Jump to content

Roland JC-120 - any differences in sound between old and new models?


Recommended Posts

  • Members

My JC-120 arrived today. It's an older model, no effects loop, lovely flicky switches for the power and chorus section, none of this push button or rocker switch malarky. It sounds superb. It's been well used and gigged, the exterior has some marks and the knobs all need replacing as they're well worn but it somehow gives it character. The chorus and vibrato are magnificent. The first thing I played on it was 'The Queen is Dead', a bit of onboard chorus and reverb, a 335 and a Tim overdrive and it was gorgeous. I do wish it had an effects loop that I could drop a couple of rack units in but never mind. I'll try them in front of the amp and see how it all sounds.

 

I'm curious about something though. Has anyone used an older model and compared it to one of the newer ones with an effects loop? I was wondering if there was any difference in sound, not so much because of the addition of an effects loop, but something similar to how older pedals sound different to reissues now due to different chips being used. I doubt there is much difference if any but I'm a curious soul at heart so wondered if anyone had any experience of new versus old JC-120's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I had an older one and a newer one at the same time, I wanted to see what one sounded better so I bought both with the intention of selling the one I didn't like. The older one was clearer sounding, more amp like as the newer one always had a grainy quality to the sound. This sound would not be a texture like a tweed amp but more like transistor noise, hard to describe but easy to hear. I can't remember the chorus quality however, I think I liked the newer one slightly more because I think it was a bit stronger, the lack of bell like clarity was the reason I got rid of the newer model.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Cheers for that Harry. I don't know the exact age of mine, I'll have to email Roland and ask them to date the serial number for me. It's fun with Japanese things to get down to the dating part of it, like so many of the 1970's MIJ guitars and how their backgrounds are fairly mysterious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

damnit -- you just described EXACTLY what I did for most of the 80s
:p

 

When my JC-120 arrived on Wednesday, the first song I played thorugh it was 'The Queen is Dead'. I love that feeling you get when you get a new amp, turn it up and dial it in and it just sounds perfect. Now if only I could get the chords right for 'William, It Was Really Nothing'...

 

Anyone know of a site that helps with serial numbers or is it easier to drop Roland an email direct? Mine is Japanese, 907013 is the serial number.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I had a friend that's a semi-famous musician that used one of the original MIA JC120s loaded with JBLs for certain tracking work, I first saw him using it in 1977/78.

 

HUGE sweet creamy tone yet with dynamics and headroom for days...also had a special reaction to pedals in front, made pedals sound completely different than how they sounded in tube amps.

 

Back in the late 80s I decided to get a Jazz-Chorus myself (AB for cleans against my 2203), but all the models I tried lacked that mystical quality & frankly sounded like total {censored}...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

anyone tried running a dirt pedal through one, like say.....shredmaster?

 

 

 

I run a Tim and a Screwdriver into mine and they sound OK. The Tim goes with just about anything and I'm a pretty jangly player so it's fine with me. I wouldn't say I like the Screwdriver 100% with it and I suspect fuzz-type pedals and things like Muffs aren't going to gel with the JC-120 too well. I've also got an Aramat Green Machine that goes pretty nicely with it too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

The ones made in the late 70's had the same exact chorus circuit as the infamous CE-1

 

 

Why do you say infamous?

 

 

The CE-1 is the first, and best chorus effect pedal ever made!

 

 

 

(apart from the low headroom of course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

I wouldn't say I like the Screwdriver 100% with it and I suspect fuzz-type pedals and things like Muffs aren't going to gel with the JC-120 too well.

 

 

Yeah, some pedals sound great in front of a JC-120, the others - not so much. My experiences:

 

1) Boss BD-2 - OK if you use it as a boost, if you use it as an overdrive you'll get a sort of "punk" overdrive sound (Ramones-like, "Rock The Casbach", something like that).

 

2) EHX Little Big Muff - "Goodbye, friends..." You are simply lost in the mix. Sounds decently, but totally non-present.

 

3) EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress - great, no problems there.

 

4) VOX V847 wah - totally usable.

 

5) Boss CS-3 - Jazz Chorus really masks its "clicks" and "nasality".

 

6) Boss DS-1 - believe it or not, it's the best sound I've ever heard coming from a Jazz Chorus. You wouldn't believe you're not in front of a Marshall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
  • 11 months later...
  • Members

Mine was made in Japan, and has a serial number of 101001. The serial number makes me think it's like one of the first ones made, maybe 1975. All the switches on front are toggle switches instead of push buttons, but it has bright switches, and 2 jacks on the back for MAIN IN, 2 for External Speaker, a LINE OUT jack, and 3 footswitches jacks. The model is just JC-120, no alpha letter afterwards. I'm confused. Theres a lot of mis-information about the different JC-120s out there. Roland is of no help for anything prior to 1988. I hook a Vox Tonelab LE up to the MAIN IN jacks, which gives me stereo effects. When I do this, all front panel controls are disabled, and everything is controlled by the Tonelab, which is great. I've tried a lot of different amps, and even had 3 different model Tonelabs, but this is the first time I get the same incredible tone from the amp as I get thru headphones plugged into the Tonelab. This is tone and effects to die for. If you don't try this setup, you're just flat missing out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...