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JCM900 Hi Gain Dual Reverb #4501


New member
Oct 5, 2001
Do any of you Marshall heads have any info on the JCM900 4501 Hi Gain Dual Reverb 50 Watt combos? I have a line on one that is smokin' mint/flawless condition for $395. It has the EL34's in it.

It has mixed review on Harmony Central. The reviews on their are usually dead on, but you have the occasional bonehead that stinks up the review and makes you question how good the amp really is.

The knock on this one appears to be that it lacks the bottem end of the JCM800's. Does anyone have any insight as to the tone of this amp? Thanks!

Phil M

Active member
Jul 16, 2001
I had the 100 watt 2x12 version of this amp for about 6 years but mine had 5881s. I would think that the EL34s would be an improvement. The amp sounded fine, though it wasn't the greatest amp I ever played through. But it still worked hard and sounded good.

I think $395 is an OK deal (but not great) if the amp is in good shape and sounds good to your ears. I had a HELL of a time getting $500 for mine a couple of years ago.

Soon, someone is gonna chime in and tell you that the JCM 900s are crappy because transistors generate the distortion on the gain channel and that you should get an old Marshall. But you're not going to get an old combo for $395.
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Changing the tubes on a JCM900 aren't going to make much of a difference.. considering it is diode clipping, and is basically a solid state amplifier. The tubes might as well be for show.

The only "900 series" amp worth anything are the hi-gain master volume ones (SL-X 2100 and 2500). Those are little more than JCM-800's with an extra stage of cascading gain.


New member
Aug 13, 2001
......didnt sombody tell me that the 800's are diode clipping too, just a better curicut??? if so , dosent that mean :

"considering it is diode clipping, and is basically a solid state amplifier. The tubes might as well be for show. "

for the 800 series as well????

i hope this dosent start a fight....


The secret to survival with the 900 is to NOT whack the gain/sensitivity knob up much, and to let the tubes do their thing. once those amps get up loud, you can let the output tube distortion help you out. As screwy as it sounds, they seem to do a classic tone better than a high gain tone IF you don't go crazy with the gain knob. I get the preamp knob almost pinned, and the gain sensitivity knob at around the 2:00 -3:00 posistion and it loses alot of the solid state tone. It isn't my main amp by a long shot, but for $300 I bought one of the non reverb 50 watt heads for ha ha's, and you can get one to work decent with some knob twisting.
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