In one of my earlier posts here, I stated that the JCM 800 amp from Marshall was by far not the least expensive of the many guitar amps that are currently available on the market. Nope. Far from it. I know I already said that once but it bears repeating. The point I guess that I was trying to convey is that it’s a serious piece of gear for serious musicians who are actually pursuing their music as a career and are after the legendary Marshall sound to set themselves apart from the pack.
And no, that doesn’t mean you have to sign a record deal with a major record label to be considered serious or successful. Far from it in fact. Maybe you have a band that is consistently booked solid with gigs on the local scene. To me that also means you’re a success and very serious indeed.
So the reason for this article is to give you a little bit of insight on how these bad boy amplifiers are made from the bottom up. After all, if you are thinking about investing in a high end amp, it might be helpful to see how the JCM 800 is built. Now granted, a lot of it you may already know. If not, hopefully having this knowledge will help you make the decision that is right for you and for your music. Think of it like when you want to go buy a car and want to see what’s under the hood. Now with that said, let’s pop the latch and take a look and maybe even kick a tube or two.
The Marshall JCM 800 2203 Amp Can Handle Rough And Tough!
Ok, so maybe I’m a bit premature in putting up a picture of glowing tubes or as most folks refer to them..valves. But I just couldn’t resist because we’ll talk about the valves in the JCM 800 amp a little later on. I just thought it was a cool picture showing what really goes on inside these components. Ok, enough of my silliness. Let’s get back to how this amp is put together.
To begin with, everything starts with the metal chassis. Marshall uses at the minimum for each chassis, 16 gauge steel. Once the steel is bent to shape, it gets seam welded. The idea behind this is to make it as rigid and as sturdy as possible to withstands the conditions that it may endure. You know what I’m talking about. Not everyone is as careful as they could be after a all night gig. And you can rest assure, Marshall knows this and has built these amps accordingly.
They even take the chassis one step further and use a cadmium coating process so the metal itself resists rust. Why this is done still makes me raise my eyebrows just a bit but I guess there must be a damn good reason for it.
From this point, the electrical components are added which include the valves. Marshall has long been a believer in using components that exceed their given spec knowing that each amp has to be able to deliver in any type of situation, night in and night out. So components that go into the JCM 800 are tested first by engineers. You know, those crazy looking guys in the lab coats with instruments in their shirt pockets! (smiles)
Now you would think in this day and age that the process is totally handled by machines and robots to do the wiring. Nope. Actually Marshall still hand wires a portion of each chassis. When all is said and done the finished chassis is then tested. Time to fire it up! If anything needs tweaked, it’s done here.
These Marshall JCM 800 Amps Can Take a Lickin And Still Keep On Rockin!
The reason they can is that on top of making the chassis extremely rugged, the same care and attention to detail goes into the cabinet. I won’t bore you with all the details on how it’s done, all you need to know is that they are made to be durable and made to take some hard knocks along the way. This is why you will see many older Marshall amps still being used and still being sought after. They just flat out endure.
This is why I keep saying that you have to look at the purchase of a Marshall JCM 800 2203 amplifier as an investment. It’s a piece of gear to be used for the long haul. Without a doubt, Marshall has made sure that these guitar amps can go the distance for a long, long time. It’s just part of their heritage and why they still are the amp of choice for many of the biggest names in the music business. And you know it, and I know it, that you don’t get to the top of the heap if you happen to build junk. Right?