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In the 1990s, Marshall updated its product line again with the JCM900 series. Reviewed by Guitarist magazine in the UK and given the line, "Shredders, here is an amp you won't need to have modified", this move by Marshall was again an outgrowth of musicians' desires, featuring more distortion than ever and retaining popular aspects of the late JCM800 models. However, despite such marketing claims they were not as hi-gain as advertised and lacked a full gain stage. Marshall rectified this with the SL-X series (as used by the group Kiss. This model was one channel and was given an additional pre-amp ECC83/12AX7 instead of diode-based distortion. Still, if not for shredders, the JCM900 was well received by younger players associated with pop, rock, punk and grunge which was widespread by the early 1990s. The Dual Reverb was also notably used by Dave Navarro.
The early JCM900 range featured the 4100 (a split channel, dual reverb head descended from the 2210), and the 4500 (same in a 50 watt configuration), along with the usual range of combos along the same lines. It also featured a single-channel descendant of the 2203/2204 line (the 2100 or 2500 Mark III), which is now quite rare and was essentially replaced by the SL-X (2100 or 2500 Mark IV) in the early 1990s – itself quite rare in EL34 form. Although the EL34 had at this time begun to return to prominence, a number of these were shipped with 5881 valves, a now uncommon valve similar in tone and build to a 6L6. Most of the JCM900s and 6100s built between 1994–1998 left the factory with the 5881s.
Around this time, Marshall released a few "special edition" amps in this range, including a "Slash Signature" model, a first for the company. This was actually a re-release of the earlier Silver Jubilee 2555 amplifier, with identical internals, a standard Marshall look, and a Slash logo. This amp retained EL34s and was produced 3,000 units from 1996 to 1997.
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