Marshall 3203 Artist

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Teleman, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Teleman

    Teleman Supporting Member

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    Iv'e owned just about every amp you can think of except a Marshall. I recently pulled the trigger on a Marshall 3203 Artist on 'bay based on some of the reviews I've read on HC. Now I'm waiting for it to come in.

    Curious if anyone here is using one and what their experience has been.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    3203 looks like a solid state preamp with a tube power section. Can't say I've even heard of one, let alone somebody using one. You get a good deal on it?
     
  3. Mr. Bertha

    Mr. Bertha Member

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    I had one years ago. It's got a fun splashy reverb, and it sounds great turned up. It's a classically dirty marshall tone that is perfect for ac/dc, thin lizzy or anything else that needs brash compressed od/distortion. Don't let the gear snobs here dissuade you because of the SS preamp section, that's a cool amp. The only reason I didn't keep it was that it didn't have enough clean headroom for me at the time...it's only 30ish watts if I recall correctly. I wish I still had it. Sweet amp bro. congrats.
     
  4. booch

    booch Member

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    the clean side isnt that great but the overdrive side rivals any jcm 800.i just use the overdrive channel and use the guitars volume control to clean it up gets very plexi like.great underrated amp
     
  5. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    Definitely sounds interesting. Let us know how you like it and post up some clips!
     
  6. gearitis

    gearitis Gold Supporting Member

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    A Marshall 3203 was my main amp for a number of years in the '80's. I traded a Rane SM26 Line Mixer that cost me $80 for it. Red Rhodes tweaked the amp for me. I have no idea what he did to it, but it seriously screamed!
     
  7. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    Prolly has a ton of diode clipping. Swap diodes for LEDs and your amp will burn the house down for 80's type metal. Hell, even my JCM 800 has a small diode clipping circuit and I get the shaft like most corksniffers would give this guy for having an SS preamp. Of course these same corksniffers are gonna go home and stick a TS-9 in front of their all tube amp, so uh, what's the difference? :D
     
  8. MBreinin

    MBreinin Supporting Member

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    They scream. The best kept secret in all of Marshall-land. I have one right here in the office and I am playing it right now through an Avatar 2x12 loaded with Cannabis Rex speakers. That is another secret with this amp, those speakers sound incredible with it. I have tried several speakers, these were the best by far.

    Mike
     
  9. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hey Teleman,

    I've played through my friend's Marshall 3203 combo amp quite a few times when I sat in on his Top 40 gig (thanks Carlos!!). It's a great little amp with nice cleans and a good drive channel and has just enough wattage to keep with a drummer, but it's not too loud. He mikes it up and runs a Zinky 2x12 guitar cab with it onstage. I could really care less if it has clipping diodes or not. The sound was very cool to me and it did the job quite well.

    Guitar George
     
  10. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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  11. japhy

    japhy Member

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    If I remenber correctly , ( I had one years ago ) it alresdy uses LEDs . Red ones I think . You need to clip one leg off bright cap and I think it is marked C-13 on the board . Check it out before you do it tho . This will make the clean side more than usable . Also , it does have a tube in the pre-amp . A phase inv. I believe . Change that tube from a 12ax7 to a lower gain tube . I used a 5751 and it really woke that amp up. The boost side even sounded better.

    This is all from memory , so please research this stuff to confirm.:AOK

    BTW . I thought it sounded a little like a Jubilee at much lower volumes.
     
  12. slainempire

    slainempire Member

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    Erik Rutan(Hate Eternal) used 3203's on the albums he did with Morbid Angel(Domination and Gateways to Annihilation), so they can handle the heavy stuff well. I've listened to some other clips on youtube and it sounds like the cleans are quite good.
     
  13. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Supporting Member

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    IIRC, there were two version of this amp: one with pull switch knobs and one without. I forget which was the better one, but John Phillips did a few posts about them around a year or two ago. Do a search...

    Stormin!
     
  14. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    A Phase Inverter tube is part of the power section even though it's a preamp-type tube. :D
     
  15. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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    I'd have to agree with that.
     
  16. MBreinin

    MBreinin Supporting Member

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    The pull version. I have never seen one. I have owned two of the non-pull version though. They really are hard to beat, especially at that price point.

    Mike
     
  17. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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    Here's a pic of mine, tolex removed, sitting a top a Dr. Z Best 2x12. A nasty little rig for sure:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Zero

    Zero Member

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    I have one. It's okay. I can't rave about the sound too much. The Boost channel is very bottom heavy. I hate that. I like a tight bottom. When I chug a low E on this it's pure flabby muddiness. Therefore for ME a TS9-type pedal beforehand is essential. And when using a pedal is essential to get a sound you like from an amp, you have the wrong amp. Friggin noisy too, the Boost chnl. The Normal chnl was pretty much unusable until i did the C13 modification and it is now passable but still hard to get a clean sound from.

    On the positive side- it's light?
     
  19. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I have an artist 4203 combo that's great and mine is modded. I used to use in the 80's 2-3203's a red tolex and a black one ran stereo with matching dual 4X10 cabs for each in the day.
     
  20. fatback

    fatback Member

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    I just found a 3203 tonight on craigslist for $250. I tried it out with a strat through a 4x10 and sure enough the cleans were sorta meh, but boost channel was kicking serious ass. The 'verb needs a looking at, but at this price I'm pretty stoked. Heck, this is the same price I paid for my last pedal.
     

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