Thursday March 24, 2011

Jet City JCA20H Practice Amp

The Jet City Amplification’s JCA20H guitar amp has been rattling a lot of cages lately. Designed by legendary amp builder Mike Soldano chief guru of Soldano Guitar Amplification, this 20 watt valve amp has accomplished the reputation of being both great sounding and affordable. Supposedly based the now discontinued Soldano Atomic 16, the JCA20H is built in Chinese factories to further reduce manufacturing costs. Both a separate practice head amp and matching cabinet or a combo version are available.

The is a 20 watt single channel amp which uses three 12AX7 in the Preamp and two EL84 valves in the Power section. With separate Preamp (Gain), Presence and Master volume and three EQ controls, the JCA20H can convey twangy cleans to crunchy overdrive. Unfortunately the JCA20H does not come with an effects loop. You will need to step it up to the JCA50H or JCA100H to get a tube buffered loop or check out one of the JCA20H modded heads. The Jet City 20 head amp is priced at $299.00.

Jet City JCA20H Amp

Jet City JCA20H Amp

The combo version the Jet City Amplification JCA2112RC combines a custom 1x12” Eminence Driver with the amp. It also includes a tube driven reverb which is not available on any of the head units. The JCA2112RC combo retails for $299.00.

There are three choices of cabinets to match with the JCA series heads. The boxy JCA12S Guitar Speaker Cabinet features a single 1×12” Jet City custom Eminence Driver priced at $199.00. This cabinet can be stacked for increased speaker volume. Or change to the wider 2x12” JCA24S cabinet featuring two of the custom Eminence Drivers for $299.00. For pure intensity the 4x12” JCA48S cabinet is the way to go but it’s probably overkill for most home players. It retails for $499.00.

Alongside the array of cabinets there are several modded variations of the JCA20H amp heads also available:
  • JCA20H Comet – Metal Baffle: Pre installed with the metal grill baffle similar to the THD amp faces. Also comes with Sovtek 12ax7 preamp tubes for high-gain, low-noise, and long life and a pair of matched JJ EL84 in the power section for balanced tone with high reliability. Price is $399.00.
  • JCA20H-BE: Installed with Dave Friedman’s “Brown Eye” mod. “The “Brown Eye” pushes the JCA20H’s already hot-rodded voice, into a heavier level of grit and saturation, while retaining a defined tone with all the clarity and character you’d want in a high-gain amplifier. Fat riffs and creamy lead tones are complimented by the Brown Eye’s tight bass response and ability to clean up with volume roll-off.” Price is $499.00.
  • JCA20H-BE + Loop: Dave Friedman’s magical and dirty “Brown Eye” mod plus a solid state effects loop at $699.00. By comparison the JCA50H and JCA100H with a tube buffered effects loop goes for $599.95 and $799.95 respectively.
  • JCA20H-BES: Dave Friedman’s magical and dirty “Brown Eye” mod PLUS a front-panel Saturation switch for $549.99.
  • JCA20H-BES + Loop: Dave Friedman’s magical and dirty “Brown Eye” mod PLUS a front-panel Saturation switch. All the Overdriven goodness of the JCA20H-BE, with even more Saturation! This item includes the “kitchen sink” of Friedman mods – Brown Eye, Saturation AND a solid state loop. $749.99.
  • JCA20H-BVC Ben Verellen Clean Mod: A hand modified JCA20H with nearly all the drive from the preamp section and allows the JCA20H’s voice to run wide open for 20 watts of maximum clean headroom, even with the preamp gain maxed. Dime the master volume and you get a classic and dynamically responsive power tube break-up. With this sort of voicing, the JCA20H-BVC is the perfect stompbox/pedal effect translator that will allow your custom pedal concoction to come to life on stage or in the studio. $499.99.
Jet City JCA20H-BVC Ben Verellen Clean Mod Amp

Jet City JCA20H-BVC Ben Verellen Clean Mod Amp

So just who is Dave Friedman? Rack, pedalboard, amp modder and rig consultant, Dave Friedman runs Rack Systems Ltd in North Hollywood CA. Some of his prestigious clients include Van Halen, Linkin Park, Slash, No Doubt, Black Eyed Peas (George Pajon Jr.), The Offspring and John 5. The other Jet City Amplification designer is Ben Verellen a Seattle based amp guru, of Verellen Amplifiers.

Other accessories for the Jet City JCA20H amp include colored baffles (the panel that sits over the amp face) in black, white and red for $19.99. Perforated metal is $24.99. This also can be bought as the JCA20H Comet – Metal Baffle package, with Sovtek tubes as above for $399.00.

Jet City 20 JCA20H Practice Amp Head    

  • Controls: Preamp, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master, Presence
  • Tubes: 3x 12AX7 Preamp / 2x EL84 Power
  • Rectifier: Solid State
  • Cabinetry: Multi-ply, void-free hardwood
  • Chassis: 16 gauge, cold-rolled steel
  • Output Power: 20 watts into 16 ohm or 2x 8 ohm speaker outputs
  • Input Power: Multi-tapped power transformer at 100v/120v/220v/240v and standard IEC connector
  • DIMS: 9″Hx9″Dx19.5″W
  • Weight: 21.3lbs net


Jet City Amplification JCA12S 1x12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet

  • Inputs: 1x16ohm
  • Power handling: 100 watts RMS
  • Cabinetry: Multi-ply, void-free hardwood
  • Drivers: 1×12” Jet City Custom Eminence Driver
  • Dims: 20″Hx21″Wx11″D
  • Weight: 26.6lbs net

Jet City Amplification JCA24S 2x12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet

  • Inputs: 1x8ohm for mono or 2x 16ohm for stereo operation
  • Power handling: 200 watts RMS mono or 100 watts RMS per channel for stereo operation
  • Cabinetry:Multi-ply, void-free hardwood
  • Drivers: 2×12” Jet City Custom Eminence Drivers
  • DIMS: 20″Hx28″Wx12″D
  • Weight: 40.2lbs net

Jet City Amplification JCA48S 4x12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet

  • Inputs: 1x4ohm for mono in series or 1x16ohm in parallel operation, or 2x 8ohm for stereo operation
  • Power handling: 400 watts RMS mono or 200 watts RMS per channel for stereo operation
  • Multi-ply, void-free hardwood
  • Cabinetry:
  • Drivers: 4×12” Jet City Custom Eminence Drivers
  • DIMS: 28″Hx28″Wx14″D
  • 69.5lbs net

Video Review

Back to The 21 Best Practice Amps


For people that like reading maps...

Sitemap »
Terms & Conditions

Nothing to see here, move along...

Terms and Conditions »
Help & Support

What is the tallest mountain in the world, and other useful answers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) »
Get in touch