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Attention Marshall Artist 3203 or 4203 users!


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I just did the c13 mod, and if you haven't, then do it now. The amp sounds cleaner on the clean channel, meaner on the boost channel and takes SOOOO much better to pedals now...

 

Seriously, if you haven't done it. Do it now!!!

 

 

That is all....

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Is it reversible?

 

Yup. All you do is clip (or otherwise remove) a small capacitor (looks like a resistor to me) that adds a ton of highs to the clean channel. To reverse it, just reconnect it with a spot of solder. took me 2 minutes to do.

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I don't have one of those amps but read about that. A couple reviewers I think said they didn't like the gain channel after it, but your description sounds pretty cool.
:cool:

 

I could hear a difference in the gain channel, but it sounds better to me. More mids. This amp was lacking in the bass and mid department before, but it seems like they come way up since the mod.

 

Maybe the reviewers who didn't like the gain channel after liked that scooped sound. Not me:thu: To me, more mids=more mean:evil:

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  • 3 weeks later...
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i'm a huge fan of the C13 mod. in my book, the clean channel is quite useless without it, as if there is a "brightness" switch that is permanently engaged.

 

any difference that it causes in the overdrive channel is pleasing to my ear.. i was a teenager when i bought this amp, and i was all about the crushing metal sound this thing is capable of. back in those days i used only the overdrive channel with the three knobs on 10, 10, 10. killer, killer sound with my Jem777. 20 years later and my tonal goals are a little bit different... i am well appreciating the versatility of this (post C13 mod) amp. incredibly warm clean sounds, the overdrive channel is so silky and responsive to dynamics.. i've used it on rock gigs, jazz gigs, plugged the acoustic into it, i even used it as a bass amp in a pinch one night (on a quiet, quiet gig).

 

i wonder if anyone could comment further on the effects of clipping the LEDs, and function they serve in the circuit in the first place? i would honestly have to open my amp back up & see what state i left them in, i know that i tried several combinations, and i *believe* i settled on leaving them in the circuit.

 

the one thing that i do notice is that the clean channel does not compress at all after this mod. for instance, i can't use a wah-wah pedal on the clean channel, it just gets way way too loud when the wah is engaged.

 

to answer a couple questions back in the thread:

 

- i'm no expert, but c13 sure looks like its a resistor to me too. a bit of research tells me that it is a polarized capacitor (designed flat like a resistor for surface-mounting), and the end of the component with the gold stripe is the positive end. the stripes are read in the same fashion as the stripes on a resistor, and they represent the pF value of the cap.

 

- the mod is easily reversible by reconnecting anything you disconnected with a tiny dot of solder. if you don't have experience doing such things, have someone else do it. its a simple enough task, but its not worth screwing up your amp or much worse, getting electrocuted by absentmindedly touching a fully charged cap or touching a lead that traces back to one...

 

bestest,

jim

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Is there a link to the exact procedure for these mods somewhere? I thought I had one once.......

 

I retired my artist 30 4 years ago in favor of a JCM 800 2210 for the extra headroom, but I'm not playing out much now and would like to use the artist again.

 

anyone know where I could find a headshell for it as well?

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I have 2 3203s! I love them. I even tracked down the matching 4x10 full stack. I would be interested in trying out this mod to make the clean channel more useful. Is the C13 component marked on the board? Im doing this one tonight!

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recap of mod:

 

locate C13 on the preamp board. this is the board towards the front of the amp -- note that there is a C13 on the other board at the rear of the amp. that's not the one. the correct C13 to clip is right behind the clean channel volume knob.

 

clip one leg of it and gently bend the part up so it won't reconnect accidentally.

 

the two LEDs that are often discussed & clipped are right behind C13

 

pretty simple! this pic is from the 4203 combo amp before I made the mod.

 

4203-guts.jpg

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This is nitpicking, but the Artist isn't really a channel switcher, but a single channel amp with a boost. That said, when dialed in right, these are every bit as potent as a 50-watt JCM800.

 

Was my main amp for years; you can hear it in all these live-in-the-studio videos:

 

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=ONORocks&search_query=studio%20jam

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This is nitpicking, but the Artist isn't really a channel switcher, but a single channel amp with a boost. That said, when dialed in right, these are every bit as potent as a 50-watt JCM800.


Was my main amp for years; you can hear it in all these live-in-the-studio videos:


http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=ONORocks&search_query=studio%20jam

 

Um.. Im not sure about that. None of the controls from the clean channel except the verb / master control the gain channel. something I thought was indicative of channel switching.

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recap of mod:


locate C13 on the preamp board. this is the board towards the front of the amp -- note that there is a C13 on the other board at the rear of the amp. that's not the one. the correct C13 to clip is right behind the clean channel volume knob.


clip one leg of it and gently bend the part up so it won't reconnect accidentally.


the two LEDs that are often discussed & clipped are right behind C13


pretty simple! this pic is from the 4203 combo amp before I made the mod.


4203-guts.jpg

 

whats the 4 leds on the inside for?

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Um.. Im not sure about that. None of the controls from the clean channel except the verb / master control the gain channel. something I thought was indicative of channel switching.

 

That's a good point. The boost side just seems so limited with the single tone control only, and why'd they call it a "boost"? Anywho, an oddball amp for sure, but definitely an ass-kicker as well!

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Thank you for posting this!

 

recap of mod:


locate C13 on the preamp board. this is the board towards the front of the amp -- note that there is a C13 on the other board at the rear of the amp. that's not the one. the correct C13 to clip is right behind the clean channel volume knob.


clip one leg of it and gently bend the part up so it won't reconnect accidentally.


the two LEDs that are often discussed & clipped are right behind C13


pretty simple! this pic is from the 4203 combo amp before I made the mod.


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Yes, this is my favorite guitar amp and has been my daily driver for years and years.

 

Imagine my surprise to make this simple mod, and suddenly the clean channel is amazing instead of useless.

 

In terms of portability vs. volume, this amp can't be beat. I'll happily carry this guy a couple blocks rather than load in from the alley then re-park...

 

Would love it if someone could comment further on the LEDs, and/or why the clean channel doesn't seem to compress at all once the c13 mod is performed. PlayboyChris's comment on it being a compression circuit of some kind has my interest piqued.. If I have some time next week I may crack it open and do some experimentation now that I have a solid reference point, having used the amp modded for a couple years now.

 

From what I remember, whatever difference the LEDs made was either non-existent or so subtle that I couldn't hear it, but I may have only been listening for tonal changes rather than dynamic response.....

 

Gig Tip: The bottom half of a guitar stand makes a *perfect* tilt-back amp stand for this amp. I put a rubber cap on the top so it doesnt mar/damage the back of the amp.

 

Cheers,

j

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Well I wish I was an amp tech,maybe I'll brave it,never dug inside an amp before. Maybe you guys can answer a question for me?

 

My 3203 is in excellent shape for it's age but the dials a scratchy,I ordered a new footswitch 2 weeks ago and for some reason it hasn't come in yet. Anyway I have never put an amp in the shop before & want some general knowledge of how much crap costs before it goes.

Lets say I had them try to clean the contacts to see if that is the problem as 1 estimate & the other would be to replace the pots(5-8). All 8 if my switch gets here and I finally get to try my gain side out and it has the same issues?

Also it's nice to see this amp has a little following,I'm diggin' it so far.

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twisty,

my guess is that your pots are fine & just need to be cleaned. while that is a pretty simple task, it may be worth your while to have a tech get it on the bench and give it the once over.

 

the beginner mistakes (like getting contact cleaner overspray all over the inside of the amp) can hurt the lifespan of the amp, or can impact your lifespan if you touch the wrong thing while you are grounded...

 

very rough ballpark estimate, expect somewhere between $80 to $200 for a visit to the amp doctor for a checkup.. depends on many factors - how experienced the tech is, how quickly you need your amp back, what is included in the service... (checking bias, check tolerances on critical and failure-prone components, check/tighten tube sockets, shoot the pots, check condition of tubes, etc...)

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Clean the pots yourself... Just be careful and take your time. Shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes to do all the pots, and the jacks.... This is usually the first thing I do when I buy an amp, and I have yet to have scratchy pots...:thu:

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