Who needs tubes when you have some of the most recognizable chorus and vibrato tones around?
- Chorus: All tone controls at noon, reverb at 11 o’ clock, bright switch off, Vib/Chorus control on “fixed.”
- Vibrato: All tone controls at noon, reverb at 11 o’ clock, bright switch off, speed at 2 o’clock, depth at 2 o’ clock.
- Distortion: All tone controls at noon, reverb at 11 o’clock, distortion at 1 o’ clock.
The JC-40 is clean machine that delivers wonderfully three-dimensional sound by splitting the dry and wet signals between the two 10" speakers. The range of the vibrato and chorus controls can move between subtle warbles reminiscent of Mike Stern’s and John Scofield’s old recordings, to twisted, psychedelic modulation when the effects are maxed. As you will hear in the clips on the online version of this article, the distortion control might not replace your favorite overdrive or low-gain distortion pedal. But few buy a Jazz Chorus for its dirt tones. And even if the JC-40 can, at times, seem like one-trick pony it does that clean, rich modulated thing so very well.
Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Les Paul Custom