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JET CITY AMPS- the real deal


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well guys, I took a trip down to my local GC yesterday to see what was in store ..........ugh usual 100,000 strats on the wall, 200,000 epi LPs, and some metal guitars, but they had up the anty on there amp selection, alot more messas, some more fenders, the new vox line, and they had a jet city 20 watt head and 12 cab, while I did not personally get to play it, there was a guy in there checkn it out, he was play throught a gibby LP no sure the model.....but let me tell you..DAAAMNN SON! that thing sounded awesome, this guy was shreddn, and then they let him move the head around the several different cabs, let him crank the bad boy all the way up.............HOLLLLY RUSTED METAL BATMAN!...it was maken the whole place shake, ever one in the store was turning there heads and lookn, I watched this guy put it through the ropes for about an hour, when he finally finishs he says man that good, what kind a tubes are in there they open it up, there jaws hit the floor, just cheap asz chinise tubes, the guy walked out the store with the amp in hand............all in all, i didnt have to play it after watching this, I will soon be buying one of these for that price it KILLS everything in its power range I mean KILLS

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The Jet City 20 watt amp is supposed to be based on the Soldano Atomic 16 seen here http://www.prowessamplifiers.com/schematics/post/soldano_atomic16.pdf .

If you look at the schematic they are basically 18 Watt Marshall designs with different tone stacks and a master volume. There are quite a few great sounding 18 watt style amps out there and the Jet is a decent value for $300,but it's really nothing new design wise.

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tis true layboomo...........but for me being a 24 year old college student the only thing new is that there are finally alot of good tube amps in my price range I mean just 6 years ago when I finally started carring about amps and gigging, there was nothing in the market like there is now and when I say I heard this thing melting the paint of the wall I ant lie'n it was nuts!

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tis true layboomo...........but for me being a 24 year old college student the only thing new is that there are finally alot of good tube amps in my price range I mean just 6 years ago when I finally started carring about amps and gigging' date=' there was nothing in the market like there is now and when I say I heard this thing melting the paint of the wall I ant lie'n it was nuts![/quote']

 

No question about it I agree! It's great to see all of these really good sounding tube amps at reasonable prices and, bang for the buck, it's hard to beat the Jet City 20 head @ $299. It used to be that you would have to build your own kit to get something decent for under a grand!

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You mean you didn't buy one?!?

 

I did! Yes it rocks like crazy. Will do some decent blues too. Mighty thin on the clean volume though. Here's a pic:

 

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the speaker cab is 2x10 I built. I haven't done the grill panel yet because my shop (a cleverly disguised garage) isn't heated and at 20°F it is not conducive to woodworking or any kind of working for that matter. Anyways, the speakers are some old Peavey Scorpions I had laying around from back in the late 80's. I just made the cab last year so I could get the speakers out of the gara...ummmm shop because I have other projects for the upcoming season. I was simply astounded at how good these 10's sounded with this amp. I plug in my LPDC with the P90 soapbars and Jet City becomes Rock City.

 

I put the gain at 6 and the master volume at 6 and I get "that" sound that just penetrates right to the bone. I'm anxious to hear with the 12" I bought for it. I selected the Eminence Cannabis Rex and I hope I won't be disappointed. If I am I'll still have the 10's.

 

You're smart for not buying one yet. Jet City is coming out with another version that will be 2 channels: A clean channel and the channel that's in there now. They also have a little 5 watt amp coming which was designed by THD. It will be called the Pico. They also have their 100 watt head on it's way to a banjo shack near you. Think Soldano SLO with this one and they also offer a Depth Mod option.

 

Overall it's a 70's rock sound. Any versatility is gained from you and your guitar's volume knob(s). It likes humbuckers and really likes P90s but it's not too friendly toward regular single coils (YMMV). It gets along just swimmingly with pedals. That's my Vox ToneLab on top of the head in the pic.

 

The tubes are 2 - 12ax7s x 2 - EL84s. Front panel controls from left to right are: Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master volume, Presence, Standby and On/Off. Output jacks are 1 - 16 ohm and 2 - 8 ohm. The AC cord is an IEEE (computer cord) cord.

 

The clean sound is good but lacks any real volume. More can be had with selected pedal usage but not much more. Blues and Rock breakup just naturally comes out of this amp and when you crank it up it starts reaching for those "magical" bone penetrating tones. You can achieve those singing leads with this amp just as it is without any pedals. It really reminds me a lot of an early Plexi. At 20 watts it will easily keep up with most drummers and will perform very well in all small and mid-sized venues without being miked up.

 

All in all at this price point I would have to say that this is the best amp available. You really can't find a new amp for $299.00 that will sound like this. Unfortunately, it lacks in versatility unless you're real handy with your volume knob and even then you just can not get loud enough cleans for performance use. In the bedroom this amp will rock but you won't get those marvelous bone penetrating singing tones at bedroom volumes. for me it was well worth the money and I'll be looking to add at least one more model to my amp stable besides this one assuming it too will perform as advertised.

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Nice review twanger. One thing I'm always curious about is if a PCB is used. I'm guessing this amp uses one.

 

Thanks!

 

Yes. It's a pcb with nice wide traces. Chinese tubes and painted transformers. I would assume all components are Chinese. Having been inside the Epi VJr. and the BC30 I would say the build quality of the JCA is equivalent to the Epi stuff and the components in the JCA SEEM to be slightly better. The Epi's need a little modding to achieve their potential while the JCA comes ready to rock out of the box. The Epi BC30 remains, to me, the superior choice for jazz and blues tones while the JCA is better for power blues and harder 60's , 70's and 80's rock.

 

Aesthetically, the only thing I don't like on it is the big, thick Jet City logo screwed on to the front. It's hideous. About 1/2" thick and way oversized in proportion to the amp. Fortunately, it doesn't affect the tone.

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