NAD - 1963 Ampeg Jet J-12A

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TheMattJones88, May 30, 2021.

  1. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 TDPRI Member

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    My wife and I decided to take a day trip to Northampton, MA today, and while there we popped into Downtown Sounds, which is a really cool co-op music shop. I've been toying with the idea of grabbing an amp recently so I figured i'd check out what they had. I walked into their amp room and saw this. A 1963 Ampeg Jet J-12A. The thing is in great condition, there's a little bit of staining on the front grill cloth, and a little bit of tolex damage on the back corner of the amp, but other than that it's great.

    Anyways. I ask if I can give it a shot and grab a Tele off the wall. Plug it in, turn it up a little bit and I'm just taken aback. This thing sounds awesome. Crisp but not overly bright. Full bodied but not overly middy or scooped. It just sounds like what you're feeding into it. I crank it a little bit higher and I'm getting this awesome kinda garage-y but full range distortion. Even my wife takes note and says: "That sounds awesome. If you wanna grab it, you can."

    I married well.

    I brought it home and tried it with my three guitars (Parts Tele, Yamaha Studio Lord, and Silvertone 1446 "Chris Isaak" model), and they all sound unique when plugged in to the amp. The amp just spits out the vibe that you're putting into it. I ran some pedals into it (Big Cheese clone, Idiotbox No Moon, which is a TS/Rat/Muff triple pedal, individually switchable and run in parallel) and they sound great. I'm usually not a TS guy, but even that sounded fantastic.

    Apparently their in-house amp tech gave it a full once over. I'm waiting to hear back from him on exactly what he did, but they said it had at least been recapped and retubed. It has EHX 7591's currently. I'd prefer vintage ones, but I can definitely live with these for now.

    Anyways, on to the pictures:

    1MU5lPG.jpeg 5ydRfou.jpeg ViczhU2.jpeg cU6KkSi.jpeg
     
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  2. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    my all-time favorite amp
    love those early octal preamp versions
    plug a piezo-equipped acoustic into it to amaze your friends with that "just sounds like what you're feeding into it" tone
     
  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's magnificent! It looks like it's in really good shape: original speaker, grounded cord, new electrolytics can capacitor. Normally, those leather handles can get pretty roached. It looks like yours may be original, though. Octal preamp tubes, tube rectifier. Love it that your wife noticed that it sounded good and gave you permission to get it!

    I have a '66 J12-D, which is just a bit different but sounds great. I'll bet yours sounds awesome!
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Very cool and complete with those special Ampeg screws!
    I like Ampeg best from the early era like late 50s to about this ones era.
    I had an earlier 3 input Jet that screamed last me a little Marshall and ate Tweed Deluxes for breakfast.
    Still have a 61 Reverberocket.

    Does this have the accordion and mic inputs?
     
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  5. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 TDPRI Member

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    It does not, just two standard inputs. I've only tried the first one, I imagine the second one probably has a pad of some sort.

    I used to have a Gemini 2 that I really loved, but I sold it when I cut back on playing guitar for a bit, and was living in an apartment. 30+ Watts in a third floor walk-up wasn't ideal.
     
  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Great amps. Be aware you can tear siding off a barn at 100 paces.
     
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  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Sweet score!
     
  8. MickM

    MickM Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Wish I still had mine. I got it in similar condition and was my only amp for years. Lost track of it when I moved in with one of my brothers (early '80s) whose cat turned the tolex on both front sides into a scratching post. I had zero knowledge RE tube amps but knew that it did whatever I wanted from it. Never even knew what tubes were in it. Wish I still had mine.
     
  9. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 TDPRI Member

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    Here's an audio demo, because that's just the kind of guy that I am. Please excuse the hamfisted playing.



    Close Mic'ed with a Sennheiser e609.
    Room Mic'ed with an Audio-Technica AT3035

    A rundown of what I'm doing in the audio. Tone's at about 4 for all of this:

    Yamaha Studio Lord, Bridge Pickup (DiMarzio 36th Anniversary Humbucker):

    1. Volume 2.5
    2. Volume 4
    3. Volume 7
    4. Volume 4, Idiotbox Effects No Moon Tubescreamer
    5. Volume 4, Idiotbox Effects No Moon Rat
    6. Volume 4, Idiotbox Effects No Moon Muff
    7. Volume 4, Lovetone Big Cheese Clone
    8. Volume 4, onboard trem
     
  10. AlmostWorldClass

    AlmostWorldClass TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Ampeg Jet was one of the first amps I owned as a 13 year old. I was born and raised in St. Louis and I believe Ampeg was St. Louis based at one time - they were always plentiful around the area.

    Anyway...loved that amp. For it's size it was incredibly loud and loved the tremolo knob....really fun when you're that age. That little sucker was heavy!! I'm guessing it was built in the late 60s.

    Great score Matt. Play it loud, play it proud.
     
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  11. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Congratulations! Nice!
     
  12. Bob M

    Bob M Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I played a’66 Jet and a ‘65 Reverberocket for a few years. Great amps. I had issues finding pre amp tubes. That aside great sounds. Good luck with it.
     
  13. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow that's sweet. It's in great condition for a vintage amp. Congrats!
     
  14. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 TDPRI Member

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    I reached out to the tech who worked on the amp and got his list of what he did to it before I got it:

    Replaced:
    CE canister capacitor 40/20/20/20 uf @ 525 volts
    22uf 25 volt electrolytic capacitor
    25uf 25 volt electrolytic capacitor
    100K .5 watt metal film resistor
    Sovtek 5Y3 rectifier tube
    EH 7591a pentode (2)
    .01uf 630volt polypropylene capacitor
    .022uf 630 volt polypropylene capacitor
    Replace all electrolytics, and Tremolo circuit capacitors. Clean all mechanicals.

    He billed the shop $300. Seeing as I paid $600 for the amp, I'm REALLY curious what they paid for it.
     
  15. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Dr Z Jetta, which is based on the Jet. The sound is just like you describe. “Crisp but not overly bright. Full bodied but not overly middy or scooped. It just sounds like what you're feeding into it.”
     
  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Nice!
     
  17. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    @TheMattJones88
    Nice score, congrats.

    I picked up a blue diamond 50 w super jet reissue recently.
    2006 ish model
    It has the stock speaker by eminence with an ampeg sticker on it.
    Sounds good.

    What speaker is in your Jet?
    curious to see what my reissue would be like with a 60s spec speaker.
     
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  18. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Tele-Meister

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    HNVAD !
     
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  19. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 TDPRI Member

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    It has the original C12R. I'm considering replacing it to possibly get a little more headroom and to beef up the sound slightly, I just need to find something that's shallow enough to fit in the cab. There isn't a lot of extra room for a bigger speaker. If anyone knows what would fit that'd be great. I was looking at a Weber Signature 12B.
     
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  20. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    Very cool!
     
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