What took them so long to make this?
I've had this amp for a while now. Getting it was a looong wait with several stated release dates passing by & no amp being released. Highly anticipated. Highly frustrating. I bothered Paul Rowan & other Sweetwater professionals with "where is it" emails over the months. I had music and recording waiting! I was expecting historic greatness from this amp.
When Satriani described what he was asking for, he sounded like my dream amp representative, as he proved to be.
The bottom line was that Sweetwater could not ship what they didn't have but they came through with speed and great service as only Sweetwater does as soon as Marshall set these things free, so... apologies to the Sweetwater crew for being a nuisance and thanks for coming through!
Absolutely worth the wait. Historic greatness indeed.
I've owned quite a few amps including numerous Marshall amps. I've dragged them from studios to clubs, pubs, piers, parks and other venues for decades. I even played in a pit once in Queens, NY, looking at knee caps! THAT was a really weird gig.
Amp sounds and response preferences are personal, but Marshall has been the defining answer for so many through the last 50 years and it is definitely my preference. It's NOT just about gain & volume as so many other amp companies seem to primarily focus on, but about establishing tone and feel and adding the crank element as only Marshall can.
I've played through the original JVM410H and it is a great, Marshall edged competetive charge through the field of high gain & volume amp companies that I just described, but I expected (and needed) more of the "historic" part of Marshall tones and response that established Hard Rock, Metal and Rock through the 60s, 70s & 80s, (The time periods when most of the great legends took Marshall amps and forged the path that inspired the rest of us.)
WHat I expected in the original JVM410H is actually in this JVM410HJS. There is still a lot of high gain in the OD channels and raw, chunky, hard rocking sounds in the crunch channel. There are some absolutely beautiful clean sounds in the 3 clean channel options. The most obvious difference between the original and the JS models is that the JS model has the classic Marshall power section tone bringing the preamp sounds to the speakers. There's no place like home!
The preamp sounds are EQ'd differently than the the original JVM. There is a mid shift option on the OD channels to bring you closer to the sounds of the original JVM. I make use of the mid shift gain AND the JS EQ'd gain. Great sounds. I had a TC Electronic D TWO in the serial effects loop until this week and that sounded absolutely incredible, especially on the 2290 setting. I recently bought an uncertified preowned TC Electronic G Force. Also incredible, but with a tuner and more effects. The G Force was a little noisy in the serial effects loop, but I put it in the other loop (preamp out/power amp in) and it pretty much rules the world after spending time getting sounds together. I think the D TWO delays may be slightly better (more open), but the G Force delays are really great. Using both is an option, but I'll likely just use the G Force to shrink the rack.
That would be the whole rig. Between the JVM410HJS and the G Force, there is no place I can't go. I don't recommend leaving rack gear on top of the head (even slightly elevated) because it makes the rack units hot and blocks airflow from the head, likely shortening tube life.
If you want the brighter side of the classic Marshall sound, this amp and a brighter sounding pick up will get you in that neighborhood. An EQ pedal or EQ in one of the loops would help too (you'd have to experiment), but the amp does does get bright if you set it bright. It's a warmer bright more than a thin bright though. It'll take you towards Slash, but not as bright as say, Neil Young.
I can tell you that this amp can cover many sounds. Just this one head. I have been testing that statement out recording some diverse project ideas. I'm highly impressed and playing more than I have in years just because of how great this amp sounds. The noise gates are also much better than the several that I've used in the past. They are very gentle in the way that they turn on to gate the noise, but you can set them to be more abrupt too. As I saw in another review here, I also recommend a Marshall 1960 cab with this.
This amp is pro gear. It has a pro gear price, but I have to say that I've been around the guitar-gig-studio-gear block more than a few times & I expect it to be a future legend. When more of these start to show up at gigs, other bands' guitarists will take notice and the rest will be history. A very small learning curve and a parting of cash, but I expect it to be the last amp that I and other guitarists will ever own!