Best solution to add an FX loop without drilling

GuitarIV

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So I have my 1982 JCM 800 2203 and I love that amp to bits. Sometimes I wish it had a wee bit more gain, but now that the HotMod V2 is out there is a solution to hot rod the amp without any permanent modifications.

This leaves me with the problem of the missing volume boost for solos as I need a bit more level when the amps is fully clipping. So what is in your experience the best solution to add an FX loop to a vintage 2203?

I know both the Bad Cat Unleash V2 as well as the Fryette Power Station could help me here, are there any other ways to do it?

Cheers! :)
 

Brayshall1987

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If you can afford it get a boss waza tube amp expander. They’re freaking incredible!Reactive load attenuation, on board Reverb, Delay, compression and EQ with a boost for leads and all controllable via foot switch and… And FX loop.

they’re a little expensive but I looked around and I found a used one for $900. And from what you wrote? It would probably be your perfect solution.There is a lead boost on it which pumps it up about three or so dB… Anyway I can go on and on about it but your best bet is go check one out. Here’s a link to one at Sweetwater


https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...DGL1t8XOgpahR07d5qBoCplEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

SkyMonkey

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You could have female ended leads coming out the back somewhere, to connect to.
But the danger is if they get yanked and damage the circuit board.
Better to drill for a secure jack.
Are there any already drilled jacks you don't use?

Or get the Waza.
 

pedecamp

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So I have my 1982 JCM 800 2203 and I love that amp to bits. Sometimes I wish it had a wee bit more gain, but now that the HotMod V2 is out there is a solution to hot rod the amp without any permanent modifications.

This leaves me with the problem of the missing volume boost for solos as I need a bit more level when the amps is fully clipping. So what is in your experience the best solution to add an FX loop to a vintage 2203?

I know both the Bad Cat Unleash V2 as well as the Fryette Power Station could help me here, are there any other ways to do it?

Cheers! :)
I think the Unleash is the best solution, its got 2 foot switchable volumes and an effects loop in it. :yesway:
 

Matthews Guitars

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Your 2203 has four speaker jacks. Or, maybe only two are visible on the back panel but the chassis still has four punches for them.

You don't NEED four speaker jacks. Two is all you ever need.

So, you remove two speaker jacks (typically the two leftmost ones as you look at the amp from the rear) and you install a Metropoulous Zero Loss Effects Loop,
which will take up those two holes.

The loop is auto switching. No plugs in, it's bypassed. And you can wire it up to be switched on and off by a switch, and in this case I'd recommend replacing
a volume pot with one with a push-pull switch.

This is a 100 percent reversible mod.

To finish it off, you could get one of my customized 2203 back panels that is marked for the FX loop. (Not proven to be a perfect fit for a JCM800 era amp as of yet.)


2203 rear 2J LOOP no V sel 2.jpg
 

marshallmellowed

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So I have my 1982 JCM 800 2203 and I love that amp to bits. Sometimes I wish it had a wee bit more gain, but now that the HotMod V2 is out there is a solution to hot rod the amp without any permanent modifications.

This leaves me with the problem of the missing volume boost for solos as I need a bit more level when the amps is fully clipping. So what is in your experience the best solution to add an FX loop to a vintage 2203?

I know both the Bad Cat Unleash V2 as well as the Fryette Power Station could help me here, are there any other ways to do it?

Cheers! :)
If you don't want to properly install an FX loop, which requires drilling a couple of holes, then yes, the Bad Cat, or other post-power amp device with a loop is the best option. With the Bad Cat, you have 2 switchable volumes, which also solves the solo boost issue. As for just adding a loop, for FX, I had no issues with drilling holes in my mint condition JTM45 to add a Metro loop. It's a better amp now, and the loop is true bypass when not in use. IMO, there's a difference, between some of these goofballs drilling holes for some arbitrary mod, vs. to install a quality loop (or other).
 
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Jethro Rocker

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I also say a Bad Cat Unleash. It uas a loop built in as well, BTW. So you get loop, attenuator, reamper which isn't overly useful with a 2203, and an additional variable oitput channel that is footswitcha le. Mine seems to lose a touch of highs, but easy to get back on that series amp. Otherwise seems the same to me tonally.
 

iron broadsword

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The Weber Mass comes with a footswitch so you can use that as well, and it's cheaper than the cat. I've had a mass 200 for years now and sounds great, and it also has a line out with volume control so you could run that into whatever pedals you wanted in the loop and then send it to something like the Mooer Radar, which is an inexpensive IR cabsim pedal that sounds killer, and then straight into the mixer or even your computer for home recording

You obviously care about the resale value of the amp, so just leave it untouched. Too many great alternatives out there
 

GuitarIV

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If you can afford it get a boss waza tube amp expander. They’re freaking incredible!Reactive load attenuation, on board Reverb, Delay, compression and EQ with a boost for leads and all controllable via foot switch and… And FX loop.

they’re a little expensive but I looked around and I found a used one for $900. And from what you wrote? It would probably be your perfect solution.There is a lead boost on it which pumps it up about three or so dB… Anyway I can go on and on about it but your best bet is go check one out. Here’s a link to one at Sweetwater


https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...DGL1t8XOgpahR07d5qBoCplEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

You could have female ended leads coming out the back somewhere, to connect to.
But the danger is if they get yanked and damage the circuit board.
Better to drill for a secure jack.
Are there any already drilled jacks you don't use?

Or get the Waza.

I am aware of the Waza, however money is a bit tight right now so I am just considering my options for now. If I had the cash I'd probably go for the Fryette PS 100 in a heartbeat...

Your 2203 has four speaker jacks. Or, maybe only two are visible on the back panel but the chassis still has four punches for them.

You don't NEED four speaker jacks. Two is all you ever need.

So, you remove two speaker jacks (typically the two leftmost ones as you look at the amp from the rear) and you install a Metropoulous Zero Loss Effects Loop,
which will take up those two holes.

The loop is auto switching. No plugs in, it's bypassed. And you can wire it up to be switched on and off by a switch, and in this case I'd recommend replacing
a volume pot with one with a push-pull switch.

This is a 100 percent reversible mod.

To finish it off, you could get one of my customized 2203 back panels that is marked for the FX loop. (Not proven to be a perfect fit for a JCM800 era amp as of yet.)


View attachment 87547

This would be the perfect solution. I already read about your retrofit backplates. As said once money isn't as tight anymore I will consider it for sure! :)
Also need to check out the innards of the amp again and see if I have the additional holes punched out.

The Weber Mass comes with a footswitch so you can use that as well, and it's cheaper than the cat. I've had a mass 200 for years now and sounds great, and it also has a line out with volume control so you could run that into whatever pedals you wanted in the loop and then send it to something like the Mooer Radar, which is an inexpensive IR cabsim pedal that sounds killer, and then straight into the mixer or even your computer for home recording

You obviously care about the resale value of the amp, so just leave it untouched. Too many great alternatives out there

I do own a Two Notes Captor Load Box with a DI out and a Line Level out, it does have a level control so technically I could attenuate the signal down to instrument level and send it through my pedalboard, then slave it into the FX return of my DSL. Problem is the DSL doesn't have a dedicated master control for the poweramp, it's always on full blast if I remember correctly...

Loads of options to consider. Thanks for all the suggestions so far! :)
 

Matthews Guitars

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If it's a Marshall 2203 or 1959 chassis, yes, the chassis has four holes for speaker jacks already punched. They always did that. The back panel may not have all four punched, though. So you take off your original back panel, save it, put a replica on that has four jacks and two marked for the loop, (Wherever you'd find that thing....:cool:) and call it good.
 

GuitarIV

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Add the FX in during the mixdown?

That's one possibility, but I like to already play wet when I record. For now I have my Laney IRT Studio, I can reamp with that thing, so maybe I'll go that route and simply send the DI through the JCM 800 :)

If it's a Marshall 2203 or 1959 chassis, yes, the chassis has four holes for speaker jacks already punched. They always did that. The back panel may not have all four punched, though. So you take off your original back panel, save it, put a replica on that has four jacks and two marked for the loop, (Wherever you'd find that thing....:cool:) and call it good.

As said, I need to check out the inside, I only remember seeing 2 additionally pre punched holes next to the 2 input jacks, like with the classic 4 holers. If I do find holes in the back, that would be perfect! I'll keep you guys posted. For now I'll continue using my volume pot, I only play at home átm anyway. Yay, Corona! :run:
 

sangremarshall

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I put mine in a box off the chassis..
cool! this is what I was thinking of doing and searching the internet to see if it's been done : ) do you have any pix of the external fx loop box you did? i was thinking just a generic guitar pedal box and somehow attach it to a transformer or tube socket bolt... currious how you ran your wires etc. thanks!
 

shooto

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cool! this is what I was thinking of doing and searching the internet to see if it's been done : ) do you have any pix of the external fx loop box you did? i was thinking just a generic guitar pedal box and somehow attach it to a transformer or tube socket bolt... currious how you ran your wires etc. thanks!

sure…here’s whaI did…and I made another back as you can see so I could keep the original untouched

FBA60245-8A7F-4084-A729-E4124B6B73B3.jpeg
E14858A1-0933-4308-8881-8176927D2924.jpeg
19EF4269-A0AF-4657-B05E-23D79F0183F0.jpeg
 

ampeq

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So I have my 1982 JCM 800 2203 and I love that amp to bits. Sometimes I wish it had a wee bit more gain, but now that the HotMod V2 is out there is a solution to hot rod the amp without any permanent modifications.

This leaves me with the problem of the missing volume boost for solos as I need a bit more level when the amps is fully clipping. So what is in your experience the best solution to add an FX loop to a vintage 2203?

I know both the Bad Cat Unleash V2 as well as the Fryette Power Station could help me here, are there any other ways to do it?

Cheers! :)
I don’t know how good these really are as I have never ran one. However they are supposed to be top notch, especially the big one. (Tube buffered) The company is fantastic as are their amps, I have 2 and just ordered 2 more. You get a lot for your money.
http://www.ceriatone.com/klein-ulator/
[URL]http://www.ceriatone.com/c-lator/[/URL]
 

GuitarIV

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Ufoscorpion

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A power station is the way forward for many technical reasons and I’m all for the easy option time and effort wise , plug and play I say .
 

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