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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:01pm 
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Plank Cranker Wanker

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Can the Marshall jcm800 2203x sound decent at low volumes. I know all tube amps need to be cranked to sound their best, but can the 2203x sound decent at low volume/bedroom levels? Is it best to use the low input for lower volume, and the high input for high volume, or does that just come down to preference.

I had a Marshall TSL ( yes..i know :( haha) and only ever really used channel 1 and 2. If I need super gain, I would use a pedal. Not sure if this 2203x is something to look at to fit that need since I ditched the TSL.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:03pm 
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mrkmas wrote:
Can the Marshall jcm800 2203x sound decent at low volumes.
Without a attenuator .... no.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:06pm 
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As far as I know, by the time Marshall started calling their amps JCM's their circuit came stock with 470pF capacitors across the gain pot's in and out connections, this helps a bit especially if you have a NMV JCM. Other things that you can do are modify the master volume circuit by installing a pad resistor before the pot or modifying the pot value or both. Soft-clipping diodes on the MV are popular for a bit of extra saturation/volume cutting as well. The amount clipped can be tweaked for the optimum volume being played at. i.e. too much clipping on the MV circuit would mean that higher volume levels would sound over-saturated and dulled, but lower volume playing would probably be much improved. Too little clipping wouldn't make much difference to the perceived volume...

But yes, if need be that you have to play at tv volumes into a 2203 without modifying the circuit, a distortion pedal works fine. But then I'd tell you that you bought the wrong amp :D

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:15pm 
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In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:15pm 
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:) Modifications and pedals do not count. I still think it needs to be turned up a bit to get something going ...

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:20pm 
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JakeAC5253 wrote:
But yes, if need be that you have to play at tv volumes into a 2203 without modifying the circuit, a distortion pedal works fine. But then I'd tell you that you bought the wrong amp :D


When I say bedroom levels, I certainly dont mean TV levels. Sorry, I should have been more specific. I know it is a very different amp, but a cranked Valve junior( just 5 watts) with volume at 2 O'clock is the bedroom amp I am used to ( and everyone else in the house :lol: :LOL: :lol: :LOL: ). I am currently ampless and was wondering if the 2203 would sound atleast decent at that volume level when I cant crank it.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:20pm 
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mrkmas wrote:
In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.
11~2 o'clock range is what I pretty much always used. Bedroom .... lots of amps are going to sound a lot better. Attenuator's sound best to get the volume down a bit and control it. Bedroom is questionable with any amp and attenuator.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:25pm 
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mrkmas wrote:
In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.


At a recent amp fest where we had about 3 Marshalls in the same room, I think they all sounded great right around 3 or 4. It's not that they sound bad at lower levels, they just don't sound as great! One of those things where you turn the amp on at whisper volume just to be nice to the neighbors/house inhabitants, but then you just keep eeking the volume up just a hair higher because you know it'll make the experience just that much better. Before long you are shaking the walls and foundation until the police show up and now you have a goofy grin on your face and a lump in your pocket :D but it was all worth it...

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:27pm 
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stephen sawall wrote:
mrkmas wrote:
In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.
11~2 o'clock range is what I pretty much always used. Bedroom .... lots of amps are going to sound a lot better. Attenuator's sound best to get the volume down a bit and control it. Bedroom is questionable with any amp and attenuator.


I also assume that setting is for the high input, or am I wrong?

If I remember for me, I was playing the amp with the MV set to 2, and that was about the bedroom level I am used to. I just cant remember if it was high or low input.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:29pm 
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JakeAC5253 wrote:
mrkmas wrote:
In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.


At a recent amp fest where we had about 3 Marshalls in the same room, I think they all sounded great right around 3 or 4. It's not that they sound bad at lower levels, they just don't sound as great! One of those things where you turn the amp on at whisper volume just to be nice to the neighbors/house inhabitants, but then you just keep eeking the volume up just a hair higher because you know it'll make the experience just that much better. Before long you are shaking the walls and foundation until the police show up and now you have a goofy grin on your face and a lump in your pocket :D but it was all worth it...


Haha, I have never had the cops called on me before, but I have played and had my dad tell me he heard the amp in the driveway :rock: :rock: :rock: . That was with the TSL though

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:37pm 
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mrkmas wrote:
I also assume that setting is for the high input, or am I wrong?
I never use the other inputs on Marshall's ... always the louder / brightest one on it. If I wanted cleaner sounds I would not be plugging into a Marshall ...

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:44pm 
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thanks for the advice so far.

Looking forward to more responses from everyone :)

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 9:52pm 
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I will say the single channel 800's and earlier Marshall's are some of the best sounding amps ever made if you find a good one.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 10:33pm 
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I recently tried a 2204 JCM800. No, no, and NO on low volumes, or even medium volumes. IMHO, if you're not in a band then don't bother with a JCM800.

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 11:15pm 
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I will need to try the amp again and see. As of now though, I think I have talked myself out of it. I want the amp so bad, but from what I am hearing dont think it will work out.

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 6:00am 
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mrkmas wrote:
thanks for the advice so far.

Looking forward to more responses from everyone :)


They weren't obviously made for low volumes, but they aren't as bad at low volumes as some suggest from my experience.

The 2203x sounds fine at low volumes, they actually have a tat bit more gain than the originals imo.

And pedals are perfectly valid for low or high volumes, there are no rules.

Here is my old 2203x with volume under 1, boosted with a Boss SD-1.

The crappy camera mic makes it sound more tinny/trebly than it was in the room.




Here's my 2204, volume under 1 boosted with a SD-1.




Also, you can get some great clean tones from the low sensitivity inputs, just imo.

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 7:49am 
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If there are no rules I could make a Mesa Stategy 500 the perfect 50/60 dB tool if I could add a other $30,000 in studio gear ...and custom build load boxes...

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 7:53am 
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Shiny_Surface wrote:
mrkmas wrote:
thanks for the advice so far.

Looking forward to more responses from everyone :)


They weren't obviously made for low volumes, but they aren't as bad at low volumes as some suggest from my experience.

The 2203x sounds fine at low volumes, they actually have a tat bit more gain than the originals imo.

And pedals are perfectly valid for low or high volumes, there are no rules.

Here is my old 2203x with volume under 1, boosted with a Boss SD-1.

The crappy camera mic makes it sound more tinny/trebly than it was in the room.




Here's my 2204, volume under 1 boosted with a SD-1.




Also, you can get some great clean tones from the low sensitivity inputs, just imo.

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 10:04am 
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danyeo wrote:
I recently tried a 2204 JCM800. No, no, and NO on low volumes, or even medium volumes. IMHO, if you're not in a band then don't bother with a JCM800.

As much as I like 2203's and 2204's, I would agree with this. I would wind up my 2203 to all of about 3, and that was more that enough volume for band rehersals with a bassist running a 1000 watt bi-amped rig and a second guitarist running a full stack.

You would be better off with a different amp if your using it just for playing at home.


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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 12:07pm 
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I have an 83 2203 w/6550's. It goes without saying they sound better at louder volumes but from my experience, you can get a decent bedroom volume tone through a 4x12 with them. I use a SD1 and GE7.

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 12:13pm 
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stephen sawall wrote:
mrkmas wrote:
In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.
11~2 o'clock range is what I pretty much always used. Bedroom .... lots of amps are going to sound a lot better. Attenuator's sound best to get the volume down a bit and control it. Bedroom is questionable with any amp and attenuator.


If I use the high input, my 2204 will rip your face off with the master that high. And it doesn't get much louder after 1 o'clock or so.

Even 2 on the dial is pretty loud. Even with a loud drummer, I don't get the master up to 2. However, with aTS9 I can get a decent lower volume sound.


Schaf


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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 12:22pm 
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you can if u boost it right....i use to with a tubescreamer

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 2:58pm 
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Most 800's have the zero to too loud master volume knob. But, low volume and a good pedal works though. Fine amps.

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 3:50pm 
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danyeo wrote:
I recently tried a 2204 JCM800. No, no, and NO on low volumes, or even medium volumes. IMHO, if you're not in a band then don't bother with a JCM800.


Strongly disagree with above (facepalm); I have a 2203 JCM800, don't play in a band and love playing it at home at low volumes. Works and sounds great!


AndyK wrote:
Most 800's have the zero to too loud master volume knob. But, low volume and a good pedal works though. Fine amps.


This is what I do and it :rock: 's

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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011 7:06pm 
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Schaf wrote:
stephen sawall wrote:
mrkmas wrote:
In your opinion, what does the MV need to be set at for it to start sounding good?

For bedroom levels, would the attenuator just destroy the tone (assume the attenuator is a good one), or would that come down to how much db would be cut.
11~2 o'clock range is what I pretty much always used. Bedroom .... lots of amps are going to sound a lot better. Attenuator's sound best to get the volume down a bit and control it. Bedroom is questionable with any amp and attenuator.


If I use the high input, my 2204 will rip your face off with the master that high. And it doesn't get much louder after 1 o'clock or so.

Even 2 on the dial is pretty loud. Even with a loud drummer, I don't get the master up to 2. However, with aTS9 I can get a decent lower volume sound.


Schaf
I use a THD Hot Plate to control the dB's in the room. I have owned a few 2204 since 1982, before the Hot Plate 10/11 o'clock is where I used the master live in bigger rooms....

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