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Marshall JMP 2203

Guitar Amp Emulation Plugin by Softube
Marshall JMP 2203 by Softube is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
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The Marshall JMP 2203 was introduced in 1975. It quickly replaced the Plexi as the go-to Marshall amp and became the amp against which all other rock amps were compared. Artists who used it included Jeff Beck, Andy Summers, Tom Morello, AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, Slayer, the Pixies, and more.

Marshall JMP 2203 is a super accurate plug-in version of the real thing, produced in partnership with Marshall from the reference 2203 amp that Marshall themselves use to define the true 2203 sound in the Marshall museum. The plug-in was component modeled down to the smallest details, resulting in flawless sound quality so you can let there be rock.

In spite of being very much a "game changer" for rock guitar sounds, this amplifier is simple and direct. Always solid and punchy and crunchy, but letting the notes sing clear and loud. This plug-in recreates that unique and individual response the 2203 has—and it really does misbehave just like the real thing.

Tony Platt - Producer/Engineer (AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Foreigner)

The True Rock and Hard Rock Sound

The Marshall JMP 2203 plug-in is a precise emulation of the reference unit from the Marshall museum. The father of the JCM800, it has the same character and the true sound of rock and hard rock.

Guaranteed to Rock

The speaker cabinet was recorded by Tony Platt, who is famous for having recorded AC/DC's landmark albums Highway to Hell and Back in Black.

Set up the mics exactly the way you need them to get exactly the great sounds you need from this legendary amplifier.

A Rock Amp With Marshall Heritage

The JMP 2203 was created out of demand for an amp with a master volume, which made it possible to get a distorted sound without the ear-splitting sound pressure levels this caused with a non-master volume amp like the Marshall Plexi. This change expanded the sonic options a lot.

By keeping the preamp gain down and getting most of the distortion from the power amp, you get more of a 1960s Marshall sound. By turning the master volume down and the preamp volume up, you get an edgier and more present distortion. All of this has been modeled with the highest precision in the plug-in.

Engineered by a Legend

Producer and engineer Tony Platt, who recorded some of the best Marshall tones ever committed to tape on some of the most rocking albums of all time – AC/DC's Highway to Hell and Back in Black – masterfully captured the sound of a Marshall 1960B cabinet equipped with Celestion G12-75 speakers to pair with the JMP 2203 amp plug-in.

Platt recorded the cabinet with 5 microphones (2 dynamic, 3 condenser) with the ability to blend 2 together, carefully selected to give a wide variety of tones and positioned to sound fantastic when used in combination with each other. Nothing comes close to the mix-ready magic of these sounds. We built a world-class engineer right into the plug-in.

A Complete Workflow for Mix-Ready Guitar Tones

Open the channel strip to the right of the amplifier head by clicking the aluminum side with the white Channel Strip sticker, and a panel appears with options to help you blend and tweak your sounds until they're mix-ready.

Use Mic Select to choose microphones for each of the two channels. Four of the microphones were placed close to the 1960B cabinet with G12-75 speakers, and one was used as a room mic. Use Pan to select the channel's position in the stereo panorama. Activate or deactivate a channel with In. Use Volume fader to set the volume level of the channel.

The Input Gate shuts off the sound when guitar isn't playing. Lower settings let through more low-level sounds, while higher settings make the gate more discriminating. Mid, High and Low Gain set the boost or cut values of each of the three EQ bands. Mid Freq sets the operating frequency of the Mid band. The Clip Indicator lights up when the output is too loud, and the Master Out turns the overall output level up of down. With all of these options, you can mix your ideal sound right there in the plug-in.

{See video at top of page}

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 2.00 from 1 review
Marshall JMP 2203

Reviewed By Faydit [all]
February 9th, 2023
Version reviewed: 2.5.55 on Windows

I never had been a big fan of the real 2203, no matter if it is named a JMP or JCM, but this one sounds even worse, much too thin, too scratchy, for my ears wrong sounding harmonics and - opposite to the real amp - almost no typical low-end and low-mid punch, which is essential for this type of amp. At least for me.

I also find the G12T-75's not really the best choice, some Blackbacks, G12-65 or Lead 80 would have done a better job, but also a R121 microphone is missing, maybe also a SM57 Fredman microphoning, as much as an option to use external IR's within the channel strip.

Most of all, this plugin meanwhile is very old, had been used as exclusive UAD plugin for years and the conversion to VST obviously did not result in any sonic update or any other improvements, as far as I can hear.

Therefore also the sound, although it may be better than the one of some other Marshall plugins, meanwhile is not really state-of-the-art anymore. Urgently needs a sonic update - especially concerning treble and harmonics - in my opinion, plus some more contemporary features and additions.

This JMP 2203 should be a museum piece, so I have been astonished, that the stock JCM800 within Amp Room sounds much, much better, more naturally, more authentically and organically than this more expensive one. Obviously the guys at Softube can programm an excellent 2203 sound, so the problem must be located somehwere else.

For a Marshall approved amp plugin - whatever that means - it sounds disappointing to me. Some competitors come closer to the real amp, also offer some more features, especially concerning cabinets, speakers, microphones but also the Amp Room JCM is a better choice in my opinion meanwhile.

At least the channel strip allows better adjustment than the one of the Plexi, although I also here prefer the use of external IR's.

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