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God’s Gift to Rock: A Late ’70s Marshall JMP 100 Watt

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30 Sep God’s Gift to Rock: A Late ’70s Marshall JMP 100 Watt

(please note: this post is a follow up from a previous research: Angus Young’s Marshall Amplifier(s) & the “Back in Black Tone Project” )

EDITED: Members ROCKER and Sgace have helped me determine that this amp was NOT a super lead (NON master volume) but it was born as a Master Volume since its beginning. It was later modified as stated below. Have no idea of the differences yet 😛

So, it has arrived (for the record, this is a 1979 Marshall JMP 100w Lead).

The “Destiny” wanted that the first of the two JMPs I bought the other day to arrive was the the 100 watts.

So it was.

I quickly and swiftly hooked it to one of the two cabs I have now, the reissue non slanted cabinet with vintage 30s inside.

I blew a fuse the moment I turned it on, because the voltage (mains) selector was probably disabled when the amp was modded. No problem, I constructed a quick fuse and stuck it in.

Then it turned on.

Why have I waited so long? I don’t know. I thought Marshalls were Marshalls. Not true. They’re all different. So please be patient – you that have followed me so far: THIS is THE Marshall for me. A voice inside of me, after playing it, said “Thou shall not know any other after this

Well folks, my quest for AC/DC tone from the mid to late 70s to early ’80s might have ended today: this amplifier is the best thing I ever connected into.

Do I sound exaggerated? I apologize. I am extremely, extremely excited and I am having a hard time to stay calm. My wife saw me and she understood right away something different was in the air.

I played it for circa thirty minutes. Now keep in mind this amplifier has been modified: let me give you – directly from the eBay auction I got it off – what the seller stated:

Genuine Lee Jackson Metaltronix Mod

This Marshall is in exceptional condition for its age and features all original Drake Transformers, and the complete Metaltronix Mod with Master Volumes 1 (front) and 2 (backside, also has a push-pull switch which allows it to serves as a power attenuator), 6-position Mid Frequency selector to morph the tonal characteristic from beefy blues to metal, and tube-buffered effects loop with Send and Return levels (the Return control is a push-pull switch, allowing you to engage the effects loop or bypass it to go straight onto Master (1) on the front). Lee’s signature and work completion date (smeared by control cleaners) are on the inside corner of the chassis, near the effects loop circuit (see third photo). Recently retubed with a matched quad of JJ E34L and five NOS Sovtek 12AX7WA preamp tubes. New three-prong power cable is included. Enjoy!

Back:

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Now see the settings here:

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And these are “guts” of it:

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This was instant Back in Black (the album). I say, I mean, instant. Right away. I was blown away. Naturally, since i played it in my “laboratory”, I set the volume (the attenuator) at an extremely reasonable level. I could almost talk over it. Softer than I used to keep my 1987XL when was doing the tutorials thing back then (do you remember?).

This amplifier brought me back – partly – to when I was playing my 100 watts 1969 Super Lead (i.e., a 1959 model from 1969 I used to own).

There is a super attack that will support you/help you. The three or four SGs I tried into it were almost playing by themselves. A feeling of ease I had long forgotten.

If you followed me reading so far: I am in heaven. Do you remember when I was saying that gear has to sound good and make your life as a guitar player easier?

This one does. Whatever you do, whatever note you play, however you play it (soft, hard, biting, … ) sounds godly.

It’s hard to describe and no, I don’t have a video/audio for you yet.

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As a completion to this project – you know how serious I am about this – I have investigated a bit on a good guitar microphone recently. I don’t have my Neumann U67 anymore.

I have a Neumann U47, but it needs repair, as it’s not working (and I’m bringing it to the shop on Monday).

So, what did I do?

I started a month ago studying some AC/DC images – recent ones – from a live show. I had seen this microphone on Angus’ and Malcolm’s cabinets:

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Turns out this is an Audio-Technica AT4047 Condenser Microphone, with following features:

The Audio-Technics AT4047 Condenser Microphone is designed for professional recording and critical applications in broadcast and live sound. Transformer-coupled output and a specially tuned element provide sonic characteristics reminiscent of early FET studio mic designs. The AT4047 mic has exceptionally low self-noise, wide dynamic range and high SPL capability. It sports a vintage silver-matte finish on the microphone and shock mount. Audio-Technica includes a protective case and AT8449/SV shock mount with the AT4047 microphone. Requires phantom power.

Audio-Technica AT4047 Condenser Microphone Features:

  • Gold-plated, specially contoured and aged, dual-diaphragms
  • Switchable 80 Hz hi-pass filter and 10 dB pad

Muisican’s Friend link

Update: it is confirmed that AC/DC did use this microphone during this tour. From sound engineer that ran AC/DC live:

AC/DC is the best rock band there is,” enthuses front-of-house engineer Paul “Pab” Boothroyd. That means a lot coming from a man who’s been Paul McCartney’s live engineer for the past two decades, and whose list of clients includes Faith Hill and Paul Simon. Boothroyd has handled FOH duties for AC/DC since the band’s 1996 Ballbreaker Tour, and he’s back at the helm for their latest, the Black Ice World Tour, which promotes Black Ice, the group’s first album in eight years.[…]

As for guitar amps, it’s “Marshall, Marshall, Marshall, Marshall, 11, 11, 11, 11, loud, loud, lots of them,” Boothroyd says with a laugh. “There are about 20 [amp] cabinets up there. They are all flat-out — there’s no gimmick here, They’re there to spread guitar across the stage.” The cabinets have 100-watt Marshall heads, which have been tweaked by the tour’s amp technician to run hotter than a standard amp. “This is okay — it just means you go through a lot of tubes, but it gives it that sound,” Boothroyd says. “I put one mic on one cabinet, an Audio-Technica 4047. I’ve tried various microphones, much to Malcolm [Young, rhythm guitarist] and Angus’ [Young, lead guitarist] disgust because they’d be quite happy with just an SM57 on there. But I wanted to capture some other qualities, so I went for a slightly larger-diaphragm mic, and I found that the only one I really liked was the A-T 4047.”

(from Mixonline)

I thought that if it sounded good for them, it will sound good for me, too.

So I got one. You will have to wait until I have it – a bunch of useless days – and then, I will overload you with experiments.

I just couldn’t walk away from this little room today. I couldn’t… but I had to. Family needs me.

I am leaving you with a couple of foolish pictures of SoloDallas’ “laboratory”.

Love, Fil

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Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

96 Comments
  • avatar
    lapata19
    Posted at 07:38h, 31 August

    does anyone know the weight of a late 70`s Marshall 2203?
    I`m trying to know the shipping cost of one of these

    • avatar
      bm229
      Posted at 12:13h, 03 September

      mine was 22kg’s when packed for shipping.
      was in a cardboard box with plenty of bubble wrap

    • avatar
      Chris Moiny
      Posted at 11:10h, 04 September

      between 19 and 21 kG’s.
      My 1976 1959 is 19,7 and my Randy Rhoads 1959 is 20,7 :)

    • avatar
      lapata19
      Posted at 20:05h, 04 September

      Thank you both. Really helped

  • avatar
    SGACE
    Posted at 15:04h, 31 January

    Ok, I was searching about post and pre phase inverter master volume mod and I remembered that Phil has this Marshall with some mods. This amp is a JMP 2203 so the master knob is a Pre phase inverter master volume so the extra knob that it is i the far right side should be a post phase inverter master volume mod. That means that you can push harder the gain section with the master knob and the power section with the extra knob at pretty low volume.
    Phil is it possible to check it?
    If I am right it would be very interesting to compare how those knobs function together in comparison with a attenuator..
    The point is that if the knobs will work well then there is no need for a attenuator..

  • avatar
    ACSGDC
    Posted at 04:16h, 31 October

    Hey Fil! I got my granpa’s amp here in my house. It’s 100 watt JMP Super Lead. The thing is, is it posible to record with this amp via Garage Band software? And if it is, can you tell me how? Greetings from Mexico :)

    -Elias

    • avatar
      banane
      Posted at 08:05h, 31 October

      Hello Elias, are you the “Gewerh44″ from youtube?
      A granpa with a 100 watt JMP must be a very cool granpa 😀
      You can record the amp with a microphone at the cabinet. And I think there’s also a solution for recording the amp directly with some type of adaptor box between the amp and the cabinet. But I would go for the microphone solution. Maybe you even know this, but if you have just the amp and no cabinet for it, dont turn in on wihout a cabinet connected. Could make damge to the output stage.

      • avatar
        ACSGDC
        Posted at 15:03h, 31 October

        Hey! No, I’m not :)
        And yes he’s a really cool one 😀
        Thank you so much for the info man! I’ll maybe go for the microphone option :)

        Rock On lml

    • avatar
      jakesg61
      Posted at 14:22h, 26 October

      I believe the one in my link is the 1959 SLP 100W, not sure if this has master volume or not

      • avatar
        LeroyKincaid
        Posted at 16:08h, 26 October

        Correct, but it’s a reissue. They did use these on the BI tour, although they were tucked away under the stage. The two heads on stage are a JTM45/100 and an old Superbass.

        • avatar
          jakesg61
          Posted at 00:39h, 27 October

          Cool, See from a distance hard to tell, I got some pictures of the amps on stage looked like 59SLP,s however taking a look at the JTM45/100 on google, it looks like a 59SLP its self so could be mistaken for one, thanks for the info.

          • avatar
            jakesg61
            Posted at 00:41h, 27 October

            did read they bought a load of reissue 59’s pre the BI tour and some JTM 45’s, but it said the 45 was under the stage, and the 59’s were up on stage. Different websites give variations of information, be great to have a conversation with one of the guitar/amp tech guys for AC/DC

          • avatar
            LeroyKincaid
            Posted at 02:40h, 27 October

            Do you have a link for those pics?

            • avatar
              jakesg61
              Posted at 12:49h, 27 October

              If you have facebook, I can send them to you in a private message, Im not saying they are deffinatley 59SLPs but they looked them. But I will be happy to message the picture to you :)

              • avatar
                LeroyKincaid
                Posted at 11:00h, 31 October

                No sorry. Damn.
                Would of loved to of seen those pictures.

  • avatar
    Spitfire
    Posted at 14:22h, 19 October

    I see 5 pre-amp valves here! Of which one looks like its for a tube buffered fx loop, but still even a stock cascaded 3x pre-amp tube plexi, it rocks! There must be insane amounts of gain on this beast. Probably something like what Slash and George Lynch might have used back in the day. Would like to hear it.

  • avatar
    banane
    Posted at 11:57h, 19 October

    Its a very great amp and its in a very good condition. Mine looks like it was on tour all the time. Lots of small bumps, Marshall logo in infamous “nicotine yellow” color, 2 knob caps missing.
    However, that all doesnt matter. Not even a small bit. Its only 9 years younger than me. I love it and I just feel like you.
    Actually, I should do my damn work now but have to look always to the left where the JMP and the cab stands :)

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 12:05h, 19 October

      Looks wise I tend to like the battered ones like the one you have, Franz. With the yellowed plastics and all. I find it necessary to work well and generally look “whole”; so the knobs I would put (those two missing ones, either original or replica wouldn’t matter to me; my vintage guitars – for example – are filled with replica parts).
      Like you said Franz, these are pieces of Rock History. I am looking forward for your pictures. All our pictures – of our JMPs – I will collect and create a post about them possibly with sound files. :)

      • avatar
        banane
        Posted at 12:27h, 19 October

        Yeah, already found some replica knobs at my dealer, will order them together with the microphone later.

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 12:06h, 19 October

      BTW I’m in the middle of a meeting right now, 6 people. I don’t give a damn about it…. I’m only listening (and talking) with half brain; my other half is here!!! 😛

      • avatar
        banane
        Posted at 12:31h, 19 October

        Hehe, welcome to the club, same here. Have to convert a large Oracle database here for a customer and can’t concentrate on it. Fortunately, its only a test project.
        Maybe its time for lunch break and a bit of playing now :)

      • avatar
        Aaron
        Posted at 13:42h, 19 October

        haha! this has definitely come to be a “get-a-way” for a lot of us. I love it.

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 21:56h, 17 October

    Just curius, when you say ”Late 70s JMP”, which years do you begin at when you refer to ”late 70s”, is it 75´or 76´?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 21:58h, 17 October

      I should say mid to late ’70s: 76, 77, 78, 79 and probably, ’80.

  • avatar
    Super Bass
    Posted at 13:30h, 11 October

    Hi Fil,
    Greatings from Sydney,Australia,the home of AC/DC!
    This is G6131MY from the Marshall amp forum.I think you posted on my thread a few days ago.I just joined your site.Looks great.
    As I said I was after Malcolm’s tone on Long way to the top.I am considering buying the Metroamp super bass 10000 series to go with my Malcolm Sig Gretsch.I notice you have just purchased a Metroamp.What type is it and what do you think of it?
    Regards,
    Super Bass

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 13:35h, 11 October

      Hi Mate, Welcome!!! Glad you’re here.
      Yes, I own a Metro JTM. I LOVE that amp. Did you see a few of the metro “sessions” here? Just search (here) metro session”. I have one clip recorded with my Gretsch, though that one I posted it with the video camera audio take directly. The character remains the same.

      • avatar
        billyyoung
        Posted at 16:21h, 15 October

        Hey fil!
        whats the price of a metro JTM? id like to know cause one day maybe i will buy one!
        they produce and cabinets, or just heads?
        Thanks, Billy

  • avatar
    dubsharayko
    Posted at 05:53h, 11 October

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but in the book “AC/DC Maximum Rock & Roll” there is an interesting picture relating to Angus and Malcolm’s gear. In one of the pictures it shows Malcolm in August 1999 at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver. While I see there is an MK II and JMP head, I also noticed two heads with the brand name of “ARD”. I’ve been reading these forums since the beginning and couldn’t remember if anyone had ever mentioned this brand before.

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 08:10h, 11 October

      Hi there, no, it hasn’t been mentioned. ARD amps are Canadian made by their same, own amp tech. He builds them. It’s basically the design of an old ’68 Marshall

      • avatar
        dubsharayko
        Posted at 16:35h, 11 October

        Thanks, that’s interesting! On another note, I think you should take a listen to an Australian band called, Airbourne; they’re currently the closet thing to AC/DC I’ve heard on the music scene.

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 16:48h, 11 October

          I know Airbourne! BUT. I think their skill is nowhere it was for AC/DC even when they started. Guitars are not happening yet. The band groove is cool – I like it – but as far as fascinating guitar parts… still to develop

          • avatar
            dubsharayko
            Posted at 17:25h, 11 October

            You took the words right out of my mouth. It’s still good to hear a ROCK group influenced by AC/DC in an American music culture that is run by Hip-Hop and Rap. I don’t know how it is over in Italy… I’m guessing Andrea Bocelli and techno music! haha

          • avatar
            Aaron
            Posted at 18:45h, 11 October

            I agree, I saw Airbourne live earlier this year and i have to say they are on the right track. The skill is definitely not up to par with ac/dc but these guys know how to rock and they do it as best as they can. It was great to see another solid rock and roll band.

            • avatar
              headwhop26
              Posted at 18:59h, 11 October

              Yeah, theyre not as “refined” (thats a terrible word, but I cant this of one better) and they just wanna rock!

    • avatar
      LeroyKincaid
      Posted at 11:26h, 11 October

      Wizard amps, made my Rick St. Pierre.

      http://www.wizardamplification.com

  • avatar
    Dillon
    Posted at 14:11h, 06 October

    Oh my… how many guitars do you have?! that’s insane! people say i have too many guitars and i only have 3!
    Hey Fil, Ive got a question for you. My amp has the wrost ground fuzz ever. i have no idea how to get rid of it. I can only hear it when i have the distortion on. But when its on the clean channel its so nice and clear.

  • avatar
    RickRosePHX
    Posted at 02:19h, 04 October

    Uhhh… sound aside that photo of your guitar rack boggles my mind. I was envious for about ten seconds until my wife looked over my shoulder then looked around my room and said, “At least you’re not a crazy as that guy.” Crazy, driven, rich – who cares. Fil, my friend, you have a life many may desire but few have the dedication to manifest.

    I stand in awe of your powers oh exhalted one.

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 06:06h, 04 October

      Our wives would agree on what yours told you… my wife sees me as “nuts”, too. And I am for certain, in a way. It’s been oh such a long time, such a loOoong time that I had wanted all of this. Been working on this, for this, for such a loOoong time (sings it). Heh. Thank you friend. Maybe you can understand me 😛 (as most here at solodallas.net!)


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    Obstblog
    Posted at 16:17h, 03 October

    Kleines Update mal…

    Die letzten Tage waren ausgefüllt mit viel Arbeit und abendlichem Gitarrenüben. Solo-Perfektionierung weitergemacht und Back in Back angefangen. Am Samstag war mal wieder die “Lange Nacht der Museen”, diesmal waren wir zum ersten Mal ohne Sonja unter…

  • avatar
    SGACE
    Posted at 10:41h, 03 October

    I checked my cd’s and I found out that in the Powerage album (the remasters series), inside the booklet there are live photos where the amps are JMP MKII Master volume. Check the pages 10, 12 and the last page of the booklet..

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 15:46h, 03 October

      Another great confirmation. And then you read the Young brothers saying they weren’t convinced with MVs? Hmm. They used MVs EXTENSIVELY, and it’s plain to hear it live and MAYBE in the studio as well. I will try to look for those pictures online and post them here.

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 20:52h, 02 October

    I just had to link this video

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Ujm4HEXGc&feature=related

    By the way, do you think the amp would have sounded the same as You can hear it if it were stock without any modifications or?

    • avatar
      OldSchoolRocker666
      Posted at 20:59h, 02 October

      And, if someone is interrested in similar mods, any idea WHO can make those mods? Just thought if someone would want an amp like this but make it more practical , for example, bedroom level or be able to play in enviroments where you may not wanna disturb the people around you to much. Just a thought :)

      • avatar
        SoloDallas
        Posted at 15:48h, 03 October

        I have no idea about how it would sound without this mod(s). I think it would sound a little worse. Even AC/DC at the time had their amps modded, all the time. I think there is a DVD made by the guy who modded my amp about those kinds of mods. Plus he was very well known – he died years ago – for his mods. Additionally, there are more and more great techs able to mod beautifully Marshall amps.

  • avatar
    R.O.C.K.E.R
    Posted at 13:24h, 01 October

    I think it’s got a very strange front panel, don’t you? I mean: The NMV’s don’t use to have “master” and “preamp” pots, just “Volume I” and “Volume II”, like the old version of the 1959 (plexi). I know this amp’s got a mod done on it, with double master vol. switching (and no “double channel” possibilities), but why does this amp’s got a “Master” inscription on it? why 4 inputs originally and no different volumes? is it a 1959 or a 2203? I’ve never seen a 4 inputs’ Marshall with “Master” and “Preamp” pots.

    Anyway, it’s good to know you’re happy with it. Can’t wait for sound clips!!

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 14:12h, 01 October

      Yes I do. I did right from the start. The panel is a MV, no doubt. There wouldn’t be reason for preamp and master otherwise. I am wondering then why the 4 inputs, though? One has been closed. On the other one, that master volume knob has been installed.
      Hmmm… seller doesn’t know either, he’s not an amp expert and amp wasn’t his. I have no idea! It sounds very good and I’m liking the modification a lot, too.
      I have played it some more today, and I look forward to recording with it 😉

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 14:24h, 01 October

      BTW I think this is a 2203. Look at the back pane. I’m looking for a good picture of a 2203 on the back and one of a super lead to compare with.

      • avatar
        SGACE
        Posted at 14:44h, 01 October

        look at amparchives.com

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 15:01h, 01 October

          Done. It’s a MV! The back panel was the giveaway: it should say “super lead”, while when it says “Model 100 watt lead” it is a master volume (the MKII Master writings are lost because of the modification).
          George, ROCKER, comments on differences in “tone”? Are you aware of what was different?

          • avatar
            SGACE
            Posted at 15:23h, 01 October

            Yes it is a MV for sure.. I havent played with a JMP MKII 1959/1987 but with older 1959’s. My opinion is that MV is more versatile, you can play with presence/pre gain/master volume knobs in any way to shape your sound where you want it to be. from the other hand NMV’s need to be pushed to the limit to get the desirable tone.. I prefer the MV, is easier to get where I want.. one more factor is that I understand/feel more the gain in my sound.

            • avatar
              SoloDallas
              Posted at 15:30h, 01 October

              Sent you the pics.
              I agree with you. I remember my 1959 – it was a metal face, 1969 – and though I liked it some, I like this one tons better. I think the mod is also a great addition. I have been playing with the tone controls and they have a incredible sweep. Never found on any other amp. I’m talking bass-mids and highs as much as one wants to. Really useful. Will still look out for a late ’70s JMP NMV, to complete the goal. In the meantime, I think this amp could already take me very close if not “there. Now the cabinet or the speakers are the next step. I will try the greenbacks cab tomorrow.

              • avatar
                SGACE
                Posted at 15:33h, 01 October

                I cant wait to hear it my friend..

                • avatar
                  SGACE
                  Posted at 15:38h, 01 October

                  thanks for the photos..and please do me a favor, if you intend to buy a NMV buy one without modes, a clean one. amparchives will help..

  • avatar
    vintage voltage
    Posted at 11:46h, 01 October

    Love to hear it too… you play great.
    My 77 JMP 1959 SL with mv mod nails the early ACDC that our band plays.
    Except we need a bigger PA now!

    PS: Where is the “Rocker” vid you did?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 15:30h, 01 October

      Will upload it for you, thank you :)
      PS any clips of you playing with that JMP?

      • avatar
        vintage voltage
        Posted at 19:37h, 01 October

        Yeah, got a few drunken clips on you tube.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YivKSdfj9fA&feature=related
        Bear in mind, i was only on 2 for vol on that gig. Bloody LOUD!

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 01:54h, 02 October

          Ahhh… lovely! That’s pure AC/DC tone right there. What insidw the cabs if I may ask?

          • avatar
            vintage voltage
            Posted at 05:58h, 02 October

            Cab is a stock 1960TV 25w Greenbacks. I think they sound the best for the stuff we do.

            It is surprising how clean Angus plays in his early stuff!

            BTW do a search on “MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND”. The Young bros first album before ACDC!!! If you hadnt already…lol

            • avatar
              SoloDallas
              Posted at 16:35h, 02 October

              Fantastic. I just played mine with vintage 25w original greenbacks from 1969 and it was heaven on earth. The different cabinet/speakers made a world of difference, even too good and hard to believe. I knew that album!!

  • avatar
    depuis1899
    Posted at 09:15h, 01 October

    fil i wanna hear that sound 😀
    i cant wait for that :/ want to hear it soon
    and, are that all your guitars or do you have some more?^^

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 16:36h, 02 October

      You will be pleased. I promise.

  • avatar
    Dave4433
    Posted at 08:44h, 01 October

    Love to see people happy :)

    Hope to hear the amp soon.
    The look of the amp itself just “sounds” like AC/DC (don’t know how to say it otherwise)

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