Q: Can you get the sound of your favorite artists?
A: I'm not really about that, because IMHO if you want to get the sound of your favorite artist; you're going to need that exact rig that he/she is using and even then it may not sound the same. However, I am influenced by the tone of other artists, and thus work off of that to find a sound that I can say is tailored to me. I'm a very big Deftones fan and due to the use of the JMP-1 on many of their recordings, I opted to try it out. No, you will not be able to nail the Deftones White Pony tone, or the Smashing Pumokins MCIS tone, or any other amazing sounding recordings employing the use of this preamp. I will say that you can come close to it :-) I purchased this preamp because 90% of my favorite tones are present on records where the artist used this preamp.
Q: Are certain effects (distortion, chorus, ...) very good? Very bad?
I personally like lower fidelity, grindy, out of control guitar tones. This unit can produce those quite effectively. I'm not one for scooped mids either. By the way, you can get all the mids in the world with this thing or you can get the most rotten scooped mid sound you've ever heard, or close to it. So, as for distortion/overdrive, this unit does what I want it to do. Effects and such, it handles them very nicely. The clean channel is OKAY with me. Marshall's strong suit was never crystal clear shimmering clean tones. I'd prefer a Fender Twin or something of the like for my clean tones, but for now, this unit will do. One quality I have to say I love about this preamp is the punch that it has, but that also has alot to do with the poweramp being used, which leads me to the next question.
Q: What setup (i.e. what guitars and amps) are you using this with?
A: Fender Mexican Stratocaster with Blue LS, Gold LS, SD Hot Rails from neck to bridge respectively. Fender American Telecaster with SD Hot Rails in the bridge. Signal is ran in series through a pedalboard consisting of a Bozz Hyper Fuzz, SIB Varidrive, Digitech Whammy, Boss DD-6, Boss PH-3. Signal then encounters an Axxess Electronics BS-2 splitter in the back of the rack where the signal is split one way into a Korg DTR-1000 and the other way into the input of the JMP-1. The signal from the JMP-1 is ran through an Alesis 3630 Compressor where it then goes to a VHT Two/Ninety/Two poweramp. Standard Marshall Cabinetry is used after the poweramp. Stock 1960.
Q: Is it noisy? On what settings?
A: VERY VERY NOISY on any setting other than clean or moderate crunch. Can be easily corrected with a noise gate, HUSH unit, or anything of that nature.
Q: Are the effects weak or do they always sound great?
A: I don't use a whole lot of effects outside of delay and chorus but they are both complimented with regards by this preamp.
Q: What amp are you using it with?
A: As stated above, a VHT Two/Ninety/Two poweramp.
I will now add a few notes about the sound quality of this unit. If you're looking for the Rolls Royce or Ferrari of tones, do not purchase this unit, you will be gravely disappointed. If you're looking for a real mean and hellish tone, purchase this unit. The unit could be tighter as far as bass goes. As I said above, less noise would be optimal. Despite it being a "VALVE PRE" it uses a fair deal of solid state electronics followed by the use of two 12AX7s. New tubes WILL clear up the sound of the unit. Use of a poweramp that can deliver what is needed to be delivered is absolutely essential. The VHT is one of the few poweramps that can accomplish this task. This is almost fully responsible for delivering the bass that this preamp puts out and thus being very punchy, unit could also be considered by some as "boomy" at first. Fine EQing IS needed. That's a minus for some folks. It also has a lot of what many may consider "undesired brightness and harshness." It's all about how you want it to sound.
Q: Can you depend on it?
A: Yes, I have never had a single problem with the unit. I've owned it for a litte over a year now.
Q: Would you use it on a gig without a backup?
A: Have done it. Will continue to do so until I have the funds to purchase another preamp.
Q: What style of music do you play? Is this a good match?
A: I play in a metal band and I also play in a rock oriented band I guess you could say. I hate genres. The unit does exactly what I need it to do.
Q: How long have you been playing? What other gear do you own?
A: Been playing for 6-7 years, also own a Marshall TSL 100 head, another Strat that is currently out of commission and awating mass repairs, and a Marshall AVT 20.
Q: If it were stolen or lost, would you buy it again or get something else?
A: At first I'd get a VHT GP-3 then I'd get another JMP-1.
Q: What do you love about it? What do you hate? What is your favorite feature?
A: Love: Heavy tone (very general descrip..) Hate: THE NOISE. Favorite feature: Instant recall from a bank of patches that I will probably never fill up and being the first piece of equipment to settle my tone quest for some time.
Q: Did you compare it to other products? Which ones? Why did you choose this one?
A: I compared this with a Triaxis and Recto Pre. Both of which weren't really my thing. BUT, that can be considered invalid since those units were not used in my rig and put through the weeks of EQing that I've put into the JMP-1. A true comparison would be to have the units being compared placed in the exact same scenario that they would be normally used in while comparing.
Q: Anything you wish it had?
A: LESS NOISE (a small pet peeve of mine is obviously noise) ALL tube circuitry (no solid state components involved with the signal path.)
Q: Does it help you make music, or does it get in the way?
A: The first piece of equipment that has helped me in a long time.
Q: Anything else you'd like to share?
A: Pretty confident I've covered all I can think of covering at this time.