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Jet City JCA50H or Blackstar HT20H?

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  • Jet City JCA50H or Blackstar HT20H?

    Hi all:

    New to posting on this forum, but I've been reading quite a bit lately. Really appreciate the expertise, and hoping some of ya'll might be willing to help me out with a decision.

    I had been setting money aside for a new tube amp (been using a Line6 Flextone III for the last couple years) since I first found out about the new Jet City JCA22H back in Jan/Feb. Had the cash by May, but got tired of waiting at the end of June. Decided to go $100 more for the JCA50H, and placed my order on 6/21 - seller stated (as with most sites) should ship around 6/28. No soap.

    This past weekend, I decided to see what else $499 would buy, and wound up purchasing a Blackstar HT20H. Sounded amazing in the store, and really had myself convinced it'd be a perfect alternative. Unfortunately, over the past few days and spending a couple of hours cranking it in my brother's studio, I'm not so sure.

    I like the gain capability of the Blackstar, but it gets saturated really quick. Finding low-gain tones that match up well to my SG are hard to find with it seeming to hit the wall well before the noon position. At lower volumes the clean channel is really nice, but it got into crunch category whenever I tried to get to louder levels in the studio. The amp, overall, seems really dark, but I do like the smoothness.

    I want something that can do old-school metal (Sabbath, Priest, Maiden) gain-wise, but still have plenty of usable lower-gain to do crunch, blues-rock, hard rock, etc (Led Zep, ZZ Top, AC/DC). I play some cleans, but it's not the priority. Not looking to heavily scoop mids - want something that can punch through a jam with another guitar, drummer, and bass. I'm playing an SG standard with a pretty hot humbucker in the bridge and a Carvin strat-type with HSS.

    I have a couple of speakers (EV-12L and Mesa/Celestion Black Shadow) from a Boogie cab I sold a few years back, and am planning to build a 2x12 based of the Thiele design to go with the new head. It'd be nice to hear what anyone thinks of this as a match.

    So, with all that being said (sorry it's so long-winded), do any of you have an opinion you'd be willing to share? Both of these heads are the same price, and I can still return the Blackstar. I'm guessing that the Jet City's additional headroom will help with the cleans, but I have next to no experience with the controllability of the gain on the OD channel. I really like the support out there for the Jet City line - especially the potential mod-ability of the all-tube design versus Blackstar being a hybrid.

    Thanks in advance!
    Come join us at the NEW Jet City Lounge on guitarampboard.com: http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/...f=5&t=1615

  • #2
    JCA = Classic rock plus boosted = old school metal. I will add its very bright. Not really any super cleans though, roll back the volume and you can get to near break up.

    Blackstar = great cleans and great modern tones, can do hard rock but the JCA will do that better. More versatile.

    Hope that helps. I went for the JCA as it was cheaper (I went 20w) but I was tempted with both. If I had the cash I would go for the 40w Blackstar combo as more options.
    http://www.guitarampboard.com we have gone there, please follow!!!<br><br>Remember<br><br>http://www.guitarampboard.com<br><br>Yes that's right<br><br>http://www.guitarampboard.com<br><br>^_^ http://www.guitarampboard.com ^_^<br>

    Comment


    • #3
      That definitely helps to confirm my instinct that the JCA is probably more what I'm looking for. I did forget to include - I've read about the concerns over the effects loop on the JCA. I've got an old Quadraverb. Anyone know how well that works?
      Come join us at the NEW Jet City Lounge on guitarampboard.com: http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/...f=5&amp;t=1615

      Comment


      • #4
        That definitely helps to confirm my instinct that the JCA is probably more what I'm looking for. I did forget to include - I've read about the concerns over the effects loop on the JCA. I've got an old Quadraverb. Anyone know how well that works?


        The Quadraverb will work perfectly with the Jet City loop. You just have to raise the internal patch volume a little higher than you normally would.

        The smaller Alesis units, (Nanoverb and Picoverb) don't work.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.guitarampboard.com">http://www.guitarampboard.com</a><br><br><br>Like my band on FB: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/thefew1">http://www.facebook.com/thefew1</a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>All prices include shipping to ConUS.</div>

        Comment


        • #5
          JCA50H
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><br />
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          <b>Amp:</b><br />
          Jet City JCA100HDM | Framus CS 2x12</font></div>

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi all:

            New to posting on this forum, but I've been reading quite a bit lately. Really appreciate the expertise, and hoping some of ya'll might be willing to help me out with a decision.

            I had been setting money aside for a new tube amp (been using a Line6 Flextone III for the last couple years) since I first found out about the new Jet City JCA22H back in Jan/Feb. Had the cash by May, but got tired of waiting at the end of June. Decided to go $100 more for the JCA50H, and placed my order on 6/21 - seller stated (as with most sites) should ship around 6/28. No soap.

            This past weekend, I decided to see what else $499 would buy, and wound up purchasing a Blackstar HT50H. Sounded amazing in the store, and really had myself convinced it'd be a perfect alternative. Unfortunately, over the past few days and spending a couple of hours cranking it in my brother's studio, I'm not so sure.

            I like the gain capability of the Blackstar, but it gets saturated really quick. Finding low-gain tones that match up well to my SG are hard to find with it seeming to hit the wall well before the noon position. At lower volumes the clean channel is really nice, but it got into crunch category whenever I tried to get to louder levels in the studio. The amp, overall, seems really dark, but I do like the smoothness.

            I want something that can do old-school metal (Sabbath, Priest, Maiden) gain-wise, but still have plenty of usable lower-gain to do crunch, blues-rock, hard rock, etc (Led Zep, ZZ Top, AC/DC). I play some cleans, but it's not the priority. Not looking to heavily scoop mids - want something that can punch through a jam with another guitar, drummer, and bass. I'm playing an SG standard with a pretty hot humbucker in the bridge and a Carvin strat-type with HSS.

            I have a couple of speakers (EV-12L and Mesa/Celestion Black Shadow) from a Boogie cab I sold a few years back, and am planning to build a 2x12 based of the Thiele design to go with the new head. It'd be nice to hear what anyone thinks of this as a match.

            So, with all that being said (sorry it's so long-winded), do any of you have an opinion you'd be willing to share? Both of these heads are the same price, and I can still return the Blackstar. I'm guessing that the Jet City's additional headroom will help with the cleans, but I have next to no experience with the controllability of the gain on the OD channel. I really like the support out there for the Jet City line - especially the potential mod-ability of the all-tube design versus Blackstar being a hybrid.

            Thanks in advance!


            The BlackStar is not a hybrid, it's an all-tube amp with diodes in the preamp section. That's not the same thing as a hybrid amp and several great amps use that type of design, including my Marshall 2210, which is a very sought-after amp.

            Having said that, I do think the BlackStar HT is very modern sounding and kinda harsh for hard rock tones. I think it will your needs much better.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.guitarampboard.com">http://www.guitarampboard.com</a><br><br><br>Like my band on FB: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/thefew1">http://www.facebook.com/thefew1</a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>All prices include shipping to ConUS.</div>

            Comment


            • #7
              The BlackStar is not a hybrid, it's an all-tube amp with diodes in the preamp section. That's not the same thing as a hybrid amp and several great amps use that type of design, including my Marshall 2210, which is a very sought-after amp.

              Having said that, I do think the BlackStar HT is very modern sounding and kinda harsh for hard rock tones. I think it will your needs much better.


              as much as I can get good lower gain tones out of my Blackstar ht 100 I do think the jet city is definitely more of a rockclassic metal amp. With the 100 you can crank up the clean channel and get some nice rock tones but then you don't have your clean anymore.
              <div class="signaturecontainer">my clips: <a href="http://www.soundclick.com/angrygodsoftheradio" target="_blank">www.soundclick.com/angrygodsoftheradio</a>-JSXJCM800 <br />
              <br />
              <br />
              My fingers, PRS and Taylor guitars, Budda, Fryette and Orange amps, Genz Benz cabs, Line6 effects and wireless, various dirt and fuzz boxes.</div>

              Comment


              • #8
                The JCA WILL get SUPER cleans. VERY NICE cleans.


                And I'm thinking about selling mine...
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><div align="center"><font face="Arial"><font size="2"><i><b><b>Gibson</b> Ibanez <b><font size="3">Diezel</font></b> / Fender / <b>Dan Hall</b></b></i></font></font></div><br />
                <div class="bbcode_container">
                <div class="bbcode_quote">
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                <div class="bbcode_quote_container"></div>

                <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Sixtonoize</strong>
                <a href="showthread.php?p=34752397#post34752397" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
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                <div class="message">This.<br />
                <br />
                I couldn't have said it better.</div>

                </div>
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                <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>K-Bizzle</strong>
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                <div class="message">Yeah I'm with Abstract here...</div>

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                <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Bob Savage</strong>
                <a href="showthread.php?p=36015624#post36015624" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
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                <div class="message">I like your style, and attention to reason.</div>

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                <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>TornadoOfSouls</strong>
                <a href="showthread.php?p=37226088#post37226088" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
                </div>
                <div class="message">Just don't buy it from Dewy / Musicians Friend.</div>

                </div>
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                </div> <div class="bbcode_container">
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                <div class="quote_container">
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                <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>justcrash</strong>
                <a href="showthread.php?p=44580130#post44580130" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Wait a bit longer for the JCA22H to go on sale. The amp is SERIOUSLY impressing me. It's going to have a $400 price tag too.

                  anything from low gain blues to classic rock up to the 80's metal and 90's metallica and what not, it can pull it off.

                  When they sent it to me to try out, I honestly wasn't expecting it to be nearly this good. I was expecting like a 20H with a little more gain but this thing is seriously good.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars</b><br />
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                  Splawn <b>&quot;MUFASA&quot;</b> Nitro - Mako MAK4 Preamp - Jet City 100H w/JJ KT66's, 22H &amp; Pico Valve - Whitebox Engineering 2x12, PortCity OS212 - Splawn 4X12<br />
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wait a bit longer for the JCA22H to go on sale. The amp is SERIOUSLY impressing me. It's going to have a $400 price tag too.


                    What FRPC said, i'm waiting on the JCA22H. Although Neils description on the JCA pretty much summed up how I found it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Quadraverb will work perfectly with the Jet City loop. You just have to raise the internal patch volume a little higher than you normally would.

                      The smaller Alesis units, (Nanoverb and Picoverb) don't work.


                      Glad to find someone else with ancient gear Thanks for the reply!

                      I'm pretty sure I've read about other stuff you're using. How does the old Quadraverb measure up to today's technology?
                      Come join us at the NEW Jet City Lounge on guitarampboard.com: http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/...f=5&amp;t=1615

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The BlackStar is not a hybrid, it's an all-tube amp with diodes in the preamp section. That's not the same thing as a hybrid amp and several great amps use that type of design, including my Marshall 2210, which is a very sought-after amp.

                        Having said that, I do think the BlackStar HT is very modern sounding and kinda harsh for hard rock tones. I think it will your needs much better.


                        If I'm wrong, please forgive my assumption - I could have sworn that I saw a schematic someone had started working on that documented at least the first preamp stage(s), which included FETs used in conjunction with the gain controls. I'm no tube expert, but what I do know leads me to question how they're able to ramp up so much gain with just two tubes (and wouldn't one of those be a phase inverter?). Also simple clipping diodes don't readily lend themselves to smooth clipping like that amp seems to be about. Again - not arguing at all - just interesting to the techie in me

                        If I'm reading you right, it sounds like you'd agree that the JCA is more old-school variety, while the Blackstar is more of the modern vibe. Thanks for helping me out - I've really enjoyed reading your prior commentaries about how much you like the JCA50s.
                        Come join us at the NEW Jet City Lounge on guitarampboard.com: http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/...f=5&amp;t=1615

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wait a bit longer for the JCA22H to go on sale. The amp is SERIOUSLY impressing me. It's going to have a $400 price tag too.

                          anything from low gain blues to classic rock up to the 80's metal and 90's metallica and what not, it can pull it off.

                          When they sent it to me to try out, I honestly wasn't expecting it to be nearly this good. I was expecting like a 20H with a little more gain but this thing is seriously good.


                          This is NOT what I wanted to hear you're killing me, dude...

                          Not to waste everyone's time retelling my tale - I've been on that road since Jan/Feb, and I've really just about had it with holding my breath with no clear end in sight.

                          Since you're the one with the experience, can you tell me - is the 22 the same as the 50/100 in terms of preamp gain and basic tone structure, with the primary difference being the power tubes (EL84s vs 6L6s)? Besides differences in headroom, which lead me to believe that the 50 would be more capable of cleaner gain at higher perceived volumes, is there a very real difference in smoothness, tone, etc.? Knowing that modern metal / Broots (whatever that is ) and the heavily agressive stuff is not what I'm looking to do, would you really recommend I go full circle to the 22?

                          Thanks man - you do put some excellent demos and commentary together!
                          Come join us at the NEW Jet City Lounge on guitarampboard.com: http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/...f=5&amp;t=1615

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ...and to the others that have given (and may yet still give) me feedback - thanks for your help. This is an amazing resource community, and ya'll are great!
                            Come join us at the NEW Jet City Lounge on guitarampboard.com: http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/...f=5&amp;t=1615

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is NOT what I wanted to hear you're killing me, dude...

                              Not to waste everyone's time retelling my tale - I've been on that road since Jan/Feb, and I've really just about had it with holding my breath with no clear end in sight.

                              Since you're the one with the experience, can you tell me - is the 22 the same as the 50/100 in terms of preamp gain and basic tone structure, with the primary difference being the power tubes (EL84s vs 6L6s)? Besides differences in headroom, which lead me to believe that the 50 would be more capable of cleaner gain at higher perceived volumes, is there a very real difference in smoothness, tone, etc.? Knowing that modern metal / Broots (whatever that is ) and the heavily agressive stuff is not what I'm looking to do, would you really recommend I go full circle to the 22?

                              Thanks man - you do put some excellent demos and commentary together!


                              I am also eagerly awaiting this amp to go on sale...along with your answer to this, how well does it do the long sustain, violin solo tone?

                              And also, if you know, when will it be readily available? Thanks!
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">Dontthinkfeel</div>

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