76 JMP 2203 - Worth the hype and hassle?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Soldano100, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    the iron is as stock as a rock.
    there has been some shenanigans, very minor with that pink wire zip tied there at the preamp.
    also, phase inverter couplers have been changed out..see those two cylinder things with the script..sozo brand?
    It needs new bias caps, minor operation.theyre the originals.
    lovely original filter caps.

    nice amp.
     
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  2. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    looked closer..zoomed.
    those pi couplers dont look like sozos actually

    and..that bias diode has had a burnout.
    im surprised they didnt change out bias caps at the same time.
    if that flameout hasn't been fixed, the amp may not work.

    -you guys can see the black soot next to those two darkish blue caps towards the right of the gutshot, thats a diode that cuts off the positive half of the ac wave from the bias tap, then those two blue caps filter the uneven-ness so you get - 40v or whatever it is
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  3. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    edit...nah my monitor is just crap, too small.

    that bias diode is ok.

    but there has been a flameout of some sort..the bias diode is over to the right above that resistor.
    maybe a cap?
    those are the bias caps, where the flameout is.
    if there has been a flameout, and no repair..then the amp may not work properly.
     
  4. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    sorry guys, that flameout is just the bias pot hehe
    my eyes really arent that good.
    carry on.
     
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  5. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    is a 76 marshall worth the hassle? philx ( 100 watter ) and ac/dc seem to think so.

    -and i think so. my 77 50 watt transitional canadian jmp had a ridiculously large marshall badge that had to be removed, but the tone is premium, amazing amp.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  6. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It looks all stock from what I can see, major parts anyway, OT, PT, etc. It does look like there is a good amount of oxidation on the chassis and the main filter caps need to be replaced which is no big deal but for that price it should all be do already IMO!
     
  7. GIBSON67

    GIBSON67 Well-Known Member

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    I love my 1976 2203, mine has old style JMP levant and rocker switches.

    Which style head shell does this one have? Any pics of it?
     
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  8. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    I try and only buy amps that I could sell for at least what I payed for them. So, based on the fact that it sounds a bit over priced, I would pass, but that's just me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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  9. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Get those Daly power supply capacitors changed out. They're very much due for replacement. Though it's amazing how long they sometimes last,
    they are definitely long past their expiration date and if any of them should decide to suicide, it can cost you not just a capacitor, it can cost you a transformer as well.

    So add the cost of six capacitors (and the bias caps, too) to the cost of making this amp ready for another 30 years of hard use.
     
  10. EADGBE

    EADGBE Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2203X and the main reason I would sell it is because it is too loud and I live in an apartment.
     
  11. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member

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    I’ll play devils advocate on this one.

    You’ve received some great info here. I started out, when I finally had the money to buy them, thinking that vintage was the way. I bought a 1977 Marshall JMP, 1980s vintage 2203, 2204, 2210 X 2, 4212, JCM900 SLX, 6100, AND SOME REISSUES LIKE 1959 SLPHW, 1974X over a 10 year period. All those amps were studs. The answer to your question really lies in how you play. I’ll get to price later. Do you run effects through the fx on your current amps? Is volume a concern? None of my vintage JCM800s or 900s had what I would describe as a transparent fx. They all sucked some tone.......some more than others. You can overcome this but keep that in mind. Your SV20 has a great fx. My vintage JMP had no fx. The other thing is these amps need to be driven hard to get the magical tones. Are you able to turn up the volume in the situations you play? I turned to attenuators. They are ok but I prefer not using them. For example your SV20 is a piece of cake to manage volume versus tone compared to most vintage amps. The amp you are considering is a great amp. No doubt about that. But you are wise to think it through before you buy one. BTW, I have a new SV20 and it totally scratched the 1959 SLP itch. Fantastic amp.

    I don’t know about Australia, but the price is very high for the US. Also, don’t go into this thinking you will make money on your amp. You likely won’t and you don’t know what you don’t know about what might happen in the future. Prices seem to be creeping up but there are always a few vintage Marshall’s for sale near where I live and they sit on the market for weeks.

    Good luck. Try it before you buy it! Listen to your gut instinct. Negotiate that price down.
     
  12. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    I happen to have an early '76 JMP 2204 50 watt Master Volume myself & it honestly is my favorite amplifier!
    76 elephant head front shot (2).jpg

    As y'all probably well know '76 was the first year for Marshall Master Volume 2204 amps and that gave us some nice unique examples that are transition models. This one has the elephant hide Levant wrap with gold piping & small Logo. Isn't he a nice handsome little kick ass little beast!

    This one was from March '76..

    6-3-1976 date tag.jpg
    and still does not have the cascading gain stage. It honestly sounds so sonicly organic & richly beautiful that I plan on leaving it original for as long as I have it. Besides I got a '78 2204 if I really need that extra cascading grit-up 'n go!

    Good luck with everything. The few JMP Master Volume years are worth collecting if you can find nice examples.
     

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  13. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You also need to consider the cost of an attenuator if you buy this amp!
     
  14. GIBSON67

    GIBSON67 Well-Known Member

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    MY 1976 2203 has a Metro MV that works very well to get that one cranked sound, but the presence control then doesn't work. So I usually just dime
    that master and use the original MV and that works great! It is very sensitive, but I can get good low level sounds without the Metro MV.
     
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  15. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    As a matter of fact I do use a Weber Mass 150 with this amp (& my other JMP's) even when playing with a band because I enjoy the sound & tonal playing characteristics of the power tubes being driven. Using a good attenuator allows you to use the rich tones of the JMP Power-amp section at various levels & offers a lot of playing options for texture & sound.

    At low volume with a JMP MV amp all your going to be able to actually drive is the 123ax7 pre-amp section & thats just a whole different sound & feel from the power tube section being really pushed into its driven power zone that actually gave Marshall it's noted reputation for being an awesome guitar amp.

    There is little doubt to my ears that these JMP MV heads sound best when both the Pre-amp & Power-amp sections are working together in tube saturated harmonically rich beauty. A beauty so awesome and inspiring that you will know & understand what it means for your amp to be just as an important part of your sound as your guitar itself is.
     
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  16. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member

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    There is one like this in DC metro area listed for $2600. It looks a bit beat up too. Seller won’t get it but prices are creeping up.
     
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  17. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. My 2203 was (IS) my first Marshall and it's the very first amp I've ever played that had this organic thing going on where at high volume, it caused me to turn the gain DOWN because the tone coming out of it is such a thing of beauty that there's no need for more drive.

    The 2203 is the amp that cured me of my "more gain is always good" mindset. I was chasing gain. Now I know that gain does not necessarily equate to tone.

    I can certainly make good use of a power brake for it, though. So that'll be my next big purchase.
     
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  18. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Amen to what you say Bro :thumbs:
     
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  19. 2203xman

    2203xman Well-Known Member

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    As far as the inconsistant tones from these old amps,I believe most is internet myth due to improper amp maintenance.Tubes,and bias,improper mods etc give a false impression sometimes.The circuits are identical,with correct set up these amps should all sound perfectly acceptable.I think all of them have the potential to rock hard.Find a decent deal,and enjoy.
     
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  20. john hammond

    john hammond Well-Known Member

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    my theory involves your theory, and the inconsistency that transformer manufacturers are still susceptible to.
    they wind them differently depending on what day of the week it is and how close it is to morning teatime.
     

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