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JC-120 Distortion malfunctioning

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  • vintagekiki
    replied
    JC120 is great clean amp.
    Before any action on the JC120, try plugging the guitar through some linear power booster preamp (similar EHX LPB-1) to raise the signal for distortion.

    LPB-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]55281[/ATTACH]

    https://hotbottles.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/building-an-electro-harmonix-lpb-1-from-scratch/
    EDIT 190921

    DOD - 210 FET Preamp (Portal requires registration)
    http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?t=12099

    DOD - 210 FET Preamp schematics
    Click image for larger version

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    It's worth trying replace C21; C25 (.033uF) with .1uF; Replace C23 (1uF) with 10-22uF
    If still not enough distortion, in parallel with R51 (220k) connect 2 diodes and resistor as desired max to 1k (red on schematics)

    Click image for larger version

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    about JC-120 Distortion

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaeSF-ZNHjk

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/roland-jc-120-distortion-question.430949/

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/roland-jc-120-distortion-mods.636445/

    https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/instruments-and-amps/291757-roland-jc120-distortion.html
    Attached Files
    Last edited by vintagekiki; 09-21-2019, 08:16 AM.

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  • J M Fahey
    replied
    Buy two chickens and sharpen a dagger, sacrifice them and then, either make a ton of Italian sauce chicken stew to accompany your pasta or broil them after being covered with butter, smoked paprika, chili flakes lots of pepper and lemon juice or ....

    That plus a couple bottles good red wine will immensely improve the Distortion quality

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr_bibbles
    replied
    Well thank you for all your help! I’m going to go buy a couple chickens and a dagger; my only hope now is a sacrificial ceremony.

    All the best,

    Bibbles

    Leave a comment:


  • J M Fahey
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr_bibbles View Post
    Haha well, terrible news is... educational?

    As an alternative, with a signal generator and an audio probe, could I check each stage individually by ear?
    You already have an audio probe : simply select the distortion and its output is connected to a clean power amp and speaker.
    Which works fine because the clean channel sounds fine trough it.
    You will hear nothing different no matter what you use.
    Sadly we are beyond the plain listening stage, only "news" could be visual.
    Or once I did get a scope (there’s a phone app for free... and a nicer one for 9.99...) what would be the process?
    Unless you have a $5000 phone with separate microphone and line inputs, not sure how could you connect probes to it and test various circuit points.
    No, some day you´ll get a working PC or maybe one of those tiny Scope modules; I´ve seen one which is just a PCB with a small screen on it, not even a case.
    And lastly is there a way to just shotgun this? I have several 2SK117’s on hand, and although I was eager to learn this isn’t my amp and I’m sure the fella wants it back sooner rather than later.
    Shotgunning what?
    The circuit works properly, according to measurements, it just sounds crappy.

    Plan B: if it were mine, I would build a matchbox sized Distortion pedal, say an MXR Distortion+ , no switching, no case, just a small PCB with "a 741 and 2 diodes" and mount it there , driving it with signal from C21 and feeding its output into C25 as a good distorting stage, mounting its own distortion pot in TR5 hole, not using MXR volume control since there´s no space for it, and using Q6 and Q7 as "effects loop switchers" ... but not worth it complicating things that much; it´s simpler and better to ignore internal distortion and plain use a good pedal.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr_bibbles
    replied
    Haha well, terrible news is... educational?

    As an alternative, with a signal generator and an audio probe, could I check each stage individually by ear? Or once I did get a scope (there’s a phone app for free... and a nicer one for 9.99...) what would be the process?

    And lastly is there a way to just shotgun this? I have several 2SK117’s on hand, and although I was eager to learn this isn’t my amp and I’m sure the fella wants it back sooner rather than later.

    Either way I can’t thank you enough! This has been enlightening so far. I’m going to

    Leave a comment:


  • J M Fahey
    replied
    Ok, then I have to give you *terrible* news

    Everything checks normal, so your distortion stage, Q5, is not *broken* , but works as expected.

    That it puts out sh*t by the bucketful is another problem though.

    MAYBE it blocks under drive and produces a shitty waveform, won´t be able to check that until some kind of scope is borrowed or you get a working PC and can run scope software so by now there´s not much to do.

    All voltages, both DC and Signal look fine, within tolerance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr_bibbles
    replied
    So the Generator is a little spotty but I gave it a lil’ tune up and it was giving me a stable steady signal of 22mv (it has an amplitude adjuster, .01v/.1v/1v/10v, and frequency selector....) I injected it into the high input (measured at the inserted tip to be sure, 22mv still) and did some testing.

    Here are the voltages I got through testing:

    1. Q2/c21 junction: .130vac

    2. R41 / r42 junction: .130vac

    3. Q5/r45 junction - lowest distortion setting: .347vac- 1.3vac (highest)

    4. R51/r50 junction- .342Vac to 1.3VAC with sweep

    5/6: q6 and q7 are giving a range of 104mv-397mvAC, identical within a couple MV

    To try and understand the basics, my analysis is q1/q2 as basic amplifier for channel 2, q6/q7 as switchers and q5 which is our crappy distortion unit.

    I don’t really know how to proceed further, but all things considered, are we trying to adjust the bias on Q5? I don’t have a scope but I can use an audio probe to find the exact point of crossover-esque distortion....

    Thanks as always!

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr_bibbles
    replied
    Thank you so much for this detailed info! Unfortunately... I have neither a scope nor a generator.

    I was testing it without input, but I plugged a guitar in to at least have some signal passing through it. I realize that as a qualitative test goes. This might not be useful in the slightest, but I got a range of 150mv to 2v while strumming the guitar from ‘very soft’ to ‘heaven handed’ at the AC test points.

    Edit: I just pulled a vintage Heathkit sine/square wave generator out of the closet and it works! It has a .1v and 1v settings, I’m going to hook it up to a resistor as suggested and run some better testing.

    Leave a comment:


  • J M Fahey
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr_bibbles View Post
    Looks like I have 2-3 MVac on all leads of q2, at c11, r41, and c2. I replaced c11 (now .022) and Q2 in case it was faulty, no change
    With what signal input?
    I suspect you are measuring while injecting no signal, in that case you are not actually testing it.
    Those low mV values may be hiss/hum/whatever picked by meter leads acting as antennas, and mean nothing.

    Schematic shows 2 kinds of voltage measurements:

    * Circles: DC voltages.
    I had to estimate them, because Roland does not tell even the supply voltage, let alone at internal test points.
    These show GROSS errors, such as no supply - shorted/open FET (or tracks/resistors) - no/excessive bias - etc.
    What you measured so far looks somewhat reasonable, so for now we leave it there.

    * rectangles: Signal voltages, which are AC.
    But they will appear only if you inject some signal, so Roland suggests injecting 22mV into the High input or 72mV into the low one.
    Your generator will probably put out "too much" so you must tame it down.
    Suppose it puts out 1V RMS .... connect it to a 10k resistor in series with a 680 ohm one (using standard resistor values) , now you have about 68 mV out ... close to 72 mV suggested.

    Inject that into the Low input and then measure the Audio voltages suggested in schematic, where I added a couple.

    The distorted Audio is nothing more than the heavily overdriven Fet output, that´s why it will vary as I suggested with different Distortion pot. settings.

    * since distorted signal at Q2 Drain must go on along various points, I suggest testing as far as the next stage , after Q6 and Q7 switchers.

    But we know we are pulling straws here, the *true* test is scoping the signal reaching the tone stack.

    We already know the Clean signal is fine, we can only check that the distorted signal passes on, but not its (suspected) uglyness.

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  • gbono
    replied
    Originally posted by J M Fahey View Post
    FETs are wonderful amplification devices, biased like tubes, similar impedance characteristics, clip very similar ... pity rhey are such inconstant b*tches so sooner or later everybody stopped using them.
    These folks still build FETs and do a very good job ..........http://www.linearsystems.com/

    Leave a comment:


  • J M Fahey
    replied
    Looks like I have 2-3 MVac on all leads of q2, at c11, r41, and c2.
    With what signal input?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr_bibbles
    replied
    Looks like I have 2-3 MVac on all leads of q2, at c11, r41, and c2. I replaced c11 (now .022) and Q2 in case it was faulty, no change

    Leave a comment:


  • HaroldBrooks
    replied
    Might I suggest using this ? The ST-2 With an EQ in front of it is my "Amp Model" of choice, and it's amazingly inexpensive, and up to around 12 O'clock sounds a lot like a vintage Marshall Plexi. The trick is to not feed it too much treble on the input, and to not expect it to distort like a modern Metal amp and still sound good. For a vintage Lower distortion, it's a fantastic model, and generally I hate amp modeling, but sometimes it's better than other options (poor distortion built into the amp.) It get's some bad press because it's abused and misused, but as an amp modeler, it sounds better than anything in my Eleven Rack, IMHO. Again, I trim back the real highs and real lows from my guitar, and it's pretty good !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg5HLdYBskM

    Leave a comment:


  • g1
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr_bibbles View Post
    Instead of 160mv it’s a flat 15v. After C21 it settles down to .5

    Also, the 160mv supply is off on he Q2 side of C2.
    Numbers in boxes are AC voltages with signal level shown at input jacks.
    Numbers in ovals are DC.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr_bibbles
    replied
    Measurements:

    So the main rail is coming in at 24.3vdc.

    The biggest discrepancy is at Q2/c21 junction. Instead of 160mv it’s a flat 15v. After C21 it settles down to .5

    Also, the 160mv supply is off on he Q2 side of C2. Seems like it’s fine on the q6 side but my meter has trouble that low, bounces between 100-300mv while reading.


    Other than that the 7v and 5v readings near q5 are 5v and 3v respectively. That could be accounted for by he new calculated rail voltage?


    Based on this, my hunch is c2, c21 or q2. What do y’all think?

    Leave a comment:

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