Roadhouse USA location:
Vintage Marshall Artist 3203 in rare Red tolex!
I imagine there are more around in the wide world, but I have never seen one of these in red before.
A really cool, somewhat forgotten Marshall that gets some great tones without tearing down the walls.
This amp is in nice shape and good working order. I thought it sounded a bit thin to my ears, so it may need a pair of new tubes at some point soon, but it works fine as is. I have priced it well below market value, so a guy can afford to spend $60 on a couple tubes if needed:)
Get a cool piece of Marshall history for a price that won’t break the bank.
Marshall Artist 3203 tube amp head. Known for their great Marshall tone on a budget, these sleeper amps are growing in popularity. The 3203 is EL34-powered 30-watt head. It features a tube power section and phase inverter with a solid state preamp. The preamp configuration is the “split channel” design, with a normal channel that goes from clean to plexi-ish overdrive and a boost channel for higher-gain leads. It also features spring reverb.
-Power Output: 30 Watts
-Tubes: EL34 (2), 12AX7
-Controls: Reverb, Master | Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume | Tone, Volume, Gain
-Dimensions: 24.5″ x 9.5″ x 9.5″
-Weight: 26 lbs
The Artist 3203, and it’s combo cousin the 4203, were made in the early eighties. Like Leo Fender’s Music Man amps of that time, they are a hybrid amp with a power section that consists of a pair of EL-34’s with a 12AX7 phase inverter and solid-state rectification. The pre section is all solid-state, but I gotta tell ya, it sounds friggin awesome. The amp is rated at 30 watts RMS, which makes it perfect for club gigs, plus the 34’s are running so cool that they last forever in this amp.
The boost channel has only controls for tone, gain, and volume, but that’s all it needs. This channel produces pure Marshall crunch in spades, and what’s really amazing is that it can do it at any volume. This is the holy grail of Marshall crunch tone; sounds like a full stack on the bleeding-edge, yet at a volume that is perfect for a club gig, or for recording!
The clean channel is equally surprising. In addition to a gain control, it sports a full bass-mid-treble tone stack. I’m a died-in-the-wool Fender amp guy, and I can honestly say that this channel can deliver some very nice Fenderish clean tones. Bring this amp to your next gig and you will have a single amp that does Yankee clean and British crunch with aplomb.
The amp is rounded-out with master controls for volume and Reverb, which feeds an actual long-spring Accutronics tank. There is also an efx loop, a line-out, and multiple output impedance taps come standard; all in all, a well equipped little amp!