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Product 430426

Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head

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Designed by Andy Marshall and licensed by THD Electronics, Jet City's PicoValve amp head is a compact, low-wattage tone machine. The amp head feature...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Low-wattage tube guitar amp designed by THD Electronics for sizzling tube tone in a compact, but powerful head.

Designed by Andy Marshall and licensed by THD Electronics, Jet City's PicoValve amp head is a compact, low-wattage tone machine. The amp head features THD's unique topology, which allows the user to swap the power tube at will”use nearly any octal-based tube without the need to re-bias the amp. With 5 watts, and a 1/2-power mode, you can get full power-amp distortion at volume levels which won't upset the neighbors. The tube guitar amp features a full-tone stack with treble, middle, and bass controls. Preamp and Master Volume controls dial up just the right amount of overdrive and output level. Housed in THD's signature steel cage design, this Jet City amp head is sturdy enough to stand up to the elements, and packs all the tube distortion you're looking for.

FEATURES
  • THD's topology: swap the power tube without the need to re-bias
  • 5 watts
  • 1/2-power mode
  • Full tone stack: treble, middle, and bass controls
  • Preamp and master volume controls
  • Housed in THD's signature steel cage design
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Jet City AmplificationPicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head
 
3.8

(based on 33 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

84%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (14)
  • Portable (13)
  • Excellent sound (10)
  • Warm / comfy (8)
  • Good power output (4)

Cons

  • Poor sound quality (4)
  • Limited functions (3)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (13)
  • Amateur recording (11)
  • Performances (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (15), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

READ & CONSIDER

I bought the head version of the PicoValve after coming across it and seeing its specs. I have owned/used countless amps over the years. My main rig in the past has included a...Read complete review

I bought the head version of the PicoValve after coming across it and seeing its specs. I have owned/used countless amps over the years. My main rig in the past has included a Mesa Dual Rectifier; Marshall JMP 50w [1974 non-master volume/4 input]; Marshall Super Bass 100w [1977 - also non-MV]; JCM 800 and 900. The PV is able to generate tone worthy of a much higher MSRP. I have read a lot of reviews from owners who are dissatisfied with the amp's characteristics; mainly the 'dark' sound and compression/flatness of the 2w setting; but I have to [with respect] disagree. The main thing any owner of the PV must do is experiment with different tubes! I can understand a valid basis for the tone issue, but swapping out tubes made an enormous impact on the amp as a whole. After some experimentation, I have settled happily with a J/J 6V6 for power, and it really brings the amp to life. with the M/V high and PRE low, the overdrive/saturation of the 6V6 is incredible. The stock Chinese 12AX7-Bs were too harsh/buzzy for my preference, so after trying a handful of preamp tube configurations, I am now using an RCA 12AU7 in V1 and a Marshall -12AX7 for V2. With the lower-gain 'AU7 in V1, the amp is MUCH more responsive to pick attack/dynamics. It provides a bit more headroom; not really OD-ing until the gain hits 12:00-1:00. From there, I found that a boost/OD pedal can work VERY well with the Pico. I put a DOD Fx50 Overdrive Preamp box on it -- with the pedal's Distortion at MAYBE 9:00 and its Volume set high [70-100%], the signal boost is enough to push the power section into a smooth and harmonically rich saturation that is unparalleled by ANY current comparable amp available. It reminds me of my JMPs and 800s running wide-open; but the Pico can do it without deafening everyone within a 3 mile radius. By swapping tubes out, this amp can be used in the studio in place of a handful of other more expensive tube amps. To anyone who is not happy with the amp's factory sound; I urge to PLEASE do some research and try as many different tubes as possible [output AND preamp]. With the sheer number of tube configurations, you WILL find a sound that makes you happy to own this cool and very usable little amp.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

It's a great little amp - as long as you replace the stock tubes

So first off, before you do anything else, you MUST change out the stock Chinese tubes this amp comes with, otherwise you will never hear what it can do (consider them useful for...Read complete review

So first off, before you do anything else, you MUST change out the stock Chinese tubes this amp comes with, otherwise you will never hear what it can do (consider them useful for just testing that it arrived in working condition and little else). With the stock tubes this amp has almost no headroom and sounds muddy and gritty when you turn the drive up. I swapped out the stock 12AX7s for NOS RCA 5751s. These have somewhat less gain than a 12AX7 and gave more headroom plus much greater clarity, dynamics and gobs of creamy distortion.

The 2W mode is great for late night wailing without waking the kids (or neighbors), but it is much darker and more compressed than the 5W setting. The 'Hi' switch brightens things up considerably at 2W and gets you some Brit-Rock Townsend sounds at 5W. After changing out the preamp tubes, I found this to be a very versatile little amp for distortion sounds, It can go from Clapton Bluesbreaker crunch, through Angus Young and Jimmy Page JCM territory all the way to full-bore Metal saturation (my distortion pedals have been gathering dust since I got this amp). If you crank the gain and master it gets pretty darn hairy and loud enough to frighten pets and small children.

While I can get some very useable Fender-ish clean tones with the gain below 3 O'clock (with the 5751s), it breaks up soon after that, For more headroom, some 12 AU7s should do the trick, so I will try that next along with maybe a NOS EL34 or two. I've learnt to be very careful with NOS tubes and only buy ones that have been tested on a dynamic tester (not passive) for shorts. I've had some NOS tubes work fine in one amp only to short-out in another. Usually, it's the tube and not the amp that is to blame. Vintage NOS tubes can sound great, but their reliability in this day and age can be spotty to say the least.
I like being able to switch between 2W and 5W mode while the amp is switched on. The 'Hi' switch makes the amp more versatile at low volumes, The Bass, Mid and Treble controls all have a very useable range and allow you to dial-in the tone you want. The amp also has a Standby switch which should increase the life of your tubes, but I don't like the loud thump when you come out of standby, or the even louder one when you change the mode between 2W and 5W (do not operate these switches while recording). It has a good, but basic set of features, but at the price, I can't complain. Being able to experiment with different Octal tubes is a big plus.
The Jet City PicoValve appears to be very solidly and well built. I haven't taken it apart yet, so can't comment on the internal circuitry, but the cabinet is solid metal and the cage is heavy-duty, It should last a long time. I am not sure if I would gig with it, but you could if you wanted to for Cafes and small rooms without a loud drummer (just don't park your beer on the open-mesh cage!).
I'm giving the PicoValve 5 stars for value because at this price, I wasn't expecting all that much, but wanted a low wattage amp with good, useable distortion sounds for practising at home and recording, With a tube-swap, it delivers that in spades for the price of a couple of decent pedals (or one spendy boutique pedal). If you can't crank a big rig in your home studio without disturbing the peace, this amp may well be the answer,

Reviewed by 33 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

READ & CONSIDER

By SG

from Louisville, KY

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Tone
  • Tube Versatility

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    I bought the head version of the PicoValve after coming across it and seeing its specs. I have owned/used countless amps over the years. My main rig in the past has included a Mesa Dual Rectifier; Marshall JMP 50w [1974 non-master volume/4 input]; Marshall Super Bass 100w [1977 - also non-MV]; JCM 800 and 900. The PV is able to generate tone worthy of a much higher MSRP. I have read a lot of reviews from owners who are dissatisfied with the amp's characteristics; mainly the 'dark' sound and compression/flatness of the 2w setting; but I have to [with respect] disagree. The main thing any owner of the PV must do is experiment with different tubes! I can understand a valid basis for the tone issue, but swapping out tubes made an enormous impact on the amp as a whole. After some experimentation, I have settled happily with a J/J 6V6 for power, and it really brings the amp to life. with the M/V high and PRE low, the overdrive/saturation of the 6V6 is incredible. The stock Chinese 12AX7-Bs were too harsh/buzzy for my preference, so after trying a handful of preamp tube configurations, I am now using an RCA 12AU7 in V1 and a Marshall -12AX7 for V2. With the lower-gain 'AU7 in V1, the amp is MUCH more responsive to pick attack/dynamics. It provides a bit more headroom; not really OD-ing until the gain hits 12:00-1:00. From there, I found that a boost/OD pedal can work VERY well with the Pico. I put a DOD Fx50 Overdrive Preamp box on it -- with the pedal's Distortion at MAYBE 9:00 and its Volume set high [70-100%], the signal boost is enough to push the power section into a smooth and harmonically rich saturation that is unparalleled by ANY current comparable amp available. It reminds me of my JMPs and 800s running wide-open; but the Pico can do it without deafening everyone within a 3 mile radius. By swapping tubes out, this amp can be used in the studio in place of a handful of other more expensive tube amps. To anyone who is not happy with the amp's factory sound; I urge to PLEASE do some research and try as many different tubes as possible [output AND preamp]. With the sheer number of tube configurations, you WILL find a sound that makes you happy to own this cool and very usable little amp.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    love this head

    By Mountain Breeze

    from PA

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    It does what it says beautifully.
    I gave it 5 stars relative to what it is - a single channel amp made by some high gain folk with some cool auto rebiasing circuitry. It is that in spades. The high gain tone is great and if you kick the gain down about 6 you get some great blues tone. Clean is a nice tone but not fender clean but that's hopefully not what you were expecting. I put a boat load of effect pedals in front of this and pick a high gain violin like sound you want and it is there. I get the channels I need from a tonebone trimode. they work great together and it gives me another preamp 12ax7 and an effects loop. On the other end I hooked up a 1x12 with a vintage 30 in it. This little amp is the heart my mini rig. which is super transportable. I mic the cab as needed and I get oads of compliments on the sound...love this amp. buy one an figure out how to use it.
    Solid
    you can't beat this price

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Worth owning

    By Rick330man

    from Florida Keys

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Playing
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

      I've been playing over 30 years, and have a whole collection of guitars and amps to show for it. This little amp head is very nice. The gain is over the top and gives you a very limited clean sweep when you use 12AX7s. Reviewers almost uniformly recommend a 12AU7 in V1 and and a 12AT7 in V2. I experimented with just about every preamp tube in the 12 series and finally stuck an old 1959 Sylvania 12AU7 in V1. For V2, I broke from the mold and went with a GE 5751. I may go back to a 12AY7 in V1, but I'm still experimenting.

      At 5 watts you can crank it and get a warm tone and still keep the volume within reason.

      I tried lots of different 6L6 variants - including SED, Philips 6L6WGB, JJ, Sovtek and others - and wound up sticking with the stock Shuguang. I've had quite a few of these tubes and they have all delivered.

      Speaker cabinet is pine convertible back 2 X 12" with one 10" Eminence Red Fang and one 12" Celestion Blue Alnico. The little 5W Pico valve gives me plenty of bass, mid and treble to dial in whatever tones I want through this set up.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      PicoValve the best deal ever?

      By Airball

      from Sacramento, California

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Built like a tank
      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable
      • Unique sound

      Cons

      • Standby Switch Huge Pop
      • Stock Tubes Sound Like Sh

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practice Sorry Allen
      • Practice -- Sorry Allen
      • Practice Sorry Allen I

      Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

      Couldn't pass up this deal, and after reading reviews, planned ahead and had full set of replacement tubes on hand. Good thing, as amp sounded awful out of the box, and had I not known the probable cause (thanks mostly to available reviews here and on other sites), I would have shipped it right back. After a couple hours of harsh, useless tones, switched out the tubes for a Tung Sol 6v6 and two JJ ECC83s. The diff was night and day, benching Tebow for Peyton. With quality tubes, a set of useful, musical tones emerged, from greasy blues to just short of metal, from bedroom to small group volume. Single coils allow for more controlled tones from the PicoValve than HBs. Couldn't get a Marshall or Fender tone, but could hear a little of both, plus a boatload of its own unique sound. Couldn't get a strict clean tone either, but you probably already knew that. Overall, great for what it is, an easy to use narrow range of unique tones that you will find useful if you play a variety of music. For me, the two-watt setting just saturated the gain and further compressed the sound, but allowed for a very Eddie brown sound at "everyone else went to bed" level. If not the best deal ever offered by MF, maybe the best value.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fun low wattage amp!

      By moviemusicman

      from Surfside Beach, SC

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easy To Change Tone
      • Easy To Use
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable

      Cons

      • Stock Tubes

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

      Fun amp and fairly easy to modify. I bought the Pico Valve for a fantastic price and I'm glad I did! The stock chinese tubes are ok but I highly recommend trying higher quality tubes.
      The Pico Valve is louder than expected but is not loud enough to use with a drummer.
      I love being able to try different power tube types!
      KT88, KT77, 6L6, EL34 etc.

      (3 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      returned it

      By Trevor Gilbert

      from houston

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

      As noted above, it fried a very expensive tube on me. I bought it to experiment with different power tube types, which is how its advertised. I now have a box (7) different single power tubes (all JJ) which i purchased to experiment with and are all non-returnable. So Ive got about a lot of money in tubes I cant use plus the 420 STR it runed.

      Its a nice idea to be able to roll out different power tubes but I should have spent the extra money and bought the THD univalve, which is what this is modled after.

      Now that I have the box of single power tubes, not matched sets. that are useless Im looking at getting the univalve. However, thats a high priced commitment and I havent even replaced the tubes in the boogie.

      I must mention that I also own a jet city 20 watt head and it is a great product, but I would not recommend anyone buy this amplifier given my experience which I have stated.

      I should have known better than to put such a valuable tube in a cheap amplifier and bought the THD univalve instead.
      Not flimsy, very sturdy, but thats where it ends.
      Worked well for about 2 weeks then it fried a 1980s 6l6GC 420 STR. Came out of my vintage mesa when I was rolling the power tubes. Not sure if I can even find a duet to replace them for the boogie but if I do its going to probably cost me more then this amp. I should rate this a 0 for quality because of that. Its one thing to have a defective product but a defective product that costs far more than its worth is another matter.
      1 channel, no loop and impossible to get any sort of clean sound.

      (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      It's a great little amp - as long as you replace the stock tubes

      By Joe Sapsford

      from San Mateo, California

      Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

      So first off, before you do anything else, you MUST change out the stock Chinese tubes this amp comes with, otherwise you will never hear what it can do (consider them useful for just testing that it arrived in working condition and little else). With the stock tubes this amp has almost no headroom and sounds muddy and gritty when you turn the drive up. I swapped out the stock 12AX7s for NOS RCA 5751s. These have somewhat less gain than a 12AX7 and gave more headroom plus much greater clarity, dynamics and gobs of creamy distortion.

      The 2W mode is great for late night wailing without waking the kids (or neighbors), but it is much darker and more compressed than the 5W setting. The 'Hi' switch brightens things up considerably at 2W and gets you some Brit-Rock Townsend sounds at 5W. After changing out the preamp tubes, I found this to be a very versatile little amp for distortion sounds, It can go from Clapton Bluesbreaker crunch, through Angus Young and Jimmy Page JCM territory all the way to full-bore Metal saturation (my distortion pedals have been gathering dust since I got this amp). If you crank the gain and master it gets pretty darn hairy and loud enough to frighten pets and small children.

      While I can get some very useable Fender-ish clean tones with the gain below 3 O'clock (with the 5751s), it breaks up soon after that, For more headroom, some 12 AU7s should do the trick, so I will try that next along with maybe a NOS EL34 or two. I've learnt to be very careful with NOS tubes and only buy ones that have been tested on a dynamic tester (not passive) for shorts. I've had some NOS tubes work fine in one amp only to short-out in another. Usually, it's the tube and not the amp that is to blame. Vintage NOS tubes can sound great, but their reliability in this day and age can be spotty to say the least.
      I like being able to switch between 2W and 5W mode while the amp is switched on. The 'Hi' switch makes the amp more versatile at low volumes, The Bass, Mid and Treble controls all have a very useable range and allow you to dial-in the tone you want. The amp also has a Standby switch which should increase the life of your tubes, but I don't like the loud thump when you come out of standby, or the even louder one when you change the mode between 2W and 5W (do not operate these switches while recording). It has a good, but basic set of features, but at the price, I can't complain. Being able to experiment with different Octal tubes is a big plus.
      The Jet City PicoValve appears to be very solidly and well built. I haven't taken it apart yet, so can't comment on the internal circuitry, but the cabinet is solid metal and the cage is heavy-duty, It should last a long time. I am not sure if I would gig with it, but you could if you wanted to for Cafes and small rooms without a loud drummer (just don't park your beer on the open-mesh cage!).
      I'm giving the PicoValve 5 stars for value because at this price, I wasn't expecting all that much, but wanted a low wattage amp with good, useable distortion sounds for practising at home and recording, With a tube-swap, it delivers that in spades for the price of a couple of decent pedals (or one spendy boutique pedal). If you can't crank a big rig in your home studio without disturbing the peace, this amp may well be the answer,

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Dirty Little Liar

      By Guitarman

      from Asheville, NC

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          Sounded ok out of the box with some tube microphonics and bussing. Added a RUBY 6550 power and SOVTEK 12AX7WB's and what a difference!! Great smooth lows and well defined highs. I recommend that anyone that has this amp and is not satisfied with the sound, please try some different valves, you won't be sorry.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great amp once you make some changes

          By Phil

          from Kirkland, WA

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Flexible

          Cons

          • Poor Stock Configuration

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          This is a great amplifier but NOT in it's stock configuration. The tubes installed at the factory are rubbish and your amp will sound like rats with bad gas! There is NO clean head room with the stock tubes, either. The selling point of this amp for me was the ability to use any octal-based power tube. I slapped a 1950's NOS 6K6 in it and swapped out the Chinese 12AX7's for NOS USA-made 12AT7's and the amp really came to life! Trust me; you will be extremely disappointed with this amp until you CHANGE THE TUBES!!

          (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          One Dimensional, but well made

          By w7YrLaYhB

          from Plymouth, MI

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          I bought this amp to replace an Epiphone Valve Jr., a 5w amp head. The Pico is very well made and constructed, and appears to be a quality piece. But, that's where the appeal ended for me. At any volumes approaching what my old Epiphone cruised at, the Pico would break up and the tone would turn into a dirty super-saturated sound. Sure, this is great if you are playing at grandma's house at 1 am, but for just jamming with your friends, you better get used to this one dimensional tone. The gain knob cannot be turned past 3 or 4, if so, you loose all dynamics - a fizzy distorted mess. The master volume allows the Pico to attain an overall max volume that is about half the volume of my Epiphone Valve Jr, but with absolutely no headroom. FYI, the Jet City J20H amp head is a much much better sounding device [about the best sounding inexpensive amp head available!]. The Pico is an all or nothing kinda amp, all string/touch dynamics you put into the fretboard are gone, when using this amp at any real volumes, and the gain control renders the amp useless for anything other than playing dirty - really dirty - fun for 5 minutes, but sux if you actually want to get some dynamics from your guitar. I wanted to like this amp, but I returned it and repaired my old Epiphone Valve Jr. The pico is a good idea, just executed poorly. Perhaps JCA could re-engineer this amp to behave more like its competition, but until that happens, there are many, many better options out there.

          (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Worth Every Penny, and More!

          By Gearhund

          from California

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          This is the best practice/recording amp that I've ever played. I wanted a single ended class A amp to do low volume playing with quality tone. This amp delivers. I have a quality Avatar cabinet with a Celestion G12H30 and a Vintage 30. The harmonics pouring out of this amp are outrageously musical. Highly recommended. Thank you Soldano!
          A full set of eq with Treble Middle & Bass. Master & 5W/2W switch. Separate speaker impeadance jacks on the back. Ability to use any octal base tube - awesome. Compact and light.
          Seems to be built like a tank.
          Worth double the selling price.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          cool little tube amp

          By primerib

          from Westland, MI

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Portable

          Cons

          • Limited Functions

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          very cool little amp based on THD's design. it does except pedals fairly well into the front ... since there is no loop. and if you use an overdrive pedal you can get several tones out of this little guy. and even cooler is you can swap out different tubes and the amp will behave differently

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Better Than Your Average Lunchbox!!

          By Guitarman

          from Asheville, NC

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth
          • Portable
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio
            • Performances

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            Great little amp at the regular price, but at the current price, what a deal!! Great tone from clean to grinding metal, I love it. Would recommend to anyone.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Decent amp at a decent price

            By 'Louisiana' Steve

            from Florida

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Cheap
            • Easy To Use
            • Portable

            Cons

            • High Gain Sounds 'fizzy'
            • No Headroom

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio
            • Performances

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            The PicoValve was on sale so I grabbed one.
            First off in 5 watt mode I didn't find it as dark as some have said. In fact, it has a lack of bass even when the bass is turned all the way up. The bass and mid controls don't do a whole lot and with the bright switch on, the treble knob actually seemed to reduce the bass as you turned it up. Kinda weird.
            It's only a 5 watt amp so it won't have much headroom but this amp doesn't have much at all. If you like crunch though ..... this is an amp you'll like.

            In the 2 watt mode it does get very dark and unlike many amps with a low power setting, it gets very quiet in the 2 watt mode ...... definitely usable for home recording when you need to not wake anyone up.

            It's built like a tank and when I opened it up I was very pleased with the quality of build inside.
            A perfect amp for modding.

            I gave it 3 stars because the sound quality is mediocre ... it's usable but not very inspiring.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            nice package

            By larz

            from brf,wi

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Solidgood Looking

            Cons

            • Poor Sound Quality

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Just Jamming Around

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            good price on stupid deal,replaced preamp tubes and It really opened up the sound.put a rat in front of it for some keeper tones.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome little amp

            By John Watson

            from USA

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Portable

            Cons

            • Limited Functions

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            First I'll echo a few of the other reviewers: you MUST replace the stock tubes to get the full potential out of this little guy.

            After you do that however, It's an excellent amp and an amazing value. The THD/Andy Marshall design allows you to swap in just about whatever tubes you like to achieve a desired tone. I currently use a 6550EH power tube with 5751 pre tubes for an aggressive tone at high gain that still allows nuances through. The 5W setting is surprisingly loud, it will keep up with a sax or trumpet though probably not a loud drummer.

            One downfall of such an amp is that it takes time and fiddling to change tones, so it won't do as a standalone performance amp. That being said, you could buy two of these and an A-B switch for the same price as a two-channel tube amp.

            Also I haven't found a tube combination that gives a lot of clean headroom without sounding pushed or breaking up; but I've only tried a few.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            The power tube makes all the difference

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            At first I thought this little amp sounded kind of ratty. It was really hard to get a clean tone even at low volumes, and the breakup as the gain was increased was not very smooth. I experimented with an EL84 and didn't hear a big difference. Then I tried a 655 huge difference. Warm clean tone, much more gradual breakup as gain is increased. Now I have pretty nice tone for a little practice amp.
            Very simple, as expected. But the ability to change power tubes without rebiasing is great.
            Very solidly built for a small amp.
            Kind of expensive for alittle practice amp.

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Not designed for EL34s!

            By O-LOVE

            from Winston-Salem, NC

            About Me Experienced

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            I bought this amp when it first came out. I liked the selling point that you could use many different types of tubes. It comes stock with a 6L6. I tried several different types of EL34 tubes (EH, JJ, and Tung-Sol). The amp didn't sound right at all with any of them. I took it to my amp tech and he said that the plate voltage is too low to run EL or KT type tubes. He told me that 6L6 or 6V6s should work fine.Otherwise, the amp dosen't sound bad overall. I would recommend putting higher quality preamp tubes in, as well. At least in the V1. Not a bad buy for [$], but I didn't get what I expected!

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Tried to like it

            By Offline Strat

            from Reno

            See all my reviews

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            I spent some time testing out the amp and it had a lot of functions. But the sound/tone was not for me. Little clean power, and a lot of distortion power. Tried it through a 1x12 greenback speaker cabinet. It can do alot of distortion stuff but it still has that class A solidstate rectifier sound, that is too tight for me. I rate it high because it is a great value.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent low volume tube tone

            By John

            from Austin, TX

            See all my reviews

            Comments about Jet City Amplification PicoValve 5W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

            I bought this amp after being so happy with my Jet City JCA20H. I've only tried the stock tubes so far but the PicoValve provides a variety of excellent tube tones at a very reasonable volume (my wife is a big fan of this amp!). The 5W mode gives a responsive, full tone with a nice top end bite. The 2W mode takes it down to "late night" level, but also alters the tone: less mids/highs and a bit more compressed - it stays surprisingly warm and fat even at very low volumes. I've never had an amp sound so good this quiet. Great features and low price, another excellent value.

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