Roland JC-40 on its way

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by bendercaster, May 22, 2018.

  1. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Hat tip to @MilwMark for putting this on my radar. After trying one out at the music store yesterday, I have a JC-40 on order that should be here in a few days.

    I sold my neglected Inspired By John Lennon Casino yesterday. It was a great guitar, but wasn't getting any play time. I had more guitars than I needed, but only one amplifier and the sale gave me a decent budget for buying another one.

    I have been giging with an Ac15 for a few years. I love how it sounds, but I'm tired of lugging it up and down stairs for rehearsals so I've had my eyes out for a light, but loud amp that I could use as a backup / grab and go amp.

    I basically just walked around the show room and tugged on amp handles until I found some that lifted up effortlessly with one hand. The Katana 50, JC-40, and Orange Rocker 15 all met this criteria, but the the combination of weight, size, sound, and volume with the JC-40 was my favorite. I actually liked them all. I'm fact, the used Katana 50 at $160 was probably best deal, but the JC-40 felt a little lighter and just had a huge sound compared to the others. That mid knob is the key I think.

    They wouldn't sell me the floor model, but I'm told mine will be there in a few days. I'm pretty stoked. Between the Vox and the Jazz Chorus, I have the two most coveted sounds of my youth.
     
    FenderLover, NewKid, Shango66 and 7 others like this.
  2. Lef T

    Lef T Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    561
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    That's funny !
    I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago at the music store .
    I'm looking for the balance between good sound,price and weight.
    In the old days it was sound,then price.
    Never thought once about weight.
    I tried a Mesa Rectoverb25 combo and Express 5.25 + combo,but actually liked the
    JC-40 better,and it was lighter also.
    I haven't bit the bullet yet,but so far the Roland Blues Cube Artist is at the top of the heap.
    In a million years,I would have never picked two Roland amps as my faves,let alone one.
    Things change.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    73,568
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Cool!
     
  4. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    It arrived! And it sounds great. I had just finished doing some work on my strat, so I tested that out first. It sounded good. Then I played the Duo Jet and Telecaster through it and it sounded even better. It’s clean, but by rolling the mid control to about 1 o clock you get this great mid range growl out of the bridge pickups, but none of the pickup configurations make it sound boomy or shrill. It just has a really tight, well balanced sound.

    It seemed smaller at the store. I got it home and realized it was pretty close in size to my Vox, though noticeably lighter. My pedal board even worked well with it without having to make any adjustments. The two button switch for the Vox that is on my board works with the Roland too, which is nice, and the C9 sounded even better than it does with the Vox, especially with the Roland’s vibrato engaged.
    IMG_0533.JPG
     
    elihu, MuddyDitch, Jakedog and 7 others like this.
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,771
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Wait till you figure out the Distortion.

    Tip - for me, I turn up the Bass a hair, and the Treble down a hair, as I roll in the Distortion.
     
    bendercaster likes this.
  6. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Thanks for the tip. Clean, I have it set with treble at noon, bass one tick below noon, and the mids just a little above noon. I haven’t played with the distortion much, but I liked what I heard when it was set at the 1st and 2nd tick. Above that, it did seem to boost the treble.
     
  7. Donny Osmond fan

    Donny Osmond fan Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    1,023
    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Location:
    Uknown.
    Cool. Congrats. :cool:
     
    bendercaster likes this.
  8. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I got to use it at practice this afternoon. It is seriously loud. I could only turn it up to about 8 o' clock, which is between the first and second tick on the knob. Granted, our bass player wasn't there, and this was in a small practice room, but my Vox in the same situation is set at about 1 o' clock.

    It sounds great, especially on some of the newer stuff we are working on. It's very dynamic and responsive to the volume and tone knobs on my guitar. I will probably still use my Vox for the outdoor gig I have coming up next week. Most of my pedals sound great through the JC40, but I still need to tweak the distortion, overdrive, and wah pedals. The Vox is less of a variable for now.
     
    Lef T likes this.
  9. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I've been thinking more about this today. I really want to use the JC-40 on my next gig. Most of songs sounded good, and one of my parts on one song sounds huge with the stereo chorus. But our closer got really shrill when I kicked on the Rat for my solo.

    The Rat is set up for my Vox, but I need a little more time at stage volume to play around with it before I'd be comfortable. I think it's a compression issue. I'm curious to hear how others have changed their overdrive or distortion settings when going from a tube amp to the JC-40.
     
  10. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Location:
    Colorado
    Seriously?!! With drums you had keep it at 8 o’clock? That is loud!
     
    bendercaster likes this.
  11. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,771
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Mine is like loud TV volume at 8:30. I can play with loud band (including bass player and another guitarist) with my volume knob rolled back a bit, and the volume on say 11 o'clock on up (sometimes lower). It is punishingly loud at 2 o'clock on up.
     
    Jakedog and bendercaster like this.
  12. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Our drummer plays a little softer at practice, but yeah, about 8:30 and that's even with my guitar volume rolled back a little. I shove a 2×4 under the front of it so that I can hear myself better. If it was flat on the ground I might have had to turn it up a little more.
     
  13. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I played around with the JC40 and the Vox tonight to see if I could figure out why the Roland sounded shrill on a couple of tunes. Suprisingly, side by side, the Vox didn't really sound any better. I turned the filter knob a little more clockwise on the Rat and that tamed it for the Roland. But even clean, the Vox just sounded kind of plinky and thin in comparison.

    The wah was equally squeally through the Vox and after playing around with it for a while, it got increasingly noisy and scratchy. So, I thInk the problem is the wah not the amp. A little contact cleaner improved it for a minute before it went back to being squeally and scratchy. It's a bummer, but I have no reservations about using the JC40 live next week. Maybe I'll work some chorus or vibrato into the solo instead of wah. I don't plan to get rid of the Vox, but I can see myself using the JC40 as my main work horse amp. Minimal tweaks on the overdrive and distortion pedals, and rolling the guitar volume back a little, made them sound every bit as good as they did with the Vox.
     
    NewKid, MilwMark and Lef T like this.
  14. Donny Osmond fan

    Donny Osmond fan Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    1,023
    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Location:
    Uknown.
    Congrats.
     
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,771
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    The other interesting tidbit is that it gets some really nice natural "breakup" and very, very light "compression" (more like limiting maybe) when pushed way up to almost dimed. Really really full, deep sound. Not falling apart/ratty like all tube amps I've played. Maybe mostly speaker compression?

    This supports my theory that we are more suspicious of/SS gear. So we listen to it much more closely. And judge it for things that are absolutely present in “approved” tube gear - we just normally don’t listen as critically to the tube gear! I’ve been there.

    I haven't thought about another amp since I got mine. That's a major record for me.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    bendercaster likes this.
  16. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I get something similar, even at lower volumes, with my Les Paul Jr. Maybe it's the alnico slug P90, but it creates this really pleasant, full sounding breakup.
     
  17. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I've had this amp for about 10 months now. I still have my AC15 too. I don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon, but the JC-40 is a solid amp. I mostly use it for band practice since it's lighter than the Vox, but it sounds great. In fact, it sounded so good yesterday, that I'll probably use it on the gig I have next weekend too. As much as I like the Vox, the Roland just works. It always sounds the same . It doesn't need to get cooking, the way the Vox does, to sound it's best. And certain pedals, like my overdrive and C9 organ machine, consistently sound better with it. The vibrato is pretty killer too. I plan to keep it as long as it works.
     
    marcflores and lineboat like this.
  18. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    So how does it do with pedals? Can you throw a Tube Screamer and a Muff in front of it and let it rip like an AC15?
    The Vox is one of my favorites, but I’ve been considering a JC 40 or Peavey Bandit.
     
  19. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Pedals sound great with it. For distortion, I use a MXR pedal and a RAT. I had a tube screamer on my board for a long time though and that sounded great through the Roland too.

    I think the Mid knob on the JC is the secret. It gives the amp a nice growl without really breaking up. But when you click on your overdrive or distortion, it doesn't compress and loose volume like it can with the Vox.

    I use the same pedal board with the same settings on both amps. Again, that Mid knob allows me to set it so that it sounds pretty similar to the Vox normal channel.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,160
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Congrats! I A/Bed a JC-40 and a JC-120 (I love the clean sound of JCs) and concluded I'd never need the extra whump (and weight) of the 120. The 40 is an amazing amp.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.