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In no way shape or form is this a "bad" piece of equipment, I did however get rid of mine; I can explain.
Right off the bat this amplifier is an icon and I have no negative bias towards it, I got rid of mine however due to a couple reasons. First, The model that I owned was an original from the late 70's, so it was the largest Fucking piece of equipment I've ever owned (i have speaker cabinets that are easier to transport than this thing!) 2x12 combo amps by nature tend to take up space but this thing weighed 100 lbs and took up 1/3 of my entire bedroom, eventually it became more of a hassle than recreation. Second, I much prefer high-gain distortion and overdrive tones as opposed to cleans and reverb, so by nature this amplifier is much more difficult for me to work with if I have no overdrive or distortion pedal. The unit itself however does in fact sound very good and produces a multitude of classic and rich sounding tones, the built in chorus and vibrato effects are phenomenal and really allow you to mold them into a very unique way that modern amps simply don't offer anymore. I haven't plugged into one of the re-issue models that are being produced nowadays, so I can't tell you if there are any differences in how they both sound; In retrospect I'm very glad I owned one for a brief period and got to experience one the most influential solid state amps ever manufactured.
edited 5 months ago
Good, but not great
Loud and clean, great chorus and especially vibrato, average reverb. But rather noisy (mine is decades old, newer ones might be quieter) and does not, in my opinion, take distortion pedals as well as people say. Much better than the average modern solid-stade amp, but nowhere near my LAB Series L5 in quality. Would probably benefit from a speaker upgrade.
Cleanest Cleans/Chorusiest Chorus
What attracted me to this amp was how clean and pure the tone is and how lush the chorus is. It does not try to be tube which is my least favorite thing about most solid state amps. It is just a big DI box with some nice color to the tone. The stereo chorus is almost always on when I play. It does a great job at adding a rich texture without getting in the way of anything. The reverb on the amp is nice and ample but nothing crazy. I am not much for vibrato but the vibrato can also provide some nice textures that mix well in the overall tone. The reason I did not give this amp 5 stars though was because the distortion is unusable. It is not a big deal for me because I have plenty of pedals but it was disappointing to find. The JC 40 has a really nice distortion effect though, that almost reminds me of a transparent overdrive, plus it is not insanely loud like this monster.
Pristine cleans, some drawbacks
My favorite clean tone. Nothing else to say.
Drawbacks are is that ANY kind of breakup sounds like dog doo doo. This amp doesn't sound pretty with a slightly broken-up clean tone like a Fender would. On top of that, the older models have a fixed chorus setting with no control over the depth or speed.The only Jazz Choruses that have this option are the JC77, JC55, JC40, and the JC120H.
I'm a child of the late 80's & 90's
I loved the sound of this fella long before I knew what it was. "Chorus on everything!" Phase? Yup, had one. After that nonsense pasted it was used largely on Keys and lived a very hard life on the road. I was juuust coming back around to playing guitar thru it and well, she's gonna need a trip to the doctor some TLC before that'll happen.
It's a staple sound for sure- The amp & it's Chorus. There is a matter of taste with these matters tho. Me? I LOVE this guy. For a mix of reasons. Sturdy bastard! Lord we were hard on it (it's actually sitting next to me, serving as an end table sadly). I will admit there is like a mix of conscious nostalgia for its sound and also just baked into me from the music of my youth.
They're not too hard to find & I'd definitely encourage anyone to go & see if it's a sound you dig. Lord knows you'll have loads of company. Good company in lots of cases.
Dammit. There goes my day. I'm fixing my Jazz Chorus dammit.
A great solid state pedal platform amp
Everyone from Fripp, Slowdive, Adam Jones, Alex Scally, Adrian Belew and many other guitarists who use effects have had this amp for it's clean tone and compatibility with pedals. I've had mine for 2 years now and it isn't going to be leaving my studio or live rig any time soon.
The Standard of SS
Oh boy. I got this amp because I was tired of schlepping around with two or three amps for stereo setups. I also use many pedals to color my tone, and so a bright and glassy clean is the goal. As much as I love the warmth of tubes, I can forego them for now, as with this classic amp, the veritable Lamborghini of SS amps is in my arsenal.
The originator of the beloved, then forgotten chorus effect, this amp is a classic!