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Sound Quality

Setup: PRS Dragon II pickups, Les Pauls with origial trembuckers, Les Paul Special with P-90. Noise: Yes it can be noisy with high gain settings but a hush unit I bought used for $45 cleared that up. Otherwise it's very quiet. But hey it's got tubes so a little noise can be expected. Amp: I'm using it direct into the computer via Aardvark Q10 audio interface. Sometimes I run it through a Presonus Blue Max compressor. Sound: Let's be clear this thing does not have a huge variety of sounds. It's not supposed to really. You better go to the store and try it out for yourself to see if you like it. If you are looking for a variety of Marshall tones they are all in there from Angus to Nu Metal. The cleans are typical Marshall clean. If you are looking for Fender cleans of Vox warmth buy a Fender or Vox amp. Duh. This says Marshall on the front and that's what you get- big ass Marsahll sounds. Now I use it for hard disk recording with the emulated outputs. They sound great. No need for additional speaker emulation. The only thing I would consider adding is the ampulator from ADA [out of production look on E-Bay] I own the SANS amp pedal, had the PSA-1, own the POD 2.0 and the J-Station. While this unit does not include effects or a million simulations it kicks all their asses because it does one thing right. Sounds like a big ass Marshall. If you are thinking you don't like that sound you will be frustrated. If you want that sound you will be in hog heaven. You can do classic Zep sounds or metal up yer ass. It's tonal very flexible but in the end it always sounds like a Marshall. After a few minutes in the store with it you will know if it's for you or not. There will be no surprises once you get home. If you want to use it live you can go into the PA direct or match it up with a nice tube power amp. Rock on. As for me I have found direct recording Nirvana. It just sounds "real" compared to all those simulation gadgets I own. I tracked a song with it and my bass player called me up after he downloaded to say "Wow, that is the first time we got a real pro guitar sound, it's tight and sits right in the mix." Nuff said. I rate it a 9 because it does have noise at high gain which you will need a Hush or something to take care of. I would rate the other devices I own between 4-6 for realism, balls and feel. Some people complain and say you can't get heavy sounds out of it. Really? Why does Nine Inch Nails, Filter, Deftones, Rob Zombie and others get heavy tones out of it? The answer I think is you must A. Be able to play well. B. Know what the hell you are doing on stage and in the studio. In fact the first 3 filter albums used the JMP-1 with emulated outs direct to the board for all the main guitar tracks. Pick up any filter CD and you will hear JMP-1 all over. If SANSAMP is so good how come they have a JMP-1 preset patch? How come JMP-1 doesn't have a patch labeled SANSAMP? Answer: You don't have to be an imitator when you are the original.

Reliability/Durability

Have only owned it a week so I can't comment on it's reliability. Marshall stuff is usually fine but sometimes quality can vary. If it does have a problem there are plenty of places it could be fixed. I don't plan on dropping it but I do have it bolted in a rack just in case.

General Comments

Style: I play alterna-progressive-heavy. Rush meets Tool meets the Pixies. I have been playing 18 years and I have owned all kinds of crap in that time such as Peavey 5150, Other marshall heads and combos all the pedals, most of the amp sim devices, ADA Gear [Mp-1] Gallien-Krueger etc. etc. I really dig the sound of this. It's the {censored}. I give it a 10 here because based on the price I paid $399 used or $699 new list it is a real value for the dollar. If it was lost, stolen or detroyed I would buy another the same day.




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