JT-50 review by Jay Turser

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (40 votes)
Jay Turser: JT-50

Price paid: $ 135

Purchased from: Reverb com used

Features — 9
China built; not sure when made but in good shape. SG clone and body is likely basswood. Gloss reddish/brown transparent. Tune-O-Matic type bridge assembly chromed. 2 chromed humbuckers and 2 volume and 2 tone controls. Grover style chromed tuners are solid and smooth. Not like Grover or Schaller, but for a China budget priced guitar... good enough. No bag or case. Rated "9" for a used very cheap to buy guitar that is well made and good pickups. Into a good amp (Princeton Reverb) it is plenty of guitar.

Sound — 8
Very versatile sound. Bridge alone can do rock or country. Middle can capture blues and rock and roll ballads, Neck alone is not really bluesy, but is smooth and strong tone. Bass needs to be reduced a bit with tilt downward. Rated "8" for a very cheap price on a nice guitar. I prefer it over any Epiphone except the walnut special one I once had. Into my '73 Princeton Reverb, it is good... clear and clean and would really do well with an OD pedal or other rock/metal pedals or processors. An SG that is decent or better is very versatile: comfortable, flattish board, thinner body gives snap and it was Gibson's "solid guitar" from back in the 1960s and became iconic.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I got it used and the bridge needed to be lowered to get the strings about 1/16" at fret 12 and the tailpiece just barely off the posts (so it can sing). Body shows grain all over and is not red, bur reddish brown gloss. Nice look and in very good condition. Action as I got it used was fine, but I want mine dead on and minor adjustments to intonation and string height did it. An attractive guitar that is eye catching. It's not "pretty" but is more a working musician look with subdued gloss finish. I like it for a break from transparent red.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Scarf joint at the headstock area makes it strong and it's a solid guitar. Weighs fairly light and is all solid woods. Sturdy for rock and roll and a good electric for open mic stage and plays well. Well chromed hardware is not 1st rate, but is not cheap looking. It's some of the better China stuff. replacing the bridge/saddles and posts would improve the tone, if you can get good replacements. Tailpiece and a plastic nut do not do much for tone, but the real tone is in the pickups and through the bridge. Reddish/bron transparent gloss finish is very neat and looks different and "richer" than trans red. It's a good choice to hide the fact there is no mahogany.

Overall Impression — 10
Rated "10" because it is in VERY nice shape, plays and sounds good with minimal work, and was $135 barely used. Think about it... a good looking and well made SG clone that is built nice and sounds good for under $150! It's such a good value that it would be hard to beat. It is $100 cheaper than a walnut Epi SG I had used. That was more guitar, but resale in eBay picked up about $100 and the Turser is good enough. An Austin from Korea is a better SG all around, but they are getting harder to locate. Austin was from Alvarez imported for a time.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    My JT-50 lacked enough 'vintage' clean PAF style sound, so I bought a pair of GFS Vintage '59 PAF style 4-wire humbuckers at $60 and had them installed with 4 new CTS pots and the 2 volume pots are push pull to coli split. This really brought out the best of a nice guitar. Plays well after a setup and the ability to split either humbucker opens up a range of sounds that make it worth while. This is not a second rate SG.