2203 vs 1959 voicing question

Discussion in 'Let's Talk Vintage' started by Matthews Guitars, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but I've found that my 1959 (1973 manufacture, and freshly rebuilt and restored) has a much more pushed midrange than my 2203. (1978 manufacture, more or less original other than having been recapped at some point. )

    Usually I pick one specific guitar for each amp. I didn't notice that the voicing change was really
    in the amp until I just got too lazy to pick up the other guitar and simply ran one guitar into both amps.

    The 1959 has a distinctly honky/quacky midrange compared to the much more scooped sound of the 2203.

    Normal, or not normal?
     
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  2. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    You have to look at the schematic and look at the tone caps and The gain of the preamp . And how the frequency’s are rolled of .
     
  3. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    My experience, the 2203's are much brighter due to the peak caps and brite brite cap (over the top IMO) . I tune mine way less bright

    1959 should be middy ,that's the good Marshall tone man
     
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  4. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    That pretty much is the right description of what I'm hearing.

    Next time I open the chassis for any reason I'll be taking notes on component values, bright caps, etc.
     
  5. RobS

    RobS Well-Known Member

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    i tried the bright cap snip on my 2203x many years back and soldered it back in as I found the amp lost some of its character, yeah it did sound very much warmer and at first I really liked it but that was at home / low volumes.
    Once up to normal playing levels with bass & drums it didnt cut through like previously, even with treble & presence up very high

    Are you trying to achieve the same sound from your 2203 as the 59?

    Oddly enough I found that running a cooler bias 50-55% on my 2203x really warmed up the sound of my amp as opposed to a hotter bias in the 60-65% range and now am really happy with the way its sounding.
     
  6. dptone5

    dptone5 Well-Known Member

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    Matt, I have a 2203X and 1987XL. I agree with your assessment 100%. Both are great to have and record with, depending on the application, however, I tend to gravitate more to the 2203X sound. It's my favorite head.
     
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  7. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    Somebody ,somewhere started this "snip" thing , but that was never the answer.
    My solution is to "tune" rather than snip .
    What I like best these days on the fly , is to lift a leg on that 470-500pf peak cap on the board, Remove the 470-500pf peak cap over the resistor coming from the input jack , remove the brite cap on the over the pot , replace it that 470-500 pf cap that I removed from the input resistor.
     
  8. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    Something I came across when tuning an AFD type amp was simply piggybacking a 1800pF across the treble peaker between the hi and lo jacks it brings a lot more upper mids in and makes the other caps less sharp and bright. I recommend you give it a whirl (if you have not already).
     
  9. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    Dammit man , now I gotta carry an 1800pf cap n gator clips for the next time I gotta use someone else's 2203/4 :lol:
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  10. Fusedbrain

    Fusedbrain Active Member

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    .680uf presence cap in the '73 1959?
     

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