JG-2 review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.1 (12 votes)

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 10
I use my ESP mainly, with Dimarzio's, and it couldn't sound better. This is also one of the few amps that can make an EMG sound great. Even at extremely high volumes, you will get no buzz, and no sound until you start to play, unleashing the power this baby holds. The clean channel sounds awesome at virtually any level, until you get to about 8/9 where it starts to go into a natural overdrive state. The distortion on this thing is monstrous. You can go from Metallica to Pantera to frickin Green Day on this thing without missing a beat (now that's versatility for you. Green Day).

Overall Impression — 10
I play everything from contemporary christian to Pantera, and this thing hits em all perfectly. I've been playing about 3 years, and run through my Boss ME-50. If this thing were stolen, then I would tie the guy up and shoot him for a few hours with a bb gun before bashing his head in. If lost, I would cry and turn emo. Then I would search for another. This thing is the perfect amp for any occasion, and minus the fact that you can't switch channels, it's perfect.

Reliability & Durability — 10
As stated, this is my main amp for practice and gigging, and even at large shows, I use this without a backup. Asking for it? Maybe, but I always have a backup plan just in case. This amp has lasted 20 years so far, and is still going strong. The only wierd thing is the matching cab is slanted.

Features — 8
This amp is a 50 watt, all tube Jackson half stack. Back in the early eighties, Jackson hired out Laney to make a few amps for them, namely the JG-2 50 watt, and the JG-3 100 watt. A few hundred amps later, Jackson called it quits, and stopped selling these amps. I managed to pick this one off of eBay for a meager 350 USD plus shipping. This amp has both low gain and high gain inputs, so you really have to use your own distortion pedal if you want to be able to switch. On the control panel, besides the 2 different inputs, you'll notice that the mid knob is a pull/puch pot. By pulling, you activate a mid-boost, to give you some nice warm clean tones. This is my main amp, and is used from home practice to my bands gigs, and it's yet to fail me. Defintely powerful enough to last you your playing career.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RE: JG-2 50 WATT. I do believe you can switch channels as there is a footswitch jack on the rear panel.
    i saw one and it was the ugliest amp ive seen in my life, like it sounded amazing, but god it was ugly.
    Well, 5 years later here's a bit of an update: one of the tube sockets corroded, and because there are no readily available schematics for it, nobody will touch it. I seriously can't even get anyone to bias the thing because they can't warranty their work. So unless you have a tech friend, I wouldn't recommend getting such an obscure amp. Definitely starting to miss being able to play the thing...
    Hey Joseph,i noticed your post and wanted to tell you how you can get your amp fixed.I am also a proud owner a Jackson amp,a JG3 100watt FULL stack and can pretty much tell you,or anyone that wants to know,all about it. I dont know how much everyone knows about the history so i'll give you a little breakdown to get you up to speed. The JG3 100W and the JG2 50W amplifiers were designed by "Grover Jackson" and Co.(Which the Co.later branched to a division called "Charvel" back in the late 1980's)and the amps were built like tanks! This Guy "Grover Jackson" is the same guy who built the very first "Jackson Guitars" for the amazing late great Randy Rhoads as prototypes before he had even formed his business back in 1982-1983.As a result of public recognition for these prototypes and Randy revealing the maker of his guitars in interviews,Jackson guitars was born and became very successful. So how did they start making amps and why? One guy in another forum mentioned that he tracked down Grover Jackson and E-mailed him and actually got a response about the JG2.Here is Grover's response: " was endorsing an artist, that I will not name... that had me custom make him a set of heads that he immediately took over to the Laney factory, And that created there AOR line.... Then Jackson/Charvel did the same thing, we found were they bought several of our amps, At one point we did a search into our records and found all our competition was buying from us. The JG2 is basically a JMP with the mod that we were doing in the 80's,it is pretty much part for part, so any 1959 schematic will get you pretty close." So there it is! When you bring it in for service tell them it is based off of a Marshall JMP 1959 Schem.and our good to go! If Joseph or anyone has any more questions about these amp's let me know. Slamm it!
    I've got a JG2 as well. Off of ebay from a woman in England. Best clean sounding amp I've ever played. Mine is really clean too. With a zoom 505 hooked up, it's killer, just killer! Rock on & thanks for giving the schematic. I'm never, ever selling it. cominatyalive
    Jackson also made a killer Tube Preamp JX3. This matched up with a Jackson Simuvalve 400 Power Amp. 200 watt stereo solid state but was a monster. I paied this with 2 2X12 Jackson Cabinets that could each run stereo at 100 watts or mono at 200 watts per 2X12. I have the JG3 100 watt tube head and 2 4X12 Jackson cabinets to complete a monsterous full stack. Tone for days. Love these amps and its a shame they aren't made anymore.