#1
Hi friends. I've been gone for a while but now I'm back from traveling the world. Feel free to cheer and applaud.

As none of you probably know I used to live in Providence, which is where my workshop and music space is. However, I recently moved to New York and haven't had time to move over and unpack everything. My new place won't actually be ready until August. My original plan was to bring along my little Jet City 20 project head and buy a cheap cab for it so I had something to practice with while I was in New York. However, when I got back to the states that head was just straight up missing. Unsolved mystery true crime style. Like someone literally took the cheapest amp in a room full of a gazillion dollars of equipment.

Anyhow, so I go to my favorite retailer of cheap used and rental guitar gear (guitar center shh don't tell) and look for the cheapest combo amp I could find that I knew didn't suck complete balls. Particularly something simple that I could gut rebuild later if I wanted too. I had originally thought I got a really good deal but apparently they had been closing these out last months. But whatever, price is good for me.

TADA!



It's a Jet City 50 2 channel combo! 380 shipped to my door. Not bad, considering that the one channel 20 watt head is still about 200-250 used and the 20 combos routinely go for 300-350 as well.

Let's open her up and have a look see.




Now, I'm a big huge fan of Soldano amps. I've owned a SLO, multiple avengers, and the lucky 13. As far as I know the Jet City 50 is based on the avenger 50 watt circuit with effects loop. The number of preamp tubes seems to point towards that fact. It's a good circuit. I think this amp gets a lot of the way there. I think for a simple 2 channel amp this really can't be beat. If you want a smooth high gain classic to early metal sound it's a very good amp.

Of course, that doesn't mean there isn't cost cutting involved. So stay tuned for uncle min's differential price analysis essay.

That essay begins now.

So keep in mind the price of this amp used is about 380. Which is an amazing value if your budget tops out at around 400-450 there are not that many better choices then this amp unless you need something with a lot more versatility in which something like the egnater amps. If you can push a little bit higher around 500-600 then the Bogner Alchemist is a sweet little amp.

That being said I still think that the sweet spot in used amps right now is around 1000-1100 dollars. Soldano's are a little overpriced out of this price range but hot rods do show up for around 1000 sometimes. However, you get access to Mesa tremoverbs, duel recs, marks, orange rockerverbs, all sorts of crazy stuff.

The differences are substantial. I'd probably still pick this amp over a rocker verb because I'm not a super big fan of the rocker verb sound but the tremoverb gives you 4 channels, reverb, term, countless switching options and a 212 combo cab.

In terms of construction, the Mesa weighs about 3 times as much as the jet city.

So keep stuff like that in mind when shopping.

If you look at the chassis pictures above, I can tell you right off the bat what the biggest cost saving measure between a real soldano and the jet city is. It's the transformers. I actually have a set of SLO transformers at home. They are about 4 times the size of the ones in the jet city. The output transformers weighs as much as the entire upper chassis for the jet city.

That being said, I love these amps. It's really hard to even get a diy kit with a predrilled chassis, a head cab, and text printing for under 380 these days. I've tried. So to be able to get a complete package for 380 is awesome. Another 300 for a new set of transformers for this amp would easily take it to the next level. And I can always gut it and built something else in it if I feel like it. WIN WIN WIN.

TLR -> cheap sounds good. buy if you want. or not.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Mar 11, 2015,
#2
Quote by AcousticMirror

That being said I still think that the sweet spot in used amps right now is around 1000-1100 dollars. Soldano's are a little overpriced out of this price range but hot rods do show up for around 1000 sometimes. However, you get access to Mesa tremoverbs, duel recs, marks, orange rockerverbs, all sorts of crazy stuff.....

...That being said, I love these amps. It's really hard to even get a diy kit with a predrilled chassis, a head cab, and text printing for under 380 these days. I've tried. So to be able to get a complete package for 380 is awesome. Another 300 for a new set of transformers for this amp would easily take it to the next level. And I can always gut it and built something else in it if I feel like it. WIN WIN WIN.


the $1k to $1.1k definitely the place to be. i got my MKIV long head for $750, my tremoverb for $750, splawn nitro for $1050, splawn promod for $950, and my Fryette SIG:X for $1100. you are really getting nice amps for that cash on the used market.

as far as building, i have around $350-$400 into my 5f1 that i am building, i haven't touched it for a while, but its not cheap. and i didn't even get a printed chassis, just raw CNC cut aluminum. and thats not even a speaker or cab.

i wasn't a huge fan of the JCA50h that i had for a few days, but i think it just wasn't what i was expecting.

and Min, how the hell do you have a pair of SLO transformers? did you pull them out of a SLO and replace it with others? i would be interested about specs if you can find anything.
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#3
Quote by trashedlostfdup
the $1k to $1.1k definitely the place to be. i got my MKIV long head for $750, my tremoverb for $750, splawn nitro for $1050, splawn promod for $950, and my Fryette SIG:X for $1100. you are really getting nice amps for that cash on the used market.

as far as building, i have around $350-$400 into my 5f1 that i am building, i haven't touched it for a while, but its not cheap. and i didn't even get a printed chassis, just raw CNC cut aluminum. and thats not even a speaker or cab.

i wasn't a huge fan of the JCA50h that i had for a few days, but i think it just wasn't what i was expecting.

and Min, how the hell do you have a pair of SLO transformers? did you pull them out of a SLO and replace it with others? i would be interested about specs if you can find anything.


you can just buy them. I was going to build a slo before I ran out off my monies.

http://www.c3amps.com/Onetics%20Transformers.htm

A tad pricey for the 100 watt ones but I got a set on ebay.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#4
Quote by AcousticMirror
you can just buy them. I was going to build a slo before I ran out off my monies.

http://www.c3amps.com/Onetics%20Transformers.htm

A tad pricey for the 100 watt ones but I got a set on ebay.


damn pricey. thanks for the link.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#5
Nice buy man! I bought the JCA50 head for $340 shipped to Canada. I've played dozens of gigs with it and jammed it constantly and it's held up nice. Used it to record my last EP with my band. I think the tone is really amazing, especially for the price. The crunch channel is really underrated too, seems very JCM800ish to me.

It doesn't surprise me that a main difference are the transformers. There's a Jet City mod site that allows you to buy a new JCA's with different OTs as well as aesthetic mods.
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#6
Nice review, comparison with the other amps, and what is possible.

I think I spammed several threads when MF closed them out for $300 and the JCA 100H (not HDM) for $400.

They are full of win indeed but I actually prefer and use (the most) the Bogner Alchemist head (or 112 or 212 combos). You could snag a head now for $400 but they normally don't sell for as little as the JCAs in the used market, and for a good reason.

Splawns are relatively inexpensive now (lots from 900-1200 in pristine condition) while Mesas are still all over the place (Roadster at 1100, RoadKing II at 1500, TremoVerb Head for 350 (450 for the combo) but are hitting stupid, high prices now, and the Royal Atlantic closed out at 1200.

So, what treatment is that thing getting? When are you doing a SLO clone? Wanna buy the DeYoung trannies on my Decatone?
#7
Nice score. Congrats on continued Jet Citizen status
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#8
You really can't complain for the price with these. I've got the 50W head and it sounds great to me.

Hope you're happy with it!
#9
Solid amps, absolutely love mine.
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#10
Sweet

As you said, for the price, they're hard to beat. Which isn't to say there isn't cost-cutting going on too, as you said, but still remarkably good considering the price.

they go really cheap in europe too on thomann I finally got one (head version) a while back when the price dropped to £250 (couldn't resist), I think that was pretty soon after you left but not sure.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Mar 11, 2015,
#11
woot!

if i wasn't so happy with my cheap traynor 50 watt'r, i'd buy one of these things.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#12
The amp feels right. But the overdrive channel sounds weird. I'm going to have to get the tubes biased next week and then take a look at this schematic. Something is weird.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#13
Have you replaced the preamp tubes? Could be that simple.
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#14
I have the JCA50 head, so basicly the same amp. Sounds awesome to me, altough it started radomly dying on the overdrive channel. Took it for a tube change, and now it sounds awesome (if not better) than before.
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#15
I have a JCA 100HDM and it's pretty sweet. In general the only drawback with the Jet Cities is that you can't get super clean tones at high volume.
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#16
Quote by AcousticMirror
Hi friends. I've been gone for a while but now I'm back from traveling the world. Feel free to cheer and applaud.

As none of you probably know I used to live in Providence, which is where my workshop and music space is. However, I recently moved to New York and haven't had time to move over and unpack everything. My new place won't actually be ready until August. My original plan was to bring along my little Jet City 20 project head and buy a cheap cab for it so I had something to practice with while I was in New York. However, when I got back to the states that head was just straight up missing. Unsolved mystery true crime style. Like someone literally took the cheapest amp in a room full of a gazillion dollars of equipment.

Anyhow, so I go to my favorite retailer of cheap used and rental guitar gear (guitar center shh don't tell) and look for the cheapest combo amp I could find that I knew didn't suck complete balls. Particularly something simple that I could gut rebuild later if I wanted too. I had originally thought I got a really good deal but apparently they had been closing these out last months. But whatever, price is good for me.

TADA!



It's a Jet City 50 2 channel combo! 380 shipped to my door. Not bad, considering that the one channel 20 watt head is still about 200-250 used and the 20 combos routinely go for 300-350 as well.

Let's open her up and have a look see.




Now, I'm a big huge fan of Soldano amps. I've owned a SLO, multiple avengers, and the lucky 13. As far as I know the Jet City 50 is based on the avenger 50 watt circuit with effects loop. The number of preamp tubes seems to point towards that fact. It's a good circuit. I think this amp gets a lot of the way there. I think for a simple 2 channel amp this really can't be beat. If you want a smooth high gain classic to early metal sound it's a very good amp.

Of course, that doesn't mean there isn't cost cutting involved. So stay tuned for uncle min's differential price analysis essay.

That essay begins now.

So keep in mind the price of this amp used is about 380. Which is an amazing value if your budget tops out at around 400-450 there are not that many better choices then this amp unless you need something with a lot more versatility in which something like the egnater amps. If you can push a little bit higher around 500-600 then the Bogner Alchemist is a sweet little amp.

That being said I still think that the sweet spot in used amps right now is around 1000-1100 dollars. Soldano's are a little overpriced out of this price range but hot rods do show up for around 1000 sometimes. However, you get access to Mesa tremoverbs, duel recs, marks, orange rockerverbs, all sorts of crazy stuff.

The differences are substantial. I'd probably still pick this amp over a rocker verb because I'm not a super big fan of the rocker verb sound but the tremoverb gives you 4 channels, reverb, term, countless switching options and a 212 combo cab.

In terms of construction, the Mesa weighs about 3 times as much as the jet city.

So keep stuff like that in mind when shopping.

If you look at the chassis pictures above, I can tell you right off the bat what the biggest cost saving measure between a real soldano and the jet city is. It's the transformers. I actually have a set of SLO transformers at home. They are about 4 times the size of the ones in the jet city. The output transformers weighs as much as the entire upper chassis for the jet city.

That being said, I love these amps. It's really hard to even get a diy kit with a predrilled chassis, a head cab, and text printing for under 380 these days. I've tried. So to be able to get a complete package for 380 is awesome. Another 300 for a new set of transformers for this amp would easily take it to the next level. And I can always gut it and built something else in it if I feel like it. WIN WIN WIN.

TLR -> cheap sounds good. buy if you want. or not.



The OT on mine blew almost immediately. The amp sounded great, but that was obviously an issue. Had a tech install a new OT from a nice 5150 and that thing SLAYED. The amp was just thick and meaty and not thin at all. I was so happy with the amp before hand I couldn't believe the improvement. Just wish it didn't die in the middle of a huge audition!
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