The Marshall JCM800 2203 Vintage Series 100 Watt Guitar Amplifier Head delivers the quintessential hard rock and metal tone that has been lusted after by guitarists for decades.
The 2203 reissue resurrects the raw tonal powerhouse of the revered 1981-1984 model, which quickly became the adopted amp of many metal and hard rock guitarists, including: Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, Slash, and Zakk Wylde. It's popularity carried through the '90s with artists such as: Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Billy Corgan and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), and Bradley Nowell (Sublime) - all playing very different musical styles, but all favouring the high-gain power afforded by the JCM800, highlighting its versatility perfectly.
Today the amp continues to be adopted by gigging pros across metal, hardcore and punk styles including: John Nolan (Taking Back Sunday), Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley (Every Time I Die), Joe Hottinger (Halestorm), Audelio Flores (Set Your Goals). It continues to be used to players who like to push the boundaries, and want to do it with a wall of noise backing them up.
Power and Simplicity
At the heart of the JCM800 2203 there is a pair of ECC83 preamp valves, whilst the poweramp packs an ECC83 along with four EL34 valves. This power mad arrangement guarantees that you're never short of a blast or two.
The single-channel setup of the JCM800 couldn't be easier to control thanks to the delightfully simple set-up that consists of the following knobs: Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master, and Preamp. Presence operates in the power amp section to add high frequencies to your tone, add that sought-after bite.
The EQ section is exceptionally powerful, and also sensitive, allowing you to attenuate the signal with incredible accuracy. The Bass knob controls the amount of low frequencies or bottom end. The Middle knob dictates the middle register of the amplifier. Therefore, turning this up will make your guitar sound fatter, whilst reducing the amount of middle in your tone will result in a sharper and thinner guitar sound for a more ‘scooped’ tone. The Treble control attenuates the high frequencies of the guitar tone, making it sound brighter as a result. The EQ controls are impressionable, so when you make changes to each control, they will affect each other.
The Master Volume knob controls the output volume of the amplifier, allowing you to adjust the pre-amp gain, whilst retaining a low volume output from the amp itself. This means you can fully overdriven tones at much lower levels, which is useful for making adjustments dependent on gig or venue size. The Pre-Amp volume allows you to overdrive the preamp circuitry to gain the level of distortion you desire with absolute accuracy.
The JCM800 2203 is equipped with two inputs that are defined as High and Low sensitivity. The amp is designed so that high-output pickups (e.g. active humbuckers) suit the low sensitivity input, whilst low-output pickups suit the high sensitivity input. This is a guide though, and if you want to connect your high-output pickups to the high-sensitivity input and really make the amp scream, then that's your business!
The Power switch controls the On/Off function for the amp's main power. The Standby switch can be used in conjunction with the Power Switch to warm up the amp before use, enabling you to prolong to the life of the output valves.
Rear Panel Information
The back panel of the JCM800 2203 is home to the effects loop connections and controls including: send and return jacks, level switch, and bypass. The Level Switch offers two level choices that allows you to match your connected pedals or floor units to the level of your amp, so that there isn't a sudden dropout or overload - neither of which you wish to happen when an amp with this amount of power is pushed to the hilt.
The Marshall JCM800 2203 Vintage Series 100 Watt Guitar Amplifier Head gives every rock and metal player the tone they desire with minimum effort. It is easy to use, sounds like a beast, and plays well with others – why haven’t you got one already?
Manufacturer Marshall Model JCM800 2203 Vintage Series 100 Watt Guitar Amplifier Head Dimensions (H x W x D) 315 x 750 x 210 mm Weight 20.5kg Amplifier Type Valve Controls Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master, Preamp Valves Pre Amp: 2 x ECC83 Power Amp: 1 x ECC83, 4 x EL34 Inputs 2 x 2 Wattage 100 Watts Channels 1 Finish Black
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