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  #1  
Old 06-29-2016, 04:00 PM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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Default Schertler Jam 100: Is this amp idiot proofed?

There are now a good number of us (maybe 6-7) who own this amp, which is good because itĎs finally time to get a full picture of what this amp is out on the AGF.

When I bought the amp a couple of months back, I had expected a level of excellence that was a step above most anything available, based on what little info I could find here on the forum. At that point there was only one vocal person on the AGF who surely owned the thing and his review was basically a pointer to Teja Gerkinís AG magazine review and video. The AG Magazine review, though fairly well done turned out to be a bit less than complete, if you were looking to get a full picture of what you were shopping for. Pretty much everything available here on the AGF, to base an informed decision from, was impressions people had of the Jam 150.

Long story short is that I did buy it and itís a more than a bit different than what I expected.

My impression of the Jam 100 I own is mixed, mostly because I had such high expectations. All of the things that others have featured in their reviews do stand true: It is stunning to look at and use. It is an amazingly large sounding amp for such a small box and it does deliver a truly natural, organic sound that is micro-detailed and beautiful in a blooming sense.

So whatís not to like?

Well, I think that Schertler might have idiot-proofed this amp and left its users in very limited control of what the amp can do. It occurred to me the last time I was using the amp in a direct comparison with my Loudbox Mini. Fact is that no-matter what settings you choose to apply to the Schertler, itíll still sound good, though very little changed and while that might be great for SchertlerÖ.

Whatís bad about that is that every control this amp has is more of a Ďflavorí than it is a control. The Q on the 3 bands of EQ are canyon wide and, my guess is in order to avoid any phase shift at all, tend to be almost useless for feedback control or true sound shaping. Schertler says that these controls are +/- 15 db and I canít hear that. Iíd say that theyíre +/- 6db at best.

Compared directly to the Loudbox Mini, the EQ controls of the Jam 100 sound like theyíre absolutely, unfailingly polite, like salt and pepper vs. hot sauce. The reverb is also exactly like this. On the street reverb gets eaten by the free air and though the Schertlerís reverb sounds gorgeous, thereís no setting where thereís enough of it for the street.

Overall, the general effect Iíve noticed is that the amp always sounds good-great and thatís a huge plus but the micro details it presents and the lack of any real sound shaping ability forces the player to be close to perfect in every sense (I fingerpick and if you pluck a string even ever so slightly too hard itís easy to hear as a mistake) and though thatís good in many ways, this is not an amp thatís simple to coax a sound you might want to direct out of it. It plays you just as much as you play it.

With that said, Iím keeping mine for stage playing (Inside a room, the controls donít need as much oomph to make a good difference) and may actually buy two more to run as a tiny PA. Its flat frequency response/neutrality makes for an excellent PA speaker and though itís not powerful enough to be DJ friendly, a set of two as mains and one as a monitor would make for a stellar sounding PA for a player, especially given the sound shaping control a good mixer adds to the equation.

To be clear, this really could be the perfect amp. Everything that it does it does really well with the exception of the ability of the user to direct the soundís character and my guess is that Schertler might very well have set up the amp the way they did to be sure that it never sounds bad.. Which should be good, right?

Not for a professional tool in my opinion. It really needs a more powerful front end to be all that it promises it can be.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2016, 08:23 PM
gruuv gruuv is offline
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I apologize in advance... this is not going to be helpful for you. While I completely understand your position on this, and I can certainly understand the desire to heavily tailor the sound if you've got a problematic room, you've actually solidified for me why I want a Jam 100. The ease of a plug-and-play amp that simply sounds great all the time is quite appealing, and matches my experience with the Jam 150. I just don't need all the power of the 150.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2016, 12:50 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyg1 View Post
There are now a good number of us (maybe 6-7) who own this amp, which is good because itĎs finally time to get a full picture of what this amp is out on the AGF.

When I bought the amp a couple of months back, I had expected a level of excellence that was a step above most anything available, based on what little info I could find here on the forum. At that point there was only one vocal person on the AGF who surely owned the thing and his review was basically a pointer to Teja Gerkinís AG magazine review and video. The AG Magazine review, though fairly well done turned out to be a bit less than complete, if you were looking to get a full picture of what you were shopping for. Pretty much everything available here on the AGF, to base an informed decision from, was impressions people had of the Jam 150.

Long story short is that I did buy it and itís a more than a bit different than what I expected.

My impression of the Jam 100 I own is mixed, mostly because I had such high expectations. All of the things that others have featured in their reviews do stand true: It is stunning to look at and use. It is an amazingly large sounding amp for such a small box and it does deliver a truly natural, organic sound that is micro-detailed and beautiful in a blooming sense.

So whatís not to like?

Well, I think that Schertler might have idiot-proofed this amp and left its users in very limited control of what the amp can do. It occurred to me the last time I was using the amp in a direct comparison with my Loudbox Mini. Fact is that no-matter what settings you choose to apply to the Schertler, itíll still sound good, though very little changed and while that might be great for SchertlerÖ.

Whatís bad about that is that every control this amp has is more of a Ďflavorí than it is a control. The Q on the 3 bands of EQ are canyon wide and, my guess is in order to avoid any phase shift at all, tend to be almost useless for feedback control or true sound shaping. Schertler says that these controls are +/- 15 db and I canít hear that. Iíd say that theyíre +/- 6db at best.

Compared directly to the Loudbox Mini, the EQ controls of the Jam 100 sound like theyíre absolutely, unfailingly polite, like salt and pepper vs. hot sauce. The reverb is also exactly like this. On the street reverb gets eaten by the free air and though the Schertlerís reverb sounds gorgeous, thereís no setting where thereís enough of it for the street.

Overall, the general effect Iíve noticed is that the amp always sounds good-great and thatís a huge plus but the micro details it presents and the lack of any real sound shaping ability forces the player to be close to perfect in every sense (I fingerpick and if you pluck a string even ever so slightly too hard itís easy to hear as a mistake) and though thatís good in many ways, this is not an amp thatís simple to coax a sound you might want to direct out of it. It plays you just as much as you play it.

With that said, Iím keeping mine for stage playing (Inside a room, the controls donít need as much oomph to make a good difference) and may actually buy two more to run as a tiny PA. Its flat frequency response/neutrality makes for an excellent PA speaker and though itís not powerful enough to be DJ friendly, a set of two as mains and one as a monitor would make for a stellar sounding PA for a player, especially given the sound shaping control a good mixer adds to the equation.

To be clear, this really could be the perfect amp. Everything that it does it does really well with the exception of the ability of the user to direct the soundís character and my guess is that Schertler might very well have set up the amp the way they did to be sure that it never sounds bad.. Which should be good, right?

Not for a professional tool in my opinion. It really needs a more powerful front end to be all that it promises it can be.
Buy an Empress Para EQ, add it to the guitar channel and you will have all the control you need to tailor the sound as you wish!
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:01 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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It sounds to me as if it might be worth investing in a good, although small channelled, mixer. I occasionally power my AER Compact using a mixer and it will work well enough. You don't want to get too complicated but with my setup I can cope with four channels quite easily.

Outside is issue though and you might simply need something a bit more powerful.
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Old 07-01-2016, 04:47 AM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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Gruuv,

I'm glad to hear that what I said reinforces for you what you love about the Jam 150, that's telling for us both I think. I should be clear that I really do love the J!m 100. It does what it does really, really well. The thing for me was that I expected the amp to have the ability for more than one sound. Does that make sense? I need to hear one of the AER amps to see if that's the bridge that I'm looking for.

As for using another front end, like the para eq, Felix or a mixer, that's moving the thing into full on PA territory and I might be doing just that, but still, I don't think that I'm asking for a lot when I say it shouldn't need a $400/min accessory to be closer to what I'd thought it was going to be.

All in all, the people searching for info on what exactly they can expect from the Jam 100 can glean a fuller picture of what the amp is and that's what I was after. It's as hi-fi an acoustic amp as I've ever heard. Your guitar but louder. In that, it's easily the finest amp I've yet heard.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2016, 06:04 AM
Fret-O'File Fret-O'File is offline
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Hey Danny, like you I am a fan of the Jam 100 but also like you I felt it could use a little more control EQ wise. The sound I was able to get plugging straight in was good, no doubt about it but I knew it could be even better. I picked up a Boss GE-7 and instantly was happier with the control and sound I was able to get. Then a few people mentioned the ParaEQ, rockabilly69 being one of them. I tired that and within an hour of tweaking nobs my sound went from really good with the GE-7 to really, really good with the ParaEQ. I mentioned this to rockabilly69 afterwards that it was like hitting a Hi-Fi switch, my sound just came alive.
Now I know you are playing on the streets and power and portability is a huge concern but if you can find an extra 9volts of power for the ParaEQ and don't mind hooking up one extra cable, it's well worth it. If you can't draw any more power from your battery/inverter you can make a 9-volt power supply with rechargable double AA's for a few bucks or use the GE-7 with a 9volt battery.
ParaEQ will set you back about $225 (get a coupon from Musician Friend) or find a used GE-7 for $50-$75. Either way it's a small investment that will give you the much needed control.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:44 AM
tadol tadol is offline
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Can I suggest that what you are trying to do is more than the Schertlers are designed for? They seem to have a goal of creating a clean, balanced signal path, whether its their pickups or amps, and not add alot of color to the signal. They don't just build these for use with guitars. If you need to make alot of adjustment to the signal coming out of the instrument, you're better off looking at something else. You may even want to look at an amp thats designed more for electronic instruments, which tend to have not only more ways to adjust the signal, but also alot more effects and controls to substantially change or modify the sound completely.

If you plug your acoustic guitar into a Schertler and you don't like the sound of it, I'd suggest that its not the amp thats at fault - and if you want to add alot of effects or signal modification, there are alot of very nice boxes that you can use to do that. I even have fun sometimes running my Santa Cruz into my iPad and then thru an amp modeler, bringing up some techno, or acid, or metal sounds, which all sound good(or at least interesting, maybe?) thru the Schertler, but not at all like my Santa Cruz when its unplugged. But then I can just plug in a good mic, turn on phantom power, and hear a really nice sounding guitar - only louder - thats what its supposed to do - thats actually all its supposed to do -
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:03 AM
Fret-O'File Fret-O'File is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
Can I suggest that what you are trying to do is more than the Schertlers are designed for? They seem to have a goal of creating a clean, balanced signal path, whether its their pickups or amps, and not add alot of color to the signal. They don't just build these for use with guitars. If you need to make alot of adjustment to the signal coming out of the instrument, you're better off looking at something else. You may even want to look at an amp thats designed more for electronic instruments, which tend to have not only more ways to adjust the signal, but also alot more effects and controls to substantially change or modify the sound completely.

If you plug your acoustic guitar into a Schertler and you don't like the sound of it, I'd suggest that its not the amp thats at fault - and if you want to add alot of effects or signal modification, there are alot of very nice boxes that you can use to do that. I even have fun sometimes running my Santa Cruz into my iPad and then thru an amp modeler, bringing up some techno, or acid, or metal sounds, which all sound good(or at least interesting, maybe?) thru the Schertler, but not at all like my Santa Cruz when its unplugged. But then I can just plug in a good mic, turn on phantom power, and hear a really nice sounding guitar - only louder - thats what its supposed to do - thats actually all its supposed to do -
While I do agree that if you don't like the sound of the amp it might not be for you. I happen to really like the sound of it but I also want to be able to dial out that low end rumble and cut the the mids at about 800k even more than the mid control on the amp will let me. Perhaps if it had a high pass filter and at least a semi parametric mid, I would have no need for an extra EQ pedal.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:23 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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Your description of the Schertler kind of matches what I like about the RedEye preamp. Not enough controls to screw up the sound. It just sounds good.

I love designs like that. Dazzo pickups is another.
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Old 07-01-2016, 04:36 PM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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Fretofile,
I didn't realize that the eq you're using was $250 or less. Thanks for the info, Maybe I'll try it.

Tadol,
I love to amuse myself with amp modelers but I've never actually used one on the job. I'm looking for a much more subtle kind of sound shaping than that (though I'd love to hear a Schertler chorus setting). I've also been using a Gens Benz Compak 300 8" and it has a very interesting sound. Though it's more of an electric amp in general presentation, as compared to the natural sound of the Schertler, it has much more of the control I'm looking for. As I move from location to location, the bass response especially can become problematic. Certain songs need a more forward guitar sound and when I do that I get low end feedback fairly often. The mids also get touchy because my guitars pickup combo (Fishman undersaddle with a Quackbuster) is mid forward always and needs these dialed down. Sometimes surgically.

The Genz Benz has a pretty terrible reverb section but it can dialed to soaking so, at least with the one hall setting, it is far more useful than the Schertler there too.

I only have a few amps left to try and I'll see if there's anything that suits me better than a Loudbox Artist. Though the Schertler has a more neutral and organic sound, I'm beginning to think that the Loudbox Artist is all I need. Trouble with that is that that's an amp I don't own.

I have been playing a loudbox 100 but it's being repaired now.
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Old 07-02-2016, 01:12 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyg1 View Post
Fretofile,
I didn't realize that the eq you're using was $250 or less. Thanks for the info, Maybe I'll try it.

Tadol,
I love to amuse myself with amp modelers but I've never actually used one on the job. I'm looking for a much more subtle kind of sound shaping than that (though I'd love to hear a Schertler chorus setting). I've also been using a Gens Benz Compak 300 8" and it has a very interesting sound. Though it's more of an electric amp in general presentation, as compared to the natural sound of the Schertler, it has much more of the control I'm looking for. As I move from location to location, the bass response especially can become problematic. Certain songs need a more forward guitar sound and when I do that I get low end feedback fairly often. The mids also get touchy because my guitars pickup combo (Fishman undersaddle with a Quackbuster) is mid forward always and needs these dialed down. Sometimes surgically.

The Genz Benz has a pretty terrible reverb section but it can dialed to soaking so, at least with the one hall setting, it is far more useful than the Schertler there too.

I only have a few amps left to try and I'll see if there's anything that suits me better than a Loudbox Artist. Though the Schertler has a more neutral and organic sound, I'm beginning to think that the Loudbox Artist is all I need. Trouble with that is that that's an amp I don't own.

I have been playing a loudbox 100 but it's being repaired now.
I own the last generation Loudbox (the largest model which many people feel is superior to the new models), and I can tell you it's a toy next to my Schertler Jam 400.

The Schertlers take front end sound modification perfectly, and they are total professional tools. I have two Mackie HD1221 speakers and a Allen and Heath ZED mixer in my car along with the Jam 400, that rig barely gets taken out of the car as the Schertler gets the job done for unbelievable variety of gigs! Since 2013 mine has easily over 4 hundred gigs on it. They made a few compromises to get them into a price point and those are 3 band non parametric EQ, and kind of weak FX, but the Doubling Delay patch 1, and the HALL reverb patch 7 are fairly good. My solution was an acoustic pedal board with parametric EQ, and every effect I need for guitars. I am not a typical acoustic guitarist, I go from totally clean fingerpicking to wild dirty overdrive with trem, delay, and reverb. As for vocals and anything requiring a microphone, I haven't any problem with the microphone channels and my Shure Beta 87 microphones (one on voice, and one in front of my guitar) seem to line up well with the limited three band EQ and the HALL reverb works great for that application. If your Schertler doesn't have enough tone shaping, just add what you need (I recommend the Empress Para EQ, for pedal board use, or the Dtar Equinox for anything else), and it will slay anything remotely in it's price range.

And some the new models (JAM 200) are adding parametric EQ and inserts!!!

Last edited by rockabilly69; 07-02-2016 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:25 AM
The dman The dman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
I own the last generation Loudbox (the largest model which many people feel is superior to the new models), and I can tell you it's a toy next to my Schertler Jam 400.
I don't own either but the store I teach at carries both and I've compared the two amps side by side I totally agree with you. Not even a contest
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:07 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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I guess I am not the only one who thinks these amps
Are a compromise.I have an aer c60.great lil amp
But always seem to want just a bit more from it.
I use it out a bit but won't be selling my k10 any time
Soon.

That being said i recently watched a video on this acus one 10.
this video went through and adjusted each parameter showing the range of adjustment
on this amp...pretty impressive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE9d1lmaPwY

Last edited by varmonter; 07-10-2016 at 09:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2016, 06:13 PM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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Can someone do me a favor? See if you can find this thread by using the "search this forum" button (On the blue bar, upper right), also using the search term "Schertler Jam 100".

Thx
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:17 PM
Fret-O'File Fret-O'File is offline
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I tried it and it doesn't show up for some reason.
On another note, i picked a jam 150 today, will have it by the end of the week.
Looking forward to comparing it to the 100.
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