1987 JCM 2203 vs new 2555x

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Exodus5, Sep 11, 2019 at 8:05 PM.

  1. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    If you could only afford one and you had your choice....a vintage 1987 JCM 800 2203 or a new 2555x silver Jubilee for $300 more? Which covers more ground (with pedals)?
     
  2. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    It would depend on what you are looking for - more modern / tighter sound or more raw / open sound. I have a 2555X and a stock JMP2203 with 6550's - both very different amps while still in the Marshall camp. The 2555X is more modern sounding with one of the best NVM cleans Marshall has to offer. You want more old school the JCM does that a bit better. Both do pedals well the 2555X has a loop if that is important to you.

    If I could only have one the 2203 for me unless a 1959 was an option...

    Russ
     
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  3. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    I also already have a Peavey 5150 combo, so I wonder if the Jube would be too similar to that. I do dislike having to have the JCM at higher volumes before it really stars to sing. I assume the Jube is the same way?
     
  4. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    All amps sound better loud with the speakers blowing - ain't no way around it. Sonic physics won't be denied.

    The 2555X has a very good master volume suite that can put in a good deal of the saturation a blowing and going amp puts out. The JMP is good but needs some help at lower volumes to thicken up. I only own 100 & 50 watt amps - to me small amps sound small. My favorite Marshall is a 1959 - for low volume I run an Empress Heavy which can put in all of the saturation and girth I need. At band volume it needs nothing for sonic awesomeness.

    Your best bet is to take your guitar and speaker cab over to these amps and play them - describing sound is like describing colors - words just won't do.

    Russ
     
  5. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    Kind of a limited choice, there are so many great amps out there these days with working MVs and/or power scaling ... get you to great tone at lower volumes and more flexibility.

    ... from a former 2205 and 2204 owner.
     
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  6. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    That's true, but I've been disappointed in the sub-25 watt amps. I have tried the Bogner Atma - Didn't sound good to me in any setting. Mark V 25 - I like the Fat/Crunch and 2c+ settings, but I have had two and always went back to Marshalls for gain. Friedman Runt 20 - Totally hated that. Soldano HR25 (is it the 30 now?) looks nice, but I've always found Soldano cleans to be lacking. So I always come back to at least 50 watt heads.
    I was looking at the Top Hat Emplexador, Fargen Olde and Splawn amps. I live near and have had a bad experience with Splawn, so that's out. The Fargen is more expensive than the JCM and about the same as the Jubilee but I would have to buy it without playing it first. Same with the Emplexador.
     
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  7. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    Looks like you've done your homework ... get the 2203 :D
     
  8. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    Actually, I already bought the 2203. I bought it (again, violating my rule) without playing it first, but I bought from GC and can exchange it for a 2555x I found at another semi-local GC. This amp sounds good, but not quite as "alive" as the 50w 1984 combo I had last year. I should have never sold that amp. Anyway, that combo had a vintage 30. I tried to put in a better (I thought) Scumback H65 but preferred the v30. My 2x12 has two G12m-65 creambacks and I'm guessing that is affecting it. It just has this "blunt" upper end thing happening that is hurting my enjoyment of the amp. I found that plugging into the speakers of my Peavey 5150 combo gave me a brighter sound so I am looking locally for a V30 and just bought a G12T-75 and I'm going to try some different speaker combos to see if I like this amp and, if nothing changes, I'm going to go try the 2555x.
     
  9. Produktsumme

    Produktsumme Member

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    2203 and 2555x are very different in my opinion. Both great amps. 2203 feels more "immediate" when loud, but that can take it to impractical levels. 2555x always sounds great at any volume thanks to its super cool MV, although it naturally benefits from physics of loudness as well.
     
  10. middlechainringguy

    middlechainringguy Silver Supporting Member

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    Speaker break in?
     
  11. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    Are you cranking it ... with an attenuator so that you don't blow out your ear drums? Thats where they live. :cool:
     
  12. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    Sort of a side question... but wouldn't a 2205 or 2210 be more in the ballpark of a 2555x instead of 2203?
     
  13. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    Definitely, but I already have the 2203 and could trade it for a 2555. Come to think of it, I had the 112 combo of the “channel switcher” and kinda hated it. How close is the Jube to that?
     
  14. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I don't know... I have a 2205 and just got a mini Jubilee combo. I think the wattage alone (50 watts verses 20 watts) is enough to make it sound different. One thing they have in common is both have enough dirt for my taste. Not sure if this is do the MV or the diode clipping. I'm thinking when I have a gig free weekend I'll hook the mini Jubilee up to the 4x12 cab.
     
  15. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    Those are all really good amps, surprised you couldn't make at least one of them work for you. Did you look at the Mesa TC series? I like it since its a cross up of Mesa and Marshall sounds and it sounds very good at bedroom or stage levels:

     
  16. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    Well, the Mark V 25 came closest. I really did like the sound in "fat" "crunch" and "MK2C+" but Fat and Crunch are on the same channel (on the 25) and Mk2C+, though I like it, isn't my preferred tone. I always come back to modified Marshalls. That much I know for sure. I bought a Kemper (twice actually, maybe I'm the problem.....) and both times I defaulted to 4 or 5 Modified Marshall tones. A PT Splawn modded Marshall, a JCM800 combo, a Hot Rod 50 and a Top Jimi profile of the Marshall Paul Gilbert used to play back in the Racer X days. I think there was one Tremoverb profile that I loved too (GRS, maybe?). I would love to have kept all of the amps I've gone through in my nearly 30 years of gear whoring (well, most of them....Crate sucks) but since I do not have the want/care/desire to play for anybody but myself and music no longer makes me money I prefer to keep my total amp cost at a certain level. Right now I have a Fender Blues Junior, Peavey 5150 combo and the 2203. I have been tinkering with the 2203 preamp tubes and speakers and I'm leaning toward keeping it and maybe buying another Mk V 25 if I can find one cheap. That way I can have ALL THE TONEZ!
    Also, I took a look at the Svetlana EL34s and they APPEAR to be dated 1999. Maybe different/newer power tubes could affect my decision.
     
  17. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    I own a 2555X, so I guess that would be my answer.

    I think the 2555X covers more ground. It has a greater range of driven tones and a cleaner clean. There's more in the box and with a cleaner clean there is more you can do with drives/dists/fuzzes.

    That said… the JCM 2203 is also great in its own way. If it has the base sound you want, then go for it rather than the 2555X. In the end, quality beats quantity. So I'd just choose the amp that gets closest to the sound you want most and it will be really rewarding. Then buy another amp for a different tone you find you need along the way, which your current amps don't cover. If you need a diverse set of tones, an amp that tries to do it all is rarely a solution.

    Too bad about that combo.
     
  18. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

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    2203 for me. I had the Jub RI when they were blowing em out for $1000. I didn’t keep it long.
     
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  19. louis

    louis Member

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    I don't know how the 2555X compares with the 2555SL but my SL is one of the best amps I ever played
    and I've had lots over the years .........It's super quiet and can deliver heavy crunch tones and
    it has a chewy kind of woody tone to die for ,...similar to Page's MSG era.
    I"m almost allways playing on lower power mode which I love !.............and if I want
    more headroom ,......I switch to high mode.
    I can play for hours ,........great tone at bedroom volume and also very player friendly when you dial up the volume
    meaning that you won't get punched from 0 to 0,5 .
    Slash is playing reissue Jubilee's so if they're good for him ,.must be a reason !
     
  20. Exodus5

    Exodus5 Supporting Member

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    Yeah! I saw some mentions of blowout pricing last night while doing some research. Were they just not up to snuff? I think I still want to go play through one, but it is $400 more than that blowout price. Oh well, timing is everything.
     

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