Roland Jc-120 distortion question

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Spiritof77, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Spiritof77

    Spiritof77 NEW MEMBER!

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    Hi all,

    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.
     
  2. Meshgearfox

    Meshgearfox Tele-Meister

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    If "classic 70's punk rock" means Crass... then yes. You could always add a pedal for distortion tones.
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You'd be far better off playing a distortion or overdrive pedal through the clean channel.
     
  4. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

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    Adrian Belew used JC120s for years and didn't use the built-in distortion--that ought to tell you something.
     
  5. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I was never entirely happy with the built in distortion on my JC-120.
     
  6. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    I worked with a guitarist for a year back in the 1980's that had a JC 120.

    He didn't get a OD sound he liked from the distortion channel. It sounded harsh, no matter what. He played a Gibson 335. Very Larry Carlton influenced.

    When he ran a distortion pedal through the clean channel it sounded good. I don't remember what his pedal was.
     
  7. Timbertea

    Timbertea Tele-Holic

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    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).
     
  8. barrymclark

    barrymclark Tele-Meister

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    I used it to get a lo-fi fur onto the otherwise pristine sound.
     
  9. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    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.
     
  10. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    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:
     
  11. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I had a JC120 in the 80's.

    Great clean amp.

    The distortion was very harsh. Harsh and nasty. I had to use a pedal. I. Can't imagine a none using the Distortion knob on the JC120.
     
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    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.
     
  13. montanatanner

    montanatanner Tele-Meister

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    I had a JC-77. Great clean amp, and maybe the distortion was better than a JC-120, but nevertheless, get a pedal.
     
  14. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    I've tried the distortion on the 120s and 77s. Yep, get a pedal!
     
  15. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    Hey John, did you mean a "can't imagine a nun" using the distortion knob?

    I didn't think I could either but I did get a quick visual ...and then she went right back to the CLEAN channel. :)
     
  16. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    True. Nothing but clean.

     
  17. Stigroadie

    Stigroadie TDPRI Member

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    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. ;-)
     
  18. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    Try it with the guitar plugged into the 'low' input. It sounds more like a boost/compressor and has its uses.

    Granted, if you're plugged into the 'high' input, it's absolutely abysmal.
     
  19. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Afflicted

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    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.
     
  20. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    I used a JC120 at a jam session and would say that the OD was not the sound I wanted so put a pedal in front.

    Also have a Cube 60 COSM - the Cube 60 has better OD but the JC120 is better clean of course - probably due to 2 x 12 speakers.

    Bottom line is I would rather use my sf twin than any of them...
     
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