I want to fatten up the tone of my stock 2203.

StingRay85

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Tube Screamer is also a transistor based amplifier.
 

playloud

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Unfortunately, I didn't get inside my friend's modded 2203 last week (we were too busy playing!) but here's what I found out:

- It has both NFB and depth/resonance controls on the back, which are as you'd expect. (I would really suggest trying the resonance control.)

- It has selectable bright caps in the front.

- The main circuit is modded to be more like the "Marshall" channel of an SE+3 preamp. I found this blurry schematic online which may give some ideas (relevant channel is the middle one):

 

abkeller1

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I really like the ability of any of my 1959s to deliver a fat, wall shaking tone by jumpering channels and mixing some of channel 2 in.

I"d like to get some of that same thump out of my 2203 which is currently in stock form. It sounds pretty thin but yet it is my go-to amp when I want higher gain.
Boosted with a Tube Screamer set to max clean boost, I've got all the gain I want. But it's too thin for my tastes. Oh, it'd probably sit well in a mix, but that's not a concern for me. This is my sit at home and have fun amp. I don't gig. I don't record. I wouldn't want to immortalize my bad playing in any event!

Sure, I could experiment with a few things and figure out something by trial and error, but I can also ask here and somebody might have a short simple answer for me instead, that gets me to the goal with a minimum of fuss and less time spent modding the amp.

So, if you have any mods you know of that will fatten up the 2203's bottom end while maintaining a reasonably tight response, I'd sure like to hear about it.
Any overdrive pedal especiall an SD-1 or tubescreamer will thin it out and take away the low end. You would have to crank the hell out of it to thicken it up or buy a Fryette Powerstation with a built in Effect Loop then put an EQ in the loop.
 
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abkeller1

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The point of a 2203 is to be able to run at less than earsplitting levels. Even then, at higher master levels, it doesn't come close to the thump that the 1959s can deliver.
Never did and never will. Buy a Freyette Powerstaion attenuator, Has a built in effects loop. Then put an EQ in the loop which will make it thump when pushing up the bass EQ.
 

abkeller1

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Back in the day, one of the earliest mod's to help develop low end was - and still is - to add a .68 bypass cap across the cathode of V2a.

Also try swapping out the V1 ECC83. If it's a Chinese manufacture, they are inherently bright.

Also...being a 100watter, try using a power attenuator, like the Fryette Power Station. That allows you to crank the amp to allow it to develop more of it's natural compression and low end. Although the Fryette PS is expensive and the best, there are cheaper alternatives.
And I think the powerstation has an effects loop. Then put an EQ in the loop and crank the bass on the EQ pedal. Changes the tone drasticlly. I don't like amps without effects loops.
 

abkeller1

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I had an 2203 where the thump had gone
a.w.o.l..

JJ preamps got the thump back,
but the amp sounded kind of bland with them.
Mullard tube would be better has low end with great tone. However the tubes won't make a drastic difference though.
 

abkeller1

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Funny you mention this.Similar thinking when I got my new OD that doesn’t cut as much bottom, I ended up removing my JJ EL34’s, and put in some Marshall branded larger bottle EL34’s that let more clarity through, yet still retains the big bottom.
Changing tubes doesn't make a drastic difference.
 

dslman

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IME using most tubescreamers, even with the gain at low to no,, still cuts bottom, possibly even more if gain is set to zero. It’s a fine line between a bit of sag with fullness, and cutting bottom to get the desired tightness.
 

Vinsanitizer

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You name it, I've tried it. Bass...Mid....Treble order: 0,0,0 up to 10,10,10. Any settings you can think of. It sounds good, it sounds tight, it doesn't even sound like it's lacking bass UNLESS you compare it to a Superlead with some normal channel rolled in. THEN you get the huge difference. The Superlead can rattle every window in the house. It pushes some air. The 2203 doesn't get close to that.

And it's not the cabinets. Doesn't matter which 1960s I'm plugged into.
If I may say, it sounds more like something's not right. A 2203 into any cab of appropriate size should be punching you in the neck, armpits, chest, abdomen and balls, from 8 feet away by the time the Master is on 3. If you're saying you're not getting enough "thunder" or even lower, "floor", then you can try an EQ in the FX loop to add some lows (if your model has an FX loop). Or, maybe you're sitting in the middle of a large concrete parking garage, or a barn with half the walls missing, or out in the middle of a field somewhere? I doubt that's your case, so all's I can say is that my:

JCM 800 SC20H, DSL20H, Boogie Mark Five:25, Monoprice 15, and even my DSL5CR at 3:00 on the master, rattle windows, vibrate objects of my main desque, and do this to my 'nads:

 
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dslman

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The OP hasn't chimed in for a while , but playloud may be onto something! I have a 430pf bright cap on my 2204 clone, and decided I'd try a higher value for the 2nd time, in case I made a mistake on that decision the first time I went through different value bright caps..LOL.
I was shooting for a bit more aggression . What I found was not only does the value effect the highs/perceived aggression, but if you go too high, it also effects the harmonics in a way that is very apparent. I went up to a 680pf , and it gave me the aggression , but took away the singing harmonics in a way that I am not willing to sacrifice. That bright cap on paper may be technically out of the circuit if you dime the preamp knob, but it is audibly heard no matter what people say. IMO,it's a crucial part of the tone of each individual amp with this type circuit. Of coarse the lower the cap , the more perceived bottom end, and less aggressive high end.
  • :eek:
 

shredless

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Just get a Legendary Tones Hot Mod V2. Does exactly what you're looking for and even has an extra bass setting which I don't bother with. Gets harmonic feedback real nice. No need to mess with your amp as it just sits in V2 with an extra valve
This was not my experience...although l like what the V2 does, it did not cure my lack of bass in the 2203. Im wanting the same thing as the OP.
 

jagrenet

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This was not my experience...although l like what the V2 does, it did not cure my lack of bass in the 2203. Im wanting the same thing as the OP.
Drop an 820 "fat-cap" (capacitor) across the Cathode of V2A (to ground) ..... and call it a day. No need for an extra pedal. $1.57 capacitor gives you more bass than you can handle, doesn't require a battery to constantly change - or another power point. Problem solved.
 

XTRXTR

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LED 10 mm blue 460 nm wavelength on the hi sense cathode to replace the 680nF//2.7kR
ROCK THE HOUSE
 


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