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earlyreflections's picture
Australia
Jul 2009
4 years ago

hey guys,

i've come across an original JCM 800 100watt head + the 1960a 4x10 cab locally and am deciding whether I should get it and let the JC-120 go or even pair it up.

this one of the amps I've always wanted to try in my setup but have never come across any until now. I'm still playing a lot of shoegaze / ambient / post-rock music in my band and on my own as well. Current setup of effects is;

TU-2 > RV-5 > Fulltone BassDrive > PN-2 > PS-3 > DM-2 > DD-2 > RV-2

what are your thoughts? is the JCM-800 a good match for my music? I should be able to get bigger walls of sound with it compared to the JC-120 but can it still do ambient / gazy tones well and handle pedals nicely?

cheers :)

olddawg's picture
Southern California & Hawaii usually, but I get around
Dec 2004
1 year ago
Originally Posted by earlyreflections

hey guys,

i've come across an original JCM 800 100watt head + the 1960a 4x10 cab locally and am deciding whether I should get it and let the JC-120 go or even pair it up.

this one of the amps I've always wanted to try in my setup but have never come across any until now. I'm still playing a lot of shoegaze / ambient / post-rock music in my band and on my own as well. Current setup of effects is;

TU-2 > RV-5 > Fulltone BassDrive > PN-2 > PS-3 > DM-2 > DD-2 > RV-2

what are your thoughts? is the JCM-800 a good match for my music? I should be able to get bigger walls of sound with it compared to the JC-120 but can it still do ambient / gazy tones well and handle pedals nicely?

cheers :)

You just have to ask one question. Do you need to be that loud? If you turn it down it will not break up. Where you play can you use a dimed 100 watt amp?

Stage Guitars: '80s Thin line LP Custom, '70 LP Standard, '83 Squier Black Headstock Strat w/ Dan Torres pickups, '59 Black Danelectro DC, sometimes others.

Pedal Board: Nady UHF 10 -> TU2 -> Rocktron Big Crush -> 70s MXR Phase 100 -> Cry Baby -> Bad Monkey -> Early '80s Rat -> Early '80s Ibanez CS 9 -> Ibanez DE 7 -> Behringer Dr 100 Stereo Reverb

Stage amps: '63 Blonde Tremolux w/ two original 2X10 cabinets with a '60 Ampeg Rocket/18 watt VTB Marshall clone/ Epi VJ into a Mashall 1965A

earlyreflections's picture
Australia
Jul 2009
4 years ago

i've been thinking that exact thing olddawg, i love the JCM breakup but how loud does it need to be before getting to that stage? i really dont think at the gigs I will be playing or at home i could have it that loud :( is there any other options? fender twin?

olddawg's picture
Southern California & Hawaii usually, but I get around
Dec 2004
1 year ago
Originally Posted by earlyreflections

i've been thinking that exact thing olddawg, i love the JCM breakup but how loud does it need to be before getting to that stage? i really dont think at the gigs I will be playing or at home i could have it that loud :( is there any other options? fender twin?

Wow...Two entirely different animals. But both are big, heavy, loud 100 watt monsters. If you already have a JC 120 then you don't need a Twin or if you have a Twin you don't need a JC 120. Both are good choices if your distortion comes from pedals. Both are good pedal platform amps with a lot of overhead. A Twin is very heavy and transporting one gets old quick. You should ask yourself, how loud do I need to be? Chances are you probably don't really need much over 20 or 30 watts. If you want a JCM800 "LIKE" amp distortion at a lower volume check out some amps with EL84 output tubes. At home you might consider a 5 watt Epiphone VJ head. They're cheap and and distort really nice with decent tubes and an OD pedal. Bare in mind that no one has discovered the holy grail of the sound of a JCM800 dimed at a low volume. It can't be done because of sound pressure considerations among other things.

Stage Guitars: '80s Thin line LP Custom, '70 LP Standard, '83 Squier Black Headstock Strat w/ Dan Torres pickups, '59 Black Danelectro DC, sometimes others.

Pedal Board: Nady UHF 10 -> TU2 -> Rocktron Big Crush -> 70s MXR Phase 100 -> Cry Baby -> Bad Monkey -> Early '80s Rat -> Early '80s Ibanez CS 9 -> Ibanez DE 7 -> Behringer Dr 100 Stereo Reverb

Stage amps: '63 Blonde Tremolux w/ two original 2X10 cabinets with a '60 Ampeg Rocket/18 watt VTB Marshall clone/ Epi VJ into a Mashall 1965A

earlyreflections's picture
Australia
Jul 2009
4 years ago

Haha the JC-120 is quite heavy in its own right thats for sure!

Sounds like I should just keep the JC-120, all of my distortion / sounds come from the pedals which is why I guess I got the JC in the first place because they take them so well, u get a really nice shimmery / shoegazey sound! One thing I do need to put through it is a nice RAT II!

thanks again dude :)

Concretebadger's picture
North Yorkshire, UK
Jan 2010
9 months ago

Olddawg's words of wisdom are right on the money as always...you're talking about some amps that are heavy to carry and are LOUD. Sure, you'd get a great shoegazey/post-rock sound by A/B-ing the Marshall with a Twin or a JC-120 - the latter two do legendary cleans according to, well, pretty much everyone I've asked about it. :) I'm aiming in a similar direction to you actually, but realised the issues of portability and loudness so decided to start saving up for a Deluxe Reverb or Supersonic 22 to nail a clean tone at a more manageable level and A/B-ing it with my Blackstar (which sounds Marshall-y but a bit more tweakable).

That said, the JC-120 is solid state, so cranking it won't alter the sound quality in the same way that cranking a Twin will (apart from the aforementioned SPL, which is kinda secondary to how the amp itself behaves).

I've tried one or two of the JCM2000 series Marshalls, and was decidedly unimpressed...not that the 900s and the 2000s are without their merits, but the 800s are the pick of the bunch if I ever got a Marshall again. One last thought: is it practical to run it at 50 watts by removing two of the tubes, and if so would it make a significant difference to the volume?

Guitar rig: CIJ Fender Jazzmaster/CIJ Fender Mustang -> TU-3 -> RAT 2 -> M.A.S.F. Lavender Head -> RV-5 -> RE-20 -> PS-2 -> DD-3 -> EHX Cathedral -> Fender '65 DRRI & Matamp Mini

Bass rig: Fender MIM Jazz Bass -> TU-2 -> OD-3 -> custom IC Muff -> Sansamp BDDI -> RV-3

"...So now you know the true secret to great tone: all the espresso you can handle."

olddawg's picture
Southern California & Hawaii usually, but I get around
Dec 2004
1 year ago
Originally Posted by Concretebadger

One last thought: is it practical to run it at 50 watts by removing two of the tubes, and if so would it make a significant difference to the volume?

It is done all of the time and an old, old trick. You have to double the load for the transformer tap you are using. An 8 ohm tap should use a 16 ohm speaker load, etc. It is usually done to get the amp to break up earlier. It's still too loud for most clubs. There is an overhead difference between 50 and 100 watts, but not much of a volume difference IMHO.

Stage Guitars: '80s Thin line LP Custom, '70 LP Standard, '83 Squier Black Headstock Strat w/ Dan Torres pickups, '59 Black Danelectro DC, sometimes others.

Pedal Board: Nady UHF 10 -> TU2 -> Rocktron Big Crush -> 70s MXR Phase 100 -> Cry Baby -> Bad Monkey -> Early '80s Rat -> Early '80s Ibanez CS 9 -> Ibanez DE 7 -> Behringer Dr 100 Stereo Reverb

Stage amps: '63 Blonde Tremolux w/ two original 2X10 cabinets with a '60 Ampeg Rocket/18 watt VTB Marshall clone/ Epi VJ into a Mashall 1965A

cricketchorus's picture
portland
Apr 2007
4 years ago

I would have similar reservations as everyone else. I really like the sound of JCM 800's but at this point in life can't justify being that loud to produce those sounds. I would look for something more in the 30-50 watt range and it will be plenty loud. The V4 I used to play guitar through is now a bass amp for similar reasons, too loud, too heavy. I prefer amps right on the edge if not slightly past the break up point and it becomes too tedious to achieve that with high wattage amplifiers. Similarly something with too little headroom will not take pedals without turning to mush. A 50 watt Bassman or similar older Fender amp will go along way and are fairly versatile. They might not be the holy grail tone for the cork sniffer but you can get them to sound pretty d*mn good.

asatbluesboy's picture
Brasil
Dec 2005
9 months ago

My Tweed Bassman clone is 40-ish watts, has only two (10-inch) speakers and I still can never crank it to its sweet point in clubs. :mad:

crew

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Selling BOSS FW-3. I live in Brazil, mind you, so prepare yourself for $30-ish for shipping and waiting. Local pickup available, along with beautiful beaches and cheap bitches.

olddawg's picture
Southern California & Hawaii usually, but I get around
Dec 2004
1 year ago
Originally Posted by asatbluesboy

My Tweed Bassman clone is 40-ish watts, has only two (10-inch) speakers and I still can never crank it to its sweet point in clubs. :mad:

+1 That's why I use am 18 watt Marshall clone through an old 2X10 Tremolux cab most of the time and I still get told I'm too loud. But I drive the bejesus out of my amps. You can build or find builds that have a JCM800
preamp and an 18 watt output stage with EL84 tubes. I have more of a Voxish Marshall front end on mine.

Stage Guitars: '80s Thin line LP Custom, '70 LP Standard, '83 Squier Black Headstock Strat w/ Dan Torres pickups, '59 Black Danelectro DC, sometimes others.

Pedal Board: Nady UHF 10 -> TU2 -> Rocktron Big Crush -> 70s MXR Phase 100 -> Cry Baby -> Bad Monkey -> Early '80s Rat -> Early '80s Ibanez CS 9 -> Ibanez DE 7 -> Behringer Dr 100 Stereo Reverb

Stage amps: '63 Blonde Tremolux w/ two original 2X10 cabinets with a '60 Ampeg Rocket/18 watt VTB Marshall clone/ Epi VJ into a Mashall 1965A

jonny-b-brown's picture
Nashville, TN
Feb 2008
3 years ago

I couldn't even crank my classic 30 last night without complaints. I put a micro amp, tunred way down, in the fx loop to keep it down. Sort of squashed my dynamics, but ya gotta do what you gotta do....

I'm just two people short of a threesome.