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Rating and Reviews: Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus

The Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus has one of the finest clean tones available. With its on-board effects, the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus is also versatile.

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"happy owner!" submitted February 24, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: live! not a bedroom wanker....
Music Style: almost all
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: This is by far the best sounding solid state amp I've ever played outside of a typical fender tube amp! I happen to be a tube amp snob so there.. This amp has a very warm and pristine clean sound,takes overdrive/distortion pedals real well,in a live situation which I do on a weekly basis,we play Loud!it does so awesome I was even blown away by the stock speakers. Roland engineers did there homework well and its no wonder this amp has become an industry standard like the SM57. The distortion on this amp is very good for old skool blues stuff like albert king,just plain early blues stuff that breaks up just right! other than that its not meant for anything harder just very lite drive. And again the Roland engineers know was up! I've been playin for 20+yrs and 17yrs of it are mostly live! I've played alot of tube amps that have been made and nothing compares to that tube sound weather its clean or distortion its two thumbs up. But the downside to tube amps is high maintenance and weight issues! at least the JC120 has "rubber" caster wheels smart idea again by the roland engineers. Feature: excellent features! If you play jazz,funk,blues,twang rock!all you need is this amp an no effects or pedals and your good to go. Under a very skilled player this amp will turn alot of heads and its been doin it since 1975. If you wanna go harder sound,this amp has few ways to take pedals/star wars looking floor boards etc... It handles things well Great chorus/vibe sound, and the reverb is also very impressive! all the features on this amp is very practical and well thought out. Ease of Use: oh please! if you cant figure this one out your meant to play a kazoo... Quality: its definetly made in Japan, quality is excellent!As I expected from Japan! its also well packed from the factory coming from Japan. Value: it will have no problem holding its own! I you own an older one made from the 80's and its in great shape! dont sell it Roland keeps track of the serial numbers... and the prices will go up some more! Manufacturer Support: I originaly called roland in anaheim california for some parts for a Roland JC120 that was made in 1989(made in the U.S.A) and they were very helpful. This is the reason why I bought my new JC120 cause I was fixing this old amp for a church and it sounded great! I've known about how good the JC120 sounded for a long time and also heard it, but I too much of a tube amp snob! Anyways it just needed some new input jacks cause it was intermittant at times,and needed to touch up some few broken solder cause it had been badly abused by whoever owned it before. Overall: There are few solid state amps out there that are worth playin around with,but this amp is worth owning for life..... This is not a modeling amp! this is pure analog and its been the same since 1975.. Thanx Zzound for the 4payment plan this amp will be paid off very soon!
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"Thirty + years and still going strong!" submitted December 3, 2006

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock and metal
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Sound: It still sounds great with 30 year old speakers. lol. I usually play it around 2 to 3 and it is quite loud. The chorus is great. This is what sold me on it. The distortion isn't so good, so I use a Proco Rat. Its 20 years old and is still going strong too. I would recommend this amp to anyone who wants to start off with a super amp that will last a lifetime. Great Amp. Feature: Chorus is perfect. Distortion is lacking. Ease of Use: Turn it on and turn the knobs where you want them. Its easy. I use a 30 year old Gibson Les Paul, a hot-rodded Ibanez and an Fender American Strat. All sound perfect with this amp. I also recently added a Carvin 412 speaker cabinet for some added thump. Sounds great! Quality: I bought my JC120 30 years ago and have never had any problems with it whatsoever. Not even a fuse. Value: Well worth the money I spent. Manufacturer Support: I have never needed any support. Never had anything go wrong with this amp whatsoever. The Wow Factor: I like it. Its a good looking amp. Overall: I will always keep this amp.
11 of 12 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Customer Review submitted August 2, 2007

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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: rock, alternative, jazz, blues, progressive
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The JC120 is an awesome clean amp. Different from a Twin Reverb, but not better or worse. That is why I use it to amplify my PodXt modeler. I played a JC120 at music school in the early 80's and loved it, but then gravitated to the Fender Twin for clean sounds and Hiwatt and MesaBoogie for distorted tones. Now that I use a Pod to model all of those great tube amp/speaker combinations, I needed a combo amp for gigs/rehearsals that would not color the sound of the POD. Lots of people complain about the sound of a Pod through their guitar amp, but if you like what you hear in the headphones, you will like what you hear coming out of the JC120, it's that pristine. Feature: Classic clean tone, plus a great chorus. The spring reverb is not very useful and the 'distortion' has always been kind of a joke, but who cares? You buy this amp for it's bright clean sound, period. If you want to add overdrive, get a tube screamer or something--although I think those sound better in front of a tube amp. (except if you're using a Pod like me...) Like just about every great piece of gear, the JC120 focuses on doing one thing very well. Ease of Use: Very easy to use and tweak. The EQ is very musical. Makes a great acoustic guitar stage amp, and works well with keyboards, too, although it may not have enough bass response for some synths. I like being able to plug directly into the L & R inputs of the power amp. Quality: Seems to work well and take a lot of abuse. Built like a tank. Value: Yeah, it's worth it. Definitely. Manufacturer Support: Never needed it. The Wow Factor: Let's face it, this amp has a look all its own. If your main concern is lookin cool onstage, get a Marshall stack or tweed Bassman. The JC120 is definitely not "cool". However, I could give a ---- about how it looks as long as the sound is awesome. Most people can't believe I get the sounds I do out of my little setup. Overall: Overall great amp that deserves to be called a classic!
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"One of a kind" submitted March 5, 2006

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: its clean sound makes your guitar sound a lot better than you would think. It sounds so good clean that i use my effects less. chorus is amazing and the vibrato can be sped up for a neat effect. i think the distortion is great. you can hear your dynamics and every note when the distortion is on. its sounds bigger than mono amps because it is stereo. big frequency response. even works well with vocals. Feature: you have to wire the three footswitches with their own wire. The amp sounds noticeably different when i use the effect loop. i love running my me-50 through it in true stereo. it also lets you hook up external speaker if you want to hook it up to another jc-120. love the bright channel. Ease of Use: makes anyting sound great. i find that when the bright channel is on and i use a lot of distortion from my pedal it sounds different. easy to use. sounds great with acoustic/electric. Quality: great quality. The knobs are perfectly smooth and they are big. The knobs are also recessed so they won't break if my amp ever fell over in the car. The input jacks are smooth and dont even make a sound when i unplug. Value: better clean than more expensive amps. best chorus than any amp. Not cheap, but good investment becaus eit will last a long time. Manufacturer Support: haven't delt with them The Wow Factor: i love the look, the big roland logo and the colored control area are better than plain old black. the girlle is perfect beacuse you can see through it at the two beutifal silver coned speakers. Many people will know what is is from far away because of those two big silver cones. Overall: It is not a tube amp, but that is also a good thing. I wish i could use a midi footcontroler. Can be used for many instruments (guitar, acoustic, acoustic/electric, keyboard, vocals, electronic drums, midi instrumet,....)
8 of 9 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Customer Review submitted August 24, 2011

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: I have played with the Jazz Chorus for twenty years and love the sound, but my JC 77 became damaged and no longer sounded the same as before. I was looking at alot of amps and was not sure which way to go. For my band and our style of playing we use a lot of stecato and melodic phrases and combine that with a harder rock sound, for this the JC is the perfect amp. I get ultra clean tone that cuts through the air in a club, like you are playing a highend acoustic guitar in your own living room. The distortion of the JC is terrible but I use a combo pedal and it gives me great sounding distortion. The chorus effect is amazing. I find the 120 is a bigger cleaner sounding version of the amp I have used forever. When I think of the abuse and travel that little amp has seen, I know this is a quality product. I am looking forward to many more great sounding years with the JC 120.
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"Fantastic Amp" submitted August 1, 2013

By William R
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Musical Background: Guitar for 50 + Years Bass for 12 Years
Music Style: All Styles from Flamenco to Country to Soul
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Overall: I have had one for the past 20 years and it is fabulous. The only problem I had with it is it is light on the Bass. But I got a pedal to fix that.
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"My at last" submitted August 30, 2012

By Fallas Mauro
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Musical Background: More tham 30 yeras, hotels, parties, concerts, and political activist with my own band and supporting others songwritersrs
Music Style: Pop rock, jazz, blues, tango, bossa and latin music. In Costa Rica, we have to play anything.
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Overall: Forever I dream to have one of this brute amps, I paly several times with JC, in a concerts but with rent backups. now many year ago, I buy one, is clear, is loud, is for many kind of styles. I know is a solid state amp, I haved Twins, Randall, Marshall, Blues Cube( the tweed ones), Laney and something more, but this is an amazing amp. Too heavy to be solid state, but this said to much about the contruccion on this amp. If you can have one of this, and a good tube amp, be happy you don need anything more, of course if you're not a heavy metal player. For jazz, pop, blues, roots, and for a clean sound and good effects sounds too.
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"awesome clean sound!" submitted February 23, 2007

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Sound: excellent clean sound,but a bit too bright and harsh without a bit of compression before you pump your guitar into it.its a solid state amp so there is NO tube compression or break-up at all.so i would recommend a compressor and a delay and then your in jc120 land,trust me! the chorus sound is amazing...this IS the metallica clean sound from master of puppets cd and other of their old cds.once you hear the jc you will know! this amp doesnt do blues or clasic rock,youll only buy it for its cleans sounds,which ARE legendary. Feature: you will find yourself using channel two the most since it is the chorus channel. the reverb is a bit too surf punk and the distorion is horrible!...but who cares,you will use your own distorion anyways. they should have put in a better distorion and reverb when they made the 'reissue'. Ease of Use: just as any amp,youll mess with the knobs and find a sound you like. Quality: roland makes great stuff,and this amp is living proof. Value: the amp is a bit pricy for a solid state amp. this amp has been around for a very long time and has its own cult following, so id guess that is why the price is a bit high.if it went for about $500 is would be a great deal. but for the $850 it goes for,many people need an amp that is much more versitile. many people (such as me) buy this amp just for its clean sounds and have another amp that can do crunchy or distorted sounds much better. Manufacturer Support: i never had to deal with them so look at this as a positive! The Wow Factor: the newer jc120's are reissues or second versions,whatever you want to call it. the older versions used flip switches for the bright and chorues. Overall: classic jc120 sound you cannot get anywhere else! i wouldnt suggest buying this as your only amp.
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"The best clean amp!" submitted February 18, 2006

By a customer from forsanker.com
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Musical Background: Recording engineer and guitarist
Music Style: Hard rock
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Sound: This is the best clean sound amp on the market! Feature: The only thing lacking is some more buitin effects maybe Ease of Use: No frills Quality: Maybe a litte plastic... Value: Overall values terrific Manufacturer Support: Roland has a exellent support team The Wow Factor: Not really "Sexy" but a good workhorse Overall: Want a clean amp-this is the one!
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"DON'T LOOK NO FURTHER" submitted May 27, 2005

By a customer from MSN.COM
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Musical Background: ACTIVE MUSICIAN RECORDING ENGINEER
Music Style: ROCK ALTERNATIVE
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Sound: I WON 2 OF EM BOUGHT BACK IN THE 80'S ROCK SOLID AMP NEVER BEEN TO THE SHOP..DISTORTION IS USLESS.. I USE AN OLD IBANEZ PUE5 EFFECTS UNIT AND HAVE A PARKER FLY AND STRAT. I HAVE TRIED MANY AMPS SINCE OWNING THE JC-120'S AND I ALWAYS COME BACK TO IT. I'VE TRIED BOOGIE, MARSHAL, AND THE JC IS THE BEST! I HAVE TRIED NEW DIGITAL EFFECTS BUT IT DOES BEST WITH THE OLD ANOLOG. A MUST HAVE! Feature: DISTORTION IS USLESS HARSH AND BAD. THEY SHOULD REFINE THAT SECTION. Quality: HAVE NEVER HAD TO GET THEM WORKED ON THERE BUILT LIKE A TANK Value: BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK Manufacturer Support: NEVER USED Overall: VERY HAPPY! PLAYED ALL STYLES OF MUSIC FROM COUNTRY TO HARD ROCK AND ALTERNATIVE
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"Don't Buy a Taco at a Steakhouse!" submitted March 25, 2010

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Alternative Rock, Punk, Rock n' Roll
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Sound: I give it a nine because it does what it says but I'm not as impressed as I used to be with its supposed versatility. It does two things well: stay clean at high volumes and contains the most sought after chorus effect by guitarists. Wanting both clean and dirty I've tried an array of pedals, but nothing beats a tube amp's natural distortion. In the live setting many untrained ears wouldn't be able to tell but it's difficult to get a warm tone you'll want to hear over and over again on a recording, unless you're after that clean and chorus. Feature: Besides the two main draws (clean and chorus) it also features an effects loop, reverb, distortion, tremolo, and capacity for high volumes (You should never need an extension cabinet for this, I've played many different venues never turning past 3). The loop is handy for volume and delay pedals, the reverb is the most sub par digital reverb I've heard (and actually didn't work when it was brand new till I fixed 2 years later), same for the tremolo, and you've likely heard of the uselessness of the built in distortion. The only thing I wish it also had was a recording "out", either 1/4 inch or XLR. But like I said before, it does what it's intended for well. You don't go to a steak house and order a taco do you? ps. It does one other thing well. Channel 1 is great for an acoustic guitar in the "low" input. I always prefer to have control over my acoustic guitar tone instead of either hauling an acoustic amp around or trusting the sound guy for a direct in (and they never get the tone right - always too "plingy") Ease of Use: There is nothing complex about this set up, even with all of the available features which include: 3 band EQ for each channel, FX loop, Tremolo, Reverb, Chorus, and Distortion. It's all laid out very simply. Quality: I have to give it a 7 based on my experiences. My amp was a floor model in near mint condition that I bought online and had shipped maybe 100 miles. I'm fairly sure that the Fed Ex guy (like every other delivery guy) mishandled the jc120 because my reverb did not work when I first plugged it in. Over the last two years I've treated it very well considering where it's been, handling it myself 99% of the time, but slowly I started having crackling sound issues and my chorus also died (nullifying any value). I finally bit the bullet and had to pony up $200 to repair the electronics board and wiring, which I was informed was a common problem with these. Ouch. Value: 9 for the 2 great features I keep discussing. When I purchased mine for $500 in 2008 the market value for one of these was about $800, and either one of those purchasing prices are a good value (10 and 9). However, in 2010 they are listed at $1000. HOLY CRAP! That is an 8 value at best, considering you can only do two things with this, and most guitarists in the modern age depend on an amp that can deliver a sweet distorted tone. Manufacturer Support: Never tried to contact the company itself, but I'll knock it down one notch just because I'm in that mood after paying $200. The Wow Factor: If you know what it does, and you can find it at a good price, then this machine is uber sexy. I've always loved the way it looked, enjoying it's alternative look to all of the Marshal wannabees. Just don't expect a good distorted tone, period. Overall: Maintenance will be needed after at least two years if you're an "active" musician. If you know what you're getting you'll likely never let this go. I thought I was getting a little more so I'm a bit disillusioned but I'm NEVER going to sell this. It has a vast array of applications and the value continues to rise like a good baseball card, however, I am investing in a versatile tube amp for that much coveted warm tone.
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"The Classic JC-120 Best Solid State Amp in the World" submitted February 12, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
Sound: The JC-120 has earned it's classic status because of it's great clean sound, road worthy construction, and maintenance free dependability. Twenty years and counting and the only thing I've had to do is change a fuse. This is the greatest clean amp in the world. It should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Feature: Footswitch Quality: The Best Value: Worth more than you'll ever pay Manufacturer Support: No Problems The Wow Factor: Still a beautiful amp Overall: Eternity
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