I have heard varying stories regarding the Roland jc-120's built in distortion, from people saying its not bad, to others saying its utter crap.....So my question how bad is it? Can you nail a calssic 70's punk rock tone with it? The guitar i would be using with it is a stock fender classic series 50's esquire.
I realize that there are better amps with distortion out there, but i also like to play reagge hence, the reason i am contemplating a roland jc-120.
I had a pair of JC-120's...True glutton for punishment moving those things around all of the time... The only thing I ever used the built in distortion for was a mild volume boost for solo's (set distortion at 1-2.5 and have at it).
I have a Yamaha G50 112 from the late 70's with onboard distortion. I would not recommend it for a Tele, since it enhances the upper odd-order harmonics. My Supros, on the other hand. have extremely dark sounding pickups, and the amp distortion provides a great lo-fi grind. That might be why the opinions on the JC-120 distortion are varied.
Hahaha! I love this Roland Corp video with Johnny Demarco where at 5.20 he says: "Go ahead dial in some distortion." It's like he is addressing the demo to the multitude of negative statements about the onboard dirt on the JC-120. I think it sounds ok here:
I have read some owners of the smaller JCs (JC-77?) saying the distortion was better on their amp than the JC-120, but really, there are so many stomp boxes to choose from for dirt, there's no reason to accept only what the amp can do.
I have JC120 and JC50, the distortion is pretty poor whatever guitar I use. Its not as good as the worst od/distortion pedal, its a very edgy fuzz rather than a distortion.
Fantastic amps but the 'bee in a can' fuzz is not one of the best features.
My advice is take the knob off to keep as a spare so you are not tempted to use it. ;-)
Its a complicated distortion, to me My strats will sound usable with a little distortion on for some bite and a slight boost in gain but there's a limit as there is with any other pickups I have run through this amp.Humbuggies is a totally different animal.And the volume control on the guitar and the amp come into play no matter what I have used.
As mentioned plugging into the low input was a little friendlier.
Im convinced now that any pickup that is at a strat or lower output will be a little more useful I have been using my amp since the early 90,s.
If your after certain recorded sounds a pedal or pedals is the only way.
Ill be honest I love this amp I always run it in tandem with my other amps it fills in the gaps.
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