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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have one of the 1 watt 50th anniversary JMP heads and love this thing to death. What would be a good transparent pedal to goose the gain a little more? I don’t want to change the tone, just try for a little more balls. Maybe a transparent boost of some sort?
 

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Treble boosts and Marshals are like pb&j. There are so many types and brands of great boosts- where do you start?
I personally like LPB and mosfet boosts.
 

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I have one of the 1 watt 50th anniversary JMP heads and love this thing to death. What would be a good transparent pedal to goose the gain a little more? I don’t want to change the tone, just try for a little more balls. Maybe a transparent boost of some sort?
I think @Business has a Klon for sale, that should do a great job.
 
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Transparent-schmanzparent. If you're going to use a booster to push an amp into more sweeter overdrive, you'll want something that can prepare the signal to push the amp the way it needs to be pushed. And generally that requires some means for taming the treble. Sometimes a clean boost can do the job, and sometimes (as many Klon users can attest), you need some additional lower-order harmonic content.

Yeah, yeah, I know, "what about treble boosters?". The reality is that classic germanium treble boosters are really upper-mids-boosters. You could plug one into an over-drive-proof solid state power amp and you would NOT hear any sort of pristine top end that would make a string section stand out.

Compressors are often underestimated as boosters to push amps into overdrive territory. Just make sure you don't set the compression amount too high (i.e., max squish).
 

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I think I know what people mean by transparent? But yea, nothing is really transparent and therefore it bugs me to hear people using the word.
I think what they mean is the same tone but bigger and louder and sometimes meaner. Some pedals do that better than others but nothing is the exact same tone only louder. Unless it’s an eq.
 

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True.
The other thing is that the OP is not changing the "gain" of the amp itself, merely seeking to apply enough gain to the input signal that the amp runs out of headroom more readily.

And of course, the "transparency" of whatever boost is used to achieve that is moot.

I'm not trying to diss the OP. Rather, to achieve the desired goal, one has to dissect the problem appropriately. Part of that is recognizing that the amp is designed to tolerate input levels of a certain range, and another part is pinning down the particular sort of tonal goals desired. One person's "more gain" can be another person's "turns to mush".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the ideas guys. What I was getting at was I love the tone of the amp. It’s only one watt so I can get max distortion (for that amp) at a pretty low volume (compared to a 50 or 100 watt amp). I was just wondering if I could increase the distortion (gain) without changing anything else. A little more sizzle if you will. I could use a Timmy, OCD, or one of the other excellent drive pedals but I didn’t see the point of running a clean amp with a pedal attached (and making tonal changes, maybe better, likely not) when the amp itself was already 90% there. I wondered if clicking a boost (never tried one) would just push it that wee bit farther. I’ve seen other posts refer to the need to adjust the treble which I wasn’t aware of. So at least I have a starting place now. I enjoy these experiments and am looking forward to the weekend to try some of these suggestions out. Cheers.
 

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Here's a bit of a left turn...

I can't seem to find a definitive schematic for this model, but it would appear to have a "normal" Marshall tonestack, minus the midrange control. IF, and I emphasize "if", it is like typical Marshall/Fender tonestacks, then it provides some passive loss. A mod I learned about, and implemented quite successfully on a blackface Tremolux I owned some 30 years back, involves lifting the ground connection of the tonestack.

This pic shows a standard treble/bass/middle tonestack. It works by bleeding off signal, selectively, to ground. In Marshall and Fender amps that might only have treble and bass, the middle control is replaced with a fixed resistor - which is what I had on my old Tremolux head. When the ground path is severed/lifted, that passive loss is drastically reduced, resulting in a heftier signal hitting subsequent stages. It's not an increase in "gain", per se. It just conserves more of the pre-amp signal. I installed a jack for a footswitch to lift/resume the ground connection, and found that it produced a nice volume boost and a little more grind.

Note that this mod effectively disables the bass and middle controls, but tends to leave the treble control functional.

Again, all of this presumes that the tonestack in your amp corresponds to the typical Marshall/Fender topology. Something to think about.

 

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If you want to make it a little "more" then try the micro amp.

You can run any overdrive into a dirty amp though - high gain guys have been doing that for years.
 

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Get a Timmy and be done with it. Yes, it IS ‘transparent’, meaning you can set it to increase your distortion without altering the eq of your basic amp sound. When you stomp on it it doesn’t sound like you are suddenly playing a different amp. Basically it is a ‘more button’ when setup right, but it doesn’t need to boost your volume in order to give you ‘more.’

Your needs are exactly what the Timmy does best. They are also reasonably priced and the days of second hand price gouging are over.

TG
 

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Transparent-schmanzparent. If you're going to use a booster to push an amp into more sweeter overdrive, you'll want something that can prepare the signal to push the amp the way it needs to be pushed. And generally that requires some means for taming the treble. Sometimes a clean boost can do the job, and sometimes (as many Klon users can attest), you need some additional lower-order harmonic content.

Yeah, yeah, I know, "what about treble boosters?". The reality is that classic germanium treble boosters are really upper-mids-boosters. You could plug one into an over-drive-proof solid state power amp and you would NOT hear any sort of pristine top end that would make a string section stand out.

Compressors are often underestimated as boosters to push amps into overdrive territory. Just make sure you don't set the compression amount too high (i.e., max squish).
I used to use my CS3 as a lead boost all the time. I sometimes still use it as a boost when I'm playing a cranked up class A amp.
 

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For a clean booster I like the Xotic EP-Booster.
It adds girth along with the increase in volume.
 

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I have one of the 1 watt 50th anniversary JMP heads and love this thing to death. What would be a good transparent pedal to goose the gain a little more? I don’t want to change the tone, just try for a little more balls. Maybe a transparent boost of some sort?
If you were in the Ottawa area, I'd be happy to loan you 6-10 suitable candidates, from very clean to various gradations of bite, so you could see what works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here's a bit of a left turn...

I can't seem to find a definitive schematic for this model, but it would appear to have a "normal" Marshall tonestack, minus the midrange control. IF, and I emphasize "if", it is like typical Marshall/Fender tonestacks, then it provides some passive loss. A mod I learned about, and implemented quite successfully on a blackface Tremolux I owned some 30 years back, involves lifting the ground connection of the tonestack.

This pic shows a standard treble/bass/middle tonestack. It works by bleeding off signal, selectively, to ground. In Marshall and Fender amps that might only have treble and bass, the middle control is replaced with a fixed resistor - which is what I had on my old Tremolux head. When the ground path is severed/lifted, that passive loss is drastically reduced, resulting in a heftier signal hitting subsequent stages. It's not an increase in "gain", per se. It just conserves more of the pre-amp signal. I installed a jack for a footswitch to lift/resume the ground connection, and found that it produced a nice volume boost and a little more grind.

Note that this mod effectively disables the bass and middle controls, but tends to leave the treble control functional.

Again, all of this presumes that the tonestack in your amp corresponds to the typical Marshall/Fender topology. Something to think about.

I like where you’re going with that. I’ve done Egnator’s amp building course and normally wouldn’t hesitate, but this amp is a bit of a collectors piece so I’d hate to eff it up. I’ll try some pedals first. Thanks for the cool idea though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you were in the Ottawa area, I'd be happy to loan you 6-10 suitable candidates, from very clean to various gradations of bite, so you could see what works for you.
Thanks, I’m on the left coast. I have a bunch I can try. There are a couple boosts I’d like to experiment with so I may go schlepping tomorrow and see what I come home with.
 
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