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  1. #1

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    The amp finally arrived.

    I'd ordered from GC. $359. There was a delay of about a week from the promised ship date, but it arrived safe and sound in what looks like the manufacturer's packaging -- that is, brand new and factory sealed. I mention this because I saw a review by somebody who seems to have gotten a return or something.

    I recall reading something about fan noise, but I didn't hear a thing.

    My initial impression, playing alone in the practice room is that it is not a particularly loud amp, with a Roland 40x that I often use seeming significantly louder (that one has a bigger speaker, but probably similar wattage). When I cranked the Master to 3 o'clock, I didn't care for the sound on chords. It seemed distorted to me. But, when I cranked the output of my ME80 up to the max, the input stage of the Little Jazz didn't seem to mind and I got a louder, but still clean, sound. The amp bothered me less on lead lines, where I don't mind a little bit of distortion that much.

    I compared it to a vintage Ampeg Reverberocket, my favorite all time amp. Tubes, of course.

    This is an impossibly unfair comparison. The old Ampeg is fragile, weighs 2.5x as much, I'm accustomed to it, and it would easily cost 2 or 3 times as much, if you could find one.

    The Ampeg made things sound soft and creamy where the Little Jazz seemed glassy or icy, for want of a better descriptor. I wanted to soften the sound of the Little Jazz. I tried with EQ adjustments and different levels of reverb, to no avail. To my ear, it's a little stark or harsh, but that's a very subjective viewpoint and not necessarily something bad about the amp.

    I wasn't crazy about the reverb. I'm not worried about it, because I like the reverb in the Boss ME80 -- which I always use.

    So, so far, I love the size and weight (roughly a 10.5 inch cube and 15lbs) , but I'm not sure about the sound.

    I'll try in a rehearsal tomorrow and see how it does. I'm going to keep adding to this thread as I work through the evaluation.

    EDIT: The experiment described above was with the Little Jazz sitting on top of another amp. I didn't realize how much difference that could make, compared to flat on the floor.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-20-2018 at 03:56 AM.

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  3. #2

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    I find the 'mid' control has a profound effect on the overall volume of the amp- more so than on any other amp I've used.

    When I gig with mine the volume is somewhere between 5 and 7 on the dial with no audible distortion - mids are usually between 6 and 8 on the dial.
    I use a Nocturne JR Barnyard Preamp with mine to give it more of a tube amp feel.
    Last edited by entresz; 12-20-2018 at 01:41 AM.

  4. #3

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    The tone controls have a profound effect on both tone and, to a lesser extent, volume, especially the mid control. I tend to run my mid at ~1, highs maybe 11 or 12, and bass between 9 and 12 depending on the room and the guitar. But I generally start with everything at 12, or flat, and volume at ~10 or 11. I rarely crank the volume above 12, and don't often get there. It's just too loud for me at home, and even out unless it's a very loud situation. I try to avoid those. If you're looking for a Fender type sound, you won't get it from this amp. It's far closer to a Polytone sound.

  5. #4

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    One other point - it's rear ported, and position makes a big difference. It needs a foot or so from a wall, so the bass reflects off the wall. And flat on the floor, it's not a great sounding amp. It needs to be tilted or elevated. My preference is on the floor, tilted back. I just put something under the front edge to raise it 2 or 3 inches, and that makes a noticeable difference in the sound. Putting it on a chair or something to raise it up brightens it considerably, actually more than I like, but it's subjective. Anything is better than flat on the floor, though. And moving it just a few inches nearer or further away from something solid, like a wall or something else large and solid, can change the sound a lot. Experimentation will give you the best sound for your ears.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    One other point - it's rear ported, and position makes a big difference. It needs a foot or so from a wall, so the bass reflects off the wall. And flat on the floor, it's not a great sounding amp. It needs to be tilted or elevated. My preference is on the floor, tilted back. I just put something under the front edge to raise it 2 or 3 inches, and that makes a noticeable difference in the sound. Putting it on a chair or something to raise it up brightens it considerably, actually more than I like, but it's subjective. Anything is better than flat on the floor, though. And moving it just a few inches nearer or further away from something solid, like a wall or something else large and solid, can change the sound a lot. Experimentation will give you the best sound for your ears.
    Thanks for pointing this out. I just tried it. Even tilting it slightly makes a noticeable difference.

    Thus far, though, I like it best flat on the floor. But, I'm trying to tame a bright instrument. Well, that's taste, but the fact is that it makes a difference.

  7. #6

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    Certainly the position you prefer is a matter of taste. I only meant to point out that it makes a difference in the sound. Different can be good or bad. In my somewhat limited experience, the Little Jazz is more sensitive to position than most other amps. And that can be good or bad, depending on one's point of view and hearing.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Certainly the position you prefer is a matter of taste. I only meant to point out that it makes a difference in the sound. Different can be good or bad. In my somewhat limited experience, the Little Jazz is more sensitive to position than most other amps. And that can be good or bad, depending on one's point of view and hearing.
    Position really does make a huge difference with this amp. That's true with ported amps in general but I think it's especially true with the Little Jazz and the Bud/Blue where they're squeezing a large sound out of a small enclosure. I think it's actually good for everyone because it means you have more control over the sound regardless of your taste ... want it big, warm and wooly, put it near the wall. Want it brighter and more articulate, move it away. I've said it over and over, this amp gives me a huge amount of pleasure and however I have it set up, I seem to be able to find a sound that makes me happy.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  9. #8
    Played a rehearsal today. Keys, drumset, bass, guitar. I used the Comins GCS-1. We worked on some quieter material for the most part. Bassist brought the acoustic today.

    Little Jazz flat on a carpeted floor. Bass and Mids around 12. Treble at 11. Reverb around 10. Master at 12.

    A/B'ed it with the vintage Reverberocket. ME80 in the signal path for both guitars, adding reverb. The Ampeg Dimension control was around 10. Tone about 10 as well (it only has a treble roll-off).

    Both amps sounded great and, to my surprise, they didn't sound all that different. I was sitting to the left of the amps, with the amps facing the same way as I was - meaning neither one was pointing at me. The port of the Little Jazz faced back towards me, but well to my right (that shouldn't matter much, since the port, I assume, emphasizes lower frequencies which are less directional.

    Big win for the Little Jazz. It sounded fully warm enough. It was certainly loud enough for the rehearsal. I don't know yet if it will keep up with a horn band. I'll find out next week.

  10. #9
    Here's a recording from this morning's session.

    This is the GCS-1, ME80 and Little Jazz.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  11. #10
    Played a loud rehearsal this evening. Amplified acoustic bass, grand piano (open with a two fisted player), two guitars, drums and vocals. Probably at a volume that would be appropriate for a good size restaurant or a busy bar. Really a little louder than it needed to be for the room tonight. I had it facing me from about 10 feet away (the semisolid Comins didn't feed back).

    The LJ was plenty loud enough and it sounded fine at the higher volume. I forgot about it and played. It sounded loud enough, big enough (not boxy) and maintained good tone.

    I ended up thinking that I'd be perfectly happy with it in most, if not all, of the situations I play in. Next month, I'll try it with a 19 piece big band, and I expect it to be fine.

    I have a return privilege until Jan 30, but I think this one is a keeper.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-24-2018 at 05:07 AM.

  12. #11

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    The DV Little Jazz is a very good amp, re above comment they DO NOT sound close or anything like a Polytone, not a bad thing they just sound different. Not warm tho.

    fantastic price wise,



    The Mid control is the key to it, the reverb is crap, but overall light compact clean punchy cheap.

  13. #12

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    I had the Little Jazz in attendance of the Micro 50. Used in a band with three blowers. It did well.The good thing about a small speaker and a small-faced amp is that the sound spreads much wider than with bigger speakers/cabs. If you're only comping, putting the amp behind the band will enable everybody to hear it. Relative lack of bass is only a blessing, as you probably want to sound acoustic. If you play solos, too, keep the amp next to you and add a second speaker behind the band. The Little Jazz has a jack for an aux speaker.

    Sorry if the above sounds elementary or patronizing.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug View Post
    I had the Little Jazz in attendance of the Micro 50. Used in a band with three blowers. It did well.The good thing about a small speaker and a small-faced amp is that the sound spreads much wider than with bigger speakers/cabs. If you're only comping, putting the amp behind the band will enable everybody to hear it. Relative lack of bass is only a blessing, as you probably want to sound acoustic. If you play solos, too, keep the amp next to you and add a second speaker behind the band. The Little Jazz has a jack for an aux speaker.

    Sorry if the above sounds elementary or patronizing.
    The 19 piece band spreads out the horns nicely in the room and the rhythm section squeezes into what's left.

    Up to now, I have put a JC55 in front of the drummer who is near stage right. I'm generally extreme stage right, and way in front, facing the reeds. The amp has an open back and the drummer and bassist (who is behind the drummer playing a Phil Jones briefcase that fills the room) can hear me okay. I doubt that the trumpets can hear me on stage left, but they don't complain. I can hear myself and the amp is far enough away that I don't have to blast myself. Drums and keys are loud enough and close enough, and does anybody ever have trouble hearing horns well enough?

  15. #14
    Yesterday my octet (4 horns, rhythm section and an added vocalist) played a very big room. Maybe 250 people.

    I took the Little Jazz. We weren't trying to overpower the room and had talked about needed to control our volume.

    There was a wall of glass behind us. I set up the LB about 2 feet in front of it flat on the floor. The back line was drums on my extreme left, then the bassist and then me. Keys to my right. I put my amp between the bassist and drummer. I don't like being right next to my amp. I prefer to hear it more in the context of the group, volume-wise. I use an ME80 pedalboard, so, if I need to adjust something, I do it there, not at the amp, typically.

    I was able to get a good sound as loud as I wanted to play. I generally figure that I'm responsible for stage volume. So, if everything sounds balanced to me, that's all I can do. I don't want to guess about how much louder I need to blast the stage so an audience member in the last row can hear the guitar clearly. If that's an issue, there ought to be a PA. There wasn't, partly because we were expecting maybe a fifth the crowd.

    A friend in the audience said the guitar was audible but a little too quiet, but I think that was my choice, not the amp's capability.

    We've played some sizable rooms, but this was the first time I ever had trouble hearing the horns, especially the flutes (used for a few tunes). It might have been 100 feet to the back wall, over a crowd of people, so I think there wasn't much reflected sound.

    Anyway, I was perfectly satisfied with the Little Jazz. I don't think I'd have been any happier if I'd brought my usual JC55. For this type of music, I don't feel the guitar has to be as loud as the piano most of the time -- and the piano was quite loud and arguably a little busy. I feel like I have to stay out of the way. If I was trying to keep up with the piano's volume, I'm not certain the LJ would do it, but, in that case, I'd get it off the floor, turn up the output of the pedal board (the LJ doesn't seem to mind a hotter input signal) and see what happens.

    I have a return privilege with GC, but it's not going back. 15 lbs, $350 and can cover most situations I play in.

  16. #15

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    I think the gain level on the Little Jazz is set quite low so it takes hotter signals pretty well. I wish it was set a fraction higher so I didn't have to crank the master quite so much. Would be handy with hot pickups though.

  17. #16
    A couple of days ago I used the Little Jazz with a 19 piece big band playing high energy music. The room has brick walls, maybe 40 by 50 (not that big for a band of this size).

    I had the LJ cranked about 3/4 of the way up. I had the output volume of my pedalboard to about 2 o'clock. That boosts the signal to some degree but I don't know how much.

    I guess I could have gone even louder, but I didn't need to. The guitar was audible in the audience. Tone was fine, to the extent that I could hear it -- I have to wear earplugs with this band and even though I have the custom fitted Etymotics, the sound isn't all that great.

    My guess is that some players wouldn't be satisfied with the volume, but it was enough for what I was trying to do. I figure that the keys should be more obvious for this kind of music and the guitar is supportive of that. For soloing, I use a pedalboard patch that has more volume. My solos, so far, have not had to go over horn backgrounds - if I had to do that, I'd have been concerned that the LJ wasn't enough amp -- not sure, but concerned.

    Overall, another win for the LJ.

  18. #17

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    Hi,

    I have been wondering where people have been going to buy the latest model Little Jazz where the fan is not visible when looking at the back. Most of the sites I see show the 1st generation where the fan is visible when looking at the back.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    Hi,

    I have been wondering where people have been going to buy the latest model Little Jazz where the fan is not visible when looking at the back. Most of the sites I see show the 1st generation where the fan is visible when looking at the back.
    I ordered mine from Guitar Center in December 2018 and took delivery in January. $359.

    It is the newer model. The fan is not visible. Just some vents. So far, I've never heard a fan. If I hadn't read these posts, I would not have even guessed it had a fan.

    I wonder if they bothered to update the pictures when the new version came out.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 05-21-2019 at 02:50 PM.

  20. #19

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    I ordered mine online from a music shop (Andertons) here in the UK a few weeks ago. Their website still shows the fan in a circular grille mounted at the back, but mine doesn’t look like that. The fan is concealed behind 4 narrow vertical slots, I can just see it inside. I have not heard it run yet.

  21. #20

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    I got mine from Guitar Center. I doubt they have any first generation models left. If you do order one and you don't like it, just return it, get a full refund, and try again.

  22. #21
    i have the GH250 which is the 250w (150 into 8) version but with a 2nd overdrive channel. I don't like the overdrive but the clean channel is nice. Way too much bass though. When I play loud and with an open back cabinet i have the bass on zero. Too bad there's not a -3db pad. It's also got way too much high end.

    Overall, I like the tone of the quilter OD200 better but it's nice having reverb built into the head. It's more tube like but the treble control on the DV Mark is a little closer to a fender in terms of being able to turn on or off the "benson" brightness.

    I'm on the fence about whether to keep it. Used it at a couple rehearsals with a trio I'm playing with and had it up about 1/4 way which I'm guessing is around the 40w mark assuming the controls are linear so perhaps the 50w would work in its place...

  23. #22

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    The Little Jazz is a combo, not a head, although it can be used as a head if one wants.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    The Little Jazz is a combo, not a head, although it can be used as a head if one wants.
    Talking about this, same amp :

    DV Mark Little Jazz-12674156_800-jpg

  25. #24

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    That's not the amp the thread is about. The Little Jazz is a combo. AFAIK the amplifier sections are the same, but they won't sound the same because the speaker and cabinet will be different. I get no Fender sounds from the Little Jazz, which is why I kept it. The Quilter 101 heads do sound like a Fender, which is why I sold them.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Talking about this, same amp :
    Have you tried one yet Jack ?

    Even tho this thread is called Little Jazz ....
    i still find comparisons with other amps/speakers/combos informative ....

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Have you tried one yet Jack ?

    Even tho this thread is called Little Jazz ....
    i still find comparisons with other amps/speakers/combos informative ....
    if you're talking about the 250w version, yes. i have a GH250 which is the same preamp and poweramp design as the jazz 50 watt head with the addition of a 2nd channel (which I do not use or like,lol)

    I like the amp. I think the basic sound of the quilter is better and i think the dv has too much bottom end. With the DV, I keep the bass on zero but with a semi or archtop I have to either use an EQ pedal or put the amp up on a chair. Otherwise, it gets boomy and/or feedsback with the archtop. The treble control is placed nicely. I can get a bensony treble tone if I want it (which isn't too often TBH but it's nice and I can't get that with the quilter).

    BUT, like I said, the fundamental tone is better with the quilter. It sounds warmer and more analog-like with a tube-like "lilt" to the sound that is very pleasing to me.
    Last edited by jzucker; 05-25-2019 at 11:33 PM.

  28. #27

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    I have been looking for a lightweight, relatively inexpensive amp to take with me on the road this summer. I was really lucky when a local guitar player decided to sell his jazz gear - a DV Mark Little Jazz and an Epiphone 175 Premium. I passed on the Epi (played exceptionally well but I am out of storage space ...) but snapped up his LJ. I've been playing it for a month or more. The tone is really good. Haven't tested outside my studio yet but I hope to do that soon.

    The LJ joins my Quilter MP-8 and the Roland Cube 60 - both inspired by reviews I've read on the forum over the years. The Quilter is the perfect jazz amp for the tone I'm striving for so I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the Little Jazz stands up to the A/B tests.

    The Cube doesn't get much use for jazz since I got the Quilter. I use it to amplify my TRIO+ or when I feel like playing surf or rock guitar and need the COSM effects.

    DV Mark Little Jazz-img_7445-jpg