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.

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GregVal 02/18/2014

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

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100W tube combo (mine has 3 x 12AX7 and 4 x EL34, but there are also versions with 6L6), switchable to 50W.
One input, one non-switchable effects loop with adjustable level, 2 speaker outputs (8 and 4/16 ohms), one direct line output and one with amp simulation (I haven't tested it) and that's it.
On the front panel, a clean gain, a drive gain, an EQ (bass/mi/treble/presence), volume and reverb level per channel and that's it (which is more than enough).
As for the speakers:, 2 Celestion G12T75 (a very questionable choice by Marshall).

UTILIZATION

It couldn't be easier to dial it in, given that the EQ (as is often the case with Marshall) is useless (I'll come to this later).
The clean sound can crunch gently and be even a little biting, but that's certainly not its main utility. Likewise, the gain level of the drive channel is easy to gauge but it will never tickle a Recto or any other Hi-Gain amp... Contrary to what its name might suggest, this amp is intended for big rock, stoner, punk, but not to extreme metal, not without external "help." that is!

SOUNDS

In terms of sounds, you could be disappointed by two things: A pretty tight clean sound and a drive channel that doesn't have too much gain (a typical Marshall characteristic), despite yielding a really nice color with the gain between 1/4 and 3/4.
But you do need to consider THE main defect of this amp, namely a completely useless EQ. Moving the controls won't affect sound in the slightest, but not moving them at all will make them rust and produce crackles...
However, inserting a (good) EQ pedal in the effects loop will change your life, I really mean it. Clean sounds can take a different dimension, reducing a bit (or more) 800hZ and increasing 3.2 and 6.3kHz. Personally, I have found more than one funky sound with this combo. It's obviously not a Twin, but it's pretty acceptable.
Anyway, don't hesitate to use good drive pedals. A TS-9 on top is an excellent choice, both for the clean channel and to boost the distortion channel.

OVERALL OPINION

I've had it for a VERY long time (more than ten years) and I have even had the amp head version (4100). I just had it retubed and checked. The technician told me it was originally biased too cold, which could explain the sound stiffness and a lack of gain. Don't hesitate to ask your guitar tech about it!

Today it has gotten back on its feet and it's a real joy, despite its size and weight. Its useless EQ still bothers me, but the amp works fine with pedals, and its ultra low character could make it an excellent choice if you are looking for a typical big rock, punchy and reliable amp!