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Old February 21st, 2012, 10:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Marshall JCM 800 4212

I have a chance to pick up a mid-80's Marshall JCM 800 2x12 combo for $700. I'm mostly a Fender amp guy, but an thinking that a master volume Marshall might get me to that 80's Mellancamp guitar sound I love so much.

I don't know much about Marshall's. Is this a desirable amp? Is this a good price?

Thanks,

DR

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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Its a nice middle gain JCM 800, priced within about $50 of what I would consider fair, unless its absolutely pristine. Jimmy Page to AC/DC no problem as far as tones go. Good rock amp, decent blues amp if you stick a delay in front of it. Whole lot of great rock tones, and classic blues tones in that amp.

In my area I've seen these anywhere from $450 (beat up) to $800 pristine (though I doubt they got that much for it).

These are old enough that you'll likely need a cap job in the very near future, and might as well get it out of the way. Figure that into what you think the amp is worth.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 03:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dash-riprock View Post
I have a chance to pick up a mid-80's Marshall JCM 800 2x12 combo for $700. I'm mostly a Fender amp guy, but an thinking that a master volume Marshall might get me to that 80's Mellancamp guitar sound I love so much.

I don't know much about Marshall's. Is this a desirable amp? Is this a good price?

Thanks,

DR
As a fender guy myself, I regretted every Marshall (or Marshall-voiced amp) I ever bought, & had to resell it. If you want crunch, you have 2 great options: Tweed style (like a deluxe, etc..) or Dr Z (like Carman Ghia, Rt 66, etc..)..Save your money & resist the silly Marshall urge.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 07:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you don't buy it I will! There's just something about a 2x12 Marshall combo...
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by homesick345 View Post
As a fender guy myself, I regretted every Marshall (or Marshall-voiced amp) I ever bought, & had to resell it. If you want crunch, you have 2 great options: Tweed style (like a deluxe, etc..) or Dr Z (like Carman Ghia, Rt 66, etc..)..Save your money & resist the silly Marshall urge.
"Silly Marshall urge?" You're kidding, right? Maybe you're just one of the guys who don't sound good through a Marshall-style circuit. Your experiences may have been less than satisfactory, but writing them off a "silly" is just, well, silly.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 03:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"Silly Marshall urge?" You're kidding, right? Maybe you're just one of the guys who don't sound good through a Marshall-style circuit. Your experiences may have been less than satisfactory, but writing them off a "silly" is just, well, silly.
No I'm not kidding. Everybody has to voice his opinion & experience. This is what pushes things forward.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 01:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It might push things forward more effectively for the OP if you would say specifically what it is you don't like about Marshall-style amps from a Fender guy's perspective. You just dismissed them and suggested other amps. He's looking at a JCM800 4212 right now.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 01:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It might push things forward more effectively for the OP if you would say specifically what it is you don't like about Marshall-style amps from a Fender guy's perspective. You just dismissed them and suggested other amps. He's looking at a JCM800 4212 right now.
OK. My idea is an amp has to sound good on two, and to sound good on 10, not be pushed to sound great. It should be dynamic and bouncy, and even if it has a great crunch tone, it should have gorgeous cleans. All these things are effortlessly done by any good fender type amp. Not a marshall thing at all.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OP - personally, I'd hold out for a 4104 or 4103 if you're paying that kind of dollar and want a combo. Look for a version w/el34s and g12-65 speakers. Or if you really want to peel paint, get a 2203 or 2204 head w/a 4x12 cab.

The two channel 800s (4212) are not as highly regarded. Same with the 900s.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And BTW, these amps are HEAVY!
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to have a 4103. Great amp, in a way- loudest amp I've ever had. I never even got it breathing hard. Great tone though, and if you like big tube clean (think Twin) it's in a class by it's self.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 09:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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OK. My idea is an amp has to sound good on two, and to sound good on 10, not be pushed to sound great. It should be dynamic and bouncy, and even if it has a great crunch tone, it should have gorgeous cleans. All these things are effortlessly done by any good fender type amp. Not a marshall thing at all.
I agree about the 2 vs. 10 thing - Marshalls don't sound great on 2, and I usually stop at 8 so they don't squash out too much. Actually, I really don't like most Fenders on 2 or 10, either, but the bigger ones between 4 and 7 are pretty luscious. A real Vibrolux (not a RI or a MV version) on 10 is outstanding.

The non-MV Marshalls usually have a fantastic clean tone, just different than a Fender clean.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 03:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree about the 2 vs. 10 thing - Marshalls don't sound great on 2, and I usually stop at 8 so they don't squash out too much. Actually, I really don't like most Fenders on 2 or 10, either, but the bigger ones between 4 and 7 are pretty luscious. A real Vibrolux (not a RI or a MV version) on 10 is outstanding.

The non-MV Marshalls usually have a fantastic clean tone, just different than a Fender clean.
The silver/black face amps (think super & twin) really sound gorgeous at all volumes. On 2, you just have to compensate by digging in the guitar , but it's all there. And that reverb...I know that the "bluesbreaker" has a reputation for the cleans, as the 1974X. Personnally I tried, but never "got it". They sound honky & kinda horrible. I am a sucker for classic fender tones. And I prefer clean tones (unless it's really gorgeous distrortion). Even Jimi Hendrix returned to Fenders when he was recording. I admit that a pushed stack of marshall can sound really neat & crunchy on a big stage - but that's about all. All this being said, I haven't tried everything. Even SRV liked Marshalls & used the "club & country" for clean. Chances are if you give me a JCM combo I will hate it..so i was trying to give my honest advise.
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