Jazz Amp 120 (Roland Jazz)
There are a few surprises with this one. It’s a warmer sounding version of the Roland classic with more of Fendery touch than you normally see. With lead lines, there’s a compression in there that gives itself well to a percussive thunk to chicken picked lines. But played with chords, it really opens up with bell-like chiming that never feels cold. There is a distortion knob, but don’t be fooled, up to halfway it adds a rich boost to the mids, filling out the tone some more. Move it much past 5 and there is a hard, metallic rasp that is not to my taste but I can see it having some appeal to the garage crowd.
There is a very warm chorus and a less effective vibrato effect as well and overall, this is a well-crafted version of an amp whose modeled versions are often the weak link in other ampsims.
JH 1200 (Sunn 1200)
What does that JH stand for? This is another of the officially licensed Hendrix models and is based on an ancient bass amp. Of course, it has to be Strat time….
It all seems a little quiet, a little thin. Hold on, what this button here called Mid Boost, I’ll just flick it.
Pow!Everything jumps up, the tone is warm, clear and liquid at the neck, percussive and cutting at the bridge without being harsh. The Contour knob acts as a supercharged mid knob and can really add a physical impact to individual notes but is a bit too aggressive for chord playing.
This is a brilliant model, The Mid Boost button really turns this into a great, versatile clean amp and there is even a neat little vibrato effect as well. Love it.
Metal Clean T (Mesa Tribe Green Channel)
Now I think it is a little cheeky to split an amps channels and then sell them as seperate amp sims. Right, now I’ve got this off my chest, this is another great clean sound. More Bassman than Twin, it also has a modern, very focused tone that would work well with effects. It’s a tough, aggressive tone with a ton of headroom that really responds well to hard playing and pick attack. There is little glassy shimmer here but a very usable set of tones that work well with single coils and humbuckers.
Custom Solid State Clean
Right, three really good clean amps and then we come to the Solid State. Amplitube have had versions of this in every incarnation of Amplitube since the first one. And they still can’t make it interesting. Its….Ok-ish. But the JC120 is better in every way, making the Solid State rather pointless. The modelling also sounds a little flat compared to the other amps here. It’s not a model I would chose to buy .
Next……Crunch amps, so get your SRV snakeskin hat out.