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Modern high gain amps are great, however I'm not convinced that there still isn't much better than an SD-1 into a vintage 2203/04...

jdel77

Senior Member
Messages
9,995
I appreciate all the modern flavours of high gain amps, and as well as an '80 2203 JMP, I also own a VH4S, SLO and a Boogie MKIII Black Dot.
Channel switching is handy, FX loops, independent volume and gain controls, etc... etc... but there's something that just delivers the goods about the tried and true setup of:

* your favourite humbucker guitar
* an unmodded, stock Marshall 2203/04, JMP or JCM800
* a vintage Japanese BOSS SD-1
* your favourite cab

As much as I love my other amps (and I use the VH4S most in the band) if I had to pick just one, it'd be the 2203.
Set it to Malcolm, for crunch, guitar volume back for clean, guitar volume up and with the SD-1 for high gain filth. Done.
 

disaster

Member
Messages
924
To each their own, of course - but as the recent owner of another ‘80 JMP 2203 (along with a few Mesa/Marshall high gain heads) it’s definitely my ideal distorted tone. I dunno about an SD-1, but between my LM308 Rat and Opamp Big Muff, I’ve got everything I could want.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,387
I agree. I do it with single coils...
I really like amps with late 70s-early 80s amount of gain set to crunch and roll the volume for texture and cleans. The SD1/TS9 is the sauce to push that amp.
When there are extra gain stages at play, it seems like there is extra compression added, despite the gain still being set crunchy.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
9,013
My 79 JMP 2203 is the best amp I've played. I generally plug straight in set for crunch (Pre 4, Vol 3)but it sounds killer boosted with a Barber LTD SR or Direct Drive. I've preferred it to the high gain amps I've tried(Yeti, Landry, MI Audio )
 

feet

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,028
Not being much of a high gain or Marshall guy in the past (trusty old peaveys, mostly) I never put much thought into it.

With pandemic mandated downsizing, I gave some modelers a spin. Over 100 "amps" later, my favorite high gain sound is probably an sd1 into a silver jubilee into greenbacks (just edging out the 2203. Something about the mids just define what heavy guitars are supposed to sound like, while leaving a little leeway for personalization, and blending well with any other sound out there, being a touch darker and grainier than a 2203.
 

ericb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,630
You guys should try a Splawn Competition with an overdrive or boost in front. .Even better at all volume levels. . I have about 10 Marshalls too! BUT, it's all subjective and I love my amps and many others. I don't miss my SD1 into my stock 2204, as it was too bright and a bit loud for me originally and didn't have an fx loop,etc, but once I got it modded it was beautiful. . I've had my 2204 since about 1988. . Man time flys p.s. with my ears in 2021 instead of 1988, maybe the amp would be just perfect stock for me, but I'll never know at this point :)

Eric
 

guitargeek6298

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,146
I still haven't tried the SD-1 into a jcm800. I have a 1980 jcm800 4010 that I run through various 2x12 cabs, and 2204 clone that I run through the same cabs. I mostly use a Tubeworks Real Tube as my boost.

But I keep hearing about this magic combination of the jcm800 and an SD-1, maybe I should pick one up and give it a shot.
 
Last edited:

ericb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,630
I still haven't tried the SD-1 into a jcm800. I have a 1980 jcm800 4010 that I run through various 2x12 cabs, and 2204 clone that I run through the same cabs. I mostly use a Tubeworks Real Tube as my boost.

But u keep hearing about this magic combination of the jcm800 and an SD-1, maybe I should pick one up and give it a shot.
I've had loads of od's and any Tube Screamer-derivative or SD-1 or pedals like that work well with JCM800's. If you're happy with what you have, you're set, but if you really want to experiment a stock SD1 can be had for 49.00 easily if not cheaper. 2204/2203 with SD1 was just a common combo back in the 80's-90's. The SD1 is a pretty basic pedal and it just smoothed out the 2204 and added the right amount of gain to it. I have friends who even swore by an old Rat into the 2204, but I found pedals I liked more. They're are many options that's for sure

Eric
 

ericb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,630
To you guys who've owned or tried extensively BOTH an 80's 2203 and 2204, did you all like 2203's more? I have to admit I have about 10 Marshalls, most modded, but have owned many stock too, but never tried a 2203.

Curious if you thought the 2203 was better at the same volume levels

Eric
 

Serious Poo

Powered by Coffee
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,746
My tastes are different, I guess. I'd pick either a SLO or a Purple Nightmare before going with a Marshall.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
9,013
I've had a C+, Rev C Recto, SLO, Blueface and Silverface VH4, 5150, Archon, etc etc.

A 2204 and an SD-1 still my favorite. I preferred the 2204 to a legit plexi-panel and metal panel 1959s too.
Same here. I've got a 71 JMP 50/68 Greenback quad, and I've had Superleads from 74 and 98 and I prefer my 79 JMP 2203/77 Blackback rig over all of them, clean, crunch, or heavy.
 

Dexter.Sinister

Still breathing
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,035
sd-1/250/d+ —> JMP50 paid my rent for a few.

still works for that thing.

If I can get that thing without a pedal, better.

I can. It is.
 




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