Other Amps

Roland JC-120 For Surf?


I know there are other threads on the JC-120 but if I post to one of the existing ones this will be a lost posting. I'll start a new thread.

For surf we think of Dual Showman, Deluxe Reverbs, Twin Reverbs, even Bassman amps but I noticed a lot of surf bands from Japan use JC-120s in their outfits. I know these are current surf bands and they are in another country and not classic acts like The Ventures but still they have some amazing surf players in Japan and they chose to use JC-120s, not only those but they do use them.

Why a solid state amp for surf? Any ideas?


They're readily available in Japan, inexpensive, and hold up to touring. A good surf amp has to a) have good clean tone with lots of high end, b) be loud and c) have a good reverb. The JC-120 qualifies on all 3 counts.

Actually, c) isn't really necessary if you use an outboard reverb tank, but it makes touring more convenient if everything is self-contained.


Parabar, great points. I wrote to a guy in Japan about this and waiting his reply. What you say makes sense, they are very clean and great high end and loud. I don't see these for sale here at Guitar Center much but sometimes I see a used one. I should plug one in next time I see one.

Some of the Fender solid state amps are pretty loud and clean too.


There a couple for sale on the local Washington, DC CL. Pretty reasonable prices IIRC.


The Ventures had been spotted using JC-120s on stage. Not sure when but they have been. They actually use a variety of amps so I think to them any good amp will do. I don't think they are stuck on equipment having to be a certain type.


roland jc 120 are 120 watts into 2 12's ...very clean but hi powered amps...alot of ric 12 string players used them to get that classic clean ric chime...loud!

of course they also have the built in stereo panning /chorus that goes from speaker to speaker

nice amps and very popular in their day...with an outboard reverb they are good for classic surf, ie clean tones...



JC-120's are powerful, available, and, they're not rare. Makes sense.


They also have a nice vibrato, much better than the Boss pedal. But no vibrato on the lower models like JC-55.

There's a whole range of models, like 10 or more, but most are available in Japan only.


you can find JC-120s in used shops in California for $400-600.

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