Just discovered how to hot rod my 2204 without doing anything to the amp

playloud

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Sorry - but if you're using the low (clean) input with pedals - you're just listening to the pedals (unless you have the Master cranked right up!)

Not saying it doesn't sound good - but you're listening to transistorisd overdrive, not the valves in the amp....

This is a stretch. You have as many gain stages as a NMV circuit with the low input. The key difference is the "cold clipper", but that allows for more distortion at lower MV settings.

If you're not convinced, try comparing a typical OD pedal into the low input of a 2204 with a truly clean amp, like a Roland Jazz Chorus...
 

jchrisf

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Oh, no sweat, man … I‘m really enjoying the thread, as I’m learning something new. I’ve plugged into the low channel of those amps before for the clean tones, but it never dawned on me to try hitting it with a dirt box, and now I’m wondering what I missed out on. I’ve never had a lot of luck using a distortion box in front of a MV amp, but I’m starting to wonder if maybe I was doing it wrong. My most recent attempt was when I had the SC20H, and tried a couple of distortion boxes into it for fun, and they sounded pretty bad despite sounding delicious on NMV amps I have. Though, it did sound terrific when I’d hit the front end with an SD-1. I know a lot of people don’t like distortion boxes, but I love them … so much fun! I’ve been hooked on them since I got my first DS-1 back in the 80’s. The only thing I have close at this time is the SL-5 I traded the SC20H for, but I just plug straight into it (don’t even use OD). Maybe I’ll take my pedalboard upstairs and give it a whirl one of these days.
Yeah, I've had this Ceriatone for about 10 months now and tested the low input to make sure it worked and was blown away by the cleans. I also like the cleans you can get from the High Input. I like overdrives and boosts in from of the high input but I have to keep the gain low or it doesn't sound good. Then I saw that guy's post on using pedals in front of the low input and had to try it. On the low input I've found I like it better with the gain of the amp all the way up and I can use the overdrives with any level of gain and a boost a long with it. I don't have any distortion pedals but I'll probably get some now to try out. I think I'll get some more AITB pedals too.
 

Warsaw

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Try a treble booster. Or a tube screamer or similar with gain at 9 oclock and level at 15. The increase of signal level will push hard the preamp tubes.

In this case it's not the pedal overdrive, but is still the tube saturation.

Very very old trick, since the Rangemaster was born, but yet still underrated and surprisingly rediscovered in the digital amp modelling era.
 

junk notes

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Yes.
Do it!
img_4172-jpg.115638

:dude:
 

Justin Whitstine

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You can get an a/b pedal to be able to easily switch between the hi/low inputs too.

a/b pedal then:
a (->clean boost -> high gain input) Marshall tone
b (-> big muff etc -> low gain input) Pedal platform/clean

Just be careful with the volumes, turn the master down and see if you can get a good match between the channels without blowing your head off ;) If you get it working good, then crank the master up.

For some inspiration check out how Eric Johnsons pedal boards work. He uses a/b switches like that but goes to totally different amps like fender/marshall for a more dramatic clean/dirty. Have fun!
 

rbb2245

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I have had my Ceriatone 2204 for about a year now. I bought it to use as a pedal platform with the low input. Even delay pedals can go in front. I also love the high input, but you need to use the loop for delay type pedals. If my board died, I could do a whole show with just guitar into the high input using the guitar volume. Really versatile amazing sounding amp. No, it's not for sale (ever)!
 

curt miller

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Yeah, that is fine by me.. I like what I am hearing loud or quiet. My Ceriatone has a 25/50 watt switch so I can crank the MV up a little more with that and the Low Input but it still gets really loud quick. I also have a PPIMV that allows me to get some power tube tone at lower volumes. With all these features there is so many different tones in this amp. Keep the MV low and the PPIMV off and it is trebly and clanky. Add more MV and it beefs up a lot.

What model is your Ceriatone?
 

curt miller

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I have had my Ceriatone 2204 for about a year now. I bought it to use as a pedal platform with the low input. Even delay pedals can go in front. I also love the high input, but you need to use the loop for delay type pedals. If my board died, I could do a whole show with just guitar into the high input using the guitar volume. Really versatile amazing sounding amp. No, it's not for sale (ever)!

How does this compare to the Chupa?
 

peterplexi

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It's all about using the low input channel with pedals. Wow!! Still has that JCM flavor but the pedal really influences the tone so much more. I put my Plexi Ranger in front and instant hot rod Plexi. I can use way more gain on the pedal than in front of the high input and it really changes the tone of the amp in a good way. Up next was my BYOC Green Pony which is a cross between a Klon and a Maxon OD 820. Really nice low mids here.. something I could never get out of the high input. I think I am going to dedicate more time and money to pedals now. I've never heard anyone mention this or seen it done before but a member over at RT that plays killer amps, tones and riffs in the style I love recommended it in a post.

I'm sure all you guys know about it already but just in case there are some members here that don't know.. you need to try it. This would probably fatten up Chris' 2203 as well.
Otherwise, you are stacking compressed gain on top of more compressed gain!
 

jchrisf

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What model is your Ceriatone?
I have had my Ceriatone 2204 for about a year now. I bought it to use as a pedal platform with the low input. Even delay pedals can go in front. I also love the high input, but you need to use the loop for delay type pedals. If my board died, I could do a whole show with just guitar into the high input using the guitar volume. Really versatile amazing sounding amp. No, it's not for sale (ever)!
Yeah, I think my Ceriatone 2204 is probably as good sounding as the best early 2204s. And mine has all new parts... it was built last year. I got it to teach myself how to mod an amp but after discovering the low input and pedals.. I don't think I will need to do that. I need to get and try some more pedals first though.
 

Antti Heikkinen

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It's all about using the low input channel with pedals. Wow!! Still has that JCM flavor but the pedal really influences the tone so much more. I put my Plexi Ranger in front and instant hot rod Plexi.

Pedal platform use. That's the way I've used many a Marshall and others as well...currently mostly play an Origin set to rather clean/low gain and use ODs for drive. It's really great and at 20w just perfect for band settings without overpowering the drums.

Back in the 80s when we had 2210s we'd always just use the clean channel and a Boss OD in front.

So yeah, it's a great sound, and much used.

But I find it curious to use it particularly with a 2203/4, because those amps have hands down the best drives of any Marshall and really need no pedals to sound great. Just turn the master way up high and adjust gain to taste and that's pretty much all you need (well hot pickups).

I have owned those amps a few times and currently seriously pondering creating a dual head system where I would use an Origin 20 head for clean and semi clean because that Amp is just superb for those (and as a pedal platform) but instead of pedals I'd use a SC20H ie a 20w version of 2203/4 for drives so I would not need any solid state drive.

But the OD in front does work great too.
 

Deftone

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Not certain this is the same thing but I actually just discovered this with the low power switch on my JCM900 DR. Not that it was better than full power, just different and really great tone.
 

marcos69

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Since Covid I've decided to get serious about gigging again in a cover band. I'm getting too decrepit to haul those heavy-ass Marshalls around anymore so I got the 100 watt Boss Katana amp. It's got some decent distortion built in, but I just got tired of all the pedal/foot switch tap dancing to switch from clean to distorted and still have use of my effect pedals during a song. So I got a EHX SuperSwitcher for my pedal board and run everything through the clean channel on the amp. I honestly like the distortion I'm getting now better than I ever did including when I used the Marshalls.
 

Jethro Rocker

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This is a stretch. You have as many gain stages as a NMV circuit with the low input. The key difference is the "cold clipper", but that allows for more distortion at lower MV settings.

If you're not convinced, try comparing a typical OD pedal into the low input of a 2204 with a truly clean amp, like a Roland Jazz Chorus...
Right but using the High input gives more distortion using the first preamp tube than the low input which one can readily hear just guitar into amp.
By adding more gain on a pedal up front I am listening to the gain of the pedal. Using high input and zero pedal gain but just some level I get more distortion and not using pedal gain.
Does this not make sense?
 


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