Roland JC40 dirt?

JavierStokes

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
 
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gitmohair

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Where in the world are you? Will affect what's available. I think there are plenty of more than adequate solutions, and also suspect (given what you've said) that you might want to use more then one pedal to get where you want to go (and this is with experience of JC amps - which I love by the way).

If you want some unbiased online hints, check out YouTube vids of Adrian Belew's stuff with Discipline-era King Crimson.

It can/will work, but it's a different mind-set.
 

JavierStokes

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Thanks for the response!

I’m in the southeastern USA. Thanks for the tip- I didn’t realize Belew played through a JC!
 

gitmohair

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I didn’t realize Belew played through a JC!

Early 80s, certainly. Saw him a few times. JC120 run clean and all those sounds from pedals. Dig around on Google and you'll probably find a few old magazine articles about what he used to get the sounds, he was quite forthcoming about it.
 

JonnySledge

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
How is it possible that your tube amps are all needing tube changes at the same time and within a span of a year since Russia invaded Ukraine?
 

gkelm

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Satriani made it happen for years with a DS-1 into a 120. Agreed with above, lots of great options. A tube-based pedal might be nice.
 

rgoebel

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There is no tube shortage that I have seen so far. Google what ever tubes you need and they will magically appear! Doug's Tubes, Tube Depot, Amplified Parts, Tubes For Amps, The Tube Store, Amazon, ebay, Sweetwater, Guitar Center, Muscians Friend and on and on! Or use an OD pedal
 

SGTV

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I have been a tube amp snob for many years, that is until I tried a JC-40 on a whim, holly smokes what a great sounding amp and it just floored me that my used $400 dollar JC-40 killed many of my other high end amps, especially on the clean side. I agree the distortion is just okay. I use a Tsakalls AudioWorks Riff Raff MK11 for my overdrive and a Rat for my distortion and a Keely Compressor Plus and it sounds amazing. Hope that helps.
 
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Telefan

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For a stretch in the ‘80s, I used a variation on what OP hints at above - a (borrowed) JC120 and a RAT. It was a weird sound, but a cool one. Tight and precise. It wasn’t what I wanted but I grew to dig it. I punted that setup once I could afford a Marshall JCM800, but I have memories of that JC/RAT combo.
 

PRS513

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
 

PRS513

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I really like the Seymour Duncan Diamondhead. It's 2-stage and the first stage can be set to a nice "gritty/hairy edge, with a very adjustable full-on distortion option on a second separate foot switch.
 

Arf

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
tubedepot.com
 

gitmohair

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You could do a lot worse than trying an inexpensive multi-fix widget into it in the first place. Would give you some guidance as to what sort of thing works and what doesn't. Bear in mind that pedals you stick into a clean SS amp are "effects" and therefore the "push your girlfriend into instant orgasm by driving your valve amp harder than it's ever had it" pedals might be even less effective than usual.

You need to rethink the game, but this can be a good thing.
 

Ginn wild

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I am a pretty big fan of the phatman tube overdrive by Buddha. Maybe opt out the 12ax7’s for a lower gain overdrive if needed and be prepared to lose some space on your board.
 

hisasahisasaki

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By the way, I heard the distortion circuit of JC is the same as Boss OD-1 from who knows the development site of JC amplifier.
When I rented the JC on tour, I always turned the distortion circuit with the pedal.
 

zencat

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
While not a distortion-only pedal, the Boss ME-50 through the clean channel of the Roland JC 120. Boss and Roland integrate well together. With the ME-50, you'll have enough distortion/overdrive options to choose from. Added bonus is you'll have delay, reverb, + if needed. Turn it up until it starts sounding pretty darn awesome. You'll hear it! Good luck in your search.
 

captdan61

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
Try one of the pedals by Kingsley. I mostly use a tweed deluxe type amp. But also have use none tube amps for small shows. His pedals use pre amp tubes. The Kingsley PAGE is the pedal I have I run a venuram shanks into it. Doing the gain stacking thing. I play blues and roots rock mostly. This combination could give me quite a bit more distortion or gain if I wanted but I’m just trying to nudge the tweet deluxe into a mor distorted sound I’m not going for anything I gain but it gives me everything I need tall glass fall into that or a telecaster into this rig and I’m good to go.
 

Mikkkele

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
maybe one should try YERASOV amps (and FX).
handwired, from Russia. There is a dealer/Vertrieb in Hamburg, Germany. Seem to be great amps.
 

Stucks

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With my tube amps all needing tube changes, and the war in Ukraine making this a costly proposition, my Roland JC40 is my only functional amp.

Of course, the clean tones can’t be beat and the on-board reverb, chorus, vibrato sound amazing. But, I need some solution for gigging distorted tones. The JC has onboard dirt and it’s not as bad as people say. I’d even say it’s usable for playing leads- at least if you’re sticking to the upper register- but you really lose definition in the lower registers and for any kind of chords it’s just terrible.

I’ve never been a fan of distortion pedals. Actually, I’ve never even owned one. Does anyone have experience running a dirt pedal through a JC that might have any recommendations for me? Heard some good stuff about the RAT, and a few others. It’s also important that I’m able to get a decent dirty sound without much change in volume.

This is mostly for classic rock, blues-rock, up through 90s/00s rock (nirvana, foo, etc) and pop covers. My main guitar for this stuff is a strat, with a Greco LP recently added to the mix.
I used a Boss HM2 with a JC160 in the 80's which allowed me to dial in hi-gain tones and surprisingly good over driven tones using the volume on the guitar. I always found the amp distortion was unuseable. Nowadays there are just so many options for over drive and distortion choose your flavour.
The thing I could not get was pream breakup by hitting the front of the amp, the pedal needs to provide the overdrive/distortion/compression tone to the amp. Multieffects processors work well, I used Yamaha Rex 50 back in the day
 

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