Non MV Marshalls as pedal platforms

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I (perhaps a bit naively) always think of fender style amps as 'pedal platforms', very clean up to a nice loud volume. However I have seen an increasing number of examples of a non MV Marshall like a 1987x or JTM 45 used clean and I think it sounds really good.

That got me thinking that in my gigging world (the usual unmiced pub/club bluesy rock type gigs) I would never be able to wind an amp of that type up to the level where it would begin to crunch up (without an attenuator) but would it work to give that lovely clean, lots of headroom sound to pair with a nice overdrive and a range of pedals? Especially as the newer Marshalls of this type seem to now have effects loops.

Does anyone use a non MV Marshall like this? Or am I missing the point of this type of amp and should get an attenuator and wind it up into those glorious crunch levels!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26818
    I don't think you're missing the point at all - the clean sound on these amps is absolutely fantastic, I have no idea why so few people use them for it. If anything they take heavier distortion and fuzz pedals better than Fenders.

    The slight catch is that the Lead models can sound quite shrill and harsh at low volume settings because they have an oversized 'bright' cap on the volume control. This is easy to change though. Or jumper the channels and use only just enough of the bright channel to get the sound you want.
    "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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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 5713
    I did it for years and it sounds fabulous. 

    I would add though, that the JTM45 doesn't have THAT much clean headroom, though that can make it an even better pedal platform under some circumstances. 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1408
    I do it regularly.  There’s nothing wrong with mixing a drive pedal and fx with a Marshall imo.   They sound great and have big solid sound that takes pedals well.  
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  • Not necessarily non MVs but Paul Gilbert uses Marshalls as a pedal base  with his distortion from a TC Mojomojo IIRC. He seems to do okay. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 274
    I use pedals with my JTM45 and it takes them superbly, just set to slight break up it really sings!
    I'm quite lucky though in that the amp has been fitted with a PPIMV and I also use a Rivera Rock Crusher attenuator so if I want to hear what the amp is capable of without pedals I can really wind it up.
    It's the best amp I've owned and it really is a pleasure to use.
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1439
    ICBM said:
    I don't think you're missing the point at all - the clean sound on these amps is absolutely fantastic, I have no idea why so few people use them for it. If anything they take heavier distortion and fuzz pedals better than Fenders.
    Agree about the clean sound of non MV Marshall's being superb clean platforms.  I used to play through my friend's 1968 50W JMP set to clean with a Russian Big Muff which was truly exquisite.
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 428
    I've always felt weird using drive pedals into a Marshall but it does sound good! Slightly gritty Marshall cleans are my favourite. 
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 1990
    Andy Summers used Marshalls like this for much of his career, oh yes also this guy called James Hendrix who did a lovely album called Band of Gypsys with said rig.
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  • TelejesterTelejester Frets: 501
    it makes perfect sense to use the non mv amp as a platform, ive slways found the simpler the amp circuit, the better and those non mv amps have ne belks and whistles to screw your tone up. shrill as hell at very low volumes but if you can goose em a little you will be very pleased.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26818
    The 'shrill at low volumes' problem is actually why I've always prefered the Bass, PA and Organ models to the Lead ones. The Bass ideally needs a bright cap *adding* to the brighter channel, the PA needs two (it doesn't have any as stock), and the Organ is (surprisingly, given that it's very rarely mentioned) just about perfect. Interestingly some major players - like Paul Kossoff - also used Bass or PA versions. These all have a fuller bottom-end than the Lead as well, since they have a slightly different tone stack and larger coupling caps.

    The JTM45 has much less difference between the Lead and Bass versions, which is one reason it's warmer-sounding.
    "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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