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Jet City Amps & Zacky V

Awex Came

Campfire Attention Holder
May 23, 2021
Just wanted to make a thread about Jet City Amplification, which Zacky Vengeance was endorsed by for many years. He started using them live in 2011, all the way through at least 2017. To my knowledge, there's no proof that these were ever used in the studio. So we can only assume they were only used live. There's tons of documentation from 2011 when Zack started using these, and also the Rig Rundown from 2013. In 2017, Zack told Ultimate Guitar that if there was one amp he could save in a fire, it would be his Jet City 50 Watt Combo Amp. He also did an interview in 2017 with Music Radar that documents on page 12 that he was still using them in 2017 after The Stage.

I own 2 Jet City amps, the JCA100H and the JCA100HDM. They're the same amp, the HDM has a different look, a 100w/50w switch, and a Depth knob (hence the "DM" for "Depth Mod"). Zacky also used both of these amps on tour (pic below). A lot of people call this the "Jet City 333" because of the badge, but the actual model is JCA100H. I can confirm from talking to Jet City owner Doug White and the guy who made the Vengeance Blade badges for Zack, Mike Reid, that ZV's amps were stock amps and only had different badges and a different color panel on the front than a normal JCA.

Here's why these amps are special. Aside from them sounding amazing, they're designed by Mike Soldano, the legend behind Soldano Amplifiers. These amps are literally, and I mean literally Soldano Hot Rod amps, except they're made in China and use PCB boards instead of hand wiring. I owned the Jet City Amps at the same time as a Soldano Hot Rod 50 from the 90's and I took a picture of their guts, they're the literal same. Mike would frequently take trips to the factory in China where these were made to make sure they were using good quality parts and that things were being made correctly.

Another reason they're special is because I bought my JCA100H for $200 and my JCA100HDM for $300. I sold my Hot Rod 50 for $1800. If you are in a band or recording situation I would highly recommend trying to find one at a pawn shop, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Offerup, etc. It seems like prices have tried to go up a bit, but I wouldn't pay more than about $500 for one. They also have various combo amps, 20 watt heads, a 50 watt head, and a few other 100 watt models as well as customs and boutiques.

These amps are very easy to modify if you're handy with a soldering iron. I've done a few to mine such as adding a channel switch, 100w/50w switch, and a Depth knob to my JCA100H. My JCA100HDM is stock and will stay that way. Another super popular mod is the SLO Mod, which turns your amp into a Soldano SLO100 (a $4000 amp). There's very few differences in parts between the Hot Rod and SLO amps, so you can turn your Jet City into that for cheap. Even if you're not handy, any tech would be able to do these mods for you and they're heavily documented online.

Some lineage for you, the legendary Peavey 5150 and Mesa Dual Rectifier amps are both based off of the Soldano SLO 100, and both of those have spawned countless amps based on them. So the SLO 100 is really the grandfather of most modern high gain amps and is truly a legend itself.

Jet City amicably severed with Mike Soldano about 10 years or so ago, and the company was mostly inactive since. They only offered boutique custom builds. Jet City was recently bought out by Voodoo Labs with Doug White still in charge, so they're currently in the middle of a comeback. However, they will NOT be making more amps based off of Mike Soldano's design because he owns them and isn't with the company. You're only chance to get one of these is pre owned.

The JCA100 amps have 2 channels, Crunch and High Gain. You can get a somewhat clean tone with the gain rolled down on the Crunch channel. The High Gain channel is a more classic/Marshall sense of "High Gain", not like brutal modern metal amps. It's still great. I've gotten good cleans out of my amps, and also boosted the High Gain channel with a tube screamer which just pushed it over the edge and gave me nasty chugs.

You can read more about the JCA100 amps and others on Jet City's website.

Zacky V with his JCA100 and JCA100HDM in 2011

A better look at the amps and settings from Jet City's FB page

The guts of my Modded JCA100H (left) and my Soldano Hot Rod 50 (right)

My JCA100HDM, purchased for about $300.

A LED channel switch button that I (poorly) added to my JCA100H

Awex Came

Campfire Attention Holder
May 23, 2021
Thank you for the information. Soldano is my favorite IR, boasted with tube screamer. I like it because the sound is so metal 🤘
I have a question, I use NUX MG-400. It has SLO 100 or Soldano 100 IR. It is similar with jet city Amps? Thank you.
Classic metal sounds. The OG for many tones today!

That all depends on the quality of the NUX and how accurate it is to a real SLO 100. In theory, it should be very close to the Jet City
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