Artist 3203 vs. 4203?

fitz288

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Are there any differences other than the obvious head / combo thing?
I know the head is the exact same layout at the 3210.
I've been looking on Reverb and it seems like the heads are going for about DOUBLE the price of the combo.
Considering that the combo is a smaller chassis and comes with a G12 Vintage (if stock), I'm baffled at the price discrepancy.
They seem to both have the 4-ohm / 8-ohm switched parallel speaker jacks and loop.
I've not tried to compare schematics, and probably wouldn't know what to look at.
1655154104271.png 1655154140607.png
There's a cheaper head available in France, but I know firsthand about internationally shipping an amp - PITA.
Tempted by the combo for a conversion to a head (I know a guy...:D)
Actually, starting to think the upside-down control plate would be kinda cool, and I'm keen to the smaller chassis & a 12" speaker with the deal...

Anyone ever had the opportunity to compare, or are aware of any differences?
 

Kbarreraj

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That head was a limited run ( the plexi face and most likely with green tolex ) the head with the black tolex and square build is closer in price with the combo all three have the same circuit …
 

Neville

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The combo is just great. I have the head and the combo and played through the same cab the combo wins. I have no idea why, they are both completely stock and well serviced. Also I think it is just so cool that the combo has exactly the same size as the '87 Silver Jubilee combo 2554. Also the speaker is one of the better choices Marshall made. So if you want an Artist and the combo is cheaper, consider it a gift.
Still, price seems a bit too high, but actually not a lot.
 

fitz288

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The combo is just great. I have the head and the combo and played through the same cab the combo wins. I have no idea why, they are both completely stock and well serviced. Also I think it is just so cool that the combo has exactly the same size as the '87 Silver Jubilee combo 2554. Also the speaker is one of the better choices Marshall made. So if you want an Artist and the combo is cheaper, consider it a gift.
Still, price seems a bit too high, but actually not a lot.
Thanks for the comparison.
GAS fire simmering...
 

fitz288

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That head was a limited run ( the plexi face and most likely with green tolex ) the head with the black tolex and square build is closer in price with the combo all three have the same circuit …
There are also a few 3203's that look like the 3210 / JCM / DSL style head shell.
They are also claiming "limited edition" because of red tolex or such & asking even more.
Meaningless to me - I'm not paying more for a tolex color that I can change at will...
But the plexi style is also a head mod option for a combo conversion.
Depends on the cabs style I choose to make to go with it.
 

Kbarreraj

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The 1965-66 cabinets were usually paired with the 2204s-3310-3203 heads , the 3203 amps are my favorite amp also have the combo . They are finicky amps but so much fun .. like everything else prices are going up on these
 

fitz288

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The 1965-66 cabinets were usually paired with the 2204s-3310-3203 heads , the 3203 amps are my favorite amp also have the combo . They are finicky amps but so much fun .. like everything else prices are going up on these
I currently have my 3210 on a pair of home build 2x10's.
Cab build for a 1965/66 is not out of the question.
A 3203 in the $4-500 range would be tempting to just stack on top instead of the 5002.

But the 4203 in a head shell conversion would also work.
A pair of 1x12's in a little stack to match the Haze15 perhaps. (already have an extra A cab)
I may even be able to do a swap with the 5002 chassis and re-sell that as a custom Lead 20 -12" combo...

3210-5002.jpg
 
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fitz288

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Inbound: 4203 pictured in OP
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Chassis is going in a head conversion (inverted).
Going to make a B cab to match the extra Haze A cab I have and make a little stack.
Planning to load the Lead20 (5002) chassis into this cab and re-sell as a one-off custom 1x12.
 

Tatzmann

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Im pretty sure that the combo version had
one different cap somewhere, probably to
give a little different bassresponse.
But nothing critical i guess.

With the Artist amps i always came closest
to my 2203 soundwise.

And yes the powertransformers can bite the
dust if you crank this amp for too long,
but there are reeinforced replacement
transformers available.

These amps deliver the classic Marshall
sound when played loud, id take this over
any sv20 or sc20.
 
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Keith Bell

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I have an Artist 3203 but it doesn't have the original transformer, it went out some years ago and Canton Music replaced it with a transformer from a JCM900 50 watt I believe but it still cuts in and out and I haven't played on it for some time. I'm curious who makes the reliable good sounding transformers for these that can stand being cranked up or just turned up for long playing sessions?
 

Tatzmann

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...but it still cuts in and out and I haven't played on it for some time.
Thats probably only oxidized effectsloop
jacks, try a cable from send to return, if it
doesnt cut in and out anymore then the jackcontacts need to be cleaned with electronics-contactcleaner.

At tubeampdoctor the powertransformer
Is about 105 eurodollar, but not available
at the moment.
 

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