Marshall JMP-1 | Ultimate Tone Tips

Click on the image below to download the full size printable A4 sheet on useful JMP-1 Preamp Tone Tips.

JMP-1  Tone Tips...

I've been using JMP-1 preamps since they were introduced in the 90's.  During that time, I've heard all sorts of rumours and stories about this preamp.  Good and bad! 

Mostly it's from badly informed guitar players or things people have "supposedly" read.  During the 90's I experimented with all sorts of Marshall heads, power amps, and eventually just went direct to the desk, which is how I run mine nowadays. 

The EQ is just like a real Marshall amp, in that it's reactive.  you adjust one parameter,  treble say,  and it affects the middle, bass and gain and volume. 

Start with the Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence all at 0.  Same for the Gain and Volume. 
If you're going direct, be sure to set the Emulated Outs to the correct setting,  +4 almost always has way more bite, roar and authenticity than the -20dB setting. 

JMP-1 Fact or Fiction?

I've heard people saying if you remove the valves from a JMP-1 the amp still works. Utter nonsense. 

Phil Wells from the Marshall service department, spoke to me at length in 2003, upon my 8th visit for amp services, whilst on the road... He told me first hand, that removing the valves would make the amp not work at all.  Furthermore, he got the actual schematic out,  and detailed exactly what happens when the unit is powered up. 

Diodes create the distortion, but don't finish it.  The distortion (I prefer the term Overdrive) is generated by the valves,  but, just like in a regular class A/B2 push pull circuitry hand wired amp head,  the circuits harness the overdrive, and the EQ shapes it.   So there.  stop listening to the internet trolls and have faith in our good British Engineering excellence!  

Up Close |  The Front Panel of the Marshall JMP-1...

Same Gear As Your Hero? STOP!

There are good and bad sounds to had from any amp, or preamp.  As an owner of  amp heads  from Soldano (SLO100)  Mesa Boogie,  Fender, and ENGL heads,  I can tell you they all pretty much sounded the same, because it was me playing them. 

The story about the Hank Marvin fan playing through his idols exact same gear,  even Hank lending him his very own pick, at a soundcheck, only to see the look of utter dejection on his face when he finally realises that  after spending thousands on gear to mimic his hero,  he simply doesn't sound like Hank, because <drum roll>  he isn't Hank! 

The Myth Of The String Gauge
If you make sure you look deep into your technique, learning your limitations early on,  you can offest any issues later on.  If you have a bad picking hand, or have a weak fretting hand,  those aren't weaknesses,  they're excuses.  

If you're getting pain in your hand, then stop, don't overdo it.   Putting a set of 12's on your guitar because "SRV did!" is utter nonsense. 

Allan Holdsworth used 8's,  Billy Gibbons (himself a massive JMP-1 user) uses 8's, and he sounds huge!  Find a string gauge that you like, and stick with it. 

For The Ultimate Tone, Pay The Ultimate Price...

The real secret to getting good tone doesn't lie at the bottom of a paycheck, or credit card saying, "spend me.. spend me..."   It took me a few years to discover this.  The real ultimate secret isn't really a secret at all. It comes down to 3 things...

1| Work on your technique. 
2| Learn your Music Theory.
3| Record yourself daily.