thinking about getting this head with a 1960a cab, and a/bing it to my 1979 park 2x12 for clean sounds and using the 2203 for the heavy stuff. i just wanna know what the gain is like, and if it could go into hard rock territory (i like mark tremontis alter bridge tone) on its own, ir if it would need one or two maxon od-9s to get it there. any help is appreciated! it would be used with a gibson les paul standard or prs se with us tremonti pickups.
Last edited by fretburner2162 at Jul 29, 2008,
can get even heavier
Ibanez RG2EX2
Epiphone Les Paul
Fender Strat
Homemade EVH
Marshall JCM 800 Combo

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No it wouldn't, what your talking about isn't exactly gain, it's low end, and it's something you can't really get with a Marshall unless you get a great OD pedal and an EQ just right, but it still won't sound good, the JCM 800 is one of my favorite amps, for your situation, you will not get an Alter Bridge tone, instead you would need a Mesa to nail that bottom end.

A good example of exactly what the JCM 800 sounds like, listen to Kill em All (Metallica Album), not exactly the same amp, but they sound the same.
Live Rig:
Ibanez Rg 150R w/ Duncan 59s
Marshall JCM2000 TSL60 Head
Mark IV Combo
Marshall 1960a Cab w/ Vintage 30s
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige w/ Duncan 59s
Jackson SLSMG Soloist
Currently in Ontario, Canada.

JCM800 has a very big sounding ballsy gain, it needs to be cranked to get its signature sound, but once you do it gets a huge tone. Its not like a saturated fizzy distortion (ala JCM900, 2000, mesa, etc), but a huge sounding harmonically rich overdrive when you crank it.
so i should consider a different amp? i play a lot of classic rock too, but im moving into hard rock territory too, so id need an amp that would do both. any suggestions?
I say stay with the 800 myself, its a great hard rock amp.
Guitar: Ibanez Rg 2ex2/ with Dizmarzio Super Distortion
Amp: Peavey Valveking 212 (replacing soon)
Pedals: Planet Waves Tuner, Boss DS-1, Digitech DF-7, MXR-108 EQ
If you can find one, the Soldano Hot Rod 50 often sells for a bit less than original 2203 and 2204 JCM800's in the used market and has a lot more gain on tap, and a much more defined bottom end...all while still sounding like a JCM800.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM