The Lazy J 20

WINNER Guitar Awards 2010 - Best guitar amp over £1000

…is based on a late 50s classic that has helped define the voice of Rock & Roll.

This amp is a 2 channel, hand build, point to point wired amp, which delivers ca. 18 Watts into a 12”, 8 Ohm, Celestion Alnico Blue Speaker. The cabinet is built from finger jointed pine and covered with hand aged, lacquered tweed.

The 2 channels are marked Normal and Bright with a Volume control for each one. The Tone control affects both channels equally.

Looking at the 4 inputs from the back of the amp, the 2 on the right are for the Normal Channel and the 2 on the left are for the Bright Channel.
Both inputs labeled 1 are higher gain than the ones labeled 2.

The interesting thing is that the both Volume controls are interactive. The Volume of the Channel you’re not plugged into has an effect on the tone/tightness of the Channel you are plugged into. In other words, if your guitar is plugged into the Bright Channel, the Normal Channel Volume affects the way the Bright Channel responds. This is subtle, but definitely audible. With the Bright Volume turned up to any given setting, and the Normal Volume off, you hear the sound of the Bright Channel alone…by turning the Normal Channel up about halfway, you hear an increase in low mids. By turning the Normal Volume up to 10, the bottom end will tighten up…from 10 – 12 the sound will get choked, compressed and become quieter. This can be used to get interesting tonal variations from the amp.

The amp is set up with a GZ34 rectifier and a pair of 6L6s in the power amp, and uses two 12AX7s. However, for a different feel and character, the amp will take a 5Y3 rectifier and a pair of 6V6s without the need of re-biasing.

An optional feature that can be added to the amp in place of the Ground Switch, is a Variable Attenuation Control (VAC), which allows the user to dial seamlessly from full output down to ca. 5 Watts while retaining the amps character all the way along.

Upon request, a Lazy J Reverb module can be added to the amp. It is a tube driven reverb circuit with a full size reverb tank, adding another dimension to the amp. The reverb circuitry and controls are housed in a small enclosure that is mounted to the inside of the cabinet, on the right hand side, looking at the amp from the back. The controls, Reverb Volume and Reverb Tone, are easily accessible.

The module is supplied with a Cut Off footswitch.

Variable Attenuation Control (VAC)

This circuit allows the user to reduce the Output of the amp in an even sweep from Full Power down to less than 5 Watts. However, this is not a Master Volume.

This circuit retains the amps tone and response while reducing its Output Volume.

In other words, you turn your amp up to get the tone you want… which might make it too loud for certain situations. Now you can turn the amp down with the VAC to exactly the level you need…while retaining all the character and response of your sound.

This circuit is an optional feature on the Lazy J 20.

However, it can be retro-fitted to most amps under 40 Watts.

Lazy J amp


Vintage Guitar - Sep 2013
"The J 20 certainly lives up to its “deluxe” inspiration, with outstanding tone and a host of nicely conceived features."

The ToneQuest Report
The ToneQuest Report - Jan/Feb 2013 (Including Jesse Hoff interview)
"The story behind Jesse Hoff’s Lazy J Projects and how his modified tweed Deluxe from a pawn shop in Conley, South Carolina changed his life forever...."

Dutch Music Maker - June 2012 - in English and Dutch
"The J20 is a top-class product, Something really special. The fact that Jesse spent twenty years working on his improved DeLuxe can definitely be heard. As a brand, Lazy J is something special too..."

"De J20 is een topversterker, echt iets bijzonders. Jesse heeft twintig jaar met liefde gesleuteld aan zijn verbeterde Deluxe en dat hoor je. Lazy J als merk is ook iets bijzonders en gaat naar mijn inschatting zo populair worden dat ik benieuwd ben of het klein kan blijven..."

Lazy J 20 wins the Guitar & Bass Guitar Award 2010 for best amp over £1000!
"Lazy J hit the ground running. When we reviewed this update on the 5E3 tweed Deluxe, builder Jesse Hoff could already name Doyle Bramhall II and Pete Townshend as customers. Six months later Joe Walsh, Joe Bonamassa, Mike Campbell, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher can be added to the list...."

Lazy J 20 wins the Guitar Buyer Best Amp of 2010 Award!
"Easily one of the best amps being made in the UK today. Over two decades, Jesse Hoff has corrected perceived inadequacies in the Tweed Deluxe design but at the same time ensured that none of his additions get in the way of the thing that matters most – tone. And on this amp, it’s nothing short of remarkable...."

Guitar Buyer - May 2010
"Complex harmonics blend with tight lows, thick mid range and a top end that is this amp’s crowning glory..."

Guitar & Bass magazine - April 2010
"Despite the paucity of controls, this deceptively versatile amp can be pretty much anything you’d want it to be. It retains everything that’s great about vintage tweed Deluxes, but there’s no honky boxiness and it’s a clearer, louder and infinitely more usable amp for modern applications. This could be the ultimate 5E3-inspired combo – and I really can’t fault it."

Guitar & Bass magazine - April 2009
"Either we’re hallucinating, or Phil Harris has found something new that gets his juices flowing as much as a vintage classic..."

Guitarist magazine
"The Model 20 demands you put a lot into every note, but if you do you'll be rewarded with staggering tone that ranks up there with some of the best small boutique amps we've ever plugged into...."

Joe Bonamassa - comments on his forum
"I actually tried both models at John Henry's in London.  John said they were great. I went up to his pro-shop and had bash at it. I really liked them. The 20 was warm and had a refined Neil Young type of vibe and the 80 was like you would want a good tweed twin to sound like. What impressed me more than anything was the fact the amps were not too bright.  Most of the time all I do is dump treble on those type of things. The amps will go plenty bright but not overly and remain solid when turned up to 11.  I really liked them honestly."

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