Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: zZounds
Sound — 9
I play in a cover band doing all kinds of rock & pop songs. Needless to say this isn't the amp I use for that project. I use a Carvin V3 or a Blackstar HT-100, both of which have 3 channels and are a little more versatile. I mostly use it at home & at Jam sessions when I am playing classic metal(Priest, Sabbath etc.) It excels at that. It is LOUD too! With the overdrive channel I use an ESP with EMG 81s & it sounds awesome. Warm & thick. The od channel also sounds good with my Xaviere XV-890s "Crunchy Pat" passive humbuckers. With tons of low end & sustain for days. The crunch channel doesn't give you a Fender clean. The gain knob on the crunch channel doesn't go much past one or so before you start to get some break-up. I don't think you can get that death metal, drop-tuned static nu-metal tone. If you want this "sound" look elsewhere.
Overall Impression — 9
This amp has a good tone for rock, hard rock, classic metal & early thrash. With a good od pedal out front, it will do any genre out there. If it were stolen I would replace it with the HDM 100 watt version which is switchable to 50 watts & has a depth control to go along with the aforementioned presence knob. I love this amp. When I got it I paid $450. Now they go for $600. I still think it is a decent price, maybe a little high. On top of other heads I also own a Bugera 1990. I paid $450 for that one as well. I like the Bugera but the Jet City 50 is a better amp all around. On a side note this amp can be modded. One option is Titan Amps. They have a $250 mod that supposedly makes this amp sound even better, more like the Soldano it is modeled after.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I give it a 7 because I owned it for 5 weeks and the power tubes started to red-plate one night. I sent it back to the company to make sure it was ok & they had it back within a week & it sounds as good as new. The repair guy said he didn't know what caused the red-plating. It works. It sounds great. That's what matters.
Features — 8
This amp is from 2009 or 2010. The controls consist of... crunch & overdrive gain knobs, bass, middle, treble, crunch & overdrive volume knobs and a presence control. It is a very simple layout. The JCA 50 comes with 2 unbranded 6L6s in the power amp & 5 12AX7s in the preamp & has a tube buffered effects loop. It comes with two channels-crunch & overdrive which can only be changed by the included footswitch. One can get a clean tone by keeping the preamp gain low on the crunch channel. I wish it had three independent channels and level controls for the loop but for $450 it is a GREAT deal.