind of sound but this thing is just my favorite. My previous #1 amp, now moved to #2 (but it's really close!) is a 2003 VHT Pittbull 50CL with tube reverb onboard. That amp has the best lead tone I've come up with and I love it to death, and I've said it'll be the last amp I ever sell for years now. The thing about the VHT... it's very dark. I run the treble completely maxed and the presence up about 3/4 to max. I love the tone it makes but anything less than that sounds muted to my ears. You wouldn't believe how similar the VHT and this JCM800 sound in the room together, with the same speaker. It's incredible... in fact, I should have my girlfriend stomp on my ABY switcher a few times and not tell what amp I'm on and see if I can tell. One big difference though, and this is what kicks the JCM800 into #1 - they sound similar with the Marshall's treble control at 5. So the VHT does that one sound, amazingly well for me, but with this amp I can have nearly that exact same sound, but by manipulating the EQ, especially the treble and mids, I can swing from a super scooped metal tone down to a smooth Journey/Eric Johnson etc type tone easily, and more. I'm just blown away at how awesome this amp is. I can wait to do some clips. I just got a cheap condenser mic from a buddy so with any luck I'll be able to do a comparison test with both the standard SM57 on the speaker and an "in the room" sound test.

    Oh, and I also find my only minor complaint. Something about the frequencies this amp puts out makes my closed back 4x12 sound super directional, I mean more than normal. It's a bit piercing to sit directly in front of the cab (even several feet away), but standing or off-axis is fine. I stuck a little cardboard square over the center of the speaker and it's fine.

    Wish I hadn't waited 10 years to get one!
     
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  6. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Thank you. Like I said that was 1991 I was 26 years old...30years gone ny. I started playing clubs at 14 lol. Truth.

    Playing live is the best way to learn many facets of being a guitarists. I got to the point I was a hired axe slinger for some time.

    Glad you dig the NAD!

    David...♫
     
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  7. Sustainium

    Sustainium Well-Known Member

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    That was some excellent playing, I can’t see it getting better than that!
    Where did you learn to play if you don’t mind me asking?
     
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  8. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Thank you and thanks for the interest. I learned by ear.

    At age four (1968/69) my Dad put headphones on me and I heard the beautiful mixes of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. His band took 3rd place at the Indiana State Fair Battle of the Bands

    By age 8 1972 I started playing. Pop was in to Country and commercial music then so he showed me a few chords and gave me a 1957 Fender Duo Sonic. There would be a couple more pointers on some country fills over time but I took off on my own dropping the needle on Led Zeppelin II & Pop’s Jimi Collection I now own. Old Deep Purple pre Machine Head too.

    So I was playing bars at age 14 and filling for my Dad at 16. On the road a little at 18 and decided not for me so I joined the military. Did four years. Got out played live four about nine years then went back in all the while playing guitar and writing, recording, mixing & mastering etc... Lynch & Malmsteen are my main influences but in my teens I was a Alex Lifeson fan.

    I mod amps now and have slowed down on eating & breathing guitar. About to have a carpal release on my right hand hoping the index finger issue goes away as I am ready to push to another level.

    David
     
  9. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    @lonewolfsx : congratulations on the new amp day. The amp looks in good condition. I hope it serves you well.
     
  10. Sustainium

    Sustainium Well-Known Member

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    Your dedication to the guitar and amplifier really shows in your work, thanks for the journey!!
     
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  11. Musicmaniac

    Musicmaniac Well-Known Member

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    Love my '87 and was lucky enough to play it at a gig last night. It was glorious! :dude:
     
  12. Troy T. Blues

    Troy T. Blues Well-Known Member

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    Congrats!

    I LOVE my 1989! I had earlier ones too and I have to agree that I like the later circuit better.

    Love the vid @NewReligion! :)
     
  13. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Thank you.

    David
     
  14. Midnight Blues

    Midnight Blues Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! Congrats and HNMAD! :applause: :rock: :dude: :headbanger:
     
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  15. DragonCrestPC

    DragonCrestPC Active Member

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    Congrats! Got a 2210 myself and love it to death.
     

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