JCA2212C | Warehouse Guitar Speakers


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James L. Jones
01/20/2018 8:32am

Just watched Vaughn's video on the JCA2112RC.

I took the title amp on a trade and really wasn't impressed. New tubes and brought the bias up from the basement it was set at and it seemed much better. Initial set-up through a 70/80 in an open back cab. Back in it's own box, and the speaker is part of the amps problem.

Just wondering if the Retro 30 is still the speaker of choice for this amp?

New to WGS and very excited to try one out!


01/21/2018 7:09pm

Out of anything in that price range, the Retro 30 seems like a good choice for a full/fat/sweet/chimey EL84 sound with a hint of V30 sting. There are surely Celestion, Eminence, Weber, Mojotone and Jensen options in that range, but I'd try the Retro 30.

01/21/2018 10:39pm

Yea, I think so ... but I'd know for sure if you mentioned the tone & music style you're chasing :-)

James L. Jones
01/22/2018 4:59am

I guess I should have mentioned it... :-)

Mostly blues based, but a but I like to crank a little metal from time to time. The clean channel is set so I can get pretty good break up with the volume up and digging in with the pick. Back off a bit and cleans up nicely. Overdrive channel running pretty hot, but not quite into the death metal world.

With the stock speaker, it lacks the bottom end and is a little harsh in the highs. Just doesn't sing the way I'd like it too.

Better? :-)

Thanks for both responses!

01/22/2018 9:42am

I'd say the Invader 50, Retro 30 or Reaper HP could cover blues to metal with the Reaper HP covering "jazzy" blues better due to the "fast" midrange pop of the stiffer cone. I'd say it has the most reedy resonance quality of the three, while the Retro has a slightly more metallic edge and may be a bit less scooped. I think the Invader is the most scooped and least jazzy, but warm, woody and detailed none the less.

01/23/2018 2:35pm

Okay ... I'd still say go with the Ret 30 ... especially for the bottom end in that cab that is vented only slightly. The Ret does have an EXTENDED top end (not so much more, but rather higher), but I've never found it harsh. The Reaper HP is NEVER a bad choice ... and would warm the amp up significantly overall.

James L. Jones
01/23/2018 4:45pm

Just pulled the trigger on Ret 30. I'll write back when it's had a couple of hours of abuse! Thanks to all!


James L. Jones
02/05/2018 5:22pm

Update: JCA2212C upgraded. New tubes (ask me if you care) and re-biased from the basement to where it should be. I played it through a Celestion 70/80 rolling tubes at it. Liked what I heard so I put it back in it's own box with the stock speaker. It was like I through a blanket over everything I'd done.

In walk WGS!

After a week or two of playing this amp, I will say the Retro 30 saved it from craigslist.... All the tube goodness that I put in came back ten fold! More efficient (louder!) made the cleaner channel actually clean. From jazzy sparkle to bluesy bite, all at the guitar! The OD channel is open and defined, but goes from rock to metal, up to and beyond my tastes!

Great recommendation and great product!

Return customer here!


02/05/2018 8:53pm

Hey, great! What did you get for tubes? Love to hear clip.

James L. Jones
02/05/2018 9:55pm

V1 is the Mullard re-issue (CV4004), V2 is currently a JJ (may change to a nice Golden Lion I have), V3 and V4 are EH, and V5 is a Sovtek LPS (all 12AX7's). The EL84's are also Mullards. I really like the EL84's for the early break up now that I have the Retro 30 in. I'll see if I can get something recorded this week.

Thank you for the input and interest!

James L. Jones
02/06/2018 6:12am

V1 is the Mullard re-issue (CV4004), V2 is currently a JJ (may change to a nice Golden Lion I have), V3 and V4 are EH, and V5 is a Sovtek LPS (all 12AX7's). The EL84's are also Mullards. I really like the EL84's for the early break up now that I have the Retro 30 in. I'll see if I can get something recorded this week.

Thank you for the input and interest!

02/06/2018 8:14am

The LPS in V5 is a smart choice. People often don't like the standard JJ 83S, but I think it has a glassy roundness very good for HB pickups. The short plate Mullard CV4004 is apparently a pretty mellow tube that might be better used in an overdrive stage. I don't know. Maybe it doesn't break up as smoothly as the JJ? B4 dumping the JJ, have you tried swapping it and the CV4004? The GL is probably brighter than either -- maybe best in V1.

02/06/2018 2:33pm

...it's common belief that the V1 tube makes the most tonal difference, but I'm not sure that makes sense. Until the signal begins to compress, the difference in sound (other than noise and microphonics) between tubes should be insignificant. Unless one triode is driving the other, the V1 tube doesn't get pushed to compression, so the difference heard should be more about how the V2 tube is being pushed. Granted some tubes have stronger output, which may cause more Miller capacitance effect (dynamic high end roll off ) under a given resistance load. It's then more about how a given V1 tube sounds in the circuit than how it reacts to being pushed. I'd be curious if the GL is indeed brighter in V1, and if that has solely to do with output into the next stage rather than the inner workings of the tube itself?

Knowing more details about each tube might be helpful in choosing tubes for each slot for specific tone and response characteristics. There may be a way to test that. I think the key is to carefully select for the slots that don't have a gain knob in front or between them, as the tone and response can not be altered without component changes. A "bright" tube in V1 might be fine with any guitar if the guitar itself isn't harsh. Bridge hardware choices along with cable capacitance and pot values for a given pickup can make a lot of difference there, and worth understanding to get consistent results.

James L. Jones
02/11/2018 7:07am

Sorry for the slow response. Life's getting in the way again....

Good input! I've got a Bandmaster Reverb on the bench right now, but I'll roll a couple of tubes around in the JSA this week and report back. Second post has some good information and sparked my interest.

The (mine anyway) thought around V1 is that it is the first stage in this circuit and needs to "offer" all it can to the next stage. I'll put the GL in and let you know what I hear. They're pretty proud of that tube (price), so I kind of carefully trial it as needed. :-)

02/11/2018 3:49pm

Yeah, it's a hard thing to tell just how each tube is affecting the sound considering the linearity, compression, gain and output, and how impedance reactiveness of one stage affects the previous stage within the given circuit. In fact, the gain rating of a tube is a somewhat irrelevant spec. The actual gain of a tube depends on the circuit. The same is true for linearity to some extent. Maybe not so much for compression, but I dunno. I assume compression is largely dependent on the internal limitations of tube. The low end roll off and Miller capacitance is of course dependent on the circuit values.

It might be worth trying a solid state Jet City 'Retrovalve' in V1, since V1 is not really where compression or distortion occurs. The three different SS Retrovalve models have reliable gain and output values with virtually no compression until driven very hard, which should make the rest of the preamp stages easier to make sense of.

James L. Jones
02/17/2018 6:59am

Sir, I very much enjoy this type of conversation! Not sure it belongs on a speaker forum, but it's working! :-)

I did roll the tubes around and ended up with the Mullard in V1 and the GL in V2. Now that everything is starting to "wear in", this thing puts a smile on my face every time flip the switch!

Just out of curiosity, I put the JCA speaker in my SE homebrew replacing the Em 1275 that was in there and the JCA speaker is pretty bad. Very low sensitivity and just not a great sounding speaker. The Retro 30 is the biggest improvement to the tone of the JCA amp. I'm thinking about trying the EC65 in the homebrew, but the choices..... :-)

02/17/2018 1:21pm

Cool. I guess the speaker can make or break an amp. The GL tube must add some sparkle over the JJ. My impression is EHx tubes are a tad grainy, but I don't really know. Have you tried the JJ in the reverb send or return to possibly clarify the reverb tail?

James L. Jones
02/17/2018 1:44pm

The JCA doesn't have reverb, but that's a good idea on the homebrew! It has way to much reverb for what I use, so I'm dropping the driver tube down to an AU and I think I'll try the JJ in the recovery. The other half of the that tube is the effects loop recovery and may have benefits there as well!

The GL does have a nice lift in the highs and is really smooth sounding. You're correct, the EH is a little grainy, but back when the budget was tighter, it was the best in that price range....

Switching the speaker back in the homebrew to the 1275 until I decide on the WGS replacement.. :-)

02/19/2018 12:26am

Ah, hence no "R" in the amp name -- my mistake. The Shuguang 12ax7 are supposed to sound a lot like old GE tubes, but not as quiet. Cheap enough to try a few I suppose. Noise isn't as important down the gain stage line.

An AU tube might make the reverb weak and bright depending on the socket resistance. I'd try a 5751 if it is. The JJ are supposed to be good.

Not sure I fully understand it, but being an ultra-linear design, the HB amp must be really clean? Can it be driven to distortion and still sound good? An Americanish speaker might be be good. Maybe the Vet 30?

James L. Jones
02/19/2018 2:44pm

You'd have to see the circuit on the HB to believe it.... :-) "To copy one is plagiarism, to copy many is research"

The HB is single ended EL34 based. Two channel with a clean (that can get pretty dirty when cranked) and an overdrive channel that get's down right raw. Still working on the tone (and have been of and on for a few years), but that is what it was designed for. Both channels use a MOSFET as a source follower and run into an effects loop that has a recovery stage prior to hitting the EL34.

It actually is pretty quiet considering the sloppy lead dress (that get's worse every time I mess with it!). When it get's to where I think it can't be any better, I might re-build it.

02/20/2018 1:05am

That's a great quote. So it's not an ultra-linear design? I really wouldn't know if the circuit is unusual or not. I've just been learning about how certain aspects of design affect the sound. I've never built an amp, but am considering it at some point if I can justify getting something I can't get with modelers. I'm pretty happy with the sounds I can get so far, so it would just be for fun. Digital "fizz" has been addressed with newer oversampling and bit width methods. I consider the last frontier in digital modeling to be realistic amp/OT/speaker cab interaction. The IK Multimedia cab volume feature doesn't do that. S-Gear has the impedance interaction integrated into the amp models with a two band IR "overlay" EQ in the IR loader. Roland devised a new approach in the GT-1000 they call "AIRD". Others will surely follow. Resonance dynamics is pretty complicated, but I'm sure it can be mimicked well enough to be convincing. I still like the idea of all analog, and solid state has come a long way. Not sure tubes are necessary anymore, but guitar players will keep them alive for a while.

James L. Jones
02/20/2018 1:42pm

OT is a Hammond 125ESE. Not even full spectrum, but it works pretty good!

Solid state has come a very long way! Price and complexity. I did amp repair in my home town for a few years, but most solid state stuff is use it till it dies and replace it with the next big thing. Too complex to trace down problems and the "next best thing" cost less than the repair.

Modeling has really come a long way and sounds great! I just still like the warmth of a tube amp. The little HB actually heats my music room when it's on! :-)

If you build one, do for yourself. Don't chase a sound, do it just because you want to and tweak as you go for understanding. Tubes are fun and pretty easy to understand. You're knowledge is already there.

Doug Heap
05/10/2019 11:48pm


I have some questions pertaining to speaker choice for a similar Jet City amp, the difference being this one is the two channel version of the one in the original post that started this thread. This one is a JCA2212C model with no reverb and a second channel that is higher gain than the first channel -- I'm told the first channel is the same circuit as the only channel on the 2112 (a nice name for an album maybe?). I do use verb in the loop sometimes -- an Eventide H9 in the loop, a wah, deja vibe, OCD in front of the amp.

The amp had Sovtek power tubes when I bought it, and that's what is still in it now. I'm an old EL34 guy and never was a fan of the EL84's, but I have come close to what my ears like to hear with this amp through the right cab -- specifically a 4X12 Marshall cab with Celestion greenbacks in it, the next best it ever sounded to my ears was through a 2X12 that has some one off Celestion Relic 30 speakers that they did a production run on for Guitar Center over a decade ago and GC blew them out the door on the cheap, guys either loved them or hated them, I think they sound good with a JCM2000 DSL 50, and they sound good with this Jet City, information on exactly what these things are is scarce to non-existent today -- I can say they are not cheap Vintage 30's because I know a vintage 30 the minute I hear it -- like fingernails on a chalk board, again, one of those love them or hate them things, and my guess is when GC was blowing these things out the door the folks who loved them were probably not fans of real Vintage 30's, and guys who hated them probably like that spikey in your face and cut through the mix thing that the Vintage 30's do. I'm a fan of the old greenbacks, and the old G12H30's (that I thought the vintage 30 was supposed to sound like but handle more power -- they don't sound anything alike to my ears at all).

The original speaker in this amp was an Eminence, and it sounds pretty much like it must be a copy of a Celestion Vintage 30 -- all mids. Originally I wanted this amp as a head and not a combo, but this one became available on the cheap so I snagged it. After playing it through cabs I almost wish I'd have waited and bought it as just a head. I changed the stock speaker and replaced it with an ET65, and now it seems too scooped. I have an al-cheapo 2X12 Behringer/Bugera cab with some cheesy Jensen copy's in it, and if this ET65 were 8 ohms I'd put it in this cab paired with something else, but it's 16 ohm so it will sit on the shelf, get used in something else, or get sold. Just need to know what to try next in the combo amp itself?

Is it possible to get anything in this combo to sound similar (tone wise) to the 4X12 greenback sound using only one 12" speaker mounted in the amp itself? Or should I just take the amp out of the cabinet, build a head cab, and throw the rest in the garbage? I might add here, a friend who has an old JCM800 2X12 combo with original 65 watt Celestions let me play this JCA amp through his speakers/cab and I wasn't impressed with this either.

Pre amp tubes were some Chinese cheapo's in v1 and v2 that I changed to Tung Sol's. V3-5 sockets all have Sovtek 12AX7LPS tubes in them -- as it was when I got it. I don't have a big assortment of tubes to try tube rolling with, but since I have got sound I like through a cab, I'm not sure tube rolling is going to get me where I want to go. I've been playing the hell out of this thing as I can't really use a cranked 50 or 100 watt Marshall 90% of the time I play (nor do I want to haul 4X12 cabs around all the time). I would like to keep using it if I can get it right. I will use a 2X12 cab with it when I can, but that's not always, so hope to get it to sound good with 1X12 mounted in the stock combo cab the amp is mounted in.

It was asked earlier what kind of music one is playing, so I guess I should throw that in here.
Heart/Nancy, Roger, Howard
Early ZZ Top/Rev Willie G
Allman Bros/Duane & Dickie
JP/KK Downing, Glen Tipton
Alex Lifeson
Tom Scholz
Michael Schenker
Perhaps a little more Trower -- I can't seem to leave that $%^& vibe turned off for long! It's addictive!
I guess this would be considered blues, or classic rock (or both).

How much different is the Retro 30 compared to the ET 65? And more important, how much different is it from a Celestion Vintage 30 -- of which I am not a fan at all?

Got any speaker suggestions for this old dude that's still stuck in 1978?
Thank You ;)

05/14/2019 7:36am

I'd think the closest thing to a 4x12 cab with early 70's "Pre Rola" GB's in a 1x12 cab would be an Invader 50. Closest to a 4x12 with the same era G12H30's would be a Reaper HP. I just heard this great Reaper HP demo today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC4GHf2L8K0

My guess is the invader 50 might sound a bit dull in the JCA2212C, but I dunno. I guess you could crank the Presence. My take is although the the Invader 50 is darker, it sounds a bit more metallic. Both have great 4kHz+ chime and are less piercing than a V30.