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Old 08-04-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
GoIrish668
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The Jet City Amplification Thread

The thread for Jet City amps, pedals, and other gear.

Combos:
JCA2112RC


The JCA2112RC is an all-tube amp, except for the rectifier, and it is a combination of Jet City's JCA20H head, and the Jet City JCA12S cab. This combo also has tube-driven reverb in it, which, in my opinion, sounds great. IMO, this amp is great for classic rock/hard rock, and you could even use it for some metal. But having one channel might diminish the potential value of this amp.

JCA5212RC

Basically the JCA2112RC with 2 speakers and 50 watts.

Heads:
PicoValve

I haven't gotten a chance to play this head, but the long and short of it is that it is a 5 watt amp head with tubes in it. Specifically, 2 12AX7s in the preamp and one 6L6 in the power section. If anyone has a good review for this head, please PM me.

JCA20H

As I said before, the JCA2112RC is basically this head combined with the JCA12S cabinet. Just like the combo, it only has one channel, although IMO the sound on this amp is just like the combo, definitely a good crunch on it. Playing Whole Lotta Love through this amp made me smile, it just sounded so good. One major difference from the combo is that this head does not have built-in reverb. Also, the higher wattage heads have more gain, so if money is no object, go bigger.

Link to Guitar World demo of the JCA20H.

Jet City also sells modded version of these heads.
JCA20H Comet - The JCA20H with Sovtek 12AX7 preamp tubes and JJ EL84 power amp tubes.
JCA20H-BE - JCA20H with the Brown Eye mod.
JCA20H-BE + Loop - The JCA20H-BE with a solid state effects loop.
JCA20H-BES - The JCA20H-BE with a front-panel saturation switch.
JCA20H-BES + Loop - The JCA20H-BES with a solid state effects loop.
JCA20H-BVC - The "Clean Mod", giving maximum clean headroom.

JCA50H

Also an all-tube amp head, the JCA50H is IMO the perfect gigging head. It has a clean and "dirty" or overdrive channel, and the amp comes with a footswitch. It also has separate volumes for each channel, and a prescence control. There is more than enough volume for a medium-sized gig, without being miked. All I can say is that this is a very high-quality amp.

JCA100H

Moar gain, moar volume, moar everything. It still has the same two channels that the JCA50H does, but definitely a great high-gain amplifier. Sounds GREAT when cranked up, and from what I've heard, they are built like a tank. This is basically the JCA50H, with more everything.

Here is a post from AcousticMirror about the Soldano and Jet City amps and the relationships between them (clones, amps based on, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
Here is the official explanation of the soldano/jet city kingdom with my thoughts added in as well.


Soldano Super Lead Overdrive - King of the Castle. 100w 2 channel 6l6 based amp. 5 12ax7s. Clean channel has a clean/crunch switch that is not footswitchable. Clean channel uses 2 gain stages, crunch uses 3, overdrive uses 4.

2 things make the SLO special in the lineup.
-DeYoung Transformers. These transformers were specially designed by Mike from O'netics. These transformers are not available for private sale. Mike Soldano will not sell them to you. They are typically only found in the SLO and sometimes in other Soldano amps. These were probably the cutting edge of ultra-linear audio transformer technology at one point. Many believe these are responsible for the slo sound.
-Rack level effects loop. The fx loop in the slo is only for rack effects. Stomp boxes sound sound.

Soldano Decatone - 3 channel amp based on the slo. Independent /pre-amp volume controls for all 3 channels. Shared EQ Pedal level effects loop.
-The difference between this amp and the slo is that this amp does not have the DeYoung transformers. 3 independent channels means a longer circuit path from point A to point B.

Avengers - Currently the avenger series comes in a variety of different flavors
1. Avenger Plus 50/100w. Basically the slo without an effects loop and without DeYoungs. Avengers are split between using Mercury Magnetic transformers, Hammonds, and custom transformers that Mike has designed for the Avenger. Much cheaper then the slo. Voiced a bit differently.
2. Hot Rod Avenger 50/100w Just the slo overdrive channel with an effects level loop. Same transformers as the Avenger +.
3. Hot Rod Avenger + XL - discontinued. 2 channel Avenger with a depth knob and an effects level loop. My buddy has this amp with Mercury Magnetics transformers. It probably sounds the closest out of all the amps I've heard to the slo but it is voiced a bit differently.

Lucky 13 50/100 - This is a vintage voiced Avenger +. It's got a dirtier clean channel voiced midway between the slo clean/crunch and the overdrive channel has 20 percent less gain then the slo. Its also got reverb standard.

Atomic 16/Astroverb 20. Slo preamp paired to 2 el84s.

Reverb-o-sonice/Blues city 44. Grab and go combos. One has clean/crunch the other is a single channel with a wide range gain knob.

Jet City Line up

JCA20H/Combo - Atomic 16/Astroverb 20 made in China with oem level components and transformers. Combo has reverb.

JCA100H/Combo 50H. Hot Rod Avenger +. 2 channel, effects level loop, combo has reverb.

JCA5212RC - Lucky 13 Combo. 2 Channels, dirty cleans, slo overdrive -20%. Reverb. Effects level loop

Comparison: If we can assume that A. components are important and that B. transformers have the greatest overall single influence on sound then it can be stated that C. Nothing sounds like the SLO. Mike does not allow the DeYoung SLO transformers to be sold and he uses the thickest pcb board and best components for the SLO. He also looks over every SLO himself before they are sold.

However, in the past Mike did release and mod Avengers with the DeYoung transformers. I've never played one but everything I've heard has led me to believe that these sound amazing. They don't have the highest quality parts like the SLO does but they are far simpler in circuitry, the one channel version at least). It is possible to find HR Avengers, Avenger +, HR Avenger +XLs with DeYoung but it is very very rare.

The Lucky 13 really sounds nothing like the SLO. It's got it's own voice. Much less modern, much more hard blues to classic/early metal.

I don't know how any of the other slo amps sound.

Jet City.

The Jet City amps sound very very close to their respective SLO counterparts. The only thin that's different is that instead of MM transformers or Mike's custom standard line transformers they use mass produced transformers and parts that were picked out by Mike and supplied by an Asian distributor. So, in terms of quality they are 2 steps removed from the SLO. That applies to the 100h/50h/100 combo. Now the 100 combo has reverb which means there's another step in the circuit path. Reverbs are known to suck some gain from the overall circuit.

The 50combo is based on the lucky 13 and is one stepped removed from the Lucky 13. So we can assume that it has 20 percent less gain then the slo and a dirty clean channel with reverb. I'm actually really excited about this.

JC20H/Combo - These are the farthest from the SLO. However, they are probably closer to the Atomic/Astroverb then the JCA50/100 are to the Avengers. Mike designed this amp to allow people to get a good mix of power tube/preamp distortion at gigging levels. Depending on how you run the volume/gain you should be able to get a variety of tones that the SLO and the Avengers simply don't offer. The 100w amps were not designed with power tube distortion in mind. The DeYoung was utilized to provide the highest amount of headroom and power tube saturation without causing the power tubes to break up. This is important because a 4 or 5 stage preamp gain provides a signal that would usually explode the power tubes. Remember though that the SLO came out in the 80s. A lot of other manufactures have utilized the innovations in the SLO to develop amps with similar characteristics.

The Jet Cities sound good. Mike oversaw the development and sourcing of parts for them. The schematics are nearly identical to the schematics that Mike uses for the Soldanos. 90-100 percent in most cases. The only deviations are where parts, size, or efficiency concerns necessitated alteration. You can see some of that when comparing the Avenger schematic to the JCA 100 schematic.

Awesome other stuff. "Clones" of the the DeYoung transformers are available for sale through O'netics. They aren't exactly like the DeYoungs but are a step above the MMs and customs that Mike usually uses. Reviews have said that a simple transformer swap easily brings the other amps to the level of the SLO. It's not cheap though. A full set of C3C/O'Netics PT/OT/Choke costs about 550+Shipping. The OT by itself is about 240.

I would love to have a Lucky 13 or JCA5212Rc and drop some O'netics in there.
There's also a harmony central thread that shoes that the JCA20H might be one of the best platforms for modding ever.

That's all. JCA>Blackstar>Bugera>your dad.
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Last edited by GoIrish668 : 11-01-2010 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:52 PM   #2
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Pedals:
I haven't played any of these pedals, so if anyone has a good video review or any review at all, PM me. For now I'll just put the description on the Jet City website.

Afterburner Overdrive:

The Afterburner is a two stage overdrive in a road-ready, aluminum and steel housing. The first stage is a straight-up overdrive for adding gain to the front-end of a tube amp. The second stage is a boost to increase volume for solos, etc. Also has true bypass.

GS High-Gain Boost:

The GuitarSlinger High Gain Boost, designed by international guitar hero Alex Beyrodt, was previously only available through GuitarSlinger’s one-at-a-time, hand-built operation. This truely boutique pedal will give your amp’s distorted lead tone more gain saturation, and the boost feature will allow you to cut through the mix handily during solos.

GS Overdrive:

The GuitarSlinger Overdrive, designed by international guitar hero Alex Beyrodt, was previously only available through GuitarSlinger’s one-at-a-time, hand-built operation. This truely boutique pedal is capable of pushing your amp’s clean channel into a fat crunch, or distorted channel into a heavy lead distortion. The additional bright switch adds high-frequency clarity and definition.

Shockwave Distortion:

The Shockwave is a full-on, raucous-yet-refined distortion pedal, suited for use with nearly any amp. With tones ranging from lower-gain “British” crunch, to a riff-inspiring, full-blown saturation, this box is a must-have for the serious and versatile guitarist. Apply it to a clean amp setting and the Shockwave adds a “lead channel” to your single-channel amplifier, complete with a separate tone control.

Another quote about Jet City from industry veteran Doug White about his involvement with Mike Soldano on the Jet City Amps, courtesy of AcousticMirror

"On the topic of involvement of the Soldano himself. There are 3 owners of the company. ME. Soldano. and we have a partner Dan who handles Sales and Logistics.

Mike designed 20H, and 100H - 100%, top-to-bottom, inside and out. Chassis, PCB, layout, parts list, wiring diagram, schematic, Headshell, etc etc.

Since we are talking about 100H, here are a few details: For a long time, Mike wanted to integrate the preamp and the power sections of the HotRod 100 into ONE pcb. So in the 100H, that's what he did. Also, the pots we use in China are the same functional spec as the Soldano-used pots, but the footprint on the pcb is different, so Mike had to change the layout to accommodate. Personally. So from a design stand point? It is in all other ways a HotRod 100. This means the difference is in the parts and labor. And as noted in this thread, the biggest difference is TRANSFORMERS. In the case of the 20H, Mike gave me the same spec he used for the Atomic 16 tranny, and I had it sourced in China. I went over there and measured and LISTENED and revised. And repeated. Probably 4 times. When I thought I nailed it, I brought it home to Mike, who gave it another rinse (personally) and directed changes which resulted in the final version. In 100H the process was faster for two reasons: 1, since we had been though it before, the iterations of the tranny were much faster. 2, Soldano went to China with me, and that trip was after 20H started production and while 100H was in proto, therefore HE was able to do the direct-with-supplier revisions until it was what he wanted. Of course there are more details, but I'm posting on HC, not documenting our process.

Regarding the "other" parts, I have to say, what we are getting in China is not that much different than what Soldano uses in his stuff here. And while the prices are indeed better because the factory can buy in WAY bigger qty than we can, the other big cost difference is for sure the labor. For what it's worth, I was in the factory 6 times last year - every other month - while we were getting this going. And I am headed over there again Monday."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theogonia777
i fond God too, man! i sat next to him on the bus once. he told be the meaning of life and then gave me a pretzel. i can't remember what the meaning of live was, but it was a good pretzel, man!

Last edited by GoIrish668 : 11-01-2010 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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I can make this post reserved if needed...

But bout time this came round. I was waiting for one!

Dont they have cabs too?
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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Yeah cabs, also the pico valve. The site also says pedals coming soon..They sell the JCA20H with the brown eye mod and a couple other variations direct on their site.

They also have replacement baffles with different colors now, or a metal grill.

The JCA100HDM is also coming out soon... as far as I know, same as the 100H, but with a depth control, metal grill and LEDs inside.

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Old 08-04-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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i was thinking about making one of these the other day! glad someone did.
I love my JCA combo. Its brilliant!
But i am tempted to trade it in for the head and get a baller of a cab
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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The JCA100HDM is also coming out soon... as far as I know, same as the 100H, but with a depth control, metal grill and LEDs inside.
Looks pretty pimp.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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Oooo, replacement baffles...


Anyone know if the JCA50H is the same size as the JCA20H? Or is it a full sized head like the 100?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:33 PM   #8
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so I was on the jet city site and saw that they're now selling a bunch of different versions of the jca 20, with selectable grills(finally), and lots of different tube combinations! Definitely worth taking at look at
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:48 PM   #9
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it's gotta be the same size as the 100 mclaw.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
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So I've heard clips of the gain channel, it was really impressive. How is the clean channel then?

What are the two extra knobs on the 50H? I can't read them.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
it's gotta be the same size as the 100 mclaw.

Suckage
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:09 PM   #12
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^yeah its the same size as the 100
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempoe
So I've heard clips of the gain channel, it was really impressive. How is the clean channel then?

What are the two extra knobs on the 50H? I can't read them.


They are the extra gain/volume knobs for the second channel. The 20 watt is single channel and the 50 and 100 are 2 channel.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:40 PM   #14
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:48 PM   #15
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****ers, I did this thread like 4 months ago and you assholes let it die.


I really want the 50H, like, mega bad. I just need roughly 200 more dollars of throw away money and I'm set.

Also need to look at more cabs, I'm still considering selling my Carvin and buyin an Avatar.

MC, what's so bad about the 50H being the same size as the 100H?
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:51 PM   #16
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****ers, I did this thread like 4 months ago and you assholes let it die.


I really want the 50H, like, mega bad. I just need roughly 200 more dollars of throw away money and I'm set.

Also need to look at more cabs, I'm still considering selling my Carvin and buyin an Avatar.

MC, what's so bad about the 50H being the same size as the 100H?


It won't fit on his awesome Emperor 1x12
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:52 PM   #17
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it's awesome that they are selling the friedman modded ones right in their store now.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
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It won't fit on his awesome Emperor 1x12

Yup
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoIrish668
Also, the higher wattage heads have more gain, so if money is no object, go bigger.

you know, except that the jca20 isnt even based off the same amp so it sounds pretty different. other than that, yeah, go for the bigger heads just because they cost more and have more gain!

some of us like a more crunch oriented amp, and some of us like single channel heads. if money is no object, buy the amp you like the sound of, not the one that costs the most.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:16 PM   #20
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It won't fit on his awesome Emperor 1x12
Aww Not even if you lay it sideways?

And ^ agreed. Although, in my case, this dualy channels are very necessary, and I wuv teh extra wattage. 50s are awesome
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