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Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus 120-watt 2x12" Stereo Combo Amp Reviews

5.0 stars based on 16 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus 120-watt 2x12" Stereo Combo Amp?

Questions about the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus 120-watt 2x12" Stereo Combo Amp?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Robert Williams

    Not having a JC-120 is like missing a food group, its solid state clean sound is that fundamental. It's a long standing workhorse useful with bass and guitar synth as well as electric guitar. The chorus and vibrato effects are classics heard on countless recordings.

  • Carson McClain

    I have many customers that are unsure of which amp to buy after they buy a Boss multi-FX pedal from me. Many customers want to utilize the COSM features of their new pedal and get the clearest, cleanest amplification of that pedal and I always recommend the JC-120. There is no coloration, just pure reproduction of your amp modeling. This is not just an amp for jazz guys, this is an amp for people who love modeling with their pedals. Hook up any GT series Boss pedal and you will hear what I'm talking about.

  • from Cleveland Area December 25, 2016Music Background:
    Everything but metal

    Solid and Versatile

    This amp is simple yet effective. Super clean solid state works well with my wheelhouse...soul, funk, jazz, and classic rock. It also sounds darn good on my pedal steel and my tele when I get to twangin it up. It is very pedal friendly and already has the best chorus circuit built into it. It gigs well and you don't HAVE to mic it (like my old fender amp) so that's a plus. It has good bass for standalone performances and plays loops well, doesn't get muddy like a tube amp with my 5-6 loops going on over it. At the end of the day it's a must have amp if you want clean funky tone that can get jazzy in a heartbeat.

  • from Upstate NY February 16, 2016Music Background:
    Been playing for 20+years

    The Best Clean Amp ever made IMO

    Not only do I think it is the best clean amp but the chorus is the best I have ever heard from any amplifier including tube amps. They are second to non but a word of caution I have looked at several from the 80's and the buzz you hear when you turn it on is almost deafening. So if your buying used be aware of this flaw. The new ones don't really compare with the quality of the older models. They are by far the best solid state amp on the market today and still revered by most musicians as a "must have" amp. They are in a class all their own and probably always will be!

  • from maple valley, wa January 28, 2015Music Background:
    Guitar player, concert production


    I first saw/heard this amp in California circa 1985. I was in a college band, as were some of my friends and the guitarist from one of those bands bought one.

    It got instant thumbs down from the "old skool" guys who refuse to even consider an amp that didn't have tubes galore.

    What I have discovered over the years is that tons of guitarists whose style and tone drew me to their bands were actually playing a JC-120.

    The JC-120 is the Nile Rodgers of guitar amps (if it's got some funky chords - it's either him playing or producing or both, whether Bowie's Let's Dance (SRV did the lead), or Chic's Le Freak

    The JC-120's built in chorus is THE chorus that all others are measured by imnsho.


    The tremolo and reverb are also excellent

    This amp sounds AWESOME played nice and loud and the clean with NOT crack. It can blast CLEAN guitar tone

  • from San diego,CA U.S.A August 5, 2014Music Background:
    Live playaaa! funk,hard rock,heavy rock,alt rock,jazz fusion etc...

    Best Solid state amp!

    I first got turned on to this amp by accident . Anyways I was fixing one of these for a friend that goes to church who found this amp underneath the stage of the church. He said its been there for 10years and its definitely been beat up and neglected cause I had to replace two broken input jack.
    After replacing the input jacks, I fired up the amp and it works great! I put a Boss BD-2 in front of it and it sounded great! I borrowed it for one rehearsal and one weekend gig and I was impress as well as got a lot of complements on my sound.
    Two weeks later I bought one new online and been a JC120 user for 8+ years now and no issues or whatsoever. High quality,very reliable,pedal friendly,gig ready,versatile,and very Loud! it is kinda heavy but that's a very minor issue. buy it now! and also buy a cover....

  • from Chicago, IL May 10, 2013Music Background:

    Only got better!

    I used to own a JC-120 back in the 1980s that was commondeered by my son when he started playing guitar in the 1990s, never to be seen again. So, recently, while reforming a band with several great musicians I had the pleasure of playing with in the past, I realized that I needed a smaller and more portable, yet powerful, amp for gigging in smaller venues (my Marshall 1/2 stack is just too big and cumbersome to use in smaller venues), I immediately looked for this amp. I have to say Roland has really improved the quality of this amplifier since the 1980s! I'd give it 10 stars if I could!

  • from San Francisco April 13, 2012Music Background:
    Audio Pro

    Brilliant ...

    I heard a lot of good things about this amp and they are all true... Clarity, power and an amazing sounding chorus.

    The distortion doesn't always get good reviews but I find it useful for getting a 'bite' to my sound without totally changing its character.

    Downside... It takes more than one person to move it!!!

  • from Indiana March 17, 2011Music Background:
    folkie, live sound, semi-pro

    Rockin' my musical world!

    I'm not sure of the vintage of the JC120 I purchased from a friend a few weeks ago, but it's killer.....I'm kind of a balladeer singer/songwriter type, and honestly it's been a long time since I even had an axe amp.....always just mic'd my Yairi. But also in the deal I got a Lane Poor in hole pickup, and the marriage of axe, amp, and pickup is nothing short of amazing. Puts ne wind in my sails!

  • from Sussex, NJ May 25, 2010Music Background:
    Gigging Musician

    Most Versatile Amp Ever Made

    I have owned a JC-120 since 1987. This amp will positively give you the best clean tone that you have ever heard. The on-board chorus/tremolo and reverb are phenomenal and enhance the sound. Currently I run and Boss ME-70 pedal through it for distortion and other effects and even live, the sound is studio quality. This amp is extremely versatile and worth every penny you will pay for it.

  • from Southern Indiana November 9, 2007Music Background:
    Retired pro

    Owned for over 20 years and never wanted another amp!

    I bought my JC-120 in 1986 to replace a Musicman amp. I've never wanted another amp since. Best clean sound around, best chorus ever and works well with modern effects processors such as the Boss GT-8 Pro and also as a guitar synth amp. Plenty of volume for just about any venue. If you are considering the JC-120, you're definitely on the right path.

  • from St. Maarten. Netherlands Antilles August 9, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    JC-120 the best amp

    i have never owned it..but i have playing on the them since 2003...this is the best amp for any style especially if u use stompoxes. it projects so well..and the power is amazing...i can never pass 2 on the volume..i might be def in a few minutes.lol
    but overall a good..can adapt to any setup u have..and stereo channels is a plus since most multi-effect pedals work better in stereo..
    i am trying to get one soon for my own..despite the weight..i think they discontinued the JC-90 and 70.

  • from Edinboro, PA. August 7, 2013Music Background:

    A review

    The JC-120 is an amplifier with no peer, at least for clean tones, err, more like chorused-clean tones rather.

    Its chorus must be heard to be believed, you simply never knew that the effect could sound so vital and alive in a guitar amplifier! its influence will quickly trickle into everything you play and depending on how good you are, totally rise your (clean) tone and playing to another level. It will also humorously highlight ALL of your mistakes better than any amp I can recall...some folks think is one of the very best things about this amp, as it forces you to maintain a high degree of control throughout your session.

    The distortion is quite simply the worst I have ever heard and is nearly worthless! Though I've read how some people like to use it as a mid-range boost. I'm just going pretend it doesn't exist and be happy with everything else. This amp isn't much for crunch either and I do not believe it is capable of any kind of overdrive without a pedal.

    Owning the JC-120 means you're getting what is quite possibly the very best clean tone in existence, even high-end tube amps cannot reproduce the harmony contained within.

    The JC-120 and the Fender Twin Reverb are the two twin poles of the professional guitar world, each representing the final stage of amplifier technology. Never to be surpassed or duplicated. So get one or the other and never look back.

  • from harrisburg, pa usa November 21, 2012Music Background:
    guitar vocal, production, other studio instrument performance composition, song writing

    jc 120 + great strings = :))

    great amp. i remember "spinal tap" saying about the knob that "goes to 11". well you dont need that with this because at 1 or 1-1/2 it is loud enough to as bob would say "disturb my neighbors". used by some remarkable guitarists on countless albums throughout the past decades. I really like it even with my mid to lower line ibanez strung up with heavy gauge george benson jazz strings. the amp's chorus vibrato with small amounts of it's reverb and distortion sounds super with delay. i like how it works for slide pickin. only wish is that channel one had some tubes on-board.

  • from Orlando July 31, 2006

    Dont miss this one

    I was amp shopping, and happend to give this amp a try, next to a marshall. I was amazed at the clarity and high fi that came out of this amp. And not that fake tiny sound you hear from most solid state amps trying to be bright. this is the real deal. the marshall tube amp had bite, but it could not hold a candle to the fidelity of this amp. its like a vail has been removed from my guitar sound. I use outboard distortion pedal and fx, and they still sound great through this, every detail is noticed. a great purchase

  • from Deltona, FL January 9, 2016

    Defines Chorus

    This amp has the best sounding chorus effect I have ever heard for a guitar. The vibe effect is pretty awesome too, but the chorus can not be beat. The distortion is nothing to brag about, but may be useful to some. This is definitely a natural jazz amp, but you could easily shut off it's personnel effects and apply your own to turn it into whatever type of amp you want cause it has extreme power. The hiss issue is true, but only applies while not playing; I have never noticed it while playing. There are two negative issues about this amp. First is the weight; this is the heaviest combo amp around and extremely difficult to move without wheels. Second is, any amp you try after this will not impress you. I used to love to go to guitar shops and try out several amps. Now it's just a waist of time because nothing matches it's sound. I give it a 4 because of the hiss and the limited maneuverability. But the price is well worth it. It is built like a tank and other amps will feel like cardboard boxes after you try this, not just because of the weight, but the material and the way it is built.

  • from massachusetts February 25, 2013Music Background:

    roland jc-120

    i bought this amp for the legendary clean sound and was not let down. it has an amazing full clean chorus. this amp does have a slight hiss to it that cannot be removed even with best noise gates.if you research this issue online you will find out this is common for this amp. i gave this a 4 out of 5 because of the hiss and the pricey tag on this combo.

  • from Spokane,Wa USA October 1, 2004

    reviewing the JC 120

    I've been using tube amps since 1962.Everytime I tried a solid state,whether it be a "valvestate" or whatever title the amp companies used to fool the "tube playing" public.Not an easy group to be swayed for sure.I wasn't!Peavy came out with "transtube" and I have to admit the feel of tube response is there with these amps but the tone isn't really 100% there.Sorry Peavy.

    The JC 120,doesn't try to emulate the tube sound.Although I find the distortion mode useful it is not a tube sound nor does it claim to be.The biggest asset the JC 120 has to offer is pure clean sound(no faking it with this box).If you play a Les Paul through

    the clean channel you are going to get the pure sound of of your prized Les Paul! Unobstructed by distortion .There's none. I for one love it and without the aid of distortion I have grown to be a much better and more accurate player.I owe this to JC 120.I know it is not only fun but needed on sone tunes to use a "brown sound" tone. This makes the JC perfect again!Because it is so clean if used in conjuction with a stomp box,you will be pleasantly surprised.You will hear the stompbox,your guitar and your fingers (or style),With out the noisy high gain buzz from your tube amp.As for playing Jazz or Comping chords,the tones are almost aural excited,with a smimmer even a Twin or AC30 cannot emulate."PLAY CLEAN AND YOU WILL BE MEAN". If there is a better(lighter) amp let me know at philviss@hotmail.com Oh yeah the 1 criticism I have is(small potatos) is it weights too much.And I didn't even mention the lush chorus.Although it is nonadjustable,I don't know-its sounds so pretty-if I would adjust it if I could.The best chorus by far and its in stereo as is the vibrato.This effect I don't use as often. But if adjusted intellegently it too sounds killer.Maybe not like a surf sound but closer to an Abby Road "White Album" kinda sound,lovely.Sorry I've babbled on for ever.If anyone disagrees or has bad experiences with this fab amp email me at philviss@hotmail.com

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