I'm bying a 1983 Marshall JCM 800 2205... Any opinions on this amp anyone?
It's going to sound immense.
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Depends on if you get to try it out or not.

Marshall changed the design on the 2205s and 2210s sometime in 1986 because they had alot of problems. The channels would usually bleed into each other. If you get to try the head, and it works fine, then it should be an awesome amp. But if it has channel bleeding issues, look for one made in 1987-1990.
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It's going to sound immense.

It's going to sound like crap unless he can crank it.
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The really bad thing about the 800 series marshalls is that they're inconsistent in tone. A friend had one that I used to play quite frequently. SOme nights it would be beautiful, warm creamy sustain, growly chunk heaven tone. Some nights it'd be flabby bass with no bite, lukewarm sounding, the audio equivalent of cold oatmeal.

Marshall is kinda notorious about making inconsistent amps. One will sound like the tone god touched it and the next will sound like poo. IDK why that is.

I"ve also read that it's the way that the power hits the tubes. We played in a storage shed and there was one plug for the whole band. Probably not a good thing. Crappy power = crappy sound.

Thats the reason I've never wanted an 800. If I'm gonna buy a Marshall it'll be a low wattage one or a 50 watt plexi and jumper it. HAWT!

But what that guys said before. If you don't crank it, it's gonna sound like poo. Same thing with my carvin. Sounds like crap before 3 on the volume. 4 is sweet. 5 is OMG! But when I put it on 5 the other day I think I sterilized the cat.
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Last edited by The_rylan at Oct 25, 2008,
I have a '87 2205. There is still some channel bleed, but nothing to bad. Where are you going to be using this amp at(home,gigging,both)? The 2205 and 2210 have a master volume. Unlike other 800s, this amp sounds ok at low volumes, but a lot better cranked. The fx loop can be a little noisy, but it just might need to be cleaned.

If you buy the amp, get it serviced, make sure everything is in working order. Plus an amp this old might need recapping. If it is an US model, get it converted so that it runs on EL34s. If you have some electronic and soldering skills, the conversion is simple. Get some contact cleaner and clean the fx loop's send and return jacks.

Ask if it has been modded. The 800s have a reputation for getting modded. Unfortunatly, a lot of these mods were done by hacks. If it is heavily moddified, unless it sounds totally awesome, STAY AWAY!!!! Although rare for JCM800s, 2205s pop up every now and then.

Good luck and any other questions pm me.
As an owner of an '87 4212 (2205 2x12 combo) I can tell you it's friggin loud! If you like that Marshall tone though you'll love the amp.
I bought it today.. No channel blend and i rocks HARD (cranked up of course, but thats the way we roll, right?) Hehe
Of course it has wery expensive tubes. That's where the sound formes! Great amp!
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What brand of tubes?

Mullard EL34, TUNG-SOL 12AX7 and some JJ ECC83-S 12AX7 Gold