JMD-1 Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 07/31/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Marshall: JMD-1
Over all I am very impressed with the amp; and one would have to ask Jim why it took his company so long to finally get into this niche of guitar amps.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 7.5
 Features: 9.5
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reviews (4) pictures (1) 21 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
JMD-1 Reviewed by: guitarest99, on august 16, 2010
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Price paid: $ 999

Purchased from: AMS - Internet

Features: Mfg in 2010 and this is a new venture from Marshall; tired of others basically modeling their maps they have partnered with Softtube and now have their own modeling amp. Softtube is not new to this line of work and have actually done a real good job with the models in this amp. Covering amps from 1959 to the latest releases like the Haze; so there are 16 different Pre-Amp to choose from. There is a 12ax7 inside the amp and good ole EL34's are also stuffed inside. I purchased the 50 watt head so I do not have any knowledge about the combo's except they are the same sans the speakers. From the 16 different preamps you have a 4 channel amp that can store up to 128 total patches. There is also modulation abilities with chorus, phaser, flanger and tremolo. This unit also has a built in Noise gate; delay and reverb and everything is switchable via the supplied foot controller to a extent. // 9

Sound: The unit comes with many patches already programed at Marshall and most are usable examples of many of the Iconic Amps they have produced over the years. A list of all the amps and patches can be located at the Marshall Official Web Site. How does it sound, lets forget the digital thing and once you do it sounds really nice on every patch and for those who refuse to play it because of the digital connection your making a poor decision not allowing yourself to play through this amp. Of all the effects (which are usable) I found the Reverb and Noise Gate to be the most usable on this head. The gate is a welcomed feature that all higher gain amps should have. The only real issue with the modulation is that you really can not fine tune your settings like many really want to do; the ability to control modulation is delegated to two rotary dials. One dial controls the type of modulation and the other controls the level of the effect; since only one modulation can be used at a time. I personally try to run dry but many may find they need to use the effects loop for their off-board effects which this amp has built into it and it also has a variable gain controller in the rear of the amp. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This amp is British designed (with Softtube assistance) but actually constructed in China with the MA Series along with many of their offerings now. A easy way to tell where the new releases are being made is a British made Marshall still has the red led rocker switch; the Chinese amps do not. Of course this does not include the Vintage re-issue amps thats are also made in the UK; only new offerings. So as for the durability its to be scene but there is visible differences in construction. I have observed very small gaps between joints and other areas of attachments and other minor flaws but I am really picky and thats just me; being picky and most would not notice this unless really looking for the flaws. I rated only a 5 because I just do not know the future of this product // 5

Overall Impression: Over all I am very impressed with the amp; and one would have to ask Jim why it took his company so long to finally get into this niche of guitar amps. If I was to purchase only one amp and had to cover music styles from Jazz, Country, Rock and Metal this amp would be able to cover all that and so much more. The effects while are OK they are very usable if you do not have pedals or rack mount effects units. What I would consider a design flaw with the unit has to do with the pedal or foot controller, to change to one of the two modes it operates in you have to remove the 1/4 cable from the unit and plug it back in (while the amp is turned on) and hold down the #1 button. With technology as advanced as it is I find it hard to believe that the unit was unable to be programmed to switch functions by holding down a button for a few seconds or even holding down two buttons at the same time. I do gig and I do see this as a issue that could cause issues at a gig if you need to switch between modes at a show. I would easily compare this to any other modeling amp on the market today that also has tubes as preamp and the power stages. Other amps out there in this niche come from Line6, Peavey, Fender, and many others. I have owned the Line6 150HD Spider 3 and I sold it within a month due to its difficulty in programming and moving patches around. The Marshall shares the same trait although the tones are (IMO) better sounding since it only tried to copy their own equipment rather than copy other companies. The supplied foot controller is also a nice thing to have since other companies like Line6, and Peavey have controllers but they have to be purchased in addition to the amp. I would highly recommend those reading this to at the very least test Drive the amp; go to your local Marshall dealer and bring your guitar with ya and plug into the JMD. IMO its a amp thats worth playing through at the very least or you might end up being like me and taking one home and putting it next to your other half stacks. Sadly I think the 5150 (First edition) might not get as much gig time this year once I do become more knowledgeable about this unit and its abilities. // 10

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overall: 9.3
JMD-1 Reviewed by: Vavoom2011, on november 08, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 980

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This amp just recently came out for 2010. It has many reviews on youTube and the like. I have another quasi-review on a "reply" to the ONLY review of this amp on this site. Very versatile. Main reason for purchase. 16 preamps simulations. 5 real tubes. 4 power EL34's and 1 preamp 12 AX7. With the provided footswitch you get 28 possible storable patches and with a midi controller such as a Ground Control, you can store up to 128 patches. I wish you could issue midi CC commands, thereby allowing you to turn on and off effects, etc. But for now the unit will only accept "program changes". For the price the feature set is very good. // 9

Sound: I play the JMD-1 100 watt head through a 4x12 Marshall 16 ohm angled cab. This cabines sounds MUCH better than the mated M412A. So for 1700.00 bucks you can basically have a pretty good sounding 1/2 stack with the versitility to gig covers or satisfy most Marshall sounds you have come to know. I'm playing classic rock, blues and Top 40 covers and the amp covers most of these bases. For extreme Metal, you may want to look elsewhere. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'll give it a 10 because its build quality is as good as the British assembled amps. No problems yet. Since I just purchased this, I'll resubmit a review later on dependability. Since it DOES have 5 tubes, it's not bullet proof. One thing I noticed and this is typical with most hybrid amps. The louder you play it... Or crank the Master Volume, the more ALL TUBE like it will sound. // 10

Overall Impression: Very satisfied. Thumbs up on "almost" everything. What are the thumbs down you ask? He effects. Thumbs sideways. The delay is decent, but not controllable enough. The chorus sucks. I use my Boss Multi Chorus in the effects loop. Flanger is kinda cheesy. Phaser is decent. Reverb is good but limited. Noise Gate is good but when you utilize it you forfeit the rest of the modulation effects! So using the Chorus and a compessor as outboard gear, I use the reverb and delay and have the option of noise gate or Phaser, flanger. For the money though, I still give it a 9.5 overall. An overall 10 would be with a better chorus, midi cc commands, and better tweakability of effects. I love the sounds so far and I think this amp will bump my Mesa Express as my main overall amp to gig/practice with. I'll probably make a small rack and use my ground control to get the many more preset access. A few good pedals for tweaking the sounds a bit more like an EQ, OD/DIST, COMPRESSOR, CHORUS, and I'm set! // 9

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overall: 9
JMD-1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 05, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I you are a person who does not want to put a lot of money into a pedal board then this amp is for you. While it does not have everything it has the mainstays. The Reverb and delays are quite nice. The Noise Gate on this amp is outstanding. The Chorus, flanger and phaser I never use but I would say they sound nice but not as robust as a pedal. Overall the fact you can program 24 banks of specific sounds makes it great for covering songs when you play out. It would be nice if it had a tuner but that is minimal. // 10

Sound: I can not say enough about how great this amp sounds. I paired mine with a 1960 slant cab. This was a huge improvement over the stock cab that they pair the amp with. Once you dive into the different amp models the amp has you will be very impressed. Keep in mind you still need to dial in the sounds to get the sounds you want but once you do look out. Anyone who has used the Line 6 amps and thought that they sound digital will not think that hear. Also I have the original Vox Valvetronix amps before they went cheaper and the problem there was once the amp is turned up it does not sound as good. Here the amp sounds amazing as the amp gets louder. The cleans are clean. The Distortion can do anything. From early 70s AC DC to Modern Distortion that is used by current rock bands. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Ok here was the one area that was not flying colors. I did by the amp used from GC and they did remove the tubes when they shipped the head. I purchased the 12 month warrenty for $50. After a little bit the amp sounded great then at random times would buzz and get a boost in volume for 2-3 seconds then stop. This would continue at random times. I sent the amp in for repairs which took a total of 5 business days. I spoke to the repair tech and he said the tubes went bad and took out some fuses. He changed all the tubes (4) and repaired the fuses. I have had it back for a few months without a problem. He felt it was an issue with the tubes and not the head. // 7

Overall Impression: Sound and quality are off the charts. Considering the price paid there is not an amp that comes close. My friend has a Jcm 200 Tsl 100 and it is a great amp but when you compare the flexability of the Jmd 1 my friend was amazed. At no time can you peg this hybrid amp, it sounds like an all tube head. The only reason I am not giving it a 10 is due to the repair of the amp. I will say if you are looking for an amazing sounding amp that can do it all this is it. // 9

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overall: 9.3
JMD-1 Reviewed by: saadk97, on july 31, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: I bought this brand new, but I have no idea when it was made. This amp is crazy versatile. I play everything from Clapton to Zeppelin to Slayer to AC/DC, and this amp covers it all. There are 16 pre-amps, based on famous Marshall amps and pedals. Everything that I have heard about this amp indicates that it replicates these previous amplifiers close to perfectly. It has built-in effects and delay. Four preamps per channel, four channels: Clean, Crunch, Overdrive and Lead. // 10

Sound: I use it with a cheap Squier Strat with single coil pickups. I barely ever use cleans. The amplifier is not noisy at all, and if your crank it, you can use the Noise Gate to cut the feedback. This amp can make a ridiculous amount of sounds, you can channel every band that has ever played a Marshall. The clean is decent, I have no problems with it. The crunch lets you channel the Plexi sound, and you can play some great blues-rock. The overdrive is extremely versatile, you can nail AC/DC as well as Megadeth. The leads are all absolutely beautiful. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank. I would definitely gig without backup. Never broken down yet, but you never know. // 8

Overall Impression: My other gear is crap. If this was stolen, I would get another one, for 600 bucks it is a bargain and a half. // 9

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