Big volume difference between 2204 and 2203x on the low input?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by 1956tvmodel, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. 1956tvmodel

    1956tvmodel Active Member

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    After owning my 1985 Marshall JCM 800 2204 50 watt for 35 years I decided to get the 2203x reissue 100 watt version. Ive been wanting that amp for at 20 years and I found a mint one of Reverb for $1800. So the amp came today and I finally got to A/B the two.

    Really impressed with the 2203x after spending an hour with it. A bit more open sounding to me. A tad less distorted on the high gain channel but a better in amp gain tone than the 2204s high gain channel. Ive always used the 2204 on the low input channel as a platform for my misc overdrive pedals so the first thing I tested on the 2203x was the low inout channel and was surprised to hear a drastic difference in volume between the two amps. At first I thought something might be wrong otherwise the 2203x. So plugged into the low inout on the 2204 with the am on 1 you would have to put the 2203x's low input volume on 6 to match volumes! I thought that was a bit strange.

    Very little volume on the low input with this amp. Now on the high input the volumes more or less match. For anyone else that owns both these amps, has that been your experience as well. What would cause such a drastic volume difference. Could it be the type of power tubes in the 2203. They are all stock in the 2203 and Winged C's in the 2204.

    Also when using the low input, does that mean your bypassing the V1 tube?
    Looking forward to spending some more time with the amp.

    Thanks
    Mike
     

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    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.
  2. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Tubes can make a big change and so can setting the bias hotter.
    Each preamp tube has 2 sections (2 triodes).
    The low input bypasses the first 1/2 of the V1 preamp tube.
    The high input uses both halves.
     
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  3. 1956tvmodel

    1956tvmodel Active Member

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    Interesting. You have to turn the volume up to around half on the low inout channel to get decent volume. On the 2204 you get the volume to 2 and it gets LOUD. I just want to make sure nothings wrong with the amp since I bought it used of Reverb
     
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  4. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    That is normal.
     
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  5. 1956tvmodel

    1956tvmodel Active Member

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    Ok good. Thats all I needed to know. Strange you would think if one of the amps would be the louder of the two it would be the 100 watter. The high gain channel sounds way better on the 2203. Never like that channel on my 2204. Maybe somethings wrong with the amp as others love that channel on the 2204. As for the low input using pedals I think the 2204 sounds better. Gonna mess around with power and preamp tubes as the 2203x has the stock Marshall tubes in it still.
     
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  6. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    Try running the same tubes in both amps to rule out bad tubes. They should be very similar I would think.
     
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  7. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Try different tubes it can make a big change.
     
  8. 1956tvmodel

    1956tvmodel Active Member

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    I have 4 matched JJ's I can experiment with.
     
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  9. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like someone may have used the JJecc823 in V1.
    The second stage is reduced gain...
     
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