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Old 02-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #1
dfa.1979
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Need help choosing a Marshall JCM800 combo model

I am looking to buy my first real amp (that's not a starter amp), I have looked into what gear the bands I like use and have pretty much settled on a Marshall JCM800. I want a combo though since I don't see myself performing for about a year and I would like to spend less money, I was thinking Id buy a head later and then trade in the combo for a cab and start using that.

I am not sure if I should get a 50w or a 100w though, like I said I wont need it for gigs if anything I might play in a small room here and there like a classroom but that's it for now. So if the only difference is how loud they are than I might just get a 50w but if there's other differences in sound quality then I would reconsider. Also should I get the one with 1 speaker or 2 speakers how big of a difference is it? I was thinking maybe the 2 speaker one would sound fuller?

And lastly I don't know what the difference is between the 2 channel and single channel models, I'll mostly be playing post-hardcore/metal music, bands like Emery, Blessthefall, Avenged Sevenfold, Three Doors Down, Greenday, Paramore, Rise Against, to more metal bands like Metallica, SOAD, Norther, Dethklok, Machinae Supremacy.

I want to get these kinds of sounds out of it,





Heavier




So if anyone could help me decide like I said this is gonna be my first tube amp so I don't really know much about them yet. Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
Cathbard
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The main difference between a 50 and a 100 is that the 50 can produce some power tube distortion without totally drowning out the drummer. The 100 can be turned into a 50 by puling two tubes and switching the impedance switch down one notch though.
The single channel ones slay the two channel ones. The dual channel ones have diode clipping, the singles are pure tube apart from the rectifier.

http://drtube.com/marshall.htm#JCM800
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:37 AM   #3
MrFlibble
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50w and 100w is a matter of headroom; unless you're trying to play in arenas without a good PA, there is no reason to ever have to even crank a 50w valve amp, let alone a 100w one. As a previous own of several 100w+ amps, I can tell you there really is no point in them, unless you're touring the world. Even 50w will be overkill in many situations and you will find that for most gigs you will not get a chance to properly crank it up. I've heard of a few people opening up their JCMs and pulling a 50w down to 25w for this very reason.

For speakers, basically all having a second speaker will do is push more air, making your minimum volume louder. The exact effect and difference in sound does depend o n he speakers in question, but as a general rule of thumb, the main difference is you'll get more volume. Now, a 10w valve amp with one 10" speaker can shake your house; a 50w amp with a 12" speaker will generate far more volume than you will ever practically need. Unless you get a really good deal on a 2x12" and think you can live with the louder minimum volume, get the 1x12".

As for the channel thing, the dual channel models have a sharper and tighter tone and the single channels after a more standard, iconic Marshall crunch. It's wrong to say that one is objectively and always better than the otheróthere are plenty of thrash and goth metal bands who love the dual-channel JCM800sóbut there's a good reason why most people opt for the single channel model.

Just going through the bands you mentioned, bear in mind that for most of them a JCM800 isn't going to be ''heavy'' enough. It'll do Paramore and Green Day (sort of; even they use additional pedals and more modern Marshalls), but for the likes of Metallica and A7X you'll need to boost it with an OD pedal, for sure.
I think it's important to mention the JCM2000s, too, as they have a bit more range than JCM800s (both heavier and cleaner), are dual-channel without sounding cheap and it's easier to find JCM2000s in good condition than it is to find old JCM800 combos. The way I look at it, the JCM800 is the best for hard rock and the JCM2000 is the best for pop-rock and metal. Each fills in the spots the other misses.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
darkwolf291
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^JCM800s are the quintessential 80's metal amp. Whether that's thrash metal or hair metal.

Throw a boost in front and you can get enough gain for Slayer, since that's what Kerry uses.

TS: Get a single channel JCM

Last edited by darkwolf291 : 02-19-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
MrFlibble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwolf291
^JCM800s are the quintessential 80's metal amp. Whether that's thrash metal or hair metal.

Throw a boost in front and you can get enough gain for Slayer, since that's what Kerry uses.
True (I did mention using an OD with it), but what was 'metal' in the 80s is very much 'hard rock' by today's standards; what is now standard metal would have been the most extreme black metal, back then. Also, what was used is not necessarily what is still best now. JCM800s, with a pedal, can do metal alright, but not as comfortably as a JCM2000 can; using the 80s as an example becomes an irrelevant comparison because options like the 2000 didn't exist back then to begin with.
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Last edited by MrFlibble : 02-19-2013 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
Cathbard
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The dual channel ones aren't too hard to fix, you just rip out that ugly fuzz box clipper circuit. Imo if you want a fuzz box buy a friggin fuzz box and if you must put it in the amp at least allow me to turn the thing off.
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