We’ve had more than a few momentous anniversaries in 2022. Some of the greatest milestones include 70 years of the Gibson Les Paul; 60 years of Marshall amps; and 60 years of the fuzz pedal (beginning with Maestro’s FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone).
Also this year, music gear innovator Roland celebrates their 50th anniversary. And where would we be without Roland’s offshoot guitar brand, Boss? Those compact pedals that appeared in 1977, so influential in their design, have since become an icon of the guitar world.
And while newer guitar amplifiers like the Katana and Cube ranges have drawn widespread attention in recent years, vintage gearheads will be pleased to discover Roland has just unveiled a limited-edition model of arguably the most iconic amp to come out of Japan: the legendary JC-120 Jazz Chorus.
Appearing with a gorgeous natural cherry wood veneer and open-pore finish, the JC-120 Jazz Chorus Roland 50th Anniversary Limited Edition features a dark grey grille cloth and a commemorative badge individually stamped with the unit’s serial number (xxx/350).
Having remained in production since its release in 1975, the JC-120 Jazz Chorus claims the title of Roland’s longest-running product. Its influence cannot be overstated. In addition to several spinoff amp designs such as the mid-sized JC-40 and ultracompact JC-22, the JC-120 spawned the world’s first chorus pedal.
Putting them on the map as an effects pedal innovator, the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble – the first Boss pedal – was launched in 1976. Famed for its deep, luscious sound, many argue this standalone chorus unit has not been outclassed since its introduction.
Countless guitarists have used the Roland JC-120 over the years. Prized for its clarity, articulation and depth of tone, this solid-state workhorse has served artists as diverse as the Smiths’ Johnny Marr, U2’s the Edge, Muse’s Matthew Bellamy, the Eagles’ Joe Walsh and Hawkwind’s Dave Brock.
A decades-long staple of the stage, the Roland JC-120 is also a go-to amp in the studio. For punchy clean tones it can be hard to beat. And that deep, 3D chorus sound is something to behold when miked in stereo.
We love the look of this version of Roland’s modern classic. But with 350 being released worldwide, you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one.
Roland says the JC-120 Jazz Chorus Roland 50th Anniversary Limited Edition will be available in the U.S. for pre-order from select Boss retailers in December 2022 and in-store in February 2023 priced $1,999.99.
And congratulations, Roland. Here’s to another half century of music innovation.
Visit the Roland website for more information.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.