Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #92894  by jazzedupbertha
 Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:36 am
Anyone here ever use a roland Jazz chorus amp or other "jazz" amp for a jerry amp? iv e been studying a ton of jazz players and players influenced by jazz... ie Scofield, Anastasio, and so on. I know that neither of them use solid state amps... Anastasio uses fender tube amps and mesa boogie tube amps... and scofield uses a mesa boogie mostly and sometimes a vox AC 30... and of course jerry used a fender mainly, as well as a mesa, and the GT trio later on... but at this point in my live i need an inexpensive amp that is very clean and takes pedals well. I mostly use Electro harmonix pedals (most versatility for the price usually and built like tanks and in the usa haha) and for awhile a blues junior amp was my main amp and then a fender vibrolux reverb... both of them "broke up" too soon. I sold them both and now i need a an amp that will cover everything i play... which is mostly improv jazz fussion, jam stuff... similar to Medeski, Martin and wood and Phish Jams... and of course an occasional GD cover :-) .... and while the fender's sounded great for most stuff, the GD stuff always sounded weak.
My options for amps are:
Roland Jazz chorus
Ibanez wholetone
Any input is helpful... and sorry for the novel above.
peace :D
 #92897  by rugger
 Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:29 am
I recently picked up a 80's Jazz Chorus for just under $500 with shipping. You shouldn't have any trouble finding one on Ebay for $400-$500. Excellent bang for the buck IMO.

Cleans are really sweet. The amp is more than loud enough. Haven't tried it with any pedals, but they are supposed to be an excellent pedal platform. Only down side is that they are big and heavy. Not sure I would want to gig with it, but they are fun to play through.

In terms of getting that "Jerry sound." I wouldn't get hung up on that unless that is really what you are going for. If that is the case then there are lots of threads on the specific rig you "need." Tone is in your hands. If you are able to emulate His style and play with a clean platform you will be most of the way there. Just my opinion.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

John in San Diego
 #92899  by tcsned
 Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:44 am
I used a JC 120 for a while back in the 80s - seemed reasonable for a Jerry sound though that was through my ears 20+ years ago so take that with a grain of salt. I think it was the best solid state amp ever built and is great for clean jazz-fusion stuff. The chorus is even usable. As John mentioned it's a heavy beast so you'll have that to deal with. I had a roomate that had a JC-60 back in the 90s and it was no where near in the same ballpark as the 120.
 #92925  by barefootdave
 Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:54 am
JC amps have great tone, and my Roland cube is great and very portable, but not very loud.

You might consider a Line 6 Spider. I have a 75w SpiderJam version with a footswitch that cost about $500 total, gives a very nice variety of clean and dirty sounds. It is lightweight, reliable, and quite loud when cranked. Has models for Blackface Twin, Deluxe, Marshall, AC30, Boogie, etc. Also sounds very good at low volumes for practicing at home, which I found nothing but a digital modeling amp will do. Even my small 6w champ style amps are uncomfortably loud when set to a good tone volume. I have my footswitch set for 2 different clean Jerry tones, a slightly gritty deluxe tone, and a screaming boogie tone with delay (tap tempo w/ foot switch).

Spiders also have 1/8" input for ipod, etc. and a headphone out. This one also has an aux 1/4" in and an XLR; have used it for acoustic solo gigs and it performs well for that also. I am listening to 7-6-90 as I type via the headphone output from my laptop into the spider 1/8 in, sounds awesome.
 #92926  by jackr
 Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:06 am
I would say, yes for sure it would be great. I have one in my arsenal. And it is very very clean so if you use a pedal board you will be able to configure anything you want because you are starting out with the best clean sounding amp (imo) as your baseline. The distortion feature on the amp sucks. Other then that is it an amazing amp.

I bought it because I was sick and tired of all the maintenance I had to do on my tube amps. I had always been a tube amp guy. Recently I got a mesa boogie transatlantic tube amp but have had no issues.
 #92936  by myoung6923
 Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:05 am
I have a JC120 with a pair of JBL E120's in it that gets a really nice Jerry tone out of it. Not as good as the twin - but still very clean and nice.
 #109573  by Bear62
 Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:21 am
I had a JC120 and wish I still did. Cleans and reverb were amazing. Joni Mitchell played through one on Shadows and Light Album. It also has an effects loop and I always wanted to try using it w/ an SMS to the Amp In on using the JC Power Amp and speakers only. That would be Jerry tone for a country mile~ my $.02

 #109576  by TI4-1009
 Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:06 am
I thought most of the AC30 variations has EL84 power tubes (different sound) and no reverb? AC30s are NICE, but different than Jerry.
 #109577  by Tennessee Jedi
 Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:16 am
TI4-1009 wrote:I thought most of the AC30 variations has EL84 power tubes (different sound) and no reverb? AC30s are NICE, but different than Jerry.
Yeah they have the EL's ... some models have digital reverb ...
Nothing left to do but smile smile smile
 #109586  by mkaufman
 Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:23 pm
I use a JC77 (sold my JC120 - too heavy for me). It works for me, but I'm a Bobby player. Of all my amps, it gives me the cleanest glassiest tone. I think it's voiced more to my liking that my other amps.

 #109705  by GeneralGoldilocks
 Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:03 pm
roland jc platform is great if you have a good rig to go into it. It is a clean empty canvas on which to paint your tone, and it sounds like your rig, it doesn't dictate your tone. they are almost indestructable, and i think it can be very jerry. I love the chorus for "waiting for a miracle" and other chorus jerry tunes. i think fender tube amps have a better overall tone for jerry, and i love them all and would recommend those over about any amp for the price, although the roland jc series will really make you wonder if dealing with tubes is worth it. the jc 120 is a 63 pound monster, try the jc 90 or jc 77 unless you are playing larger venues. remember to mic both speakers and pan them for the true stereo chorus! either way, you can get either a jc 77 or a fender blues junior both for under 500 on ebay delivered and both will give you tons of trouble free tonal bliss if you don't get a lemon. you can get a jc 120 for 500 if you want to blow the roof off the sucka.