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Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by SteveDay, Sep 10, 2020.
I owned a 78 JMP 2203 for 20 years, and ran it pristine clean always with pedals or preamps.
As you've discovered, the gain is just not there for me, no matter how cranked it is, but I play hard rock and thrash so that's why.
so imo, nope, turning it louder isn't going to give you what you are after.
Relax ..this isn’t TGP , people here are actually cool and trying to help you.
Sounds like the wrong amp for you - unless you mod it or boost it with a pedal. Simples.
It'll get slightly more saturation with the MV turned from 7 and beyond, but not enough to push it to 80's metal territory....
Didn’t say it wasn’t a good amp, I love them, they are great but they aren’t high gain. And, yes, modding them with an extra tube will add more gain but that wasn’t your question. They get most of their gain from the preamp. Turning it up doesn’t seem to add much more gain, especially with 6550 tubes. Buy it, convert it to EL34’s and add an extra gain stage, then it will be the right amp for you.
I learned this the hard way. Ive had way too many hi gain amps, but none have the look of a white tolex marshall 800 halfstack. So l had to start the mod process to make that look have the sound l want. Also back in the 70s, 80s....there wasnt the choices in hi gain amps like today. They had to mod
Please dont mod the amp. Original ones are getting harder and harder to come by.
If you really really want to mod one, i humbly suggest you buy another one that already as some mods on it as they are usually cheaper! Then sell the one you've got and make a tidy profit while someone else gets to enjoy your original with less gain.
Not my intention to come across snooty or patronizing!
Or push it with a pedal, with my 2104 I dimed the preamp (gain) and used a half cocked wha, and high output pickups of the time and it worked for me, plus the boost you got with the maestro echo plex gave it plenty of bite, clarity, it was a bad ass amp ..
The 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550's in question will probably not have enough "gain" for the applications I think you are trying to achieve.
To put it in more realistic terms,
a 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will not have as aggressive "gain" tone as a Peavey 6505+
a 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will not have as aggressive "gain" tone as an EVH 5150III
a 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will not have as aggressive "gain" tone as JVM410H
a 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will not have as aggressive "gain" tone as Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier
a 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will not have as aggressive "gain"tone as Diezel VH4
That is not to say that a 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will not produce a nice aggressive distorted/overdriven/dirty/"gain" tone, but 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 will never be confused with a high gain amp similar to the ones I listed above unless the 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 is modified in some way to produce high gain tones. Even if you put that 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 full blast, it's not going to give you high gain tones because the design of the 1979 JMP 2203 with 6550 is different than those listed above or some of the other high gain amps available today.
I jammed with a buy who has a similar JMP 2203 Super Lead a few years ago. The JMP couldn't produce the high gain tones I got out of my stock 410H. We then let my friend's son jam with us using his Peavey 5150 100 watt head; the 5150 straight up dominated the JMP when dialing in high gain tones. JMP dude resorted to using pedals for more distortion/gain/overdrive/dirt, but his sound got worse and sullied the tone of his great JMP. Make no mistake, the JMP sounded good, but it can only do so much in stock form.
You can certain put a pedal somewhere in your signal chain, but I think you're looking for something different.
Good luck with your decision.
Checkout the Legendary Tones Hot Mod V2, he makes several different versions. It's a plug in extra gain stage, without having to hack up a vintage amp.
No Marshall 2203 run on 1 sounds good! Actually they sound like crap at that volume. Buzzy, no bass...2203’s you ideally want to run at 6 or 7.....
If you really crank it, you will get into some different gain territory. I built an isolation box with a miked 4x12 inside. It is out in the garage, with a long cable run to the office where myself and the amps are.
I have a '78 2203, but my 4x12 is vintage, and only rated at 100w. So when I want to really crank it, I use my '77 2204 instead (neither is modded). Here is this amp, straight in like you want to do. The master is at 9.5, and the pre-amp at 6. Reverb and eq were added post.
It's definitely not hi-gain, but maybe enough for the Ratt and EVH you mentioned.
I occaisionally try an OD or clean boost in front, but under the microscope, it just doesn't sound as good or pure to me.
Nothing sounds quite like a 2203/2204 pushed with a tube screamer or SD1 type. Nothing. I do not see why people are so opposed to using a pedal that merely takes an already great thing and makes it......more....great.
I honestly think that most of these mod's sound like a 2203 pushed with a pedal anyway. If you want a modern gain "monster" get a 5150 or an SLO. They are perfect for what that kind of stuff is. But a Marshall.....un-modded....can and will sound like a fire breathing dragon with the right tubes, a little volume, and a helpful push from a fantastic OD....and still have that Marshall magic. Many great metal bands have done just this to fantastic results. I get the "plug in and play" aspect but to me it is not a requirement as long as my end result is the same. That being said I do not shy away from modified Marshall amps as long as they are done well and add to the amp...rather than take away from a pristine example.
Also, this forum is not like the others....you do not have to be defensive. Everyone here is helpful and cool for the most part. We are passionate about our Marshall's so please forgive a little heated debate from time to time.
IMO, the pedals work great, if you're into that Metallica-Slayer-Megadeth type of sound.
If you are looking for a high gain metal amp you should look elsewhere. Pedals will do wonders for that amp, otherwise you are going to get 80s hair metal at best out of it and that is if you dime it. You will get awesome AC/DC and the like out of it though.
I think Steve might have left the building?
He gone. Hahahaha
Guess he didn't get the answer he wanted.
No - I am still here.
I appreciate the responses
I am amazed at how many people insist on the pedal in front of the amp idea, when all I did was ask if I turn the amp up to 7, 8, or even all the way, am I going to have more gain than when I am at under 1. It's a simple question, really. I wasn't asking how to get more gain. Just whether or not I would have more with the head turned up.
Yes, I did say that it does not have enough gain for my tastes. And I understand a pedal is a real option. It's just not what I asked.
But thank you all for the time!