Marshall GV-2 Guv'nor Plus.. underated?

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equalsqlequalsql Frets: 2722
edited May 20 in FX
I picked up one of these a while back during a sale cos it was built like a tank and was dirt cheap, so thought it was worth a punt.
I'd not really tried it that much but decided to spend some time investigating what it could do last night.

Wow.. Gotta say I was really impressed. The tone controls are awesome allowing tones from deep bass scooped through to thick mids and glassy top. The distortion does start to fizz when above 2 thirds, but below that it is very harmonically rich.
Using my Tele through a Blues Junior I got a real sense of playing through a Marshall stack.

I never see much mention on the boards about this pedal. 
Is this an underated gem?
(pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 8009
    edited May 19
    I don't think it's underrated.

    Pretty much every discussion of drives on here someone will mention the Guvnor Plus and Jackhammer as being excellent (which they are)
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • HoofHoof Frets: 321
    The trend/culture these days seems to be boutique/high-end or homebrew pedals. At the lower end people favour cheaper mini pedals/clones. Just check out the pedalboard thread; most of the boards on there are filled with some pretty unique stuff. There's not a lot of Boss, Digitech or MXR at guitarists feet nowadays beyond the ubiquitous TU-3s and GE-7s.
    To reinforce this theory, Boss are now doing the Wazacraft and Digitech have relaunched the DOD brand to keep up with the market.

    I don't think people think of Marshall much when they think of FX. Shame, I much prefer that type of Boss-style enclosure over Maplin hobby-box style things with flimsy mini knobs and toggle switched exposed to clumsy feet.


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  • Musicman20Musicman20 Frets: 143
    Hang on a minute....these are £44 on Amazon?! Are they good?!
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 9130
    Hang on a minute....these are £44 on Amazon?! Are they good?!
    Yes.

    As is the Jackhammer.

    Both very good.

    And my love for the ED-1 Compressor is well known too
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 10479
    The GV-2 is very well regarded. The Bluesbreaker 2 much less so.
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  • nick79nick79 Frets: 88
    I love mine. I didn't fancy paying boutique prices for a Marshall in a box, especially when Marshall themselves offer a reasonably priced product that nails the sound. 

    I use mine through the clean channel on my Mini Rec to give me another channel and it works great. I find it very versatile, it doesn't quite do mild break up JTM type stuff but just beyond that up to high gain boosted JCM800 it does really well. 
    I did find mine a tad dark so i did the c22 mod to brighten it up a bit, which worked well for me.
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 3785
    edited May 19

    You can pick one up used for £25 any day of the week on ebay or wherever. Maybe avoid ones with bent/missing knobs as they're almost impossible to replace.

    The well-known "C22 mod" involves snipping the leg of a capacitor in the tone stack for "blanket lifted off the speakers effect". I did a little digging around about this and apparently most of the circuit is basically the highly regarded original Guv'nor, but with the resistor and capacitor values in the tone stack a factor of 10 smaller... seems they forgot about C22 (which is to do with the treble control), which is now 10x too big in comparison to the rest of the circuit. So rather than snip it, swapping it to the right value would be a good idea to try. I want to do this to mine at some point.

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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 3649
    Hang on a minute....these are £44 on Amazon?! Are they good?!
    Yes.

    As is the Jackhammer.

    Both very good.

    And my love for the ED-1 Compressor is well known too

    Yeah, all of this. The Ed comp is really good sounding, and the gv2 is probably the best old school Marshall in a box I've heard, including boutique offerings. 

    The only thing it's not brilliant for is cleaning up with the volume knob when the gain is up. But for old school crunch, it really does do the trick. 

    I didn't mod mine. 
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  • Musicman20Musicman20 Frets: 143
    Cheers guys...I've been looking at a boutique MIAB for when I want to be less 'clean' and more mid crunch and slightly heavier...think this might work out!
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1047
    edited May 19
    I don't think it's underrated.

    Pretty much every discussion of drives on here someone will mention the Guvnor Plus and Jackhammer as being excellent (which they are)
    Yeah, I don't think it's underrated here, it pops up pretty frequently in threads here as you rightly said. That being said, I don't see it being mentioned too much on other guitar forums.

    Also people need to stop making these threads or I'll get one before too long. Especially if the price has dropped. D
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5027
    Jackhammer is amazing. 
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1659
    edited May 19
    I've promoted the GV2 loads of times on here - it's a great pedal, terrific bang for buck, built like a tank & very under-rated.  When players look for a Marshall in a pedal it's incredible how often a Marshall pedal gets overlooked!  Re the C22 mod, I have a Boss GE-7 EQ at the end of my pedal-board, and before the GV2 is a Behringer TO800 vintage Tube Overdrive.  If I need more top end bite from the GV2 I just kick in the EQ, & the GV2 plus TO800 (GV2 gain turned down a notch or two) are blindingly good together too. (I took the pic below when I was experimenting with pedal positions - the GV2 and TO800 are reversed now - the other pedals on my board are a Boss CS3 compressor, and a Marshall Echohead (EH1) and Regenerator (RG1))

    I have the Jackhammer JH1 & Blues Breaker BB2 too.  Neither are a patch on the GV2, and the JH1 & BB2 are now consigned to a cupboard.  The JH1 overdrive is nice enough, but the distortion option lacks the classic warmth and transparency of the GV2 and IMHO is a bit 'meh'.  I used to think the JH1 was good until I put it next to the GV2 on my board and switched between the two - then the difference becomes really obvious.  

    The BB2 is OK, but a bit lack lustre and dark sounding.  The Boost option is a nice feature, but unfortunately for me it colours the original tone too much, so for a clean boost I use a BBE Boosta Grand.

    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c33/voxman5/ADVENT-PC/Pictures/Gear/Floor pedals/P1000034_zps162d3855.jpg




    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26187
    The GV-2 is probably the best Marshall Stack In A Box pedal I know of at any price - the key is the Deep control, which really captures the resonance of a 4x12". Its flaws are the crap switch, and that the knobs are fiddly to adjust and difficult to see where they're set.

    I seriously think that if you reboxed one in a Hammond casing with a 3PDT and six separate full-size knobs, didn't let on what it was and priced it at £200, it would instantly become the next Must Have boutique MIAB pedal.

    (And I'd stil hate the switch ;).)
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • cruxiformcruxiform Frets: 1335
    Another vote for the Jackhammer here. Marshall tones a plenty. Great sounding pedals.
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  • nick79nick79 Frets: 88
    I agree about the knobs being too fiddly to adjust. In dim light i've got no chance of seeing them. Not a massive problem (or at least not enough to put me off it). 

    I sometimes run a TS9 mini into the the Guvnor for a bit 'more', that works well too. 
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1659
    cruxiform said:
    Another vote for the Jackhammer here. Marshall tones a plenty. Great sounding pedals.
    But that's the point - yes, there's loads of distortion - but it's very much a 'mish-mash' type of distortion that actually doesn't really sound like any particular Marshall amp. It's not a bad pedal if you want a generic distortion, but if you want that proper 'Marshall in a box' crunch, the GV2 is the one.  If you haven't heard a GV2, do have a listen to them side by side and you'll immediately hear what I mean. 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1659
    nick79 said:
    I agree about the knobs being too fiddly to adjust. In dim light i've got no chance of seeing them. Not a massive problem (or at least not enough to put me off it). 

    I sometimes run a TS9 mini into the the Guvnor for a bit 'more', that works well too. 
    I agree re the knobs visibility too, they are awkward to see on stage and the 'dual' purpose design of the knobs is fiddly - & I think @ICBM is spot on - put it in a different box with more knobs, perhaps with a C22 'toggle' switch and a better foot switch, and you'd have a £200 boutique pedal! 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 2722
    ICBM said: 
    The GV-2 is probably the best Marshall Stack In A Box pedal I know of at any price - the key is the Deep control, which really captures the resonance of a 4x12". Its flaws are the crap switch, and that the knobs are fiddly to adjust and difficult to see where they're set.

    I seriously think that if you reboxed one in a Hammond casing with a 3PDT and six separate full-size knobs, didn't let on what it was and priced it at £200, it would instantly become the next Must Have boutique MIAB pedal.

    (And I'd stil hate the switch ;).)
    I think I've just realised what my next pedal build will be  :)
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • FezFez Frets: 165
    Marshall can't really be interested in selling pedals. If they were they would have re-packaged the great pedals they have so that you have decent controls you can have a chance of seeing on a stage and a case which can be easily fastened to a board. 
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 10479
    I don't really get the visibility thing of the controls. I don't know about you lot but I adjust my pedals according to what I hear, not what I see.
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 405
    Sassafras said:
    I don't really get the visibility thing of the controls. I don't know about you lot but I adjust my pedals according to what I hear, not what I see.
    Same here, and once I've got the pedal how I want it I never change it anyway, certainly not mid gig.
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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 581
    I swapped the gain and vol knob for plastic ones that are easy to see at gigs. The stacked ones are still an issue, but I don't mind that so much.

    It's one of those pedals I always go back to. It comes off the board for a new flavour-of-the-month gain every now and then, but always comes back again.

    I just love the control over tone. I don't necessarily try to achieve Marshall tone, I keep the gain in the lower half. Works through lots of different amp types too, with a bit of fiddling.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26187
    Fez said:
    Marshall can't really be interested in selling pedals. If they were they would have re-packaged the great pedals they have so that you have decent controls you can have a chance of seeing on a stage and a case which can be easily fastened to a board. 
    They don't seem to be interested in having the marketing department talk to the R&D department at all, or listening to anyone else.

    Recently they launched the Mini Jubilee - almost immediately someone posted something on their forum asking if a Mini 2203 was on the cards… and the thread filled up with people saying they'd buy one. Bear in mind that they have all the necessary parts apart from a new front panel already, so it would cost almost nothing to launch. Marshall's response… "we have no plans for that". Doh.

    Just imagine if they released a new upmarket pedal range - say a reissue Guv'nor Mk1, Bluesbreaker, Shredmaster and a GV-2 - but put them in standard casings with 3PDT true bypass switching, decent jacks, and made them look cool. They would sell themselves at almost any sensible price.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BeexterBeexter Frets: 251
    Agree with all the above - nowt wrong with the GV-2 - it was my crunchy Marshall tone for years (through a variety of solid state clean amps)  Very reasonably priced, sounds good and pretty solid. 
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  • HoofHoof Frets: 321
    ICBM said:
    Fez said:
    Marshall can't really be interested in selling pedals. If they were they would have re-packaged the great pedals they have so that you have decent controls you can have a chance of seeing on a stage and a case which can be easily fastened to a board. 
    They don't seem to be interested in having the marketing department talk to the R&D department at all, or listening to anyone else.

    Recently they launched the Mini Jubilee - almost immediately someone posted something on their forum asking if a Mini 2203 was on the cards… and the thread filled up with people saying they'd buy one. Bear in mind that they have all the necessary parts apart from a new front panel already, so it would cost almost nothing to launch. Marshall's response… "we have no plans for that". Doh.

    Just imagine if they released a new upmarket pedal range - say a reissue Guv'nor Mk1, Bluesbreaker, Shredmaster and a GV-2 - but put them in standard casings with 3PDT true bypass switching, decent jacks, and made them look cool. They would sell themselves at almost any sensible price.
    I'd have a mini 2203 in a flash. I was just considering gigging my 2100 until I put it on top of my vertical 2x12. It looked bloody stupid. They'll find themselves left behind if they're not careful. Big heads that match the width of a 4x12 look great on big stages on the top of a full stack but that's not what the majority of their customers use is it? 

    I can see why they might not plan to do a mini JVM but the majority of their classics wouldn't take a lot of re-enginerring to shrink, surely. I'm looking over at my 1987xw and the chassis is only a few inches wider than the Hayden Mofo that's sat on top of it.


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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1047
    edited May 20
    Voxman said:
    I've promoted the GV2 loads of times on here - it's a great pedal, terrific bang for buck, built like a tank & very under-rated.  When players look for a Marshall in a pedal it's incredible how often a Marshall pedal gets overlooked!  Re the C22 mod, I have a Boss GE-7 EQ at the end of my pedal-board, and before the GV2 is a Behringer TO800 vintage Tube Overdrive.  If I need more top end bite from the GV2 I just kick in the EQ, & the GV2 plus TO800 (GV2 gain turned down a notch or two) are blindingly good together too. (I took the pic below when I was experimenting with pedal positions - the GV2 and TO800 are reversed now - the other pedals on my board are a Boss CS3 compressor, and a Marshall Echohead (EH1) and Regenerator (RG1))

    I have the Jackhammer JH1 & Blues Breaker BB2 too.  Neither are a patch on the GV2, and the JH1 & BB2 are now consigned to a cupboard.  The JH1 overdrive is nice enough, but the distortion option lacks the classic warmth and transparency of the GV2 and IMHO is a bit 'meh'.  I used to think the JH1 was good until I put it next to the GV2 on my board and switched between the two - then the difference becomes really obvious.  

    The BB2 is OK, but a bit lack lustre and dark sounding.  The Boost option is a nice feature, but unfortunately for me it colours the original tone too much, so for a clean boost I use a BBE Boosta Grand.

    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c33/voxman5/ADVENT-PC/Pictures/Gear/Floor pedals/P1000034_zps162d3855.jpg




    nick79 said:
    I agree about the knobs being too fiddly to adjust. In dim light i've got no chance of seeing them. Not a massive problem (or at least not enough to put me off it). 

    I sometimes run a TS9 mini into the the Guvnor for a bit 'more', that works well too. 
    That's very useful to know that it takes a tubescreamer as a boost well. D Thanks!

    Seems to be a new TMB version of the super crunch box out now, too... of course no dealers here now.
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  • siraxemansiraxeman Frets: 1586
    edited May 20
    but who would winz in a fight? The GV-2 or the Jackhammer ??
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1659
    siraxeman said:
    but who would winz in a fight? The GV-2 or the Jackhammer ??
    For classic Marshall crunch the GV2. If you want more distortion but with less true Marshall character, the JH1.
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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