Marshall 4102 JCM900 Dual Reverb [1990-1999]
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Marshall 4102 JCM900 Dual Reverb [1990-1999]

4102 JCM900 Dual Reverb [1990-1999], Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Marshall in the JCM900 series.

24fretsjk 01/26/2013

Marshall 4102 JCM900 Dual Reverb [1990-1999] : 24fretsjk's user review

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It's an all-tube Marshall (3 X 12AX7 for the preamp and 4 EL34 for the power stage) that delivers 100 watts (switchable to 50 watts).
It has 2 channels, with volume, gain and reverb control each. The EQ is common to both channels (Low, medium, treble, presence).
As usual with Marshall, simplicity is the name, it goes straight to the point and, then again, why complicate things when it sounds good just like that?

UTILIZATION

Ultra-easy to use. No need for a manual, even if the latter is well done.
As I said earlier, Marshall has always played the simplicity card, and it's easy to get a good sound, be it clean or distorted.

SOUNDS

It's basically an amp designed for rock and hard rock. But on channel A, you get a quite appropriate clean sound and the reverb is not bad at all and pretty natural. Fiddling with the gain, you can get a slight crunch and, provided you have pickups worthy of it, you'll get a first glimpse of what this Marshall can do.
Channel B is for distorted sounds. This is not an amp to play METAL, because it has a typical rock sound, but its aggressive side gives you access to a wide range of more vigorous categories.
Personally, I try to avoid effects and I get a good distortion level. But I start from the principle that the guitar has good pickups, with a good output level.
I don't want to enrage JCM 800 fans, which are excellent. The JCM 900 doesn't have that striking touch of the JCM 800, but it has inherited a very respectable sound, with a lot of versatility, thanks to its two channels.. The JCM 800 has a single channel and even if you know how to handle the volume control, it's hard to toggle between clean and distortion.
What's more, you can play at very low volumes with this JCM 900 and still get a nice distortion.
Do note that you shouldn't neglect the quality of the tubes. But that applies to all amps. As far as I'm concerned, I wasn't looking to make a mixture of tubes. I just wanted good quality tubes.
I can assure you this amp sounds very good. And I won't make any comparisons to other amps (Mesa, Fender or Rivera). Each has its own personality.
You can also change to 50 watts by means of a switch. But I don't think that changes much. It can be easily used at low volumes in almost any case.

OVERALL OPINION

I've used it for quite some years and it's the second one I have (the first one I had was a 4101, with only one speaker).
I currently have a Fender TWIN AMP and a Peavey ULTRA PLUS, two amps I love and with very different styles.
I've also had several Marshalls (TSL602 and TSL122), an ENGL head and a Vox AC30.
With hindsight, the JCM 900 4102 has its own personality. Because for me, there's no real Marshall, or a Marshall with a better SOUND than another Marshall. There are dozens of models and each has its own SOUND.
The JCM 900 is, at its core, a typical Marshall, I can assert that without hesitation.

Fans of pedalboards and other effects pedals won't be disappointed either, because the tone is excellent.

I gave it 10/10 overall. Even while being pretty demanding at all levels, I like its ease of use and the fact that it reproduces the sound of the instrument.
By the way, it is in its original state and I don't plan to change anything (speakers, electronics, etc.).

I would definitely buy it again without hesitation because it's an excellent amp for live use and its price is pretty reasonable.