Marshalls JCM800 2203/2204 or dual channels 2205/22010?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Carlos G, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    What is your opinion on these two different amps concerning sound and practicality? The 2203/2204 are single channels and the 2205/2210 dual channels but the latter are supposed to have an extra clipping diode that provides extra gain to the pre-amplifier changing their sound in a certain way, and in some opinions not as desirable. What is your take on this? Is it worth to sacrifice the extra channel to get the original sound or they are both as good?
     
  2. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    The 2204 is the one to get . Diode clipping does not give you more gain it just clips the signal . Not the same as over drive sound
     
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  3. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Kind of apples to oranges comparison. Single channel vs dual channel, the diode clipping is kind of irrelevant. Assume it didn't have diode clipping you are back to single vs dual channel amp decision.
     
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  4. JacksonCharvelAddict

    JacksonCharvelAddict Well-Known Member

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  5. Gain Man

    Gain Man Active Member

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    2203/2204 are classics and defined the sound of the 1980's. They don't have an effects loop though, unless you get a reissue. People love them, the sound is well known and I will lose no more words over them.

    A case can also be made for the 2210/2205. It has two channels and a loop. However here are some of the often mentioned issues with these amps:

    1. "The clean channel sounds terrible and doesn't even sound very clean"
    Now let's look at how the channels are labelled: "Boost Channel" and "Normal Channel".
    It isn't called "Normal Channel" and not "Clean Channel" for no reason. If you approach it with that in mind, a crunch channel with similarities to the 2203/2204 will unfold (with no diode clipping btw). Boost it with an OD pedal and off you go.
    If you run it on the edge of breakup and work with your guitar volume or gentle picking, it gets clean enough, but crystal clear? No, but then again: "Normal Channel".

    2. "The Boost Channel uses diode clipping."
    So what?
    It has 3 valve-driven gain stages and between two of these there are some clipping diodes. This diode clipping blends in, depending on how high you set your gain. Go up with the channel volume and you will hit the third gain stage harder, which warms up the signal.
    The Silver Jubilee also has a diode clipping circuit and is one the most highly praised Marshalls ever.
    So what?

    3. "The Boost Channel sounds compressed and lifeless"
    Maybe don't turn the gain higher that 8 or 9 at the most. If you need more distortion, boost it up front. Still sounds lifeless? Turn up the channel volume to 8 or 9 (some might say 10). If it still sounds lifeless, you are either deaf or dead.

    4. "There is this channel beeding problem"
    The Normal Channel bleeds into the Boost Channel, with clean notes being heared behind the wall of distortion.
    This was said to be fixed during the production years. My 2205 is from 1984 (which is still a fairly early one) and I have not experienced any noticeable channel bleed, except if I turn the Normal Channel volume to 10 and keep the Boost Channel volume very low, which would make the latter much much louder than the Boost Channel. Why on earth would you do that anyway?
    That's like building a container ship port on the shores of a duck pond.

    Summary:
    The 2210/2205 are easily misunderstood amps. The Boost Channel can sound like crap with the wrong settings, but sounds great if you know how. The Normal Channel is a mediocre clean channel, simply because that is what it isn't.

    Here are a few clips of them:
    Review by Leon Todd:
    Review by Javyon VISION:
    Review by David Evans (crappy audio, but you get the idea):
     
  6. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Had a 2210 for along time.....it is a different flavor than a 2203.....bit more gain and imo a smoother slightly compressed tone in comparison....but really nice.
    Yes the normal bleeds in.....i used to adjust it to were it made the boost channel sound best and forget it and use it as 1 channel......that said I have not played a 2ch marshall that the 2 channels do not bleed to at least some extent.
     
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  7. Musicmaniac

    Musicmaniac Well-Known Member

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    If you want a better clean sound use the 2204 if you want more crunch I use the 2205. I'm not a connoisseur of sound but for what I play I like both.
     
  8. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Stock? 2205/2210 Post 1986

    Modded? 2203/2204/1987/1959

    My $.02
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  9. 67mike

    67mike Well-Known Member

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    I like the 2203/2204
     
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  10. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    Thanks for your input!
     
  11. Carlos G

    Carlos G Member

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    Sounds good! 2 channels are always appealing!
     
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