Cost: $1499.00 street, prices may vary so check Reverb.com before you buy! When purchased new you do get a lifetime labor warranty however!
How it Works and Final Score: 8.3
Devilcat Amplifier’s Jimmy is a 50 watt tube combo amp that is huge in stature and sound. Jimmy is somewhere between a 3 and 4 channel amp, with 3 true channels labeled “dirt”, “clean”, and “overdrive”. However, with the included foot pedal, you can kick on the “dirt” channel as a boost for both the clean and drive channels, giving it 4 distinct sounds. You do get some nice extras like a true spring reverb and an effects loop, but I have to say the first thing you’ll notice is how large and heavy this is for a 1×12 amplifier. Other features include an external speaker out that can be set to 4 or 8 ohms, a Celestian Vintage 30 speaker. You’ll find 5 12AX7’s, a 12AT7 phase inverter, and 2 6L6’s giving you huge tube amp tone.
The highlight of the Jimmy has to be the tones you can coax out of it. It’s both straightforward and varied in how it can be used. If you’re a simple guitar into amp rocker, just keep the overdrive channel on and use the pedal to click on thick walls of “dirt” channel boost. That’s where this amp may be most practical, as the 50 watts is loud and built for live settings. Don’t let the vast number of knobs confuse you, it’s really an easy amp to use and produces everything from warm, vintage overdrives to more modern, saturated distortion. It really can be quite diverse, it all just depends what you need the amp for.
While I think the amp is more practical for live use and earns a living through the overdriven sounds, don’t sleep on this clean channel! In some ways, the heavy and bulky size of the amp may make it best suited to be left in a studio, even if the tones and volume are more suited for the live stage. When you pull out the master volume switch, you activate the “bright” mode, giving the amp more of a chime, especially useful at lower volumes to add character to your sound.
The huge number of knobs present are actually all simple to use. It’s literally just basic EQ for the clean and drive channels, gain control for the “dirt” channel, and master volume and reverb. You can get a huge number of sounds from shimmering cleans to warm jazz tones and modern distortion sounds. The clarity and crispness in the clean channel is phenomenal, and as you increase the volume and push the tubes, you get amazing touch response. The 6L6 tubes give it a very American, almost cranked Fender sound that was really inspiring.
Construction & Reliability: 8
I debated going higher or lower here a lot, and I’ll try to explain my reasoning without being too repetitive. The construction of the amp has some premium highlights, the effects loop and speaker out included. Furthermore, the finish is just killer, I mean that ’57 color scheme draws eyes and screams vintage American tone. Lastly, the build quality is top notch, there isn’t a lot of excess noise, nothing sounds loose, the amp just seems built to last! But it’s so damn heavy for an amp that only has one speaker…It’s listed at 68 pounds, but I have an almost 68 pound dog that was way easier to pick up than this thing. The sonic options are superb, but I’m not sure I’d realistically want to lug this thing from venue to venue, and it’s tone wouldn’t get the face time it deserves locked in a studio. Not a big deal, but honestly something to consider for picker players, especially at this price range of $700 (used) to $1000+.
Even though this amplifier is in the higher price points, you just get so many sonic choices with it. It’s really a good value overall, and that’s coming from someone who thinks the best amp ever costs $800. No matter how hard it is to move Jimmy around, the tones are awesome. Plain and simple, if you can afford it and need a big volume tube amp, the Jimmy has got to be one of the top choices out there. Especially if you get it in that ’57 finish, I’m sad to see it go back to its rightful home!