JCM900 4501 review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (3 votes)

Price paid: $ 549

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 10
Mainly I use a PAF loaded Burny LP, (brilliant LP) and a Maxon OD808 in my setup, I can get a huge range of tones, and the difference in the pickups is made very obvious, on the clean channel with the preamp rolled down and the master up, you can get a great shimmering clean (obviously not Fender clean but nice none the less) I didn't expect this as I expected it to dirty up incredibly quickly, and it does, but there is some headroom to work with. However the OD is what I bought this amp for so lets get onto that. I have never squeeled on the clean channel of any other amp. that's right, preamp maxed you can get get squeels easliy, obviously still very bluesey but with my Maxon in the mix can get some nice rocky tones. On channel 2 it's crazy, low volumes ya you may have to get the preamp volume pretty high, not so after you've get the master higher. Wow this thing has that great Marshall crunch and soaring leads in one package, (again with the help of the Maxon) It can handle modern and classic rock and with a good OD, metal easily.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a wide range of music and this is my first tube amp, and there will be many more! never going back to SS. The sound is just so full, I find SS amps sound lacking but not a tube amp. This is a real Marshall, none of those MGs (I used to have one they are terrible, seriously) can compare. You can't imagine how much this amp brings out the sound of your guitar, at the end if a rather epic sweep solo I held the last note, waiting for it to fade. It never did. The other guitarist and bassist just looked at me while I waited for the note to die, with the right vibrato technique your set for sustain. This is a great bargain if you can find one.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Built like a tank, I would definitely depend on this without a backup, there are LEDs to show when the tubes are running low on life which is another handy feature. As for durability this is older then me, by a Decade and it runs great (most of my equipment seems to be older then I am now that I think about it). It has 2 handles to moving but I'd recomend, having a friend to help move it though, it's pretty damned heavy.

Features — 8
This is an '80s Marshall JCM900 4501 dual reverb, as it states in the name this has 2 separate reverb pots for each channel. It has the usual EQ, however both channels share the same. A master volume for each channel, and a preamp volume for each, on channel two it goes from 1-20! which is pretty awesome. On the back of this beast there is also a rather nifty Switch for switching from 25-50w this is awesome, as you can crank on the 25w much easier when merely jamming and then bang it on 50 should you need it. No built in FX but then they tend to be terrible anyway, and honestly I don't use them, and if I did I'd get a decent corresponding pedal.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This head is amazing, gives you the classic marshall sound, with the punch you want. And I do agree, it is very durable, it has fallen off my cab a few times during shows due to be bumped by other members lol, but it still worked perfectly.