JCM 800 2205 or 2204?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by DILLIGAS, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. DILLIGAS

    DILLIGAS New Member

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    I have the chance to pick up a 2205 for $950 locally that looks good in and out. I currently have a JCM 900 4500 that I have done the simple mods (clipped 1 leg on R7 & R43, jumping C10 & D27) running a Seymour Duncan "pickup" booster on the front end, and an EQ in the effects loop. Using a JCM 800 cab with the 75's in it and like the sounds I get. I mostly like Sabbath, motorhead, etc... and can get the sound I'm after the way I have it set. Been doing a lot of reading here (great website by the way). Also available but much further away is a 2204 in about the same condition for $1,000. Please tell me why you'd go with one over the other.

    Thanks,
    Drew :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  2. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    Dude,
    It depends on how you wish to use the amp. If all you need is just one channel without a lead boost by all means get the 2204 as imo has slightly tighter tone then the 2205, but the 2205 is BAD ASS as well! I used a 4500 for nearly 6 years in a band...and would use it the way you have described. I would boost both the A and B channel with a boost pedal, and run a BBE sonic maximizer in the loop. Got GREAT tones that way. However, the B channel is 100% solid state minus the power section. As such, my lead tones never had any cut, and were thin in comparison to the A channel.

    A Solution that worked for me, and I owned both 2204 and 2205s..(love the tone of those amps)was a 900 2500/2100 MK3 or Mk4 (prefer the 3). This had more pure tube tone, will cut FAR better then the 4500..and had a foot switchable MV control..perfect for mix cutting solos. Plus, you can leave the FX empty with the exception of a patch cord. (this is almost mandatory)

    My final solution that worked perfectly for me was the DSL..IMO its a step up tone wise with respect to ANY 900..and its more responsive to your playing. Hard to explain..but the 900s all seem to be more difficult to play through..they respond slower to your picking in where a good 800 or DSL responds with complete fluidity... It can give you 800 like tones with the *right tubes and bias,*(very important) and yet has the OTHER channel!...Use it in the same manner that you use your current rig, and leave the FX empty if need be. That 4500 sounded dull without the BBE in the FX loop...

    I have never been happier in 20+ years of Marshall ownership. The DSL buries the 4500 in *just* about every category. Its a much warmer sounding amp that has serious cut..allowing your solos to DOMINATE the mix..incredible. Plus, and as you probably already know, doesn't slice you in half like those DRs do when standing in front of the cabinet. My 4500s were so damn directional...the DSL just seems to project its tone far more evenly.. DSLs are everywhere and their affordable in the used market. You can get one in mint condition for around $650...a great bargain when you are considering buying a 20+ year old amp for almost twice as much..and imo in many ways sounds just as good, and has more flexibility then an older 800.
     
  3. ramble

    ramble New Member

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    The 2205 is more versatile than the 2204 because it has two channels and can switch between the two and it has reverb. US models have 6550 tubes. Nice fat chunk sounds good. The clean channel is ok but really you can dial in a better clean tone on the "boost" channel, or the dirty channel if you will. Nice amp. I jam on one a couple nights a week on a retubed and capped 2205 and its great. But next to my 2204 amps it sounds a bit dull and not nearly as punchy and alive. Honestly I put them side by side a couple times a week (throgh celestian loaded cabs) and I like the 2204 better. My 2204s have el 34 tubes and the amps themselves are new. Your ymmv with an older 2204... you can see my amps online here: Trenkler Amplification - Home on my forum posts, and ebay.
     
  4. medicjg

    medicjg Well-Known Member

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    IMO get the 2205. If that wasnt available I would get a mkIII. 2205/10 both bury the DSL or 2204 IMO. The MKIII is less versatile but covers a wide range of tones from slightly dirty to all out high gain that reacts very will with a boost. I have owned all of them at one point.
     
  5. Söulcaster

    Söulcaster Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Just to confuse you, I'd grab the the 2204, only because it is totally different to what you already have.
     
  6. V-man

    V-man New Member

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    This.

    If you had but one Marshall, the 2205 would be more of a consideration. Since you already have a diode-driven Marshall, I would go for the 2204 as well.
     
  7. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    This +1

    All of my US 2205/2210's past and present, came with EL34's. I prefer the 2205/2210 and original non cascaded gain designs of the 1987/1959 Plexi circuits.

    They are all great amps. It just depends on which one inspires you to play with passion. For many it is the 2204. However there are many who are not aware of the Split channel models (True First Hot Rods) Channel Switching, Reverb and Effects Loop clipping diodes added to circuit which would later be used by Marshall again in the Jubilee series then later World famous amp guru's. That was a huge deal in 1982.

    Here is a video I made just for this purpose:
    To those who have seen the video time and again, I appologize lol.

    Smooth, Clear and Sustained.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k1LCayMzcI]Marshall JCM 800 Model 2210 - David C. Hopkins - YouTube[/ame]











    David :cheers:
     
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  8. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    The boost channel and reverb on the 2205 would be the deal clincher for me. Make sure everything works well. If the boost channel feeds back at relatively modest volume steer clear...(you should be able to get the master up to 5-6 with boost vol and gain at 7-8 without a problem)
     
  9. DILLIGAS

    DILLIGAS New Member

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    Thanks to all for your responses.

    Drew
     
  10. plexilespaul

    plexilespaul Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  11. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    I am right there with ya Avivoni..


    That is an opinion of course..and I have owned all of them..and that is NOT my experience... Most of the time these opinions are formed by people whom DO NOT have practical experience with the amps...but..of course everyone hears things differently..

    I LOVE all the aforementioned amps...they ALL sound like Marshalls...and imo, are the anesthetist of breed. The DSL..*probably* has the least desirable tone in its stock form with respect to the 2205/10 04...BUT the very small disparity in tonal quality is easily equaled by its functionality.

    The 2205/2210's clean channels are no where as good as the DSL's clean channel, and for me was basically useless..for my application. Having the DSL's OD1 red channel for a band mix cutting, warm solo boost ON TOP AND OVER a good rhythm channel cannot be accomplished with either the 2205/10 (cept' for putting a clean boost in the 05/10's FX loop) or 2204! This makes the DSL for me a hands down winner...
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
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  12. medicjg

    medicjg Well-Known Member

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    The clean channel on the 2210 is no slouch. It can get a little wooly if you have the master up high. However beautiful when used with the right guitar. So if you were performing with the 2210 then it wouldnt be as practical as a DSL. For me the drive channel is where its at on the 2210 and would be worth toting along another head for cleans.I could have been doing something wrong when I had a DSL but have had no issue what so ever dialing great tones from an 800 or 900. The 2210 is a monster of an amp you can dial it in from bedroom level to all out anarchy and it sounds killer. I respect others opinions im sure you get a killer tone from the DSLs they just werent for me clean dirty or otherwise.
     
  13. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2204. And played a bunch of DSL 50's and 100's. I too prefer the 2205/2210 for gain applications. Then again, I really like red LED's in my signal path.

    The cleans are more than good enough for what I do.
     
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  14. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I do not play Marshalls (2210/1987) for the Clean signal, I play them for the professional smooth Dirt!

    Cleans? Well that is why I own 1963 Fender Bassman and a 120 Roland Jazz Chorus Head. Through a 412 they are beautiful.

    I have a few amps that are mediocre at doing both. But I use the 2205/2210 as a single channel amp and the Split clean will do just fine for live IMO.

    David :cheers:
     
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  15. DILLIGAS

    DILLIGAS New Member

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    Can anyone tell me if a stock 2205 has the same, more, or less gain than a stock 4500?

    Drew
     
  16. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    A 2205's hot channel has about the same amount of gain as the 4500's 'B' channel, but its character is completely different. In short the 2205's hot channel BLOWS away a 4500's B channel..far thicker/fatter and warm with good cut..
     
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  17. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    +1 Of course that is my favorite circuit anyway. :)
     
  18. SwampThing

    SwampThing New Member

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    FWIW..When discussing a 'Clean channel' if your tone is dialed in right, when you need a clean tone kill your front end OD (if you use one) and roll the volume back on your guitar. These discussions are repetitive, if you need absolute clean clarity whatever, spend the money on a roland Jazz chorus or a fender twin and get an A/B switcher. Marshall's are NOT known for their clean beauty and never will. Cranked= Amazing.

    My .02
     
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  19. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    As I said earlier,

    I do not play Marshalls (2210/1987) for the Clean signal, I play them for the professional smooth Dirt!

    Cleans? Well that is why I own 1963 Fender Bassman and a 120 Roland Jazz Chorus Head. Through a 412 they are beautiful.

    I have a few amps that are mediocre at doing both. But I use the 2205/2210 as a single channel amp and the Split clean will do just fine for live IMO.

    David
     
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  20. SwampThing

    SwampThing New Member

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    Im not knockin ya at all brother, I owned a 2210 that the Dirt channel would bleed over into the clean channel and drove me nuts. I just think the eternal quest/debate for clean tone on a Marshall is ridiculous. Its like lowering Big-Foot down to 11 inch rims.. makes no sense. Your 63 Fender Bassman, that the real deal or re-issue?:dude:
     
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