#1




Tech specs:
-50 watts
-Pair of 6L6 power tubes
-5 12AX7 preamp tubes
-Single 12" Eminence-designed speaker
-2 channels, crunch and overdrive, switchable ONLY with the footswitch
-3 band EQ, depth and presence, gain and master volume controls for each channel

I traded out 2 of the stock preamp tubes for 2 of the JJs I had in my Hot Rod Deluxe. I don't know how much that helped, but I'm happy with how it sounds now so I'll go ahead and leave that be



It arrived with the god-awful 333 logo already broken, so that came off pretty quickly

I expected to either:
1. Flip this amp and make a couple hundred bucks, or ,
2. Keep it if the distortion channel sounded better than the Wampler Triple Wreck/Hot Rod Deluxe combo I've been using, and get by using worse cleans from the Jet City in exchange for having better distortion.

But this all changed when I started playing through it.

As a disclaimer, I have no experience with any other Jet City amp or the Soldano SLO, the acclaimed boutique father of these mass-produced rock boxes. I've only been going off what I've read and heard over the internet.

After a fair amount of tweaking, I don't think the overdrive channel is my cup of tea. Even with the treble and presence all the way down, there's always the characteristic fizzy top end of the SLO that I don't like in a high gain tone. However, for mid-gain bluesy tones (though I don't use them very often) this amp has delicious harmonics that sound really sweet, and the high end isn't as overbearing as it is with higher gain settings. This amp doesn't have my ideal tone... on its own, that is.

The crunch/clean channel is what really shocked me, and it's the reason I'm keeping this amp. The general impression I got from people who have played these amps before was that the cleans were OK, but this amp was built for distortion. Without a doubt, the JCA5012C has clean tones that sound as-good-if-not-better than my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, and the additional 10W of headroom surprised me in how much louder it can be while remaining clean. The cleans are fantastic, the volume pot isn't unbearably touchy, the overdrive channel has an imaginable use, I got it brand new for $100 less than what I got the used HRD for... I think I've found myself a replacement

Currently, my rig is basically the same as it was with the HRD; my distortion comes from a Wampler Triple Wreck, with a DigiTech Bad Monkey in front of that to tighten things up, but now with the Jet City as the clean platform. The Triple Wreck interacts with the Jet City quite differently from how it does with the HRD. I have to keep the preamp gain low (~1.5) to keep the cleans squeaky clean, so I compensate by running the master volume pretty high, which introduces some pretty awesome compression from the power section (something I couldn't do with the single volume HRD.) Kicking on the Triple Wreck in front of that, I'm pushing the preamp harder and getting the aforementioned delicious harmonics, plus the squishy compression from the power section, and instead of the fizzy-sounding distortion of the OD channel on the JCA, it's the awesome distortion sound I've been using for the past couple years, just with a better dynamic response.

I'll post clips once my SG gets back from the shop with new pickups
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Last edited by bassmastamitch at Jun 29, 2014,
#3
HNAD, and great review!

I sort of suprised at your comments about the clean channel tho. I'm defiantly not one of those guys who think's its rubbish (I actaully usually praise it), but I don't think it is as clean as a HRD, IMO. I can keep my 50H clean, as long as I keep the pre-gain below 3. After 3, it starts to breakup pretty quick.

Even with the pre-gain set at 2, I'm able to achive band practice volumes no trouble ( the post gain is usually set yo about 6ish for me). I do think the amp is pretty clean at that point, but like I said I'd take a fender clean, or my AC30's over it any day, but hey, to each their own!

Enjoy and welcome to the Jet City club!
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Last edited by red.guitar at Feb 22, 2014,
#4
I dont remember anyone calling the cleans rubbish either. Its just the channel 1 is crunch channel that cleans up with gain turned down. Only question mark is if there enough clean headroom for gigging situations when cleaned up that way.

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#5
^^ Sorry, but thats what I meant by calling it rubbish

Like I said, I can keep my pretty damn clean by leaving the pre at 2 and post around 6ish. I've never been in a situation in my last 20 or so gigs where I had to put it past that live, or at practice.
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Jet City JCA50H
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#7
Quote by red.guitar
HNAD, and great review!

I sort of suprised at your comments about the clean channel tho. I'm defiantly not one of those guys who think's its rubbish (I actaully usually praise it), but I don't think it is as clean as a HRD, IMO. I can keep my 50H clean, as long as I keep the pre-gain below 3. After 3, it starts to breakup pretty quick.

Even with the pre-gain set at 2, I'm able to achive band practice volumes no trouble ( the post gain is usually set yo about 6ish for me). I do think the amp is pretty clean at that point, but like I said I'd take a fender clean, or my AC30's over it any day, but hey, to each their own!

Enjoy and welcome to the Jet City club!

Thanks!

I think a lot of the comments about the crunch channel not having a lot of headroom comes from peoples' experiences with the 20W, which seems to be more popular than the higher wattage counterparts, my mistake. Both the HRD and the JCA can remain clean at gigging volumes, but having gain & master controls on the JCA instead of an "all-in-one" as the HRD has makes it so I can push the power section alone instead of it and the preamp simultaneously. I'll have to make a comparison test before I sell the HRD.

Quote by Taz9
Hnad !

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#8
HNAD! I think that crunch channel would be very interesting as a pedal platform. I personally love the OD Chan. I feel it's less trebly than your standard overdriven Marshall but its probably quite different than the Triple Wreck, which you like. I wonder which amp you'll stick with
#9
Nice, I really want a JCA100HDM in the future. I love the crunch tones on these amps. Not to thrilled on the cleans but that's not the reason I'd buy it so not an issue. I'm not saying they are bad, just not anything special.
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#10
Congrats! I posted the link to the $300 sale in 11 separate threads and so far, I know of only 2 who took advantage.



BTW, my SLO doesn't have the fizzy top end you referenced above. A Telefunken is a very nice tube with a lot of treble that isn't harsh in the V1. Leave the rest of the inexpensive Chinese preamps which are fine, IMO. If you need it to be darker, check out the RFT and Tungsram tubes.
#11
Quote by Ippon
Congrats! I posted the link to the $300 sale in 11 separate threads and so far, I know of only 2 who took advantage.



BTW, my SLO doesn't have the fizzy top end you referenced above. A Telefunken is a very nice tube with a lot of treble that isn't harsh in the V1. Leave the rest of the inexpensive Chinese preamps which are fine, IMO. If you need it to be darker, check out the RFT and Tungsram tubes.



Not trying to hyjack the thread, but what do you use in your SLO tube wise?

I have mostly stock chinese tubes in the preamp, except for tungsols in V1 and V2, and JJ 6l6.

I didn't find much difference when I put the JJ PT's in, but when I initally re-tube with all JJ preamps, I was digusted with the tone I got. Wayy to muddy. Like someone threw a thick blanket over my cab. Thats why I went back to the stock el chepos. I put the tungsols in becasue they sounded very crisp.
Guitars:
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Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
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Amps:
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Jet City JCA50H
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#12
HNAD!!! Hard to beat that amp at that price point.
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#13
Quote by red.guitar
Not trying to hyjack the thread, but what do you use in your SLO tube wise?

I have mostly stock chinese tubes in the preamp, except for tungsols in V1 and V2, and JJ 6l6.

I didn't find much difference when I put the JJ PT's in, but when I initally re-tube with all JJ preamps, I was digusted with the tone I got. Wayy to muddy. Like someone threw a thick blanket over my cab. Thats why I went back to the stock el chepos. I put the tungsols in becasue they sounded very crisp.

Yea, JJs are the go to recommendations for preamps here and they're fine. I have a Laney VH100R and the original owner said the tubes were stock. Like the previous VH100R, it was trebly to the point of being harsh, The Telefunken in V1 kept the nice treble and removed the harshness. The Tungsrams and RFTs in the other slots made the low Mid and Low more pronounced, darker.

With the Bogner Ecstasy and Uberschall Twin Jets, I've kept them stock with the cheap Chinese preamp tubes. The Bogner sub-forum over at RT has a lot of preamp tweaks to highlight certain tone requirements; but, as is, the Uberschall is



I believe Matt has kept his 100B stock.

#14
Quote by red.guitar
Not trying to hyjack the thread, but what do you use in your SLO tube wise?

I have mostly stock chinese tubes in the preamp, except for tungsols in V1 and V2, and JJ 6l6.

I didn't find much difference when I put the JJ PT's in, but when I initally re-tube with all JJ preamps, I was digusted with the tone I got. Wayy to muddy. Like someone threw a thick blanket over my cab. Thats why I went back to the stock el chepos. I put the tungsols in becasue they sounded very crisp.


If my experience with Valveking is any use I also did not like all JJ on preamps. Too dark. But Tungsold in V1 and JJ the rest was a good combo.

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#15
We told a squillion people to buy this amp while they were selling so cheaply. Good to see at least one person scored one.

HNAD
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#16
Quote by MaaZeus
If my experience with Valveking is any use I also did not like all JJ on preamps. Too dark. But Tungsold in V1 and JJ the rest was a good combo.


I agree, tungsol in V1 brightens it up nicely, assuming the V1 slot on a Jet City effects the clean channel like it does a Valveking. I stopped using JJ's altogether, compared to the new mullards, Sovtek, or the Genelex tubes, way better for the gain stage in my opinion.


Nice score though man, it's a shame that the gain stage is only foot pedal selectable. Now, tear it apart and mod the hell out of it.
#17
Nice score, that was an awesome deal! HNAD
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#18
You can reduce the fizziness (or at least make it sound more pleasant) by replacing the shitty Chinese tubes that come with it. A warmer tube like JJ's or new production Mullards tend to be warmer sounding. Even a more balanced tube like a new production Tung-Sol would help as those Chinese tubes are usually nothing but bright. I had the same issue with a JCA2112RC and every tube I tried (Tung-Sol, Mullard, Sovtek LPS, JJ 803s) made a huge improvement.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
Last edited by Prime2515102 at Feb 23, 2014,
#19
The later Chinese ones are ok actually, unfortunately what Shuguang supply as OEM components all seem to be old style 7th generation rubbish. You can tell by the code 12AX7A is 7th, 12AX7B are 8th, 12AX7C are 9th gen. The 12AX7C is actually quite a nice little tube.
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#20
Quote by Cathbard
The later Chinese ones are ok actually, unfortunately what Shuguang supply as OEM components all seem to be old style 7th generation rubbish. You can tell by the code 12AX7A is 7th, 12AX7B are 8th, 12AX7C are 9th gen. The 12AX7C is actually quite a nice little tube.



Thats is some super useful info!

I got to admit, I like the stock Shuguang's wayyy better than the new JJ's I tried in it and slightly better than some used tungsols I put in.

I'll have to check when I get home what gen my chinese ones are. I tink they're 12ax7a's tho.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#21
Quote by Cathbard
The later Chinese ones are ok actually, unfortunately what Shuguang supply as OEM components all seem to be old style 7th generation rubbish. You can tell by the code 12AX7A is 7th, 12AX7B are 8th, 12AX7C are 9th gen. The 12AX7C is actually quite a nice little tube.

My Jet City was loaded with 12AX7A's. No bottom end, exaggerated top end, and muddy as hell (tons of harmonics, but not in a good way).
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
#22
awesome

if it's too fizzy try swapping the speaker for an eminence v12
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#23
I never take my gain on the OD channel passed around 9 O clock. It's already really gainy at that point, and I hit it with an od pedal up front if I ever need it heavier. I find that it stops the amp from getting mushy, I never have any "fizz" issues.
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#24
Quote by Dave_Mc
awesome

if it's too fizzy try swapping the speaker for an eminence v12


Yeah the stock speaker is also bit harsh.

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#25
Nice score. HNAD!
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#27
Thanks for the advice guys, but the fizzy top end isn't the only thing I dislike about the OD channel. Comparatively, the Triple Wreck has a smoother gain structure and emphasized midrange that I much prefer, and if it sounds good, I don't want to change anything. Plus I'm afraid to change the JJs I already have in the preamp to something even darker because that would risk messing up the sound of the clean channel and how the Triple Wreck interacts with it. It's alright; I've been using a Hot Rod Deluxe, I'm used to ignoring the OD channel
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#28
^ that's fair enough, it's your call. and you made a good point about the clean channel, if you try to make the thing too dark there's still no guarantee you'll like the od channel but it might kill your cleans.

Quote by MaaZeus
Yeah the stock speaker is also bit harsh.

yeah
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#29
The 9th Gen Shuguang preamps are very nice and come stock in a lot of high gain amps but are meh in some. They're not "fizzy" in Uberschalls (most revs), Herbert and VH4, Dual and Triple Recs, Soldanos, etc. Look for Groove Tubes GT-12AX7C where the JJs don't work well (too dark, noisy, etc.).

Edit: Like this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GT12AX7C/
#30
Quote by bassmastamitch
It's alright; I've been using a Hot Rod Deluxe, I'm used to ignoring the OD channel

#31
Nice score man. Love to hear some clips


And what's wrong with the HRD drive channel? Sounded awesome through my Marshall 4x10. Instant Weezer tone
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#32
HNAD, and welcome to the Jet City club!
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#33
HNAD and welcome to the JC Club. I've been rocking a 22H through a 112 v30 cab for the last 3 months and love it, both clean and dirty!
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#34
Thanks everyone!

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
And what's wrong with the HRD drive channel? Sounded awesome through my Marshall 4x10. Instant Weezer tone

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