Henriksen JazzAmp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by VinceM, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll be checking these out during an upcoming family trip (found a dealer in the area where we're going!), and would like to hear from anyone who has tried this amp.

    I'm curious as to its ability to take pedals - I'm particularly interested in whether it can do a light overdrive a la John Scofield. You know, that on the edge breakup tone, where you dig in and it distorts, but if you lighten up it gets clean again. I've got a Keeley RAT and BD-2, and I have a Tim comming. Sometimes solid state amps don't like pedals, sometimes they do.

    Also, how effective is the EQ on this amp? Henriksen seems to advertise advertise the EQ it as a bunch of bandpass filters at 100, 300, 1k, 3k, and 10k. Are the 100 and 10k actually shelving filters or are they bandpass as well?

    I've got a big Guild x-500 jazz box so I assume the amp will work well with a boomy archtop.

    Given this amp is in $700-$900 range, how would you rate its value compared with other options in this range? I like the idea of a small lightweight amp for my jazz gigs. But does it sound small?

    This place also carries the JazzKat amp as well, but he recommended the Henriksen for its ability to take pedals.

    Thanks for any perspectives you can offer here!

    Vince
     
  2. burchyk

    burchyk Member

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    I'd like to know more about this and other amps designed for jazz guitar :munch
     
  3. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Another thought on the JazzAmp that is unusual for a new amp these days is its very small feature set. It's a very simple one channel amp, albeit using an uncoventional eq section. No effects loop. It does have a 1/4 inch line out (you can get xlr if you upgrade to the head version). You can also upgrade the basic amp and get reverb. They discuss this at the Henriksen web site; The intent seems to be to provide a very high quality transparent amp and anything you need to add can be applied before the input.

    So the point is the money goes into a very high quality amplification system which is tailored for jazz. They've also added a new tweeter add-on product which will support more full frequency acoustic guitar type sounds as well.

    So I'll eagerly await anyone with some more experience and insight regarding this amp! Don't all respond at once!! ;-)

    Vince
     
  4. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Helllo...Hello....Hello..........Is there anybody OUT there............
     
  5. stan p

    stan p Member

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    I believe, I saw it on stage at a local jazz jam place (Rex Hotel, Toronto).I have not played it personally, but heard three distinct players plug into it and play. A guy with D'Angelico arch RI, a guy with vintage GIbbie arch with a single P90 and a guy with es335. All players had very clear and pronounced sound, and all guitars sounded different ad dynamic. I do not know if the players felt this amp as very dynamic, but the guy with 335 actually got it to compress very gracefully despite the amp's SS nature. He got it into CHuck Berry kind of breakup.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  6. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks, stan p, for this report. It's interesting that you were able to hear that it was effective when played with very different sounding guitars. I'm looking forward to trying this amp out.
     
  7. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    O.k. - One more bump and I'll let the tread die of natural causes.
     
  8. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    Great little combo amps. Small, light & great sounding! I really like the 10" model. The EQ’ing is great.

    Pedals? "Edge of distortion"? I can't say for sure, but I've yet to hear a SS "jazz" amp that excelled at "distortion". Trust your ears & try for yourself.

    One thing, though.....they now offer a model with reverb. Without doubt, it is the absolute worst reverb I've ever heard. Moreover, I don't know anyone who believes otherwise. AVOID!!!

    Jazzkat: I first heard / played one at a guitar show & was blown away! Convinced I wanted one, I sought one out at a local shop. I played for an hour or so & could not "find the love" no matter how hard I tried. It sounded nice, but nowhere near the complexity of the Henriksen.
     
  9. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Mark, thanks for this great feedback. I'm glad to hear the 10'' speaker is good sounding. I like the smaller package, and typically for me the extra bass of a 12'' speaker is not really desireable in a jazz setting. Bass is not my friend when playing my jazz box!

    Thanks also for the heads up on the bogus reverb; now I won't be temped to entertain the 10-R model. I like pedals, (currently use a Verbzilla) so that's fine with me.

    As far as the overdrive - I just like to use a little bit of grind to help things cut through, rather than an obviously overdriven guitar sound. So hopefully that won't be too difficult to get on the jazzamp. I like the Rat because it slices off a lot of that boomy low end.

    Any more perspectives are most welcome - keep 'em coming! It is really helpful to get this kind of feedback before auditioning this amp, especially because it is not local.

    Vince
     
  10. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Larry Coryell brought his to a show we hosted. I was impressed with the tone and the portability of it.
     
  11. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    When looking, I test drove a variety of jazz specific amps, Roland Cube 60, Polytone, Acoustic Image, Evans, and the Hendricks. I went with the JazzKat John Pizzarelli model. 110 watts, 23 lbs, 2 channels, one for voice/acoustic, decent eq and passable reverb. I mainly use it for my solo restaurant gig, but have used in an ensemble setting also. Great for all of that, though I have never tried pedals with it.

    If I didn't have the JazzKat, I would go Clarus/RE combo.
     
  12. carlescountry

    carlescountry Member

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    I follow this thread with a lot of interest. I'm with the same problem: Acoustic Image, Evans, Henriksen, Jazzkat (the only one that I could have proved in my country)......

    What differences did you find between the Jazzkat and others to prefer it, shihanrerek? Thanks.
     
  13. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for bringing up Evans, Acoustic Image, and Polytone. The hard thing about all these amps is, at least for me, I can't easily audition any of them. So it's great to hear from anyone who has been able to compare these directly. AI and Evans seem more high end with more features. The JazzKat and the JazzAmp seem more comparable (lower price point). The JazzKat definitely has more "normal" features (two channels, eq, xlr out, effects) whereas, as I mentioned before, the basic JazzAmp has very little features. But if the tone is there, I would trade that off because of the lower price.

    And I'll echo carlescountry - shihanderek - what tipped the scale for you in favor of the JazzKat over the JazzAmp? Tone? Features? Price?
     
  14. jazztubes

    jazztubes Member

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    just for an alternative view; but a Princeton Reverb with a sweet speaker beats any of the SS stuff. I have a Walter Woods - they were used by Tal, Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd, John Pattitucci, others but i would not trade the sound from a PR. Nice thing about tubes over SS is you can play the amp - its not just a sterile hi fi amp. Try the new PRRI!
     
  15. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    jazztubes - yeah, that's a good idea. I should check out one of the new Princetons. I've heard great things about them. The thing I liked about the solid state sound, though, especially when using my jazz box, is the tightness of the bass. My experience so far is the fenders are a bit "loose" in the bottom end, which does not compliment the already boomy jazz box. But I haven't tried the Princeton.

    You've got a Walter Woods? I've heard Barney Kessel play one of those back in the day. Absolutely great jazz tone. (Barney probably had something to do with the tone as well!) I haven't checked into those - are they still made? Or is an ebay thing at this point? I'll do some googling.

    Regarding your comments about tubes vs SS - An alternative thought here is that for a solid body (or semihollowbody) it's nice to get extra warmth from the amp, but for a big hollowbody, the warmth is already abundantly available in the guitar, so the tube amp warmth vibe isn't as necessary. Just a thought, FWIW.
     
  16. carlescountry

    carlescountry Member

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    I agree with your words.

    Another alternative that I have read is the head Fender Jazzmaster ultralight + Cabinet Raezer's Edge Twin 8 Cabinet or Raezer's Edge Light Weight Twin 8 Cabinet... Has anyone tried this combination?
     
  17. Sammy

    Sammy Member

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    I am not a jazz player myself but we heard one of these at the London Show the previous year and my friend ordered one sometime later. A great amp for playing, jazz, standards etc. Tried my Tele through and was surprised how good it sounded.

    Interestingly the person who plays with my friend on a weekly basis and used to be a pro player on the old cruise ships etc( a really nice player) said it sounded so good he wanted one himself but also wanted to try the bass 12" model.

    We all went up to London to try and compare the two and to be quite honest the 12" model blew the smaller package away. It sounded so much fuller a much more rounded sound. Also the reverb sounded good as well. He bought the 12" there & then, it really did sound superior, so much so that I am actually thinking of getting one myself for my semis i.e Gibson 330 and I am a dedicated tube man!

    So before you dismiss the 12" do try both as I think you may change your mind! Also they now sell a tweeter which you can connnect to the amp so you can play an acoustic through it. I really want to hear that!
     
  18. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Sammy - that sounds great. I'll be trying these amps tomorrow, and I'll make sure to give the 12'' model a good listen. The thing about the 12'' model is that for not much more money you of course get the 12'' speaker, and you also get twice the power. I am definitely interested in the tweeter add-on because I have an amplified acoustic that I'd like to be able to run through the same amp (I use both guitars at gigs). Plus I'd really like to get a more acoustic jazz box sound, as opposed to the traditional "Kenny Burrell" kind of sound, if you know what I mean.

    I'll report back after my demo!

    Thanks everyone for all the excellent advice here.

    Vince
     
  19. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Remarkably good sound for an 8" speaker, increadibly small and light for 110 watts, and the price was right. Great combination.
     
  20. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Looking forward to see what you think.
     

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