Posts Tagged ‘Roland Jazz Chorus’

That’s right. I won a contest. Every month for the past 3 years I have entered Carvin’s online contest to win a gift certificate and I finally won. I didn’t believe it at first when I saw the email in my inbox, but sure enough after reading it 18 times and checking the originating email address I was convinced. I had more doubt and stress after that. You see they had to mail, yes MAIL, me the gift certificate. I then had to call them up and place my order and then mail, yes MAIL, them the gift certificate back. I was convinced it wouldn’t work out and that something would get lost somewhere. I was wrong! I received my order this past Tuesday. I ordered some strings and mic cables and an amp stand and a mic stand and a Carvin SX100 1×12 combo amp, in red tolex of course.

I am very excited. I’ve played it a bit and I really like the sound. It has emulator tech in it, but instead of Carvin trying to make it sound like another specific amp (i.e. making a Carvin sound like a Mesa Boogie Rectifier) they tried to make a solid state amp sound like a tube amp. An amp with 12AX7 tubes in it to be precise. What I love about Carvin is that their amps have a meatier, beefier,  sound to them. I dig Marshalls, but they can be too tinny for me sometimes.  The clean on this is reminiscent of a Roland Jazz Chorus minus the chorus. It has chorus, just not that Roland chorus.  The gain channel can do light to pretty saturated distortion. While it may not work for some death metal it is great for classic rock AC-DC style and even Metallica type sounds. There is also a blues button that switches the gain sound to, well, a blues sound. Additionally, it has Reverb, Chorus, Flange and Echo. Though you can only choose one effect at a time (I’m sticking with reverb for now) it is great to have options while recording. Which I hope to do so I can give you some samples.

One last bit that is exciting: extension speaker out. In my dream world I would get the Vintage 1×12 speaker cab to go with.

Carvin 1×12 Vintage Series Extension Speaker

So there you have it. This was meant to be a simple post about my good fortune, but, apparently, there was a ton I wanted to write. Thank you for taking the time to read a somewhat lengthy post (if you did) and thank you for just looking even if you didn’t read this (which means you didn’t read that).

And because I still don’t feel this post is long enough, here are the specs of my new amp from Carvin’s website:


– Active tone circuits for individual contour and extreme range
– Each channel features custom tailored Bass, Mid-range and Treble controls
– SmartEffects™ – Reverb, Chorus, Flange and Echo with 2 parameter controls for 256 total variations
– One Carvin British Series BR12 12 inch speaker
– Sealed controls
– Classic black knobs
– Classic red jewel lamp


– Strong poplar plywood enclosure – not particleboard!
– Covered in black tolex (they actually have many choices for the tolex)
– Premium components and solid design for years of reliable performance
– 100W Output
– Carvin British Series BR12 12 inch speaker
– CH1 EQ @ 80, 700 & 11.5k Hz
– CH2 EQ @ 50, 500 & 11.5k Hz
– Cabinet Voiced Line Out, Headphone Jack, External Speaker Jack
– AC Power: 90V to 255V, 50-60 Hz
– Dimensions: 19.5 inches wide X 10.25 inches deep X 17.75 inches high
– Weight: 37 lbs.
– Made in San Diego, California

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A long time ago, in this very same city, let’s say 1998 and let’s say it was in Portland, I had a Zoom 505 multi-effect pedal. It was awesome. A bank-up pedal, a bank-down pedal, push both for bypass and attach an external expression pedal for wah or fading effects in or out. 24 effects to choose from with up to 9 at a time! So if I wanted an auto-wah fuzz noise-reduced amp simulating phaser doubled with pitch shift and delay I was all over it. In 2005 Zoom updated the pedal and dubbed it the G1 and then followed it with the G2. I got myself the Zoom G2.1U on account of the built in expression pedal and the usb interface.

Obviously the G2 has more processing power than the 505. Also new is the amp modeling technology. If you are unfamiliar with amp modeling it’s when a company analyzes the way a 1969 Marshall Plexi sounds and then puts that sound in a chip and puts that chip in a pedal and sells it to me because I can afford the effects pedal, but not the 1969 Marshall Plexi. The Zoom G2 packs 16 classic amp and stomp box models. Also included are two Zoom original designs the Zoom Extreme Distortion and Zoom Digital Fuzz. If you use it right the Zoom Extreme Distortion can get a decent approximation of Dimebag Darrell’s sound.

Of the amps that Zoom used as models I have only ever owned the Roland Jazz Chorus, and kick myself everyday for selling it. The Roland Jazz Chorus emulation sounds just like a Roland Jazz Chorus emulation. I can tell what they’re going for, but it’s clearly not the real deal. Still, it is a very nice, clean sound. My biggest problem, unfortunately, is all of the amp models. The amp modeling seems like a great idea, right? And it is, kinda. The distortion choices on the 505 we more generic like OD, Rythym, Metal. But my memory is that they were more tweakable and that you could actually get a more original sound. The amp models on the G2 let you adjust them a bit, but it’s mostly less gain or more gain.

That being said, I really do enjoy the G2.1U and would choose it over the 505 due to the built in expression pedal and the fact that all of the other effects (54 this time, still only 9 at once) are really quite good, even the distortions. The interface takes some getting use to, but like anything practice makes perfect. The moment I actually felt I started to understand how the thing works is after visiting a site where people share their custom patches (sounds they came up with using the G2). Have a Zoom G2.1U and want to sound like The Edge or James Hetfield? Do a search and program away. The site is at haax.se, the exact address being: http://www.haax.se/manualsite/index.php?unit=G2

This was meant to be a short entry about the merits of the Zoom G2.1U, but I got a little off track and a little long winded (type-ed?). Anyway, take what you will and feel free to contact me with any questions about either Zoom pedal. There really is just too much to include in one entry.

Zoom 505

Zoom 505

Zoom G2.1U

Zoom G2.1U

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