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Sound Quality

For reference I am comparing this MP-1 with a Marshall JMP-1 a Digiteck GSP 21 and 2101 and a Digitech/Hafler T3. The MP-1 I have is version 2. I got it used and it had EH tubes in it and I also put some GT Mullard reissues in it as well. Swapping the tubes from EH to the GT's did give a very little improvement in the noise and a little more tone. The MP-1 does have a bit of noise but nothing much more than any tube gear if you crank the gain too much. When I plugged in for the first time I heard many tones that were familliar. Obviously in the 80's some big name players have used this preamp. I believe if the JMP-1 was out during that time we would have heard that on some of those big name records instead. The MP-1 is a decent sounding pre and does offer a lot of tweaking ability. Definitely a lot of useful tones in the box. The gain structure of the MP-1 really reminds me of my old Digitech GSP 2101. I highly suspect that Digitech based their GSP 2101 tube preamp design on the MP-1. If you are a GSP 2101 user and are looking for something different, I wouldn't suggest the MP-1 as it is just so close in sound. It's probably not fair to compare the MP-1 with the Marshall JMP-1 since they don't make the ADA's any more and the JMP-1 cost much much more but I will. The JMP-1 is a lot easier to program. You just hit the button for "gain" "volume" "bass" etc then twist the data knob. The MP-1 you have to keep hitting the up and down buttons, gets annoying after a while. I find the chorus on the MP-1 usefull but, most players wouldn't be happy with just chorus and no reverb or delay so the ADA will lead you to searching for an FX processor anyway. For clean tones the ADA and JMP-1 come pretty close. For distorted tones the the BIG winner here is the Marshall JMP-1. The JMP-1 has more of a complex gain structure and can be much smoother and much more aggressive as well. If you like the Marshall sounds the ADA can get you in the ball park but the JMP-1 will hit the home run for sure. If you are more of a lead player you may find the MP-1 more to your liking than the JMP-1. The ADA has more single note definition which would work better in a live situation over the JMP-1. As for distorted bottom end tones the ADA is muddier in the lower tones than the Marshall. I find it harder trying to get a good bottom end chunky tone on the MP-1 as compared to the Marshall, which is very easy to get those chunky tones. So my general comments would be this: If you are comparing the ADA MP-1 to the Digitech GSP 2101, I would suggest go for the MP-1 only if you are a lead player and want more single note definition. Rhythm players would probably be best with the Digitech since it has much more effects to play with. If you need a preamp for studio work, hands down the Marshall JMP-1 is the winner.


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