Scored an 80's Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120. What to expect and what pedals?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 10strings, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    Scored an 80's Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120. Really love it so far and have not even plugged in a single pedal. Any typical pedals that go great with this amp or because it is so clean it works great with most pedals? Just looking for some feedback and personal experience.

    Thanks
     
  2. Raccoon

    Raccoon Active Member

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    Every pedal sounds great through that amp... unless of course.. you wanna use dirt. I've never had a dirt pedal sound good through that amp.
     
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  3. BeauZooka

    BeauZooka Member

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    A cruel but true answer raccoon.
     
  4. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    So clean, no dirt. I am going to try my VPD1 tomorrow with amp sim on and off and see what happens.
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Try a Dynacomp, turn the chorus on and bang - instant 80's!

    I used to use my Rat into a JC77 and it killed.
     
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  6. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    hahah, funny. I have a Diamond... Perhaps that isn't 80's enough. A little chorus works on my electric violin quite nicely though. haha
     
  7. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    Not completely true. Back 18 or so years ago, I used a Chandler/Butler Tube Driver that was very good with the JC120. If you want some OD with that amp I suggest you get a pedal with a real tube(s) in it... there are quite a few to choose from nowadays. I suggest maybe the Seymour Duncan Blue Twin Tube.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. eksfiles

    eksfiles Member

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    Not true. Dirt pedals may sound harsh but I've used a simple Boss SD-1 with great success. Its a wonderful platform amp. Wish I hadn't sold my 80's JC-120.
     
  9. dunara

    dunara Member

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    +1
    Clean, clean, clean. Like playing through a mixing desk. I've never like the sound of distortion or boost pedals through this amp. They're great for what they are though, and loud!
     
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  10. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    Expect to sound dated. :)

    Using a tube overdrive as a toaster/"preamp" to warm things up has been successful. Using one for gain has not been. Using a non tube overdrive was pretty disastrous. The sd1 was about there minutes of pure ass. Your results may vary. Delay, reverb and tremolo pedals were fun. I need a bit of reverb to make things tolerable but I found the onboard reverb a little metallic.

    Do not use the chorus. ever. There is also a knob marked distortion that turns your guitar into a robot. Do not use it.

    The more air your guitar has, the better it will sound. Hollows and archtops yes, semis less yes, solids not always.

    I've made my peace with my jc77. Its better for find at certain things than others. Its pretty easy to dial in a horrible tone, or one you've heard a million times already. But that doesn't mean you can't do something nice with them.
     
  11. Jd3

    Jd3 Member

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    Well, i saw Roy Buchanan (yes, that Roy Buchanan) in a small club in Boston in the 1980's ... and he plugged his tele direct into a JC120 and proceeded to tear up that club .... wicked tone - mostly clean for sure and loud as hell, and it could cut like a ginsu ... Roy did a lot of twisting of the volume knob with his pinky - and with so much volume on tap, he had a lot of dynamics going on ... did some neat 'volume swell' type of things too ... I was impressed !

    A buddy of mine has one, and he uses one of the old Roland GP8 rack processors with it ... talk about 80's ! He switched to the Roland after his fender tube amps kept dying on stage due to problems - never seen the Roland fail in the last 20 years - ever !

    I'm personally a tube guy, but if you like cleanish tone, you can't go wrong with JC series ...
     
  12. Rob Eadgbe

    Rob Eadgbe Member

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    I've owned and sold three of them at different times, the last time being about 12 years ago. Each time I sold it because I couldn't get a great distorted tone out of it. I had my best results using a half rack space Rockman Sustainor. I briefly considered trying a POD with it because I feel the amp is so clean that a full range signal might get you a little closer to an acceptable tone. At that time L6 had just released the POD 2.0. I wound up keeping the POD and ditching the JC-120.

    The last time I was tempted to keep it as a clean only amp in a two amp rig. Also, the chorus adds so much depth to the tone that when you turn it off the amp sound flat and lifeless.
     
  13. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    Beat me to it.
    Back then I'd always warm up JC-77s or -120s with a Real Tube or a Blue Tube [usually swapping in a 12AU7]. Almost as if they were designed especially for those amps.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I'd be looking at pedals designed to work with completely clean amps rather than pedals designed to 'goose' an already cranked amp.

    The Barber Direct Drive or LTD (or LTD SR) would the top pedals on my list to try. I'd also put the Lovepedal Superlead and the MI Crunch Box in the same category. I really have grown to love the 'lowly' Superlead as my favorite versatile Marshall flavored 'all-in-one' kinda pedal, but I prefer the Direct Drive for higher gain tones and the LTD SR for lower gain tones, esp on the lower gain, open-sounding 'clean amp cranked' type stuff.

    You also might find that stacking two pedals the second of which is set to lower gain might be something worth looking into.

    The problem is a lot of pedals sound best when run into an amp that is less than crystal clean or else the result can sound harsh. Sometimes incredibly harsh.

    Back when I ran a Twin, I tried about 10 different pedals looking for that right mixture. This was before everyone had the internet and there were thousands of demos on youtube. As an aside, I also had a JCM800 combo so I could try those same pedals through a Marshall.

    For example, the original Guvnor pedals... I HATED how it sounded through the Twin but I ended up much preferring the sound of the Guvnor into the Marshall than that of the Marshall on its own.

    I actually had two 'tube' pedals, a Butler and a Chandler. They were both OK for higher gain tones but for just getting a little crunchy rhythm tone going, I didn't like them at all.

    Bottom line, if you have a GC in your town, pick up a Lovepedal Superlead and check it out. You can take it back for no loss if you don't like it.

    (In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't plugged ANY pedal into a JC120 since about 1990 so all this advice is based on running these pedals into other 'clean' amps, mostly the Twin.)
     
  15. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    Thanks for all your responses... :) I will experiment with your suggestions and see what I come up with!! Feel free to let me know if you have any other thoughts. All input is appreciated... So far I love it!!
    Someone tell me why the JC-120 is MUCH louder than my 1000 watt QSC k12, that makes on sense to me whatsoever. I actually cause myself a bit of pain with the JC-120 as I was shocked at what it is capable off... lol
     
  16. guitkrazy

    guitkrazy Member

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    The JC120 is a classic! I still have mine that I got in the late 80's. I always had great luck running distortion through mine. The amp is probably the best clean amp ever, and the chorus just made that amp so full & HUGE sounding! Unfortunately I have not fired my 120 up in years & have not ran any boutique distortions or OD's through it, but back in the day it took DOD & Boss like a champ! Congrats on ur purchase!
     
  17. cap'n rory

    cap'n rory Member

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    Try the Kingsley Jester with a JC-120 ... thank me later.
     
  18. alberob

    alberob Member

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    The best dirt box that got a decent sound out My JC-120 is an Akai Shred-O-Matic.Terrible name but runs a 12AX7 for a convincing tube grind.When they came out they were $250,I got it for $50 on a close out,definately worth $50.:nuts
     
  19. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    I wanted a Jester anyways!! Thanks for giving me an excuse... :bong
     
  20. gpro34

    gpro34 Member

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    I expect you'll start playing Reggae and smoking herb, all the while wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
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