Hands-On Review:The World's First Integrated Modeling Amplifier

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by F.B. Bodine

When John Johnson started DOD and DigiTech, he created some of the most awesome guitar processors in the known universe. Years later, he considered designing a guitar amplifier that would outperform, outprocess, and deliver an incredible array of outlandish sounds and tones that could emulate almost any amp (including those that hadn't been invented yet).


Johnson Amplification JM150 Millennium 150W Stereo Combo

Unfortunately, the technology wasn't available back then to make such an amp, and make it for less than the defense budget of most developing nations.


John Johnson and his team of engineers and players started working on the this dream amp four years ago. They cranked out several prototypes that would have revolutionized guitar amplification, but none combined the qualities that Johnson had envisioned... until the Millennium.

Welcome to the next generation of guitar processing!

Never before have such powerful technologies been combined to create such a complete product. The Millennium starts with a warmth and clarity that only real tubes can offer. All the preamp controls you're familiar with are right where you'd expect them to be... and they're programmable! Then add the flexibility of hearing your favorite amps at the touch of a button. You want studio-quality digital effects? The Millennium has 'em all. Even the cabinet is made with the finest materials and covered with space-age material.


Integrated Modeling puts it all together In case you haven't noticed, there are several new amps that combine effects with some high-power amplification and cabinet emulation. Most of these amp/effects hybrids are based entirely ondigital modeling. For true tone fanatics, digital modeling doesn't really cut the grey poupon. For one thing, you're missing the wondrous sound of real tubes. Tubes provide a lot of natural sounding compression and distortion that digital just can't deliver. And because there's no analog circuitry, you lose a lot of natural-sounding warmth that tone doctors will instantly notice.


What makes the Millennium different is "integrated modeling". Integrated modeling combines the best tube, analog and digital technology into one smooth unit.

In the preamp, Johnson didn't attempt to model tubes in a digital world. They didn't seek to emulate tubes with transistors. The Millennium achieved classic sounds by using real tubes. In fact, when you plug into a Johnson Millennium, your guitar signal encounters two high voltage (285V) 12AX7 tubes before any other circuitry.


The entire idea of an integrated modeling amp is to give you the flexible effects you need for the ambiance and dynamic direction that define your personal sound. The Johnson Millennium gives you the finest digital and analog effects, all seamlessly integrated into one cool package.

Easily emulates the world's hottest amps at the touch of a button:

Digital technology is incredibly convenient, and the Millennium takes full advantage of this in its amp emulation section. The world's most sought after guitar amp sounds are available in a six-button array on the front panel. Simply push "American Combo", and you get 20 of the coolest combos made in the good ol' USA. Push the "British Combo" button and there are 20 to choose from. Push "British Stack" and you get 20...you get the idea.There is also a "Johnson" button that makes the sound of 20 custom amps available, and a "Custom" button that you can use to store your own favorites.


Johnson Amplification JM150 Millennium 150W Stereo Combo

Yes, it's a real amp!

With a revolutionary new product like the Millennium, it's easy to forget that it's a real 150W amp. But a glance at the left side of the control panel, and you'll see all the familiar dials.


A great amplifier is only as good as its power amp, and the Millennium shines through. Its exclusive Advanced Harmonic Stabilizer (AHS) circuitry is so advanced that it actually predicts the clipping of your signal and adjusts the wave form to precisely match the contour of a glowing output tube. And there is an exclusive Global Feedback Contour control that constantly scans the entire output stage and adjusts the feedback to give you dynamics ranging from smooth to "vintage combo" warmth to shimmering "stack" clarity.


As if that wasn't enough, the poweramp section is matched to a pair of 12" Vintage Celestion 30 speakers... some of the best on the market.

And even the Millennium's Univinyl covering is revolutionary. The covering is actually sprayed directly on the cab, so there are no seams, nothing to peel or rip it is literally the most durable covering in the industry. And by binding the joints, it creates incredible tonal resonance.

Get ready for the Millennium!

If you like to stay a step ahead of the digital crowd, and really demand nothing less than exceptional tone, the Millennium won't let you down. Call Musician's Friend today, and they'll deliver the future of guitars amplification to your doorstep at the best price you'll find anywhere.


Johnson Millennium


  • Stereo 150W combo
  • Two 12AX7 tubes
  • Two 12" Vintage Celestion 30 speakers
  • S-DISC II TM processing
  • FS-300 compatible
  • Control One footcontroller compatible
  • Two expression pedal inputs
  • Direct outputs for recording direct to board
  • Extension speaker cabinet outputs
  • Dynamic modifiers
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Stereo preamp outputs
  • Power amp inputs
  • Global or local speaker cabinet emulator mode
  • Full MIDI implementation
  • Amp Voicings: American Stack, British Stack, American Combo, British Combo, Johnson, Custom Distortion Voicing