Newly Acquired 2204, Some Thoughts...

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Adrian R, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Around here good luck with that. We've played outdoor shows (classic rock but 80s metal tones) where the guy with the 2203 half stack was told to turn down set at 2. It will match a drummer easily at that point. So yeah many of us would have issues getting it to 6 where it really kills. At that point the OD isn't overly necessary. Indoors forget it.


    Yeah we've talked about this before and I wonder if yours were the early versions. Cause I have the Version 2 and if anything it has just a hair more high end than the raw amp. It certainly doesn't kill the highs at all. They changed something with the V2. I A/Bd it and if it really affected the tone a lot I would know.
    I really wanted that second channel of volume not just attenuation. I used it just once live so far with the 4010 and I had no issues with it killing frequency response. I was concerned about this when I bought it.
    I also have a Dr Z Airbrake.
     
  2. 79 2203

    79 2203 Active Member

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    A 2203 with the Master on 2 vs Master on 6 isn't going to be noticably different gain wise and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 2203 on 2. For my last bands reasonably loud hard rock gig(with the same quad and guitar, at the same volume and Preamp setting) I could use the 79 2203 with Master at 4, 80 2203 with Master at 2.5, 82 2203 at 2, and Ceriatone 2203 at 1.5. Always matched the drummer and never had a complaint.

    It doesn't matter where the Master is set.....if it sounds good at 2, it's not going to be THAT MUCH gainier/better at 6.

    I've compared my vintage Marshalls to a ton of mass produced/boutiques and the idea that modern 50 watt MV amps are ideal for real world gigging but a 2204 is unusable is utter rubbish.
     
  3. 79 2203

    79 2203 Active Member

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    As an example, at a recent gig I used a Orange Rockerverb 50 mkii set to Preamp 6, Master 5 for the first set and for the second changed over to a 1980 JMP 2203 set with Preamp on 7, Master on 2.5 (to my ears, and the soundguys, the same volume/gain as the Rockerverb), and I could not believe how much better the 2203 sounded.

    Couple of lessons there, the main ones being , it doesn't matter where the Master is set if it sounds good, and if you want an authentic old school tone, then get an old school amp and work around the( percieved) shortcomings
     
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  4. Rozman62

    Rozman62 Well-Known Member

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    I do find my 2204 and 4104 a tad bit thinner with the master on 2 vs 6. I also find I can induce controlled feedback much easier when the master is up. In any case i agree that the low master tone is still incredible and worthy of any gig...period. A lot of modern boutique amps are trying to mimic the 70-80's Marshall tone voicing for a reason...cuz it's that good. No thanks... I'll just buy the real thing. I run my Marshall pre-amps on 7-8 and stepping on a mid hump boost type pedal still get a volume bump regardless of where my guitar volume is sitting.
     
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  5. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I used ro use mine (1983 2203) on around 2 and I gotta say, at 6 it had more distortion than it did at 2. Insane floor shaking volume. The other thing is, the OP plus myself aren't necessarily after old school tones, rather, trying to get more modern tones out of a killer old school amp. And you can with an OD.
    To get an extra volume shot for solos once the front end is saturated is what the problem is. Different uses for the same amp.
     
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  6. 79 2203

    79 2203 Active Member

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    Exactly
     
  7. 79 2203

    79 2203 Active Member

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    I think at some point, if a 2203/4 just isn't giving you the tones, gain, and volume that you require, then it's time to move on.
     
  8. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes. If one has multiple amps it's nice to have an extra flavor. Also nice to attempt to get a bit more modern tones where possible but still maintain the quality inherent in a single channel 800. It's a compromise for sure.
    I found nothing quite as fun as that thing on 6 outdoors or studio. Incredible. No pedals at all. It was years ago before I knew anything but man did that cook.
     
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  9. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    Hey me digging the hell out of that 2204 man.. I've just using an old school approach which is effective. Turn up the MV to where it's louder then the mix reasonably, and then turn the guitar down slightly...for rythmn tones.. u loose just a bit of bite but if your guitar has quality parts, like mine do, it's not much. The 2204 is so dynamic, you can get away with it!
     
  10. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Especially if you can get it up!! The volume, not... your... um...:applause:
     
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  11. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    All this talk makes me want to use the 4010 next year at the big tent show atop the 2x12. Angled towards the side where I can really let er go...
    Maybe the wife will have an appointment soon and I can turn up downstairs!!
     
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  12. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    So there's that big a difference in the MV pot taper. That's really interesting. The 79 on 4 = the 82 on 2. I just assumed that whole series would be the same. Cool!
     
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  13. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    There ya go man.

    I just proved that one again to myself last weekend for a bar gig. And this gig, we had a bit of a reunion as our old 2nd guitarist joined us for this show.

    I used my JVM 410H once again and once again lol, I stayed on OD1 Orange the entire night except for part of one song that I used CH2 Crunch Orange for quite a bit of it.

    I set the amp up for a punchy singing lead tone on OD1 Orange, which was Gain around 4 (my JVM is modified for a bit less saturation on OD1/2). This lead sound is just at or slightly above the drums. This is also with my bridge humbucker on and guitar volume on 10. I can then roll back my guitar volume to get some volume reduction and a nice crunchy rhythm sound. And then roll back volume a bit more and I am in a dirty semi clean Plexi area of tone. I don't even need to use the JVM dual master volumes. I do have OD2 tone controls set up for a more pronounced midrange boost if needed with a bit more saturation. I am just amazed how good this OD1 Orange sounds with the guitar volume rolled down.

    I found this works very well for me as I am having to also do lead vocals now then do some switching by floor for my wah and talk box and also occasional vibe, though the Trower material is now a mostly in the past thing.

    So basically, having to be a lead singer and use the JVM foot controller to switch channels is tougher on me while having to also sing and possibly switch my wah off on too. Just so much easier to use my guitar volume. And I have no issues with muddy tone rolling back the guitar volume. No treble bleed cap in my guitar either man.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  14. Trapland

    Trapland Well-Known Member

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    Mine were V2. They’ve been making the V2 for years. If you can live with the tone, I totally agree the functions are what every smelly old 4 holer needs.
     
  15. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Huh. I'll have to give mine a direct comparison as you did. Tonally a 4010 etc is hard to duplicate so I really dont want go kill that. I never noticed any fidelity loss other than it seemsed a bit brighter to me. Cheers
     
  16. 79 2203

    79 2203 Active Member

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    Yeah the 79 had the taper worked on by a Tech and previous to that it would get to just under 3 for the same volume. Not sure why the 82 is so loud at such a low MV setting but I'm guessing its because the plate voltage went up as the JMP line progressed through the 70's and again with the JCM's, but also I think the 82 has a lower brightcap value which IME makes the amp cleaner and louder(and of course darker)


    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where the MV is set..... if it sounds great to me, I don't care if it's on 1, or 4. They are old amps and they have slightly different parts,values, tubes, voltages etc which give them unique personalities.
     
  17. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, there have others whom have engaged in long conversations about this. Some even thought their amps were defective because of this. MV settings corresponding to a number on the dial is completely irrelevant. My 2204 is getting very loud over 1! It runs out if juice at like 3 or 4, maybe, don't know because I have never turned up past 2 as my ears are bleeding at settings above 1.5.
     
  18. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Active Member

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    This is an informative thread for sure, but one question I'd like have answered is for you that push the 2203 and 2204 hard With amp master volumes and gain knobs up beyond half way, where abouts are your guitar volume knobs positioned? I know rolling guitar back too far means losing “attack”. How far back are you able to go before all of the attack disappears? My 2nd. question is:
    Do you ever get to 10 on the guitar volumes? I'm using
    a couple of Les Pauls.

    classicplayer
     
  19. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Can't answer all of that but I run my guitar volume on 10 pretty well all the time. I do not run the amp volume anywhere near half as it's just too loud for where I play. If I could the volume would still be at full as I like more modern tones and distortion.
     
  20. Rozman62

    Rozman62 Well-Known Member

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    I usually hear a difference in attack below 7- 8. Assuming you have quality pots/wiring there are basically 3 zones on a guitar volume. 1-4 is clean, 5-7 crunch, 7-10 full throttle attack. There is a strong correlation between amp gain setting and guitar volume. I find keeping the gain lower on the amp obviously helps clean up the guitar volume making it far more effective and dynamic...especially if you hybrid pick as I do. High amp gain settings supress the dynamics one can benefit dialing in different tones on a guitar volume knob. 50's wiring really helps in this area. Keeping your guitar volume knob maxed and backing off your pick attack in my opinion doesn't really yield much of a clean tone. Took me years of playing to grasp this concept. It's an old school concept and not for everyone. Adding pedals just helps add to the magic. As mentioned earlier, Gary Moore was a master of this and by far my favorite guitarist. His playing approach helped me manage using a 1 channel amp. He certainly didn't have any issue on his lead volume.
     

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