Yeah, but have tones gotten any better with all these updates and the myriad of choices, seriously? Joe Holmes live tone with his Jose modded Marshalls was freaking devastating. His Jose's weren't "updated" or "improved upon". I don't know how to say this too nicely, but I don't know how these east coast guys have gotten their hands on a fair enough number of Jose's to determine which is a good sounding Jose and which isn't. When Jose was modding amps, there was no ebay and no gear forum classifieds. There was almost no way to get yourself a Jose mod if you lived in Chicago or New York or Tampa. It was like finding a unicorn. I don't know how or why a guy who worked at Korg, 3000 miles away from where Jose was modding amps would have seen a decent enough number of them to establish what constituted a good Jose and what didn't. Yeah, it's the same country but to put it in perspective, LA to NY is farther than London to Moscow. Not that many Jose's made it east before they had been "worked on" or "updated" by someone else.
You want a Jose type mod in a Marshall, I have to say you want an established, LA guy to do it:
Mark Cameron (you might have better luck finding that unicorn
Just kidding Mark)
Martin Golub - maintains Joe Holmes amps
As for east coast guys, no offense, but we won't tell them about how pizza should be made and they shouldn't talk to us about how many killer sounding, unmolested Jose's they've been inside of (uh oh, don barzini is going to LOVE that last sentence)
That's cool and i know what your saying. but the reason i mentioned how some of these guys can update them or get them sounding even better.. is because, from what i have been told by both Mark Cameron, Mike Fortin and a bunch of other techs too.. is that there were some killer sounding Jose's but there were more than the fair share which absolutely sucked and sounded flat out BAD.
It makes sense too because Jose didnt play guitar.. So i guess he would mod them and go by what they technically 'should' sound like.. not what they 'DO' actually sound like. As you know very well, Mark Cameron's stuff is always so good consistently because he personally plays the crap out of every single amp that he works on, just to make sure its all sounding/feeling its best.. Mike does the same thing too, he's another guy who plays his stuff in a ton and makes sure its 110% perfect before it leaves the shop. Because Jose didn't do this, its no surprise that some came out sounding mindblowing, and a bunch of em came out sounding like shit!
When i say about updating or improving a Jose.. it doesn't have to mean changing the tone drastically or anything. Its more a case of making the amp sound consistent, much lower noise, and improving reliability too. Obviously a Jose can easily be made to sound much higher gain or more modern like a Cameron.. But that isn't always neccesary IMO
Sometimes a few simple tweaks in the circuit could bring it to life and sound better than it did!
Its obvious that many techs in LA will have had the chance to see a shitload of Jose mods.. but keep in mind, a ton of the LA bands would tour and play on the East coast. So i have no doubts that a lot of techs based on the East coast will have got to work on/service Jose mods (real untouched ones).