OK, here is the kicker that everyone needs to get straight. You need to really get a good TUBE poweramp or a good head to run this. If you dont then you are cheating yourself of the "magic " this thing really has to offer. I have no problems getting original tones with the Jmp-1 and every other great Marshall Sound in the history of rock! The cleans are great and they do breakup if you want them to. The distortions are great they can really do it all from mellow dark jazz to the most extreme metal. There are tons of settings its hard to find one that fits the mood im in sometimes cause the sound is really good. I use this preamp in the wet dry wet setup which is great for me. I run the left and right out into a VHT 2150 into two mesa 2x12 and it is really a rippin combo the KT88's really round out the preamp and its presence and depth really add the punch and clarity for those extra little touches you need sometime. I send my fx level into a digital music line mixer into a g-force and eventide dsx into a Strategy 400 Stereo into two Marshall JCM 2000 cabs truely a unique tone to begin with but it really sounds great. SIMUL-CLASS!!!!! I have every tube power tone you could wish for with these two amps nuff said. I use ESP guitars with emg's and SD pickups. I run my signial into two GCX switchers so really a basic tone is easy to get or a complete studio can be inserted into the mix if i want to.
A simple MIDI knowledge is required to max this but it would be hard to see any piece of gear live through torture.Try touring in winter and spring in hot sweaty clubs if you can survive that it can take a few weekend gigs and a bed room.
Well, Like I said it really depends on what you like and what style you play There are only 12 notes so its all in the hands and the mind's eye. Is this the best i dont know is any piece of gear the be all end all not really its all how it works for you so. I can get through two records worth of material with it so to me its reallt versitile and it does have soul if you do. You gan get these used all the time now i did and it sounds better than the babied ones I've tried. Play around with tube cause they do make a diffrence i use 2 Sovtek 12ax7WLPS nice crunch and a really clear clean sound. But, like i said tone is a relative term. When will you turn to ASH?