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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here use a JCM 900? I heard conflicting storties about them so was just wondering. I've had lots to do with JCM 800s, JTM and Plexis over the years but never the 900s. Anyone have opinions on these?
 

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Had a JCM 900 head for a few years. It was a 50 watt that was switchable to 25. Great distorted tones but just a passable clean tone. Never had any reliability issues with it other than changing out tubes. I think they get a bad rap by alot of people.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been kinda of finding that out from a few guys I've talked to. They all love the distortion of the 900. I'm starting to think I need to give one a try. I'm not to worried about cleans, most of what I play doesn't require it and if itdoes, I have fenders that can do that job.
 

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My signature says it all...

As a tech, I've never liked any Marshall after the JCM800.

The 900 gets some of its distortion by putting in diodes and solid state stuff. The 2000 has even more. I freely admit I'm a dyed in the wool tube bigot but that's because I find distortion from solid state devices to be harsh and fuzzy.

Puttting solid state devices before the amp input can sound ok. A Les Paul into a TS-808 into a Marshall Plexi, driving a 4-12 of vintage Celestions is my absolute dream tone.

And not the new 'Made in China' Celestions. How could you expect a country that shoots people for listening to rock and roll to build a good rock speaker? Notice how the Ebay price of REAL greenbacks is climbing and climbing!

Angus Young and his brother figured it out years ago. No master volume crap, just turn the amp up loud enough that you can get some power amp distortion happening. If the amp is too loud then run a smaller one that you CAN run at 8 or 9!

Just my humble opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear what you're saying. My main gigging amp is an ampeg vl series, all tube, dirty mean and nasty. I don't have a solid state amp in the house, except for an old Univox U200B bass head.

I've played lots of 800s over the years but the only ones I've really liked have been the modded ones. I also figure the price on those is too high.
I had a plexi back in early 80's and I stupidly let it go. I've kicked myself for that one many times.

I'd like to find a backup for my existing amp, but those vl series don't appear to be here in canada. I know I can bring one up from the states, but truthfully I would prefer to keep the cash in canada. However I just may have too. I've been looking for two years and haven't found another Ampeg VL here for sale.

I've thought about trying a 900 but am torn from what I have read and heard from people, as well as I am a tube bigot myself. I sure appreciate the info and feedback on the 900s.
 

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I know a guy with a 900 half stack and I have to agree that it sounds good dirty, but the cleans are garbage. He feels the same - he bought a Bassman about a year ago for his cleans. He generally play an Explorer and his rig does sound great.

I don't know how much I buy into the whole diodes in the signal path arguments (pro or con). If it sounds good, I don't really care all that much. I like the DSL, but I do find the TSL a little thin-sounding for my taste.

But I do understand the cork-sniffing. I often have the same arguments with my audiophile friends about CD vs vinyl. I'm sure I'll go to my grave arguing vinyl sounds better. But does it really or is it all in my biased perception? Who knows.:confused-smiley-010
 

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Emohawk said:
I don't know how much I buy into the whole diodes in the signal path arguments (pro or con). If it sounds good, I don't really care all that much.
+1 on that....tone is just too subjective. SS, tube, new, vintage, American, Canadian, British...go with what sounds good to you.
 

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Wild Bill said:
How could you expect a country that shoots people for listening to rock and roll to build a good rock speaker?
Wow, that's one interesting point of view. :confused:
 

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Clean tone

I'd just like to pipe in here about the clean tone. I played with a guitarist that had one of the earlier 100 watt heads and the clean as well as the distorted tones were both quite good. I understand Marshall played around with the design of these amps and that the newer ones weren't as good, but that's just what I've heard others report. The clean tone was different than other Marshalls I've heard, but just as good if not better depending on your tastes. Definitely worth considering if you're in the market for a rockin' head.
 

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My JCM900 sounds very good overdriven (I push it with Lovepedals- Eternity & COT50) but I keep an old Fender Super Reverb around for the clean stuff. Best of both worlds IMHO. I used a Super Lead in the '70's (which I stupidly sold!) but had to used a Big Muff to get any kinda dirt at lower volumes than 9 or 10. I was a sound man's nightmare in those days!!
 
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