Jet City amplifiers?

AndyBirger

Fuzz is all you need
#1
I've got my Bugera V55HD, which in my opinion doesn't deliver the gain I'd sometimes be after (Aerosmith, GN'R, Soundgarden...). I spotted the bloody cheap Jet City amps, but have zero experience on them. I watched Captain's vid on these and feel confident. Does anyone have any experience on them that they could share? Would be much obliged.
 
#2
Please try any amp before bying it..in the video reviews you can get any amp to sound A LOT better than it actually is. What you're listening to is not the amp itself. It's the amp THROUGH the microphone put in front THROUGH the PA THROUGH youtube TO your ears. I'd say listen to them up close if you get the chance. From what i've read they're ok. However you see it it's a budget amp. I've read they are impressive , definitely, but they give you pretty much the best possible value FOR THE MONEY YOU'RE PAYING. People say they're good. Next to JVM800 through a 4x12? Or a Mesa amp? Not even close..but they seem to be a lot better than you'd expect from them.
P.S. I myself have never listened to a jet city up close, i've just searched a lot. Cheers!

Sent from my Lenovo P770 using Tapatalk
 

Sam Corrigan

Well-Known Member
#3
I've never owned one, but they seem to have ALOT of good reviews, but they are built in china so the odd lemon is inevitable. If you buy from a shop with a money back system, you could always return it if it doesn't float your boat :)
 

digitalscream

Well-Known Member
#5
Did somebody put up the bat signal?

Here's part of a PM conversation I had with someone else on here:

Q - JCA22H? Yes/No?
A - I've actually (somewhat annoyingly) been forced into selling the JCA22H. We had our first gig recently, and it just didn't have enough headroom to cope with the room given the shitty PA we were using. I thought it would, but I had to push it far too hard. I now have two JCA50H heads instead :) At home, I use one of them with a cheap L-Pad attenuator to get a bit more controllability in terms of volume, but they really are excellent without one anyway. I would suggest either using a 1x12" or a 2x12" where you can just use one speaker, though. Adding an extra driver really does increase the sound output. Also, go for less-efficient speakers (ie not a V30...maybe a Greenback?), and isolate the cab from the floor using the corner foam packing inserts from the amp box.

Q - What's the clean like?
A - You can get very nice cleans out of these amps, anything from pristine (gain on normal channel less than 3) to bluesy (gain between 3 and 4). After that, it starts getting into rock territory. I personally run my JCA50H normal channel gain maxed-out and roll off the guitar volume to get cleans, and it works really rather well. That channel is astonishingly versatile...better than any other amp I've come across, in fact. The 50W head will give you more than enough headroom here, mind.

Q - I've heard bad things about the effects loop...
A - Ah, the loop. This is the major difference between the JCA22H and the JCA50H/JCA100H - the 22H's loop is the result of an internal "discussion" at Jet City. The other amps have the loop between the main gain stages and the tone stack, whereas the 22H's loop is after the master volumes. This does make it a bit more controllable (although it's still line-level), and has the side-effect of increasing the gain available on both channels. That's another good reason for choosing the 50H if you like cleans - it's easier to get a clean tone.

However, having said all of that, the TC pedals work beautifully in the loop of all JCA amps; I've never run into input buffer headroom problems (and I'm really picky about that).

Q - What sort of cab should I get?
A - As noted above, if you want controllable volume at home, go for a 1x12". I use mine at home with a Montage 1x12" (about £100 unloaded, IIRC). Choose a speaker with 98dB efficiency or lower if you can. G12T-75s work nicely, as do Greenbacks. The Jet City speakers are quite okay, but can be a bit harsh in the top end if you're not careful, and they are voiced very differently to Celestions; in fact they're quite vintage-sounding, in my experience. I have one in my Montage, and it works reasonably well at low volume.

For live stuff, I use a V30 and a G12T-75 in a JCA24S cab. The JCA12S+ has an extra trick, though - it's got a MicSim-compensated XLR output for PA/recording, which is the same speaker emulation they use in the JetDirect and Jettenuator boxes.

Q - Using it abroad?
A - All JCA amps have switchable voltages, and they don't have integral cables. The most you'll have to do is switch the voltage on the back and use a UK kettle lead.

Right, on to the other stuff...

Please try any amp before bying it..in the video reviews you can get any amp to sound A LOT better than it actually is. What you're listening to is not the amp itself. It's the amp THROUGH the microphone put in front THROUGH the PA THROUGH youtube TO your ears. I'd say listen to them up close if you get the chance. From what i've read they're ok. However you see it it's a budget amp. I've read they are impressive , definitely, but they give you pretty much the best possible value FOR THE MONEY YOU'RE PAYING. People say they're good. Next to JVM800 through a 4x12? Or a Mesa amp? Not even close..but they seem to be a lot better than you'd expect from them.
P.S. I myself have never listened to a jet city up close, i've just searched a lot. Cheers!

Seriously, dude...how on earth can you say that an amp's not even close to another one if you've never even heard it outside of YouTube videos? I have. I've played my JCA50H right next to people with Mesas, Marshalls (everything from the MA up to a JVM), Laneys etc...and I almost always get compliments on my tone in comparison to them. I know one guy in a band who played one gig with us, then sold his Mesa Dual Rec and bought a JCA50H and a JCA100H instead. That's not to say that they're universally better - just that you really should hold off on the judgments until you're actually in a position to make them through knowledge rather than hearsay.

Another thing is that I've spoken to an awful lot of reputable techs who've worked on JCA amps, and every single one of them has said the same: their build quality is head and shoulders above any of the other made-in-the-east amps, and above a lot of UK/USA-made amps. You may say they're budget amps, but the fact is that the entire process - from design, through specification to manufacturing process - was designed by Mike Soldano. That can't be ignored. Also, they only exist at their current price point because of a piece of nasty business with their original distributor. If they were (for example) £500 - £800, would you be saying they're budget amps? That was their original price point.

I've been gigging my JCAs for 3 or 4 years now, and I've only ever had one failure - even then, that was due to a dodgy valve that developed a short (and the only effect on the amp was a burnt-out resistor) and nothing to do with the amp. For that particular fault, there are very few other amps around which could cope with it (particularly the hallowed vintage hand-wired stuff).
 

digitalscream

Well-Known Member
#7
Do you keep all that on a file somewhere- then copy/paste. Maybe you should to save time.
Until next time :)

Actually, it was from a PM conversation on here - I figured it was quicker to copy-paste.

I may just talk to Doug and get him to put it up on their site as a "FAQ from a customer". Might save even more time on my part...it does seem to come up rather often ;)

EDIT: I should probably say at this point that I'm not affiliated with Jet City in any way. I was an endorsee, but not any more (long story, but basically it was my choice because I was no longer in a position to promote their gear and I didn't feel right about continuing to take their discount and promotion without giving anything back) - I bought their amps and promoted them like this long before I became an endorsee too. I know a couple of the guys there, but only really in a professional capacity.
 

MABLUNG

Ain't nobody like me but me.
#8
Actually, it was from a PM conversation on here - I figured it was quicker to copy-paste.

I may just talk to Doug and get him to put it up on their site as a "FAQ from a customer". Might save even more time on my part...it does seem to come up rather often ;)

EDIT: I should probably say at this point that I'm not affiliated with Jet City in any way. I was an endorsee, but not any more (long story, but basically it was my choice because I was no longer in a position to promote their gear and I didn't feel right about continuing to take their discount and promotion without giving anything back) - I bought their amps and promoted them like this long before I became an endorsee too. I know a couple of the guys there, but only really in a professional capacity.
Still the best dude around here to ask about them though. :)
 

Fletch

'Am a Yorkshireman tha'noz
#9
I bought a JCA2212 Combo about 10-12 weeks ago - and I have to say, in comparison with a lot of other amps I tried around the time (Fender, Marshall, Blackstar, Layney ALL tube combos 20-30W) my JCA2212 more than stands up to them, and it was a hell of a lot cheaper. To be honest, I was looking for a reason not to bang down over £1200 on that new Mesa 25W combo - and I found that with the JCA2212. Is it as flexible? Nope... But bang for buck.. I am now more convinced than ever that Mesa are fleecing us in the UK - simple as that. Sure I know the quality, hand built-ish, taxes, shipping etc. excuses Mesa use, but seriously, I really do think that they are excuses.

I may be wrong, but it's as if JCA are using almost a Chapman-esque model for selling these babies - must be why they are so cheap for a SOLDANO designed amp. His names on the front for a good reason (more later).

Only downside (if it is a downside) is that the Crunch Channel gets crunchy quickly - I'd rather it had a bit more head room, but hey show me an amp that does it all perfectly and I'll show you the £1000+ price tag even in the 20-30W range!

I am just a punter, I don't owe them anything, nor them owe me. I simply called them up, had a chat, put the order in on the web, and the amp turned up next day in a giant cardboard box (which is now full of books lol).

I wish I had gone for a head and cab for ease of transport/storage, but the combo does just about fit under my computer desk (they are BIG cabinets). With my HOF Mini, I can get some awesome clean tones and Peter Green-esque slightly pushed blues with my Les Paul and that's in the front - even a bit of warm jazz if your careful with the volume & pickup selector. Recently, decided to play with my Mooer Green Mile (more as a boost) and Morley Power WAH in front, and it's a bad ass funk machine!

Go past the 4 on the Crunch Gain/Pre-Amp and we're in solid AC/DC then classic 80's rock and metal as you push it further. Switch to the OD channel, and it's all the Punkx noize you want, into NWOBHM and beyond to higher gain modern metal tones. I play metal. It does Metal. Soldano is fecking genius - FACT. This is Genius on an Budget, I really can only nit pick it.

Now, it's not been gigged, but I have cranked the volume when the neighbors have been out in the day time, and it's awesome. Even the wife likes the sound (tough sell she is too being a Flute loving loon). Looking forward to doing some studio work with it later in the summer.

On the whole for less than £300, I wouldn't swap it for any other NEW amp up to, say, £750.

I really like it - can you guess :0) \m/
 

JamieIsOnline

Well-Known Member
#10
I owned a 50w Jet City combo, and it sounded really nice for the price point. I only sold it because the combo was too heavy to cart to gigs so I opted for a head and speaker sepearate rig but I'd definately recommend them
 
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