#1
So after MONTHS of research (and a few threads here), I finally decided on an 800 over a 900. The 800 has always been my dream amp, but I play a TON of punk rock and people started suggestion the 900. However, I decided on the 800 because it does ALL my styles well (Punk rock, classic rock, 80s rock, bluesy-jammy rock) whereas the 900 seemed to do punk very well but not AS good with the other styles. I looked into Splawn's Quick Rod amp, whoch has 3 different modes cloning the 800s and another, and they sound AWESOME, but theyre way out of my range from what i've seen ($1,900 used on eBay for just head with no cab, ideally my budget is right around $1,500 give or take for a head and cab). Now that I've chosen the 800 though I have a few questions I'm hoping some knowledgeable players can help me with. I've been playing about 14 years but mainly SS amps as I was more of an at home hobby player until I got very serious about guitar and music over the past few years. So I basically have little experience with tube amps aside from jamming on borrowed equipment. Please bare with me as this could be a lengthy read lol.

1 - What are the differences in the models? In my research I've seen 2203,xxx4,xxx5 and xx10 for the 800s. I know that the 03 is 100w and 04 is 50, and the 05/10 are the same wattage, respectively, but then what is the difference between the 03/05 and 04/10? I've also seen "super lead" and "plexi" as phrases used alot while researching. Also, I see that Slash, Zakk Wylde, and Kerry King all have signature 800s. Wylde and King don't play my style of music, but Slash is an idol of mine (flame away, but whatever, Slash and his tone on AFD is 1 of the main reasons I took up guitar) who has a tone and style very very similar to what I'd like to sound like. Any reviews or experiences with the AFD100 model JCM800, should that model even be in the running for me?

2 - Price: What is a "fair market" price for an 800? I've read about how a few years ago nobody wanted them but now they're popular again, so obviously the price is inflated. But still, given what they are going for. I've seen as low as $800 on eBay all the way up to $1,400 (not including cab). Since they're popular again I know I won't find one for what the actual value/worth is, they're ALL gonna be inflated, but how much is TOO much for this amp?

3 - Cab: I need some suggestions on what cab/speakers to pair it with. For the time being its going to be just for practice and recording, but eventually shows will happen so I'll need a bit more volume. I think a 2x12 would be MORE than plenty (I live in an apartment, there will be no cranking this thing "to 11" at home lol. Speaker-wise though is where I'm at a loss. I dont live close to any music stores to go test, not that the GC that's an hr away has any JCMs anyway lol. The tone I'm going for is like Slash AfD meets Dookie-era Green Day. Just that really "clean" overdriven sound with good "chugging/punchy" palm mutes and a good lead tone. Would Greenbacks be right for that? I hate to keep references Slash but it's what I like. His style is 100% me. His stuff just sounds GOOD. His tone is excellent and his leads just always fit perfectly with the song. They aren't shredding, super fast, super technical, they just sound awesome. Same with early Green Day when Billie Joe used to solo more. Not super technical, but just sounded F'n awesome in the context of the song.

4 - Upkeep: how much maintenance goes into a 30-ish yr old tube amp lol? It's already a big price tag (for me anyway), especially for something so old/used. I don't wanna make that commitment and then get hit with all these extra things I need to keep sinking money into. Are they pretty solid/reliable? Any other issues with these things aside from tubes needing replacing?

If it matters, this is my gear I'd be playing through it:

Gibson LP Studio (Slash signature PuP set)
Epiphone LP Standard + (stock)
MiM Strat (stock)
Ibanez RG320DX (stock)
Strat clone build, single HB (SD SH-4 Jeff Beck)

Boss Super Overdrive
Boss Blues Driver (Keeley Mod)
Ibanez Slam Punk (shitty distortion that I use as a fuzz lol)
Slash signature Cry Baby Wah
Digitech RP500 (probably won't play this through it, I use it for the looper or the amp modeling when recording or playing at night with headphones).

I think that's all my questions for now. Again, so sorry for the novel of a post. This "wanting a JCM800" has been going on for years and now that I'm in the home stretch I'm getting extra excited, just want to make sure I have as much knowledge as I can for my big purchase. Thanks.

TL;DR: Need suggestions on the best JCM800 model (2203,4,5,10/AFD100) for punk rock, classic/80s rock, and bluesy/jammy rock. Also need 2x12 cab/speaker suggestions to pair it with and to know what a fair market price to pay for said amp model and cab would be (don't necessarily need to purchase them together) and what type of upkeep/extra expenses I should expect as a JCM800 owner
Last edited by Agent51 at Dec 14, 2011,
#2
You want a 2204 or 2203. They are the single channel models that everyone uses/used. And less than $1000 for the head is a good price.
#3
The best JCM800's by far are the single channel ones - 2203, 2204, 4010, 4103, 4104.

Here's a good link about which is which.
http://www.drtube.com/marshall.htm#JCM800

The twin channel ones (2205/2210) have diode clipping and PCB construction instead of eyelet boards. They can be modded into something good with a bit of work but the single channel ones are just better in all ways that really matter.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#4
Woah super fast responses lol, thanks.

Since I will be shopping online (probably eBay and Craigslist) what kinds of questions should I be asking the sellers before committing? I know asking about the tubes, and they're condition, but any other specific questions or info I should ask about?

Also, in regards to the tubes, what tubes are best for the 800 for that sound I want, and how long does a set usually last/what does a set go for price-wise?
#5
I agree on the 2203, 2204 and add the 2555 if you can find one in your range

I was really hoping people would like the AFD but I've heard mixed reviews on it.

Also look at a Ceriatone clone maybe.

The range you found 800 heads in seems right. There are a lot of modded ones out there too.

I also agree in a 212 cab closed back. Avatar, Mesa, Splawn, Whitebox, etc all have affordable cabs.

I've seen Splawn Quick Rods go for as low as $900 and I've seen some very kick ass cabs go for $400-$500. You really shouldn't have any problem find a killer rig for $1500 or less.

Use the 'Cool Look Up Site' thingy in my sig too....great for searching or price checking.


Edit: The used amps we are talking about will probably* blow away most stuff you can find new in that same range. Build quality and tone wise. Outside of tubes and maybe a capacitor upgrade down the road they should be pretty strait-forward to maintain. Play it and ask about tubes, mods, scratchy pots, weirdness.

Nice OP. Long but well written.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Dec 14, 2011,
#6
They are very reliable. With the old single channel ones the pots are chassis mounted and not PCB mounted (no PCB) so even if the go scratchy they are easy to replace.

Tubes - definitely JJ preamp tubes everywhere unless you can score NOS British Mullard, Amperex, Phillips or Telefunken (and who can afford Telefunken?).
In the output, SED if you can afford them otherwise JJ. Again, unless you can score good
NOS tubes but cheap NOS EL34's are getting rather scarce.

I won't comment on prices - for starters I don't know where you live. I'm guessing the US since you mentioned Craigslist but even then I'll let an American comment on prices if that's the case.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
In terms of mods, does anyone know of the "Dookie mod" that Billie Joe has used in his JCM-800 since the beginning? He doesn't use any pedals on most of that old stuff, it's just a strat clone into the "Dookie mod" 800. I believe it had something to do with boosting the mids to give it a bit more "punch" (probably that "chugging" palm mute kick im looking for.

If that's all it is, could I just ad an EQ pedal to my chain as opposed to actually modding the amp? I just recently got into the tinkering electronics side of guitars (added a killswitch and swapped the PuP on my strat project), I'm not comfortable (yet) modding an amp that's 30yrs old and is a significant financial investment for me lol.

And yes, I'm stateside. RI to be exact, which makes Craigslist not that successful given that we're by far the smallest state, much less people selling what you're looking for lol.
#8
What about that Roccaforte, TSL, modded JCM2000, Mesa 50 cal, Mk3, Lonestar and Blue Angel, on the Providence CL? Yeah, OK - they are not 800s

You'll find more used amps closer to universities too as those markets seem to be more active go figure

I have no detail on that dookie mod but I'm not really an 800 expert. I'd hang out on Rig-Talk a bit - there are tons of modded 800s and 800 clones going on there
#9
prices depend on the year/model etc. Typically, for a used one that isn't in mint condition and that isn't some sort of rare or special edition model, you are looking at 700 - 900 USD. The reissues are 2200 brand new, but there are always skeptics when it comes to reissues, especially in the reliability and authenticity department.

also the first slash signature model is a clone of a silver jubilee, and the afd, IRCC, is modelled after a 1959T, which according to google is a slightly modified JCM 800.

as far as speakers go, slash uses celestion V30's. Not sure what billie joe uses. If you want a 2X12, You should try and get a custom avatar cab. It's pretty popular to get a 4 X 12 with a pair of v30's and greenbacks. Honestly, there will not be that big of a difference in loudness between a 2 X 12 and 4 X 12. They will still be loud as ****.

let's see...upkeep. that will again depend on it's condition when you buy it. Make sure you get a very thorough inspection before you get the amp. Ask about any work that's been done on it, in terms of mods, the last time the tubes have been changed, etc. The 800's are solidly built amps. If it looks like the previous owner has been taking care of it, I think that the most you are looking at are the regular tube changes and biasing.
Traynor YCV50 Blue
epi les paul w/ SD Alnico II pros
Dunlop Slash Wah
EH Deluxe Memory Boy
Moen Jimi Vibe
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz
Zvex Vexter Fuzz Factory
VHT 2x12 w/ V30's
#10
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
What about that Roccaforte, TSL, modded JCM2000, Mesa 50 cal, Mk3, Lonestar and Blue Angel, on the Providence CL? Yeah, OK - they are not 800s

You'll find more used amps closer to universities too as those markets seem to be more active go figure

I have no detail on that dookie mod but I'm not really an 800 expert. I'd hang out on Rig-Talk a bit - there are tons of modded 800s and 800 clones going on there


Lol there's a bunch of stuff on our CraigsList, just not what I'm looking for ;P

Besides, CL is sketchy. I've never once had success. I call about gear all the time and it never seems to go through. I mentioned my strat build earlier. I was originally looking for a cheap used guitar to learn electronics and modding on. I found 3 different guitars under $100 (an Epi LP Jr, an Epi SG, and a Fender Strat) and all 3 ended up being shady characters giving me the runaround for a few weeks. Why lost a guitar (or anything for that matter) that you don't actually plan on selling, or asking a much higher price when people call? I like eBay for most online purchases, especially used, because you have that protection should you never receive the item or it's not as described. Plus you have the whole country to search since things get shipped (again, with buyer protection). CL you're limited to how far you're willing to travel, and then you risk dealing with sketchy people lol. Not all CL is bad, I've got a friend in Florida who's scored a TON of excellent gear from it, but my personal experiences in my area have never been that great.


As far as the cab goes, if I went 4x12 would I go with 4 vintage 30s or 4 Greenbacks, or should I try 2 and 2? Also I noticed they're both rated different (30w on the V30s and 25w on the GBs), would that do anything negative to the sound/tone/or physical speakers themselves if I went 2 and 2 on a 100w head?

Also, semi-off topic but not really I guess, what exactly is "head room"? I always thought the watts were volume ability years ago but I've been slowly picking up the knowledge that it isn't, it's "head room". Is there going to be a huge tonal/versatility difference between the 100w 2203 and the 50w 2204?
#11
when you are talking about amps, headroom refers to how loud an amp can get and still maintain a clean tone (no break up). I'm sure you could google a better definition, but that's the basic meaning.

what speakers you want is a matter of taste. I've always had V30's, so i can't really recommend one over the other. Look online for demos. I know the celestion website has clips. Try out different cabs in person too. Having both types of speakers in one cab is done all the time. People say it combines the best of both worlds. Avatar can make that cab for you. People speak very highly of the cabs they build.

Also typically, the V30's that they put in a 1960AV's and 1960BV's are rated at 70 watts, so they can handle a powerful amp. Again, I can't give much info on greenbacks. You'll have to ask in another forum or google.
Traynor YCV50 Blue
epi les paul w/ SD Alnico II pros
Dunlop Slash Wah
EH Deluxe Memory Boy
Moen Jimi Vibe
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz
Zvex Vexter Fuzz Factory
VHT 2x12 w/ V30's
Last edited by psychokiller99 at Dec 14, 2011,
#12
Headroom is just how loud you can turn it up before the power amp starts to distort. A 100W JCM800 can be turned into a 50W'er by pulling two tubes (either the inner two or the outer two) and turning down the impedance selector one notch. You end up with the same thing but with better iron.
For what you are playing I'd just go for a standard 1960 with G12T75 speakers. No need for anything exotic. Later on you can experiment with something classy like EV 12M's or something if you like but I'd start with the classic 800 sound 'twer I you which is G12T75's.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
Quote by Agent51
So after MONTHS of research (and a few threads here), I finally decided on an 800 over a 900. The 800 has always been my dream amp, but I play a TON of punk rock and people started suggestion the 900. However, I decided on the 800 because it does ALL my styles well (Punk rock, classic rock, 80s rock, bluesy-jammy rock) whereas the 900 seemed to do punk very well but not AS good with the other styles. I looked into Splawn's Quick Rod amp, whoch has 3 different modes cloning the 800s and another, and they sound AWESOME, but theyre way out of my range from what i've seen ($1,900 used on eBay for just head with no cab, ideally my budget is right around $1,500 give or take for a head and cab). Now that I've chosen the 800 though I have a few questions I'm hoping some knowledgeable players can help me with. I've been playing about 14 years but mainly SS amps as I was more of an at home hobby player until I got very serious about guitar and music over the past few years. So I basically have little experience with tube amps aside from jamming on borrowed equipment. Please bare with me as this could be a lengthy read lol.

1 - What are the differences in the models? In my research I've seen 2203,xxx4,xxx5 and xx10 for the 800s. I know that the 03 is 100w and 04 is 50, and the 05/10 are the same wattage, respectively, but then what is the difference between the 03/05 and 04/10? I've also seen "super lead" and "plexi" as phrases used alot while researching. Also, I see that Slash, Zakk Wylde, and Kerry King all have signature 800s. Wylde and King don't play my style of music, but Slash is an idol of mine (flame away, but whatever, Slash and his tone on AFD is 1 of the main reasons I took up guitar) who has a tone and style very very similar to what I'd like to sound like. Any reviews or experiences with the AFD100 model JCM800, should that model even be in the running for me?

2 - Price: What is a "fair market" price for an 800? I've read about how a few years ago nobody wanted them but now they're popular again, so obviously the price is inflated. But still, given what they are going for. I've seen as low as $800 on eBay all the way up to $1,400 (not including cab). Since they're popular again I know I won't find one for what the actual value/worth is, they're ALL gonna be inflated, but how much is TOO much for this amp?

3 - Cab: I need some suggestions on what cab/speakers to pair it with. For the time being its going to be just for practice and recording, but eventually shows will happen so I'll need a bit more volume. I think a 2x12 would be MORE than plenty (I live in an apartment, there will be no cranking this thing "to 11" at home lol. Speaker-wise though is where I'm at a loss. I dont live close to any music stores to go test, not that the GC that's an hr away has any JCMs anyway lol. The tone I'm going for is like Slash AfD meets Dookie-era Green Day. Just that really "clean" overdriven sound with good "chugging/punchy" palm mutes and a good lead tone. Would Greenbacks be right for that? I hate to keep references Slash but it's what I like. His style is 100% me. His stuff just sounds GOOD. His tone is excellent and his leads just always fit perfectly with the song. They aren't shredding, super fast, super technical, they just sound awesome. Same with early Green Day when Billie Joe used to solo more. Not super technical, but just sounded F'n awesome in the context of the song.

4 - Upkeep: how much maintenance goes into a 30-ish yr old tube amp lol? It's already a big price tag (for me anyway), especially for something so old/used. I don't wanna make that commitment and then get hit with all these extra things I need to keep sinking money into. Are they pretty solid/reliable? Any other issues with these things aside from tubes needing replacing?

If it matters, this is my gear I'd be playing through it:

Gibson LP Studio (Slash signature PuP set)
Epiphone LP Standard + (stock)
MiM Strat (stock)
Ibanez RG320DX (stock)
Strat clone build, single HB (SD SH-4 Jeff Beck)

Boss Super Overdrive
Boss Blues Driver (Keeley Mod)
Ibanez Slam Punk (shitty distortion that I use as a fuzz lol)
Slash signature Cry Baby Wah
Digitech RP500 (probably won't play this through it, I use it for the looper or the amp modeling when recording or playing at night with headphones).

I think that's all my questions for now. Again, so sorry for the novel of a post. This "wanting a JCM800" has been going on for years and now that I'm in the home stretch I'm getting extra excited, just want to make sure I have as much knowledge as I can for my big purchase. Thanks.

TL;DR: Need suggestions on the best JCM800 model (2203,4,5,10/AFD100) for punk rock, classic/80s rock, and bluesy/jammy rock. Also need 2x12 cab/speaker suggestions to pair it with and to know what a fair market price to pay for said amp model and cab would be (don't necessarily need to purchase them together) and what type of upkeep/extra expenses I should expect as a JCM800 owner
Marshall A cabslant,Two Celestion 30,sTwo 90,s,quiet low volume,look for a new place to live on the high side panhead201
Last edited by panhead201 at Mar 10, 2012,
#14
Quote by Agent51
In terms of mods, does anyone know of the "Dookie mod" that Billie Joe has used in his JCM-800 since the beginning? He doesn't use any pedals on most of that old stuff, it's just a strat clone into the "Dookie mod" 800. I believe it had something to do with boosting the mids to give it a bit more "punch" (probably that "chugging" palm mute kick im looking for.

If that's all it is, could I just ad an EQ pedal to my chain as opposed to actually modding the amp? I just recently got into the tinkering electronics side of guitars (added a killswitch and swapped the PuP on my strat project), I'm not comfortable (yet) modding an amp that's 30yrs old and is a significant financial investment for me lol.

And yes, I'm stateside. RI to be exact, which makes Craigslist not that successful given that we're by far the smallest state, much less people selling what you're looking for lol.
Just a suggestion,Ya got a cab that old,sounds great,leave ut alone,did you ever try a Mesa two 12, black shadow speakers?I had a studio in Prov,at the end of the tunnel on the river,51 N main st.Loved it.right beneath Brown andRISD panhead201
Last edited by panhead201 at Mar 10, 2012,
#15
Quote by Agent51
So after MONTHS of research (and a few threads here), I finally decided on an 800 over a 900. The 800 has always been my dream amp, but I play a TON of punk rock and people started suggestion the 900. However, I decided on the 800 because it does ALL my styles well (Punk rock, classic rock, 80s rock, bluesy-jammy rock) whereas the 900 seemed to do punk very well but not AS good with the other styles. I looked into Splawn's Quick Rod amp, whoch has 3 different modes cloning the 800s and another, and they sound AWESOME, but theyre way out of my range from what i've seen ($1,900 used on eBay for just head with no cab, ideally my budget is right around $1,500 give or take for a head and cab). Now that I've chosen the 800 though I have a few questions I'm hoping some knowledgeable players can help me with. I've been playing about 14 years but mainly SS amps as I was more of an at home hobby player until I got very serious about guitar and music over the past few years. So I basically have little experience with tube amps aside from jamming on borrowed equipment. Please bare with me as this could be a lengthy read lol.

1 - What are the differences in the models? In my research I've seen 2203,xxx4,xxx5 and xx10 for the 800s. I know that the 03 is 100w and 04 is 50, and the 05/10 are the same wattage, respectively, but then what is the difference between the 03/05 and 04/10? I've also seen "super lead" and "plexi" as phrases used alot while researching. Also, I see that Slash, Zakk Wylde, and Kerry King all have signature 800s. Wylde and King don't play my style of music, but Slash is an idol of mine (flame away, but whatever, Slash and his tone on AFD is 1 of the main reasons I took up guitar) who has a tone and style very very similar to what I'd like to sound like. Any reviews or experiences with the AFD100 model JCM800, should that model even be in the running for me?

2 - Price: What is a "fair market" price for an 800? I've read about how a few years ago nobody wanted them but now they're popular again, so obviously the price is inflated. But still, given what they are going for. I've seen as low as $800 on eBay all the way up to $1,400 (not including cab). Since they're popular again I know I won't find one for what the actual value/worth is, they're ALL gonna be inflated, but how much is TOO much for this amp?

3 - Cab: I need some suggestions on what cab/speakers to pair it with. For the time being its going to be just for practice and recording, but eventually shows will happen so I'll need a bit more volume. I think a 2x12 would be MORE than plenty (I live in an apartment, there will be no cranking this thing "to 11" at home lol. Speaker-wise though is where I'm at a loss. I dont live close to any music stores to go test, not that the GC that's an hr away has any JCMs anyway lol. The tone I'm going for is like Slash AfD meets Dookie-era Green Day. Just that really "clean" overdriven sound with good "chugging/punchy" palm mutes and a good lead tone. Would Greenbacks be right for that? I hate to keep references Slash but it's what I like. His style is 100% me. His stuff just sounds GOOD. His tone is excellent and his leads just always fit perfectly with the song. They aren't shredding, super fast, super technical, they just sound awesome. Same with early Green Day when Billie Joe used to solo more. Not super technical, but just sounded F'n awesome in the context of the song.

4 - Upkeep: how much maintenance goes into a 30-ish yr old tube amp lol? It's already a big price tag (for me anyway), especially for something so old/used. I don't wanna make that commitment and then get hit with all these extra things I need to keep sinking money into. Are they pretty solid/reliable? Any other issues with these things aside from tubes needing replacing?

If it matters, this is my gear I'd be playing through it:

Gibson LP Studio (Slash signature PuP set)
Epiphone LP Standard + (stock)
MiM Strat (stock)
Ibanez RG320DX (stock)
Strat clone build, single HB (SD SH-4 Jeff Beck)

Boss Super Overdrive
Boss Blues Driver (Keeley Mod)
Ibanez Slam Punk (shitty distortion that I use as a fuzz lol)
Slash signature Cry Baby Wah
Digitech RP500 (probably won't play this through it, I use it for the looper or the amp modeling when recording or playing at night with headphones).

I think that's all my questions for now. Again, so sorry for the novel of a post. This "wanting a JCM800" has been going on for years and now that I'm in the home stretch I'm getting extra excited, just want to make sure I have as much knowledge as I can for my big purchase. Thanks.

TL;DR: Need suggestions on the best JCM800 model (2203,4,5,10/AFD100) for punk rock, classic/80s rock, and bluesy/jammy rock. Also need 2x12 cab/speaker suggestions to pair it with and to know what a fair market price to pay for said amp model and cab would be (don't necessarily need to purchase them together) and what type of upkeep/extra expenses I should expect as a JCM800 owner
not a lot.watch em heat up,one slower,different color,black spots when cold?every year I take my stuff to pro,s.Change one,change em all.I use ruby tubes when I can't get NOS.Have em biased. panhead201
#16
I dont'know where you live,Ive got a Mesa (I use it as an a cab on a triple rec I'd be willing to trade for something cool) It's just black tolex,handle was removed on top so we could stack,it's like new.No scratches tears,Black grille,spotless.Studio only.Got the Mesa cover and a Tuki cover.No roadcase,it never went anywhere.4 Alnico,s.Works great as a single for a .50 cal every now and then,I just patch it.I'll use two .50,s every now and then with my es-355 stereo,just experimenting.It's a 2001.And everything Cathbard said makes good sense.I don't know what buis. he's in,but you can do a lot worse than him,taking advice.I live in Missouri.See ya later,panhead201
[59 Goldtop,lefty
[72 ES-355-TDSV
[68 Black LP Custom,lefty
[68 Goldtop,lefty
[06 Schecter C-! Classic,,lefty
[28 National resonator
[Mesa triple rec Marshall "A"cab
["B"cab,4-12 Mesa,s
[Mesa Nomad 45,4-10,s,combo
[ 64 Gibson-ES-330-TDC
Last edited by panhead201 at Apr 3, 2012,