Roland Jazz Chorus JC-77
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Roland Jazz Chorus JC-77

Jazz Chorus JC-77, Solid-State Combo Guitar Amp from Roland in the Jazz Chorus series.

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mortished 03/11/2005

Roland Jazz Chorus JC-77 : mortished's user review

5

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Roland Jazz Chorus 77:
2 x 40 watts solid-state, two 10" speakers, aluminum domes, knobs: volume/high treble/treble/middle/bass/reverb + distortion (more to fill the space than anything else!) and (good quality) reverb + great stereo chorus with rate/depth, two inputs (high/low input) + independent inputs for the footswitches (distortion/reverb and chorus), and one stereo line out (not tested yet).

It's the small sibling of the JC 120 (and there's a smaller one, the JC50) with the same quality: 1 single channel... But what a sound: Perfect for jazz and even fusion with a good distortion or preamp (I use a v twin mesa boogie for distortion and it's awesome) and very, very solid! I only give it 8 points because the amp is very particular and might not be the best for everybody, but the clean sound deserves 11 points!

UTILIZATION

Very easy to use, the controls are precise and intuitive, you'll feel at home right away... The manual is easy to find on the Roland USA site, but it's useless.
The amp is very practical: stereo, with a marvelous built-in chorus and a good quality reverb (so no distortion), compact and not too heavy, no tubes to change (but it is nevertheless very loud for a solid-state amp), it's rock-solid. It works great with an acoustic-electric (Ovation CC057)

SOUNDS

It's perfect for me but, fortunately, I also have the V twin: If you play metal it's not worth it, but jazzmen and fans of clean sounds in general should definitely listen to it (they are not very expensive secondhand: I've seen it on AF for $400... which is pretty rare): Some people have thrown away their Fender Twins after haring this amp... In my opinion, it perfectly translates the characteristics of a guitar: It doesn't alter the sound and the chorus is sublime... I don't know what to do with my Carl Martin now...
I was worried it would lack some power, but I was mistaken! It sounds really loud if you push it, it's perfect for rehearsals and clubs... But I'll say it again: The distortion control is only an embellishment (in the best of cases you can pump up the sound a bit... but I prefer to leave it at zero and use the V Twin), if you want some distortion you absolutely need a pedal, so I only give it 9 and not 10 points for that.

OVERALL OPINION

I just got it today, so my experience with it is limited but I'm currently under its spell...I'll update my review in six months to counterbalance my enthusiasm! lol
Being critical about it: There's a light background noise (but it isn't really annoying), I have 2 or 3 pots that hiss a bit, but if you apply some contact spray it's gone. Other than that, the amp is in very good shape, considering its age (20 years or more). The protection fabric has a small rip.
If you are looking for a clean sound, it's a great deal for the price (with a very, very good stereo chorus, which only adds to the allure! I'm doing a comparison with my Carl Martin, which is a standard reference, and I must say that I'm very impressed by the JC!), it's definitely its main strength! I was looking for an amp for jazz and I found it: I have tested lots of much more expensive amps (Fender Hotrod, Mesa F30 and MarkIV, Peavey Classic 30 ... tube amps, as you have surely noticed) and this one is really the best compromise given its price. You only need to add a quality distortion to it (a tubes distortion if possible) and you have a perfect setup...