What's the deal with the JCM900?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Adey1981, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    The JCM900 is so horrible, such a complete dog of an amp, just the thinnest worst sounding Marshall of all time...that Marshall decided to produce a JCM900 reissue that's in stores today for $2,499. Oh wait :hmm:
     
  2. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    As a limited production reissue that's gotten no attention now for how many years? 6 or 7? Why is that? Because you can go buy an old one in great shape with old iron and arguably better build quality for 1/4 to 1/3 the price on the used market. Not the case (regarding pricing) for NMV, JCM 800 MV, or JMP series amps. Supply and demand doesn't lie.

    The OP asked for some discussion, and I get people want to defend what they love, but there seems to be some ignorance of the reality of the overall 900 series picture.

    The 900s had a bad rap long before Al Gore invented the internet. It did not deliver to the majority of the buying public what it touted-in marketing or on the stage.

    The MKIII was replaced by the SLX after a few years because people wanted "all tube" not diodes.

    Recently (10 years? 8 years ago?) Marshall reissued a ton of 1 Watt amps- Classics for the 50th Anniversary series. All 900 series amps were skipped. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    Love them or hate them, the DSL series has won over orders of magnitude more fans (including professional heavyweights- like Jeff Beck and Gary Moore, for example. Gary was a notorious endordsement whore and played whatever Jim Marshall threw at him- he switched to Soldanos and a Guv'nor when the 900s came out) . Slash probably had the biggest name cred at the time of release- he played Joobys, and of course the 800/Old Plexi moddded heads in the studio.

    Speaking of- the only highly successful diode clipping amp has been the Jubilee series- which got a whole new production run in full size and compact size recently, as well as the sig Slash head in the 1990s. There is a demand for them from the market, so Marshall created a supply.

    The majority of Marshall players who have owned 900series amps (in particular the DR) don't have a very high opinion of them or seem neutral at best. It's here in this thread.

    They 900s have remained affordable on the used market because the demand is not there.

    This also goes for amps like the Vintage Modern- people love them, myself included, but it never delivered what people were expecting, and it died after a few years of production. The buying public at large did not accept them.

    :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  3. cozmacozmy

    cozmacozmy Active Member

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  4. Neville

    Neville Member

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    People always forget that the 30th anniversary models were also part of the 900 range. The MK3 was supposed to step in for the single channel JCM800, the dual reverbs replaced the 2205 and 2210 channelswitchers and finally the 6100 was supposed to be the new 3 channel flagship.

    If you think of the high gain master volume MK3 as a 2203 with a build in boost, a footswitchable 2nd master volume and a footswitchable loop, it actually seems like a very sexy amp. It was also the best sounding of the range, but back in the 90ies nobody wanted single channel amps and so everybody buyed the dual reverb models. These are quite lacking tonewise, at least at lower volumes, and that is why the 900 amps have a bad rep.
     
  5. Neville

    Neville Member

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    I always thought that a 1 watt MK3 would be awesome and I still have my fingers crossed. It would be an awesome way to celebrate the anniversary of the 900 range.
     
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  6. ibmorjamn

    ibmorjamn Well-Known Member

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    They “DR’s” sound pretty good from about 3 on the master volume as I recall and just a jumper but who cares .

    Plexi guy or 800 guy says it’s shit because it has non tube distortion. I never liked the damn DSL 40c or the 100w DSL 2000 Compared to the 100 DR it was not even half as loud not that that made it bad but my 15w LBX is probably louder than the 40c .
     
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  7. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    LBX rock.
     
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  8. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    I think that Marshall in the 90's should have come with a JCM800 II with an SS-Tube rectifier switch . , , bright cap on and off switch , a footswitch to engage a Jose style diode for more gain when soloing and an effects loop .......Done !!
    Just to give the Mesa guys some headaches!....hope Santiago reads this !...:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  9. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    i dont think we will care. marshall dont have a chance againt boogie.
     
  10. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Adding in my 2 penny's. Freind of mine has a 4502? 2x12 50w DR....first time I played it I was disgusted.....i took it and looked it over and the tubes were visibly shot....i retubed it with a used mullard in v1 a groove tubes/jj in in v2 and used telefunken in v3 with groove el34m power tubes and set the bias.
    It doesn't sound half bad.....lacks the 100% tube sound and feel but it's warm .......reminds me of a marshall mg but with tube depth and clarity. Not my favorite amp but I could play it and not grit my teeth it's certainly usable imo.....that said it does have two All time great pre tubes in it.
    The mkiii sounds really good imo I like that one but the only one I played was wide open
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  11. CreepBG

    CreepBG Active Member

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    I recently acquired a NOS JCM 900 4100 Dual Reverb re-issue from 2008 and it was not a love at first sight, but then I threw in a BOSS 7-band EQ pedal in the loop and an SD-1 in front and boy did the thing deliver!
    It cannot do the classic low-gain JCM 800/plexi AC/DC "pure power" tone but can very well do stuff that the JCM 800 cannot such as 90s high-gain palm-muted hardcore/punk, even at bedroom levels.
     
  12. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

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    Did you try the A channel for the lower gain ac/dc type stuff. Most agree the A channel is awesome for plexi tones.
     
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  13. CreepBG

    CreepBG Active Member

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    Everybody says they like the A channel better, but for me this is the channel that sounds solid state, there is nothing that I like on the cleans, and the breakup is not at all tube-like. It's fat and unpleasant, I like the clean on the DSL better but the B channel on full gain with EQ in the loop and an SD-1 in front is massive and way better than the DSL.
     
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  14. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    I agree I didn't like the DR clean channel either....that said it may sound ok with master dimed....didnt try that.
     
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  15. 2203xman

    2203xman Well-Known Member

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    Yep.My thoughts as well.My 2203x just killed my SLX.The SLX was missing something compared to the 2203.
     
  16. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    I use the SD-1 up front on my MKIII, but I've never coupled it with the EQ in the loop. I'm gonna have to try that one.
     
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  17. CreepBG

    CreepBG Active Member

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    Here's a nice demo of the 4100 DR with Creamback H75s:

     
  18. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Someone said Creamback H75's :shred: I mutilated this used Mesa cab with a quad of them.

    can20.jpg
     
  19. johnny q

    johnny q Well-Known Member

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    I never owned one, but used one extensively at a rehearsal studio in the late 1990s/early 2000s. I wish I could recall the exact model, but it sounded great with an SD1 out front.
     
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  20. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    When my buddy John finally brought his 50watt DR to my house (he dials it in to just about breakup) for his bluesy tone, when I jumped on it I cranked up mids treble, and dialed in a bit more gain, and it did all that I needed to enjoy.
    The clip above was great sounding, my buddy John had brought over a early 70’s greenback filled cab, it sounded great to my ears.
    Cheers
    Mitch
     

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