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A Class A Joe Satriani combo you can carry with one hand? You better believe it.
From the Joe Satriani series, the Peavey JSX Mini Colossal Guitar Amp is a great answer to the question of how to get great tube sound out of a small combo amplifier at manageable volumes. The feature that makes it happen is Peavey's trademarked Power Sponge: a unique control that allows the user to adjust the nominal output power level of the amplifier. It can be used in conjunction with the volume control to attain infinite combinations of power amp and preamp distortion at any volume level. This control DOES NOT affect the level of the Microphone Simulated Recording output and provides an appropriate load to the amplifier at all settings.
Speaker outputs are provided as paralleled 1/4" mono tip-sleeve jacks for the connection of speaker enclosures. Minimum speaker impedance is 4 Ohms. You set the cabinet Impedance Selector switch to match the load of the speaker cabinet(s). The internal speaker is 8 Ohms.
A recording out XLR jack is used to route a Microphone Simulated signal (tapped directly from the speaker being used) from the amplifier to an external recording device or PA. It uses a 100% passive circuit to avoid clipping, noise, and other shortcomings of solid-state circuitry.
An 8" speaker is specially voiced to get the absolute best tone out of this combo, whether you're playing clean, crunchy, or full-on distortion.
Peavey hasn't forgotten good looks, either. A stylish black housing is set off by a classic jeweled power light and chrome-plated brass control knobs.
"The JSX Mini Colossal Combo is a Class A monster in a nice little box. It has a pure, wide-open sound, classic tremolo, buffered effects loop, a unique power level attenuator, and a recording output that actually sounds like the amp. Together with a specially voiced 8" speaker, the 5W Mini Colossal has a vintage tone that really rocks. It can run clean, crunchy, or, down and dirty. Its unique design makes it easy to get a good tone fast, and its size makes it very practical. Whether practicing, recording, or, even playing a small gig, this lively little amp really sounds great." — Joe Satriani
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JSX Mini Colossal Guitar Amp
Reviewed by 8 customers
Displaying reviews 1-8
The MC is a great amp for many scenarios. First, for recording, the XLR microphone simulated direct out does sound like the amp. This is a very big plus because you can take your amp out of the studio to a rehearsal or gig, then back to the studio and not have to worry about setting the mic to the exact spot that you previously had it. Offsetting a mic even slightly can and will change the way it sounds through a mixing console. For live, the XLR is great to run through a board and the signal is hot. I actually run the direct out in conjucntion with micing a 4-10 cab, and the sound out front is very full and thick.You may think that because this amp only outputs 5 watts that it won't get loud enough for rehearsing with a band or playing live, but nothing could be further from the truth. Thats where the impedence switch on the back comes into play. I run through a Marshall 4-10 cabinet with the mini set on top and it gets LOUD. Adding the cab beefs up the tone greatly, and also makes it louder for on the stage. Having the mini on top adds the higher frequencies (due to the 8 inch speaker) which all together makes this little monster cut through nicely. I have played at large venues where nationals played, and this sucker works fine as a monitor. I never have to set the power sponge to full. But if you did have the amp cranked to the max, you'll find that it doesn't break up.The FX loop takes pedals well. I generally only use a chorus, delay, and reverb pedal through it, but they all sound great and there is no loss of tone at all. Because it is class A, the idea is to learn how get the tone and amount of distortion you want using different pickups and volumns. It will get very clean (no gain) simply by rolling the volume knob of the guitar back. Set the pickups to humbucker and turn the volumn up and all of a sudden it's screaming. The distortion on this amp is great for blues, country, classic rock, or even 80's hard rock. NOT FOR METAL. If you want to use this amp for metal, plan on using a distortion box. I HIGHLY recommend using a compressor/sustainer in front of the preamp. The tubes just sing and the tone is full and smooth. Plus it adds more edge to your tone better suited for hard rock. It will take a distortion box well, but plan on setting the volume on the amp down to 3/4 or 1/2. I run a satchurator through it like this and it's great. The only draw back is it won't get as loud now, which means for live you'll need the soundman to run it through your monitor.The tone knob is simple and effective, and the analog tremolo sounds great (even though I don't use it that often).I like things to be simple and fast, and this amp is just that. It's easy to dial in the tone you want, set the distortion (using the volume) and plug in a few pedals for the loop (another nice thing is that you don't need to turn the loop on or off with a footswitch, just run a pedal through it and it's ready).I like the amp so much that I have two of them. One for rehearsing and studio, and one for live. It's easy to carry around (unlike the JSX 2-12 which weighs like 95 lbs). I always recieve good feedback from soundmen and other musicians that hear it live. I hope this review helps.I love this little monster and will be using it most of the time.
I recently purchased this amp strictly for low volume home use. I like to play 60's, 70's, Beatles, Dylan, oldies rock/blues type stuff (no heavy metal). I was looking for a small high quality low power amp which would sound good at bedroom levels, but still get that nice real tube amp sound. I was at first a little disappointed with the sound of this amp and even considered returning it. However, after a few hours of playing and learning I realized that this amp can create an awesome variety of tones and get that great real "tube sound" at very low home use levels once you learn how to use it! The amp is very touch sensitive, has great sustain, and does everything from clean to distorted sounds very well. The secret to this amp is learning to fine tune your sound through carefull use of the amp's volume knob, power attentuator, and the guitar's volume control to get the sound you want. Small changes to any of these controls makes a big difference in the sounds you get from the amp. This is not an easy "plug and play" type amp, but the reward for a little thought and effort is a really fantastic sounding amp. The amp also seems to be solid and very well made. The amp also has a nice tremolo, but I would have preferred reverb instead. Anyway, I am very happy with this amp and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great sounding small tube amp.
Great tones from clean to classic rock. Very responsive to whatever you plug in and loves harmonics. For lead playing it can't be beaten; every note is clean, clear and focused.It can sound decent with the stock speaker but when I run it through my Marshall 1960a it is amazing. The attenuator is a godsend.Only complaints are there isn't any headroom for clean settings, I would've liked a reverb instead of a tremolo and the Record Out isn't very good.The construction quality seems 100% solid. I could probably drop it from a few feet without any problems.
I still love the amp, and playing around with diffrent preamp tubes over the stock 12AX7/ECC83 can net you a new amp for little cost or effort. Thus far my fave is an 12AT7/ECC81, it cleans up the amp a good bit and slightly fattens up the sound, you can put the volume knob at 2.5-3 with humbuckers and still stay nice and clean. I've tried a 12AU7/ECC82 and it sound beautiful, nice fat and warm, however your total output gets dropped about 70%, I have a hybrid 12DW7/ECC832 on the way, The half that drives the power tube is a 12AX7, resulting in full output, however the input side is a 12AU7, which should give the warm fat open clean sound at high volume levels. I'm looking forward to trying it.
This rockin' little monster will knock your socks off.
I got this Amp about a week ago with my Ibanez,and I am really Impressed.For having only 2 Tubes and an 8-inch speaker,this thing is quite loud. Seriously,I have the Volume knob to 3 and the tone to 7,with the power sponge to not even 15%, and it Shakes the floor. I love the power knob and the classic power gem. (red light) this is a great amp for just messing around on ,recording, or even playing small gigs. Overall Great Amp. Thank you Peavey and Especially Joe for coming up with this great amp.
this little guy rocks. I can't believe the tone. very nice and warm. I use my strat, es-335 copy and lap steel through this and it does all I want it to. vibrato is nice, but I wish it had reverb. Essentially your guitar controls your treble and saturation; I am very glad I have this amp - output to PA or pro tools is a big plus. easy to carry. I will get a small cab for this in the future.
Just bought one. Perfect for playing at home! I don't gig but I think you could probably play a small show with this little beast. The sound is great for clean or crunch. Four knobs...I like it simple that way! Effects loop works well too. If you want a great sound at a comfortable volume, this amp might be what your looking for. I'm very pleased with it.