2x NAD - JCM800 2203 and 2210

lonewolfsx

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Picked up both of these amps within the last week.

First, the 2210. I got this for what I thought was an incredible deal, it was mislabeled as a 2203 but the store let me know in advance. I called and they gave me the S/N, it dates from 1986 which is what I wanted (later circuit) so I went for it anyway. Sadly it got seriously damaged during shipping, the reverb tank is totally borked and I wasn't able to fix it (I've fixed a few in the past but this one needs new transducers really), the head shell itself is cracked along the corner edge on top and ripped the tolex there, and it struggles to switch channels occasionally so it'll need some work to bring back up to snuff. On the plus side, I was able to get a sizable partial refund for the damage so as long as I do the work myself I should come out on top.

Something interesting about this amp, and part of the reason I wanted to keep it despite all of the damage, is the entire amp - both boost and clean channels - is darker and fuller sounding than my 1985 JCM800 2205. In fact, they sound VERY different from each other, despite both sharing the same circuit revision. It's possible one or both have been modded, so since I have to take the chassis out anyway to repair things I'll do a little checking to see. Either way, I am absolutely blown away at the sound of this amp. People say there are good and great JCM800s, well it is true - my 2205 was good, even great, this one is in another league. Easily my favorite amp at the moment.

Added bonus, it came with a matched quad of brand new looking SED Winged =C= EL34's. I already took them out and boxed them up - they sound great but I think these deserve to be saved for something that really matters, like a recording or maybe I'll sell them to someone who really drives their power tubes hard (I don't really). A nice bonus of all this too is that the amp has already had its required changes to use EL34 tubes, while my 2205 still uses the factory 6550's. That said, I don't think the sound difference between these two is down to the power tube type, it's more drastic than that.

xIJdvvd.jpg


I also got a 2203x, which dates from 2005. It's in top condition and just gorgeous. It's exactly what I expected from a single channel 800, but the controls are all very stiff and damped, so it's surprisingly easy to dial in a good tone at reasonable volumes. I've played some vintage units where the pots were so loose/scratchy it was nearly impossible.

It's super thick and full sounding as well, but brighter and less gain than the 2210. I use an ABY switcher and did some back and forth playing, where each head is hooked up to a pair of the speakers in the cab, and it's a blast to go between these two heads.

Also, this amp has revitalized my interest in some of the more gainy OD pedals. I LOVE my SD-1 and TS-7 tubescreamer. I really hated my JOYO Ultimate Drive and barely used it, but I stuck it on my board recently to fool around with. Anyway, through this amp, that pedal sounds awesome! Now I think I understand why so many guys love the Fulltone OCD with the single channel 800's, it's great. It also works pretty well with the 2210 too. I was close to giving this pedal away or selling it super cheap online and I'm glad I held onto it.

TqQlHTa.jpg


And a quick plug, I just sold a cool Charvel Model 3A on reverb so I had one last chance to make a little overview video. In the video I play the JCM800 2203x, if you want to hear what it sounds like with some crappy noodling. I played a bit with the Ultimate Drive on but had to cut it - there is a noticeable volume boost with that pedal on and it was just barely enough to clip the mic (doh). I suppose that speaks to how dynamic the amp is. Here, playing starts around 11:30 ->


Cheers and thanks for reading!
 

Drinkingdeath01

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Picked up both of these amps within the last week.

First, the 2210. I got this for what I thought was an incredible deal, it was mislabeled as a 2203 but the store let me know in advance. I called and they gave me the S/N, it dates from 1986 which is what I wanted (later circuit) so I went for it anyway. Sadly it got seriously damaged during shipping, the reverb tank is totally borked and I wasn't able to fix it (I've fixed a few in the past but this one needs new transducers really), the head shell itself is cracked along the corner edge on top and ripped the tolex there, and it struggles to switch channels occasionally so it'll need some work to bring back up to snuff. On the plus side, I was able to get a sizable partial refund for the damage so as long as I do the work myself I should come out on top.

Something interesting about this amp, and part of the reason I wanted to keep it despite all of the damage, is the entire amp - both boost and clean channels - is darker and fuller sounding than my 1985 JCM800 2205. In fact, they sound VERY different from each other, despite both sharing the same circuit revision. It's possible one or both have been modded, so since I have to take the chassis out anyway to repair things I'll do a little checking to see. Either way, I am absolutely blown away at the sound of this amp. People say there are good and great JCM800s, well it is true - my 2205 was good, even great, this one is in another league. Easily my favorite amp at the moment.

Added bonus, it came with a matched quad of brand new looking SED Winged =C= EL34's. I already took them out and boxed them up - they sound great but I think these deserve to be saved for something that really matters, like a recording or maybe I'll sell them to someone who really drives their power tubes hard (I don't really). A nice bonus of all this too is that the amp has already had its required changes to use EL34 tubes, while my 2205 still uses the factory 6550's. That said, I don't think the sound difference between these two is down to the power tube type, it's more drastic than that.

xIJdvvd.jpg


I also got a 2203x, which dates from 2005. It's in top condition and just gorgeous. It's exactly what I expected from a single channel 800, but the controls are all very stiff and damped, so it's surprisingly easy to dial in a good tone at reasonable volumes. I've played some vintage units where the pots were so loose/scratchy it was nearly impossible.

It's super thick and full sounding as well, but brighter and less gain than the 2210. I use an ABY switcher and did some back and forth playing, where each head is hooked up to a pair of the speakers in the cab, and it's a blast to go between these two heads.

Also, this amp has revitalized my interest in some of the more gainy OD pedals. I LOVE my SD-1 and TS-7 tubescreamer. I really hated my JOYO Ultimate Drive and barely used it, but I stuck it on my board recently to fool around with. Anyway, through this amp, that pedal sounds awesome! Now I think I understand why so many guys love the Fulltone OCD with the single channel 800's, it's great. It also works pretty well with the 2210 too. I was close to giving this pedal away or selling it super cheap online and I'm glad I held onto it.

TqQlHTa.jpg


And a quick plug, I just sold a cool Charvel Model 3A on reverb so I had one last chance to make a little overview video. In the video I play the JCM800 2203x, if you want to hear what it sounds like with some crappy noodling. I played a bit with the Ultimate Drive on but had to cut it - there is a noticeable volume boost with that pedal on and it was just barely enough to clip the mic (doh). I suppose that speaks to how dynamic the amp is. Here, playing starts around 11:30 ->


Cheers and thanks for reading!

Marshall's, Boogies,VHT Pittbulls, ADA MP series preamps and 80's shred guitars ? I'm pretty sure we're long lost brothers Lonewolf !!! Killer review, killer video. Keep up the good work!!!:cheers:
 

lonewolfsx

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Marshall's, Boogies,VHT Pittbulls, ADA MP series preamps and 80's shred guitars ? I'm pretty sure we're long lost brothers Lonewolf !!! Killer review, killer video. Keep up the good work!!!:cheers:

Thanks, we must be! The ADA MP-1 has been my secret weapon for a long time, it's one of the first things I ever got because it was dirt cheap at the time and I was a poor college kid. I've used it as a guitar amp, a dirty mic preamp, a headphone practice amp, and a full rig. It has some great tones in it. I need to spend more time with the MP-2, it just has so many more features it's hard to get a grip on things since the interface is a little clunky.

Cheers!
 

lonewolfsx

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Fun review on a cool guitar. Your guitar playing is damn good!

Thanks, I actually think I suck so I appreciate hearing that. I’m definitely worse than I was 5 or so years ago when I actually played out and practiced for it.
I’ve been thinking about taking lessons. My new job I actually might have the time because at least so far I’m not averaging 55-60 hour weeks.
 

Guitar Rod

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Congrats on the 800s! Leave some for the rest of us.

And I agree on the Ultimate Drive. Initially didn't like it all that much and it sat. Recently put it on my board and it hasn't left.
 

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