The 2204

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Adrian R, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Well-Known Member

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    I'll be honest.
    I am one of the outcasts.
    The freaks.

    Tried the 800/2203/2204 series years ago, they didn't do it for me.
    After being on this forum for a few years...
    I was ready to give that series a go...again.

    I build a 2204.
    To the Marshall spec.

    Again, that amp just ain't me.
    So I did what we all do...or try to do.

    I rebuilt in in my taste ans I am very satisfied.
    I can get it to sound right close to my JVM 205 or back down to the 2204 it started as.
     
  2. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I have an '82 4010, '83 2204, '84 4010 and '87 4104. The '82 sounds quite different than the others, mainly due to it having that early 400V B+ where the others have the similar 100W 480V B+. The '83 2204 and '84 4010 are punchier and balls to wall more than my 100W 2555 (Silver 1987 & Clone) , 6100's, DSL's, TSL's and JVM 410. The '87 did seem to have some slight fizz overtones and slightly less punch. That of course is comparing all amps through the same external speaker cab.

    I have played quite a few of my buddies old 100W JMP's and I did not hear anything more special than my 50W 800's.


    @Adrian R I know you added the choke to your JVM 205H. I have been considering adding a choke to my JVM 410H, but some considerations keep me from doing it. First off, I like the slightly lower voltage the stock amp has on the EL34 screens where a choke will increase those voltages. Plus, I just do not feel like changing out the screen filter cap values that would help the choke mod be more pronounced and noticed.

    But . . . . I do have a 100W Heyboer Metro spec'ed old Drake output transformer I am considering swapping into my JVM 410H. If I do, I will want to only do that mod to see if I hear any changes for the better or for the worse. After playing around with the amp like that, I will then undertake adding a choke and lowering the screen caps values. This JVM 410 is my main amp for everything, so I am thinking I might as well treat it to some upgrades.

    But I do think the stock transformers in the JVM amps is of good quality. I do not expect to hear much audible change . . . .
     
  3. bad565ss

    bad565ss Well-Known Member

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    Sure. The master volume pot on the amp is linear taper resulting in a rapid increase in volume in a small amount of sweep creating the too loud at 2 situation. The pot on the JHS is audio taper and allows the entire sweep of the pot to be usable as actual volume control ( more gradual ).
    The two used together work real well for more precise and controllable volume setting. Similar to how a DSL R series works.
    Preamp volume-gain, Master volume-channel volume, JHS-Master volume .
    Hope that makes sense.
     
  4. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    +1 and they are cheaper to retube!
     
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  5. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ricky ,.......I've had a 2204 once but can't remember the year ,....it had a in your face square crunchy sound that was awesome but not sweet enough for me to keep it . My question is ,..would you know why
    some have woody-er tone than others and have some kind of tube rectifier sweet sag tone like the one on video below ?............is the lower B plus thong part of this ?....asking because this is the tone I'd like if I ever buy one again but don't know what to look for or maybe have someone build one for me,...Thanks.



    And even this 1980 2203 has this nice chewy sound

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  6. Adrian R

    Adrian R Well-Known Member

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    I love it so much a might go up for sale! Lol
     
  7. Valvelust

    Valvelust Well-Known Member

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    To sum it up it for me in most cases;
    800 2203 = Gritty/More bite
    JMP 2203 = Softer/Warmer
     
  8. LargeBoxSmallBox

    LargeBoxSmallBox Well-Known Member

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    I have more experience with the 50-watt versions of these amps, but some with the 100-watt. I think the main difference is the components. The circuit is no different (supposedly) between the JMP 2203-2204 and the JCM800 versions.

    My 2204 from '77: All mustard caps, amazing amp.
    One friend of mine has a 2204 from '78, it has green caps, also an amazing amp, but a tiny bit different than mine. Close, but slightly different.
    Another friend has a 2204 late '78-early '79, it has white caps in it. Another great amp. Hard to tell the difference between the green caps and the white caps, to my ears.
    I owned a 2204 from '81, one of the last JMP 2204's, it had red box-shaped caps, and it was noticeably less great than the others. Still really good, but definitely not as awesome. It had a flatter sound, not as much bloom, though it still rocked.
    Another friend found and bought a 2203 built in '78, green caps, fantastic amp.
    Also, materials change, suppliers may make changes to their components. E.g., output transformers. Who knows what small differences there are from late '70s to the '80s?
    I've had a number of vintage amps that I ended up spinning, as they just didn't compare to my best ones. The magic ones spoil ya! :D
     
  9. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    That first one you posted of the '85 800 2204 with horizontal inputs should have the higher B+ voltage. Then the second clip is a JMP 2203 and should have he higher voltage unless it has been modified. All 2203's whether 70's JMP or 80's 800 should have the same higher B+ voltage. Why people are hearing a warmer tone from a JMP 2203 is beyond me. All JMP's I have been around and played through was very similar to my 800's.

    Now, people saying the 50W JMP's having a warmer tone sounds more normal as Marshall used the lower voltage power transformers in the 50W Marshalls up to the first year or so of the 800's - around 1982 or so.

    I think some of it is just the luck of the draw as some left the factory sounding better than others depending on components and their tolerances/values.

    I should add, my Plexi Rod 50W build has dual switchable B+ between that 400V/480V. I can switch back and forth on the fly and I barely hear a volume difference. And no more sweetness or warmer tone one way or the other.

    It does give me piece of mind knowing my power tubes screens are not getting slammed with 470V though . . . .
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  10. 79 2203

    79 2203 Well-Known Member

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    I've got 3 2203's, a 79 and 80 JMP and a 82 JCM. If I dial them in with the same amount of ACDC ish crunch, and turn them up till they sound great(reasonable band volumes), then the Master on each would be as follows...79 = 3, 80 = 2, 82 = 1. None of them sound like arse at those settings. I've got the 79 up over 4 many times and even up to 6 and the improvement in tone has been (apart from some nice speaker compression ) minor. I've never got the 80 past 3.5 or the 82 past 2.5, but let me be clear, if you're not getting a KILLER 2203/4 halfstack tone at those loud band volumes, it's not the amps fault.
     
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  11. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    All you guys with multiple 2203/4....I don’t even have one!!!
    :-0
     
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  12. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ricky for your input and history !....appreciate !
    Didn't know you could switch between different voltages !..........great !
    What kind of output transformer do you use when you build your amps ?
     
  13. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    When you get your JVM issue sorted, then you will somewhat have one. I can tell you, you will love the Plexi 2 gain stage and 2203 3 gain stage modes on the JVM. I have been messing with those modes a lot lately and they are awesome. Santiago did a great job with the design of the JVM and those modes are very close to the real vintage amps. I have noticed though, that these JVM modes seem to have a bit more hair on them in terms of saturation/gain than my 800's. But you can turn down the gain and that solves it. And the louder you can play the JVM, the closer it gets to the real vintage amps. But, the JVM has to be my best sounding amp playing at home real low volumes.
     
  14. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I used the Classic Tone 50W power transformer 18095 in my Plexi Rod build. It actually gives you three different secondary voltage options, where I used two taps on a switch.

    Many other power xfmrs on the Market today use multi secondary taps. I have a few Weber power xfmrs that do this as well. I think Hammond offers some as well.


    Oh crap - you asked output transformer?? The output xfmr has nothing to do with the power supply voltage. But on that same white Plexi Rod, I used a Mercury OT that has the KT66 higher impedance secondary lol. But I am running EL34's in it with the impedance/cab load adjusted properly.



    Here is my white Plexi Rod. Don't mind the buzzing as we had some ground loop issues on this party outside lol. Funny as someone posted on my youtube clip that they liked our Robin Trower cover here but the Neil Peart drumming did not fit.







     
  15. Valvelust

    Valvelust Well-Known Member

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    Now it would be nice compare the 1959 and 1987 to the 2203 and 2204 with demo's
     
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  16. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Are you kidding me !!??.........Man ,..your tone and playing is great !!.....haha!...Trower wouldn't mind playing with your Plexi Rod !...............What is it exactly ?..........does it have an extra preamp stage ?
    I'm surprised you went with MM for the OT ,.....some say they are better in Fender's but it sounds good in your amp !.............Any reason you chose Mercury ?
     
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  17. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    That was a few years ago, and the amp has since changed. Changed a lot lol. It is another project that is not finished as I tried to turn it into a few different things. First I was chasing Billie Joe Armstrongs Dookie album tone. I tried a few Dookie mod circuits that were online/here on the forum. Was not satisfied with that sound, then started experimenting some more. I plan on getting back into the amp now that I have some free time. So, it will have have a somewhat cleanish channel and a high gain channel but shared tone controls. It has 4 12AX7's.

    I already had that Mercury output transformer on hand back then so I used it. The amp started out more of a four holer Plexi circuit with KT66. Then I started the extra gain stage tinkering and it got out of control from there. That was before I got the JVM 410H basically.
     
  18. Kelia

    Kelia Well-Known Member

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    Haha !!........sounded perfect the way it was !..those Strat pickups did a great job too !
    Hope you don't regret changing things !
    I'll check out Billie Joe Armstrong ,....don't kwow who he is .
     
  19. RickyLee

    RickyLee Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Basically Green Days Dookie album. He used a modified Marshall model 1959 . . . .

    Listen to intro of When I Come Around . . . .
     
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  20. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    tight pinch
     

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