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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Jazz King Amp

Contributing Member


Mar 6th, 2008 02:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I picked up a JK in January 2008. I thought reviews on the amp were glowing, but really, how good can this SS amp be?

I've owned Polytones, a zillion SS Fenders, and other make SS amps, but always end up just not really liking them all that much. They sound good at low volume, but not at high volume; they don't accept pedals; they sound too transistory, I wish it had reverb/chorus/whatever and so on, counting up complaints I've had with SS amps.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of SS amps and traditionally have preferred tube amps over SS amps.

The JK is different. With other amps like the Princeton Chorus, I didn't realy like the amp without the stereo chorus effect going, but the JK is different.

The JK only has one effect - reverb, that for the most part is just way over the top for jazz except at the lowest settings. So it's not the effects that make me like the JK. No, it's the tone *and* the fact that it sounds as good at low vboluems as it does at high volumes.

I have usually preferred Fender amps as a clean base for use with a MFX pedal. The JK fulfills that role, too, while sounding good all on its own without effects.

The secret is the variety of tone control you have with the JK. For the most part, however, I just set all eq knobs to high noon and twiddle the "infinite" bright/dark knob to adjust overall tone with my ES-335 or ES-175.

$800 is alot for a SS amp made in Mexico. I got mine for less, but it's still not a cheap amp. Then again, you get what you pay for in the tone department and I didn't want another SS amp that I wanted to get rid of soon after acquiring.

I've owned lots of amps - nice tube amps to decent SS amps, vintage and new.

Currently, my amp stable is just that - stable, with a 74 Pro reverb and the JK. Both stout amps and either one capbable of any gig with the right effects added depending on genre.

But the JK was made specifically for jazz players and I have to say that it delivers that tone in spades even thoug the form factor of the amp exceeds what the majority of jazz players use nowadays.

Most jazzers seem to prefer smaller, lightweight, higher wattage SS amps with a head and speaker cab or a combo with an 8", 10" or 12" speaker/

The JK sports a 15" speaker, weighs in at like 50lbs and comes on casters (typically a no-no for jazz players as it tips them off to the weight of the amp).

Still, I'm enamored with the tone and ease of setting the amp up. I just front-end it with a MFX pedal for sounds other than jazz and it works fine.

Now keep in mind that I do not gig, but when I did, this amp would have been fine. I do plan to take the amp to jam sessions since learning I need more oommpff to combat the other 4 guitar players :)-


Cal Webway
Contributing Member

Booker T and the...

Mar 23rd, 2008 07:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

good review

Contributing Member


"Out on a Plank"
Mar 31st, 2008 06:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very nice review

Contributing Member


Aug 8th, 2008 12:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've since used this JK on a freebie benefit gig to back up singers doing Motown at a Barnes and Noble. The amp performed marvelously with my 1986 ES-335.

Vids of the freebie gig

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Jazz King Amp

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