Introducing the LegendaryTones Hot Mod V2, a plug-in dual 12AX7 pure tube module specifically engineered to dramatically increase gain in Marshall Master Volume (2203, 2204) series amplifiers. The Hot Mod V2 requires NO chassis cutting, drilled holes, or wiring modifications to your amp – it simply inserts in place of the middle V2 tube position. The circuit within harnesses the power of an additional gain stage now running dual 12AX7 tubes.
Want your classic Marshall to sing with increased sustain and pure vacuum tube tone? Your tube high-gain solution is here. The Hot Mod V2’s circuit was carefully designed to give you gradual increases of gain when using the amp’s preamp control. From adding a touch of sweet sustain, to full on metal, your Marshall will now have greater flexibility and deliver a wider range of tones.
With the Hot Mod V2, because the increased gain is created inside the amp rather than through an external pedal booster at the input jack, the noise level of the Hot Mod V2 is dramatically reduced even at higher gain settings compared to the use of an overdrive or EQ pedal used as a clean boost. Additionally, when playing the Hot Mod V2, your signal will still clean up well by rolling back your guitar’s volume control. And if for some reason you still wanted more gain from an external pedal to shape or increase the signal gain, you can still do it. You likely won’t need to, but go ahead and hit the front end of your amp with a hotter signal and the Hot Mod V2 will take it just fine!
The Marshall JMP and JCM 800 series amps from the 1970s and 1980s are legendary. And back in the day, they were getting hot rodded in numerous ways and indeed were a fantastic platform to work from. The quality of the transformers and components used in those classic amps was unparalleled. Sad to say that it’s true that they don’t make them like they used to. Now you can get many of the same high-gain Marshall tones with the simple and easy-to-use Hot Mod V2. With the quality build and components (transformers, capacitors) found in those original early Marshall JMP and JCM 800 series amps and pure tube signal and tone that’s straight-forward and organic, the Hot Mod V2 is a great way to modernize and get the most out of your amp.
The Hot Mod V2 is not a mass-produced item. Each one is wired by hand taking several hours to build. The design took careful thought and consideration (e.g. the tube sockets themselves are physically bolted to the electro-galvanized steel enclosure designed for optimal shielding). After assembly, each unit is individually play tested in-circuit to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you ordered. The Hot Mod V2 is genuinely a labor of love! Readers of LegendaryTones over the years know how passionate we are for Marshalls!
Now, there’s no need to cut up or drill into your classic amps and reduce their value. The Hot Mod V2 is a simple plug-in device that injects more gain and FUN into your Marshall! Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Back in the early 1990s, Mike Soldano of Soldano Custom Amplification released his original Hot Mod, a design based around use of rare 6C10 (and then later 6K11) tubes. These tube types added more gain much the same way that the Hot Mod V2 does, but they had limitations. The tubes were long out of production, getting expensive to find, and often would become microphonic and therefore limited in capability. The original Hot Mod had lots of gain and delivered on its promise, but it was ultimately taken out of production primarily due to the challenges with finding consistent and quiet tubes.
Still, the original Hot Mod was the inspiration for the Hot Mod V2, which functions in much the same way as the original, but now has additional circuitry that further stabilizes the design as well as delivering a wider, more gradual range of gain on the preamp control of the amp rather than coming onto high-gain territory too quickly. And of course the Hot Mod V2 now also uses a pair of 12AX7(ECC83) tubes that are commonly available.
With the versatility of the new Hot Mod V2, you’re free to experiment with different tube brands as well as try 12AT7 type tubes. The Hot Mod V2 today comes supplied with tested JJ brand tubes, the same ones that major OEMs including Mesa Boogie currently use in its line of amplifiers.
HOW TO ORDER
PLEASE read below as there are presently three different models currently available: The Hot Mod V2 for 2203/2204 and clones, The Hot Mod V2 + Hot Switch (2203/2204 + Hot Switch for added gain for 1959/1987 circuits), and the Hot Mod V2 RI for JCM 800 reissue amps only.
Paypal link below accepts all major credit cards for orders within the continental USA: Current wait time is two weeks to ship. For all other orders or questions, please email [email protected]
Hot Mod V2
$219 Plus $10.55 shipping and handling within the continental USA
For users with 2203 or 2204 original JMP or JCM 800 series Marshall or clone amplifiers, order the original Hot Mod V2.
Hot Mod V2 + Hot Switch
$249 Plus $10.55 shipping and handling within the continental USA.
For users who have a Marshall model 1959 or 1987 factory non-master volume amplifier, we now offer a hot switch to increase the gain in the Hot Mod V2 even further. Why? We wanted to offer this to folks who may be starting with a factory Marshall non-master volume amps which do NOT use a cascaded preamp gain stage like the 2203/2204 amplifiers. So now you can click the hot switch to the up position to get an additional gain boost perfectly tuned for the 1959/1987 amps. Click down for standard Hot Mod V2 setting. This model adds additional circuitry for a $30 upcharge and is available for a total of $249 plus $10.55 shipping. Use of a pre-or post-phase inverter master volume or attenuator for your factory non-master volume Marshall is still recommended.
Hot Mod V2 RI
$219 Plus $10.55 shipping and handling within the continental USA
Marshall did an odd thing when they reissued the legendary JCM 800 2203x and JCM 800 Zakk Wylde 2203zw signature amplifiers. Somehow, Marshall decided not to follow the original schematic and they reversed the cathode stage wiring in the V2 position. So choose this option and we’ll wire and build a HMv2 specifically designed accordingly for these two amps. The bottom plate will identify this model as “RI” for use in these reissue JCM 800 series amps only.
We’ll update this section in the future when we are able to create and post some pro shot videos, but for now here are just a couple of quick demos of the HMV2:
This first video shows the gain increase when using the amp’s Preamp control on our 1981 JCM 800 model 2203 going from 2 to 10. After it’s on 10, I turn on and use a clean boost floor box to demonstrate how the amp responds, and then I play it with the boost off with the preamp control still on 10.
This second video showcases a Les Paul into the same amp but we’re using the neck pickup with the guitar’s volume rolled back to “clean up” the signal, and then flipping over to the bridge with the guitar volume on full. Think ala Van Halen “Hot For Teacher” type sound. Boost on floor was NOT engaged and preamp gain set to 8 on the amp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will the Hot Mod V2 work in other amps besides the JMP/JCM 800 2203/2204 models?
A: Yes, while the Hot Mod V2 will technically work in some other amp models, we’ve optimized and tuned this design specifically for master volume Marshall 2203/2204 amplifiers. Like the original Soldano Hot Mod, it could be used in a number of other amps that use a cathode follower circuit. Note however that some amps may not have physical clearance to fit the chassis of the Hot Mod V2 as well (e.g. the chassis won’t fit inside a Fender Deluxe Reverb because the factory 12AX7 tubes are too tightly spaced). Because of these reasons, we recommend using the Hot Mod V2 only with Marshall 2203/2204 models, but in some cases there are exceptions (see below).
Q: Can I use the Hot Mod V2 with a Marshall Super Lead or other Marshall amps that don’t have a master volume?
A: Yes, while the Hot Mod V2 will work in the model 1959 and 1987 and many other similar non-master volume Marshall amplifiers, we generally recommend using the Hot Mod V2 with amps that have some type of master volume added or with an attenuator – otherwise be warned it will get loud! We also now offer a model that has increased gain, which helps for the model 1959/1987 models that don’t have the cascaded gain stage design of the 2203/2204.
Q: How does the Hot Mod V2 compare in tone vs. the original Soldano Hot Mod made in 1992?
A: The original Soldano Hot Mod is highly compressed right out of the gate and the preamp gain control on the Marshall also loses its full functionality because it will overcompress and cause the amp to go into feedback. The original Soldano Hot Mod has a circuit tuned for aggressive compression and becomes muddy and loses note definition easily. The Hot Mod V2 in contrast is carefully tuned to maintain note articulation while still adding loads of sustain/gain while also giving players a much wider range of preamp gain control.
Q: I get it, but can you build me a clone of the original Soldano Hot Mod using the new chassis?
A: Because the original Soldano Hot Mod has a much higher amount noise, less note definition, and is less stable overall with its circuit, we don’t offer to clone it. However, if the desire is to increase the amount of gain past what the Hot Mod V2 currently has in the video demos, we can add a switch and additional circuitry to increase gain for another $30.This can be especially useful for model 1959/1987 non-master volume Marshall amps that don’t use a cascaded preamp gain stage (but we still recommend you have a master volume modification to these amps or use an attenuator)..
Q. How about using the Hot Mod V2 with the JCM 900 series or other Marshalls?
A. The Hot Mod V2 will work in some JCM 900’s as well as other Marshalls. Amp designs that use a cathode follower stage by design should enable the Hot Mod V2 to work. Contact [email protected] to discuss your application specifically.
Q: My 2203/2204 has already been modified, but I’d still like to use the Hot Mod V2. Will it work?
A: While the Hot Mod V2 is designed around stock 2203/2204 circuits, it’s hard to know exactly how it will respond to other amplifier modifications. It’s safe to say that some of the gain will still be usable and enhanced, but you may not get the full capabilities and potential of the Hot Mod V2 when it is being used in an amp that’s had unknown modifications.
Q: Will you have other models available for different amps/applications?
A: Yes, stay tuned as further designs are being engineered and tested. We are excited to offer more designs!
Q: My Hot Mod V2 installs with a bit of an shift/angle rather than straight-on like the photos. Is it o.k.?
A: Yes, the preamp tube pin alignment of Marshalls changed throughout the years between JMP and JCM 800 models so this “shifted” look is normal depending on your amp’s pin alignment. Also many clones will have a different alignment of the preamp tube pins as well, but otherwise functionality is all the same.
Q: What is the warranty?
A: The Hot Mod V2 has a 3 year warranty on parts/labor from shipping date and a 90 day warranty on the tubes supplied.
Q: Can I contact you directly for further questions?
A: Sure, e-mail me at [email protected]