Review at Guitar magazine - excerpts:
...a compact and simplified version of the Johnson flagship models, the Millennium 150 and 250 H. Unlike its brethren, which have control panels that look more like digital effects than conventional guitar amps, the Marquis is very traditional in look and layout; the knobs resemble those you'd find on any "regular" amp, and the effects section, though powerful enough to provide what most guitarists would consider the essential staples and more, keeps things uncomplicated and straightforward.
While competing digital modelers seek to emulate the performance of tubes in software, Johnson continues to include an actual 12AX7 tube in its circuitry, before the analog-to-digital conversion process. [but no power tube - Michael]
One of the coolest things about the Marquis is the ease with which you can switch between Preset mode (where tone settings are recalled from memory) and Manual mode (where the current position of the knobs determines the sound, just like a regular amp). Working in Manual mode is an especially good way to get a handle on the differences between the amp models.
Unlike the volume control of a conventional tube amp, the Marquis' volume is controlled by a solid-state power-section, not by the gain of any tube stages. While the argument in favor of pure tube tone is powerful, there's a practical advantage to the Marquis' circuit--you can play clean at just as high a volume as you can play crunchy, something that doesn't really happen on most tube combos,
I was struck not only by the Marquis' tone--which boasts the seemingly contradictory attributes of flexibility and distinct personality--but also by the overall intelligence of the unit's design. Though simple for a "digital" amp, the Marquis is as elegant as its name implies; the features are well chosen, and you can access most of them without extensive time with your nose in the owner's manual.
Has a simple knob-based interface but the Mirage may be even simpler to use than this.
official Marquis page - "Adding to the phenomenal success of the Johnson line of Modeling amps, comes the Marquis series JM60. Don't let size fool you, the JM60 is capable of delivering 120 watts of power. With 18 different amp models, 27 user/27 factory presets, 3 digital effects at once, stereo effects loops and a headphone out which doubles as speaker compensated direct outs, the Marquis JM60 is truly the most amplifier you'll ever find in this small of a package."
Marquis launch article at Harmony Central - excerpts:
Following the successes of the Millennium amplifiers, the Marquis is smaller, lighter and more affordable. Tube-driven preamp, programmable effects, 12-inch, 100-watt speaker in a single compact package. 60 watts RMS in mono, with the addition of an external speaker, the JM60 can provide 120 watts stereo.
Traditional amp controls--including Master Volume, Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble and Level-are all available on dedicated front-panel knobs for quick and user-friendly adjustment of standard amp functions. Furthermore, EQ points for each amp simulation are set up to accurately match those of their respective models for the most realistic emulation at every setting.
Effects processor (24-bit DSP, 20-bit A/D/A) parameters are easily alterable via pots.27 factory presets are provided, as well as 27 locations for the user's custom-defined settings. Effects are all fully programmable, with up to three available at once.
The intuitive user interface makes the JM60 as easy to use as simply connecting a guitar and playing. With amp models and digital effects clearly labeled on the front panel and parameters quickly adjustable via dedicated knobs, there are no mind-boggling menus and sub-menus that are exhausting to learn and operate.
The Marquis JM60's preamp uses a high-voltage 12AX7 vacuum tube to deliver the unique warmth and richness necessary to duplicate the tones of the world's most popular amps. To date, Johnson Amplification is the only modeling amplifier manufacturer incorporating tubes in its preamps. [no one's done power tubes in a modelling amp yet]
official Johnson products page
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