I picked up one of these little JCM 800 limited edition amps on an impulse – I mean it’s so darn cute! OK – I know it’s not a real JCM 800 circuit and it’s really just an approximation of that classic sound, but it is a pretty cool little tube combo that does sound fairly convincing.
The fully overdriven sound is fairly good – quite AC/DC, especially with the boost switch engaged which gives a good deal of creamy sustain. I wish it had an effects loop though as I like just a little touch of delay on my sound and prefer to add delay to my distorted sound, not add distortion to my delay, which is what happens when the delayed signal from the pedal is going into the amp input. I don’t think this request is too much to expect for the price (SGD $850 I paid).
Anyway, right now, I have the amp set on clean, the master volume up high but the gain control low. In front of this i have an EHX Micro Metal Muff (I forget its name – a little black thing) and an EHX Memory Toy. It gives a nice smooth sound this way and I played for about half an hour, shredding like a good ‘un (Ibanez S540).
Here it is pictured with one of my Strats – just for the photo opp (the single coils are kind of weedy into this and it doesn’t sound very rock). Will show the actual running setup once I take a couple of pics this weekend.
I do find the driven sound (amp gain) to be a bit fizzy in the top end. I might explore some tube swapping options. And yes, I love Marshalls. And yes, I am a sucker for gimmicks and have more money than sense. And yes, thank you Jim Marshall for the 6 or 7 of your amps that I have owned over the past 25 years; may you rest in peace.