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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at buying a local Marshall JCM900 4102 2 x 12 combo but I have a couple questions for anyone familiar with them.

Are these combos the exact same as the JCM900 heads? What's a good price on them? Are they good amps or should I just avoid it?

Thanks for any info!

 

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I saw one locally not too long ago for $1300 if I remember right. As far as I know they're the same as the heads spec-wise, but if you already have a cabinet you can usually find the heads for quite a bit less, like $800-900.

Sound, my step dad owns a JCM900... solid rock tones and can handle high gain stuff if you add just a touch more gain with an overdrive pedal.
 

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The JCM 900 was the highest gain head Marshall produced at the time. Great for hard rock and metal. The amp section should be the same to the comparable head, but the sound you will get from a combo is different than having a 1/2 stack. No disrepsect to the post by violation, but there is no way these things should be over $1000 range. I'm guessing that the price of one of those may be around $800 range, maybe cheaper since the JCM 900 is probably one of Marshall's models that are currently less desireable. A guy on Toronto Craigslist has one for $850 or B.O.

http://toronto.craigslist.org/msg/379313506.html

Also, if you are planning to play clean stuff, you may want to look at other amps that can give you a little more versatility. If I had the $$ and didn't have my current combo, I would definately look into the Mesa Boogie Mark IV. The current combo I have is a 100 watt Fender 'The Twin' with the red knobs. A lot of people don't like them, but I love mine. I had some slight mods done to it and have EI preamp and Svetlana power tubes in it. The thing screams and plays clean as well. Plus it has reverb. I've seen them go as cheap as $600. Everyone that hears this beast thinks it sounds very Marshally.

Te Peavey Classic line may be something to look at as well.
 

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Same amp as the head. AFAIK, the only difference is the tap on the output transformer. The heads are tapped for 8&16 ohm while the combos are tapped for 4&8 ohm. Check the year of the amp. Early models came with EL34s. Marshall changed to 5881s in 1994.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great thanks for the help. The guy is asking $550, so it looks like an alright deal. It's not my first choice for a tube amp, but you rarely see quality tube amps in the classifieds, and the pawn shops really overprice them.
 

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And the lead gain goes to 20...that's 9 more than 11. :D
 

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No disrepsect to the post by violation, but there is no way these things should be over $1000 range.
I had a feeling that was a bit overpriced. Then again, everyone tends to overprice their stuff around me. Thanks for clarifyin' that!

$550 is a great deal... I saw a 1x12 JCM 900 with a messed up volume pot for $650 and it sold in 2 days, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was too late. :mad:

Guess my search for a reasonably priced local tube amp continues...
 

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Yep it happens:mad: a couple of months ago I saw a guy selling an Ampeg Reverbrocket 212 in great shape for $350!!! I called him the second I saw the ad (he lived about 10 mins away from me), turns out some guy bought it literally 5 mins ago...

Edit: I just saw in your sig that you have a Twin Reverb, are you gonna sell it or something? Or are you just looking for an amp that works better for high gain?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep it happens:mad: a couple of months ago I saw a guy selling an Ampeg Reverbrocket 212 in great shape for $350!!! I called him the second I saw the ad (he lived about 10 mins away from me), turns out some guy bought it literally 5 mins ago...

Edit: I just saw in your sig that you have a Twin Reverb, are you gonna sell it or something? Or are you just looking for an amp that works better for high gain?
Yeah...With my luck when my dream amp finally appears in my area I know I'll just miss it.

I like the Fender Twin Reverb it has very nice cleans, but it doesn't handle high gain with lower tunings all that well.
 

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have you thought about pedals?

if you want a good high gain combo, i would point you towards mesa boogie rectoverb combo, stiletto ace.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
have you thought about pedals?

if you want a good high gain combo, i would point you towards mesa boogie rectoverb combo, stiletto ace.
I'm pretty happy with my pedals right now. The Blackstar is my high gain pedal.

I'd love to grab a Mesa Boogie, especially a Dual Rectifier, but I was hoping to find a good used deal for under $1000.

Ideally I'd want a Sunn Model T or Ampeg V4. Ampeg's usually run for only $400-600. I'm just waiting for a deal in Canada because the shipping will be a lot.
 

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I'm pretty happy with my pedals right now. The Blackstar is my high gain pedal.

I'd love to grab a Mesa Boogie, especially a Dual Rectifier, but I was hoping to find a good used deal for under $1000.

Ideally I'd want a Sunn Model T or Ampeg V4. Ampeg's usually run for only $400-600. I'm just waiting for a deal in Canada because the shipping will be a lot.
Can't speak for the Sunn's, but I don't think the old Ampegs will do too well with dropped tunings. If you are looking for those type of modern tones, you need more preamp generated distortion than what the V4 will provide. A Mesa will help you there.

I also checked your sig out and noticed you had a 4x12 and a Marshall head. Is that not doing it for you?

I also have to ask if you are getting this so you can perform on stage or if it's just for practise. If it's for practise, I would save my $$ and just drive the front end of the Fender Twin or the Marshall.

Or, scrap everything and check out one of those Tech21 amps. Those have some pretty wild tone and are versatile as hell. You can record direct, plug some headphones into them or just play them full out. I came very close to buying one. Still entertain the thought to this day.

Check this clip for the sounds. All the guitars were done through a Tech21 amp. Listen to the whole clip because it demonstrates the wide sound palette the amp provides. I like the idea of the Tech21 since it's all analogue circuitry, basically the SansAmp pedal stuck into a cabinet and reverb, as opposed to the modelling amps that employ digital processors. The sound is more tubelike in nature IMO.

http://www.tech21nyc.com/sounds/tm30_sounds/Trademark_30.mp3
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some heavier and loud bands I listen to (Converge, Red Sparrowes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor) all used Ampeg V4's at one point I believe. I haven't tried one out myself, but when I get the chance I hope it can handle everything.

My Marshall head was just a cheap Valvestate model. It sounded alright for it's price, but really wasn't very good. I just sold it too.

What about Mesa Boogie Nomads?
 

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thought i might chime in on the JCM900 side of the pond, i've got a 4502 combo that's been my mule for a year or so. doesn't make me an expert, that's for sure, but i've still got an opinion :)

i snagged mine in a horrible fit of "Ooo Shiny!" and regretted the purchase for about 6 mths, didn't get the sounds i thought it would. now, i'm thrilled with it. at the time i was playing a decent strat loaded with emg's through it and just didn't drive it properly. took a while to learn where it needed to be set. after purchasing a cheap epi lp to try out, the amp opened right up. the amp definately favors good pups (like most) or humbuckers and a good OD will really push it over. Like most marshalls (i find) they really favor power-tube crunch to sound good.

the 900's are definately the black-sheep of the jcm line, but i'm still confused as to why. the early Mkiii heads and combo's are filled with great gain and awesome rock sounds, slightly 80's shred on the high end, but still fun as hell. the later hi-gain dual-reverbs (like mine) add in some channel switching etc. and the Mkiv (SL-X) added an extra gain stage for some real fun.

the obvious suggestion, play some. combo's are easier to haul, but if u're planning on keeping that 1960 cab, i'd go with a head (assuming stage use) most 900's are 5881 powered which definately adds to the bottom-end.

definately a great amp, and the prices are still amazing. usually under $700 for a head (in mint condition most of the time) and not much more for a combo. way cheaper than the 800's or the dsl/tsl's and still a solid amp (no issues with mine so far)

and now, the disclaimer: I am not an expert (duh) anything i say can and will be used against me on a forum (somewhere) :)
 

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thought i might chime in on the JCM900 side of the pond, i've got a 4502 combo that's been my mule for a year or so. doesn't make me an expert, that's for sure, but i've still got an opinion :)

i snagged mine in a horrible fit of "Ooo Shiny!" and regretted the purchase for about 6 mths, didn't get the sounds i thought it would. now, i'm thrilled with it. at the time i was playing a decent strat loaded with emg's through it and just didn't drive it properly. took a while to learn where it needed to be set. after purchasing a cheap epi lp to try out, the amp opened right up. the amp definately favors good pups (like most) or humbuckers and a good OD will really push it over. Like most marshalls (i find) they really favor power-tube crunch to sound good.

the 900's are definately the black-sheep of the jcm line, but i'm still confused as to why. the early Mkiii heads and combo's are filled with great gain and awesome rock sounds, slightly 80's shred on the high end, but still fun as hell. the later hi-gain dual-reverbs (like mine) add in some channel switching etc. and the Mkiv (SL-X) added an extra gain stage for some real fun.

the obvious suggestion, play some. combo's are easier to haul, but if u're planning on keeping that 1960 cab, i'd go with a head (assuming stage use) most 900's are 5881 powered which definately adds to the bottom-end.

definately a great amp, and the prices are still amazing. usually under $700 for a head (in mint condition most of the time) and not much more for a combo. way cheaper than the 800's or the dsl/tsl's and still a solid amp (no issues with mine so far)

and now, the disclaimer: I am not an expert (duh) anything i say can and will be used against me on a forum (somewhere) :)
SkyFire and adamthemute:

Some excellent points. I know I mentioned earlier that the JCM 900's were currently on the 'lesser desired' Marshalls, but that's not saying I don't like mine. I also have to say that my previous posts were just suggestions since I really didn't know exactly what adamthemute was looking for and I tried to give as many economical options as possible. I've had my JCM 900 High Gain Volume Master MkIII since 1992 as well as the matching 1960A cab (paid $900 for both back then in mint condition). They work hand in hand and will get anyone into the thrash and metal zone pretty quick and convincingly. And I will confidently say that a 900 will outperform an Ampeg V-4 in that music genre because that's what it was designed to do. I was doing a lot of Metallica back then (Kill 'em All, Puppets, Lightning and Justice. After that Metallica failed to exist for me :D).

All said and done, the time to get a cheap JCM 900 head is now because they are not as popular as the JCM 800's. It sounds like that's what will suit your purpose and budget. It's hard to believe, but I predict that in a few years there will be a revival for these amps, just like with every other piece of gear.
 

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I've owned 2 JCM900 SL-X's over the years, and I was really impressed with them both. That being said, the first one I had came equipped with the 6L6's (or whatever the UK equivalent is) when there was a worldwide shortage of EL-34's. I owned the amp from 1995-1997 and never had an issue with it. The guy I sold it to back in '97 is still using it to this day with no problems whatsoever. Back a couple of years ago during my 'quest for tone', I picked up another one with EL-34's in it. What a great sounding amp. I also never had an issue with it (until some jackass screwed up biasing it for me just before I sold it), and it was bought back from me by the person I got it off of. Now, I've played through a few of the Dual Reverb ones, and I wasn't impressed with either channel on it (YMMV), but the SL-X and it's predecessor, the High Gain Master Volume MK IV or something like that, are outstanding amps IMO. Plus, with the dual Preamp volumes and half power switch, you can turn the Master(s) up fairly well and then dial in a nice preamp level without getting into Thrash territory, if that's what you're going for. The Dual Masters is also nice for rhythm and lead. Damn, now I'm gas-ing for another one of these. :D
 

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I've owned 2 JCM900 SL-X's over the years, and I was really impressed with them both. That being said, the first one I had came equipped with the 6L6's (or whatever the UK equivalent is) when there was a worldwide shortage of EL-34's. I owned the amp from 1995-1997 and never had an issue with it. The guy I sold it to back in '97 is still using it to this day with no problems whatsoever. Back a couple of years ago during my 'quest for tone', I picked up another one with EL-34's in it. What a great sounding amp. I also never had an issue with it (until some jackass screwed up biasing it for me just before I sold it), and it was bought back from me by the person I got it off of. Now, I've played through a few of the Dual Reverb ones, and I wasn't impressed with either channel on it (YMMV), but the SL-X and it's predecessor, the High Gain Master Volume MK IV or something like that, are outstanding amps IMO. Plus, with the dual Preamp volumes and half power switch, you can turn the Master(s) up fairly well and then dial in a nice preamp level without getting into Thrash territory, if that's what you're going for. The Dual Masters is also nice for rhythm and lead. Damn, now I'm gas-ing for another one of these. :D
Yup.....Marshall heads with reverb is not a good mix like Fenders and reverb. The predecessor to the SL-X is the High Gain Volume Master MKIII which is the original series. Still have mine.
 

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Yup.....Marshall heads with reverb is not a good mix like Fenders and reverb. The predecessor to the SL-X is the High Gain Volume Master MKIII which is the original series. Still have mine.
Yes, thank you for the correction. Now that I think of it, the SL-X is the MK IV. Great amps. Underrated. We should be buying them all up and hanging on to them...:rockon2:
 

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Yes, thank you for the correction. Now that I think of it, the SL-X is the MK IV. Great amps. Underrated. We should be buying them all up and hanging on to them...:rockon2:
That's why I kept mine. I used to have a JCM 800 2205 (channel switcher with reverb) that didn't do it for me. These were also looked upon as the black sheep of the JCM 800. I decided to sell it and can you believe I got over $1,700 for it on eBay? Not bad for a black sheep, eh? I still have my Silver Jubilee 2550, also a JCM 800, with a matching cab which also helped to justify that sale.

As I mentioned before today's black sheep of the Marshall lineup is the JCM 900. As you have mentioned, if you don't have one and see a good deal for one in good shape - pick it up. It will only increase in value.
 
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