Love for the Peavey JSX?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by fuzzyguitars, Aug 18, 2005.


  1. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    I don't see much talk on this board about the Peavey JSX.

    I have had one for about three months and like it a lot!

    It has an interesting take on EL34 tone. Lots of slice and upper mids with a ton of bottom end. I don't run the bass or the resonance much past half way. And this comes from a guy who always used to dime the bass.

    Over the years I have owned a ton of stuff and my bogner 101b was the goto amp for about 5 years.

    I eventually sold the Bogner for a Mako which was really good but ultimately wasn't for me.

    I had my old standby three channel dual recto which is really good for the nu metal crunch that I dally in, but i was missing something in a all around rocker.

    Even though I have made the run of MV high gain channel switchers, I mostly play my 69-72 metalpanel marshalls with a variac and THD attenuator for my gain tones.

    But I digress.

    The JSX rocks!

    It does have a high mid peak that can be annoying but you really have to play with the eq. It is active and a small tweak plays a big difference. You have to careful with the presence and treble because it can slice your head off!

    I got the amp from the store and it came loaded with JJ el34's. Interesting thing was that it was biased really hot at 44ma! I adjusted it back down to 40ma which I guess is still a little hot for a el34. I think you want between 35-40. Surprisingly this did not make much of a tonal difference. Just slightly stronger pick attack.

    The real difference is in the preamp tubes. It comes loaded with EH 12ax7 in the first three slots, and an sovtek in the PI.

    As i said earlier in the post, there was an annoying high mid peak. The first slot EH became microphonic after playing at high vol for 3 months so I swapped it out and did a taste test with a few tubes in the first slot.

    Let me tell you. I grininng ear to ear after the first swap!

    The best tones were with some old mullard and brimar tubes. very even with great detail and smoother mids without the high mid peak. Just awesome! If I were to record I would definitely put those in.

    The best compromise in economical tube with great sound was my old high gain favorite chinese 12ax7. Plenty of punch, lots of bass, and much smoother mids without annoying hump.


    Bottom line. great amp for the money! Better amp with a simple swap of the first preamp tube!

    I got mine for a thousand bucks out the door.

    I missed the Musician friend blow out of 799!

    I yeah the cleans are great. I have a 65 super reverb sitting right next to it and I can dial it up the cleans to be almost indistinguishable! It takes pedals really well. This is a good thing because I am a pedal junkie and let me tell ya. Tim in the clean channel really nails a lot of classic rock tones.

    The effects loop is much better than a lot of amps that I have in the past , and that includes the bogner and the mesa. My old VHT had a very clean loop though.

    anyways that my two cents and I am sticking by it!

    cheers

    [​IMG]
     
  2. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    Well, from the lackluster response.

    I gather that there really is no love for the JSX on TGP!
     
  3. DonW

    DonW Velocity Town Angel Silver Supporting Member

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    I liked the amp when I tried it. I found it quite similar to the XXX distortion wise. I played the JSX through a Krank cab w/Eminence speakers. Every Peavey amp I've owned or played sounded better through a different cab. It's the speakers, they ought to break down and load Celestion or Eminence. Evidently they sell enough units to think otherwise though. As with most Peavey gear, not a lot of thought given to it in this realm. Their gear is rugged and dependable but no resale value and not always on top tone wise. Good buy for the $$ though. A Wolfgang is the only piece of Peavey gear I've ever seen get a decent used price.
    BTW, Peavey is the only major music brand/corporation with no debt. They do something right.
     
  4. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    Peavy makes great products. The JSX didnt flip my switch however. I wanted to like it...but there was NO fattness to the sound at all in the one I tried. Thin and brittle. Very midrangy.
     
  5. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    I havent tried the JSX, but Fuzzy after your post I just might in the near future. The problem with Peavey (as Hamertoe pointed out) always seems to be the speakers. Peavey himself did an interview with GP (or GW cant remember which) and he said when they first started out, the speaker companys were giving him a really hard time because the customers kept blowing up PA speakers when they used Peavey products. Fingerpointing resulted and Peavey just got tired of it, so he said "screw em" and decided to make his own speakers. I dont remember why they were blowing up.

    I'm old enough to remember when Peavey first came out, and yes, they developed a bad rep early because of that issue. Cheap products that a musician could afford, but not reliable. Then over the years Peavey went the other way (my opinion only) and started making reliable cheap products that sounded like dogs passing gas. Now after many years they might be coming out into thier own a bit finally, with some good sounding stuff. But once again, it's a speaker issue that seems to dog them around.

    Bottom line for me, I might try a JSX, but I would also want to try it with a different cab than just the Peavey cab.
     
  6. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    I haven't tried one, but I had a XXX for a day. Definitely agree with others, thing sounded like a chainsaw, which is good for about a minute, but if you wanted something more subtle, forget it!

    Anyway, Peavey is one of the best bang for the buck companies out there, and deservedly so. Glad you're happy with your amp, that's the goal.

    P.S. - There's a reflection from one of your pedals on your speaker grille, I wouldn't think the speaker grille would pick that up.
     
  7. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    Kingsxman: If the amp is not eq right you will get that harsh midrange nasally sound that a lot of people complain of.

    That is due to the sensitivity of the active eq.

    With active eq if ind it best to set all controls at noon (not cut or boost) Then work on the high end slice content. PResence and treble. Then add or subtract bass and resonance. and then workon midrange to add or subtract punch. I will say that the midrange control is the key to good sounds on the JSX and really effects how the other controls respond.

    The JSX is very sensitive to speakers. you really ought to try it with v30s or even greenbacks. very good.

    if you demo it at the store try the xxx 4x12 cab or the 5150 cab. do not use the standard peavey 4x12!

    next time try these settings on the crunch channel with a humbucker guitar in the bridge position.

    gain noon I prefer 12
    presence 11 o'clock 11
    treble 11-12 noon 11
    mid 11 - 1 01
    bass 3-4 o clock 03
    resonance 1-2 o clock 02
    fat switch on. fat on

    this should give you a great marshallesque rock tone!
     
  8. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    I am a boutique guy as well. But Peavey does have some winners in its stable.

    The Wolfgang is a terrific guitar.

    THe JSX is a step in the right direction.

    I think that the JSX sounds much better than the XXX.
    The clean channel maybe one of the best clean channels on a high gain channel switcher!

    try to try the JSX with a marshall greenback cab.
     
  9. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    yeah the XXX was too over the top for me.

    too much like my mesa recto.

    JSX does better medium gain sounds, but i like it for high gain.

    for medium marshall crunch i am really digging pedals with it. especially the TIM. I am awaiting a Lovepedal eternity as well. This covers my low to medium gain crunch which is not something the JSX does too well.
     
  10. baron55

    baron55 Member

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    I also have a JSX. I am running through a Marshall 1960A 4X12 that I have had for several years. I am running the cab mono at 16 ohms. The speakers are the GT-75's.Preamp tubes really make a difference in this amp. I am running a Mullard in V1, Sylvania in V2, and a JAN Philps in V3. That seemed to give me the best of great sounds from the amp. The Stock Electro Harmonix preamp tubes seemed to make the amp buzzy. I really like that the amp is very sensitive to input. Switching pickups, coils, and volume make drastic changes in tone and how the attack sounds. The Ruby EL34STB's sound really nice in this amp, the SED EL34's also sound really nice as well. As for the active, EQ which is only on the two gain channels, is very sensitive and you really can dial in almost any sound.

    The resonance and presence controls really are nice, they don't add any mud, but really help adjust the lower and upper end response with out altering the tonal structure.

    The JSX retubed with quality tubes and a good cab is a great amp for the price and features.
     
  11. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    Hey Baron: How much of a difference did changing the V2 and V3 make in the sound?

    I have not taken the time to mess with those yet. In my experience the V1 makes the biggest change.

    Yes in the JSX the EH are pooh!

    How does the svetlana sound different than the JJ el34s?
     
  12. baron55

    baron55 Member

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    V2 makes a pretty big difference in how the gain channels sound, I was actually suprised by the difference. I expected a sutle one, but changing V2 really change of the gain channels were the voicing. V1 also of course makes a difference. My JSX came with the crappy Electro Hamonix EL34's, which were not even close to being matched. I yanked them and tried the SED's and Rubys. The SED's are more mid heavy and the highs are smoother. I like the Ruby's because they have a wider frequency response with out the mids being to heavy. I usually love SED's, byt like the Ruby's better in this amp.

    I haven't tried the JJ's, but I found them to be too dark for my tastes in my other amps.
     
  13. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    My recto smoked the XXX, IMO.
     
  14. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I sold that amp quicker than any amp I've ever bought. Grainy, harsh. Even a Mullard in V1 didn't help.

    Too bad, 'cause with a few minor changes, it would be an ideal amp.
     
  15. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    We've had two in the store and managed to sell both. We have another one on order, and although I'm sure we will manage to sell that one as well, neither of the two already sold, were sold with the matching Peavey 4 x 12 cabinet. (which is the XXX 4 x 12) Both were sold with Marshall 4 x 12's with the standard Celestion GT75's in them. To my ears, this amp sounds just plain awful with the Peavey cabinet, and although it sounds "better" through the Marshall cabinet, it certainly didn't sound anywhere close to "great" IMHO. I also feel that this amp is VERY guitar specific. I have heard it sound "OK" with a couple of Ibanez JEM guitars and one Ernie Ball Petrucci, but with a Les Paul? UUGHH!!
    To my ears the whole exisiting Peavey head line (XXL, XXX, JSX) kind of blend together into one melting pot, and although the JSX is "slightly" better than the others, it does have a ways to go. I actually don't mind the now defunct 5150 (5150 II) and I hope the new 6550 maintains "that" sort of vibe. We have been told that the Penta could be shipped in early September, and I'm hoping that may actually be a good/great amp for Hartley Peavey as you have to give the guy "A" for effort, if not for anything else. I also hope for good things out of the Valve King as well. At least the Classic 30 is now offered in a head version, as that head with the right speakers and cabinet might REALLY be something.

    Chuck
     
  16. baron55

    baron55 Member

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    Actually, when I first got my JSX head, I wasn't too impressed. Then I found that the stock power tubes, were biased way cold and on top of that they were not even close to being matched, more than 12 ma apart on some. I also replaced the pre's with good NOS tubes.

    Most amps that the big OEMs put out there are not even close to being set up, and biased properly.

    Sounds much different on the much better side. The amp came with Electro Harmonix tubes.

    As for pickups, I use Seymour Duncan JB's.

    I run the gain on the crunch channel at 5 and on the Ultra Channel at 4.5.

    This been said, the Peavey stuff isn't for everyone.
     
  17. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I never checked the bias on the power tubes. 12ma apart is REALLY bad.... sheesh .... that may have accounted for the cold harsh tone for sure. Even if it is 'budget Peavey', no one should be required to tinker with *ANY* brand new product like that...
     
  18. baron55

    baron55 Member

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    Yea, it was like they just grabbed tubes at random and stuck them in there. Basically many of the OEM companies order "matched" tubes from the supplier, and as we all know that is probably the best way to get un matched tubes. Amps like, Mesa, Bogner, and and all the other great small amp companies. (I wouln't consider mesa small) usually do a nice job of biasing and setting the amps up with matched tubes.


    The JSX by far isn't the greatest amp out there, but is pretty good considering price point etc features.

    What is really funny, is back a year ago when everyone was blowing screen resistors in the XXX series running JJE34L, Peavey said that the E34L tube from JJ was a bad quality tube, and JJ's were nothing special, and that that was the issue. Of course they forgot to mention that 100 ohm screen resistors in a EL34 amp are a little on the low side. Well they changed the screen resstors to 700 ohms. And now use JJ as the OEM tube for all there amps. I find it funny they now use a tube company that they originally blamed for their amp problems. Not that I am a big JJ fan by any means.
     
  19. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    I got to admit that this amp is not for everyone.

    I will be doing some experitmenting with the v2 and v3 slots tubes this weekend though.

    If there is as a dramatic change as v1 then will go from thirlled to elated!

    just tried it with a timmy and mojovibe. Very Nice!
     
  20. el34power

    el34power Member

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    FWIW. I have a prowler that i bought when i was in an emotional rut. Since i couldn't sell it. i had it modded to run on EL34's. I swapped out the speaker for an emi GB128, pre tubes to NOS RFT's and power tubes to "C".

    Killer back up amp. Not ashamed (anymore) to use it for smaller applications.
     

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