Guitar Player July 2019
By Matt Blackett
"BC Audio has been turning heads for years with super-cool racing stripe optics, meticulous point-to-point wiring, octal preamp tubes, and bold, original designs that might be inspired by vintage ideas but clearly have their own thing going on sonically and structurally. This Bel Air 40 fits right in with that ethos for a unique take on tube-amp construction.
[The] Power Tube Configuration switches... allow you to re-wire the power section in multiple ways, on the fly, to affect wattage, feel and tonal response. It’s a fascinating approach, and one that can teach you plenty about how tube amps operate.
[The Bel Air 40] produced a beautiful, dimensional, immediate sound that was loud and perfect for “Wind Cries Mary” cleans that could snarl a little if I really bashed them.
The more you listen, the more you hear... Play this amp and you’ll see what I mean."
Premier Guitar February 2019
By Joe Gore
"This is masterful work.
The amp’s core tones are punchy and ultra-present...the fundamental note frequencies feel as grounded as bridge piers...while the top end shimmers with animation.
Cranked, the amp has the hair-trigger dynamic response of a good plexi. Meanwhile, the chiming, articulate highs have more of a Fullerton flavor.
The Bel Air 40 is a magnificent instrument. Its build quality is phenomenal. The core tones are lovely. An array of unconventional controls provides remarkable tonal flexibility, not to mention a fascinating lesson in amp topology.
...the amp’s multiple design innovations, unusually labor-intensive build, top-shelf parts, beautiful tones, and flawless construction more than justify the cost."
John Bohlinger, Premier Guitar
The ToneQuest Report January 2018
"Playing through this amp is a joy not to be missed.
...a versatile amp with a wide range of voices, from clean and sparkling to overdriven and broken up with a beautifully distorted voice.
...the rarefied air of a Marshall 100W or a vintage Hiwatt.
...this amplifier is not cheap, but it delivers a range of power and tone that is worth every penny."
Vintage Guitar July 2017
By Pete Prown
“...a serious, but absurdly fun amp.
There are a lot of power-amp tones inside, specifically that stacked-flavored “thump” that can make the hair on your arms tingle.
...there’s everything from pure clean to California crunch in here, plus all the classic British amplification one could ask for.
...channel 1 delivers authentic Angus and Keith overdrive, while channel 2 takes you well into Eddie and Kirk saturation – and then some.
The Grand Prix 100 joins the rest of BC Audio’s line as a tour de force design. Sure, it’s priced on the higher end, but this is a handwired, premium tube head. Tone this sumptuous is worth every penny."
Premier Guitar April 2017
By Joe Gore
“This is simply magnificent work.
Clean tones have more sparkle and snap than equivalent vintage Marshall tones. Note fundamentals are rock solid. Transients are crisp and definitive, transmitting every nuance of pick and finger. This is one articulate amp!
There’s no shortage of fine distortion when you advance the gain, but it doesn’t have the ratty/fuzzy quality you encounter with many modern high-gain heads. At hot settings, notes and chords have a clear, clanging sonority that really does sound more like hard-working power tubes than overburdened preamp tubes.
The octal preamp tubes are also uncommonly responsive to your guitar’s controls. Even at high-gain settings, you can roll back your guitar’s volume pot for chiseled-in-rock clean tones.
…you can obtain a vast palette of tones solely by setting the toggle to ‘both’ and varying the balance. ...I suspect that many players will ‘set and forget’ the tone controls and perform much of their tone shaping simply by adjusting the bright/normal blend.
…this amp can get absurdly loud. But unlike vintage plexis, the JMX100 has a fine-sounding post-phase-invertor master volume circuit.
…the JMX100 boasts superb workmanship and a huge array of rich, articulate, and harmonically pleasing colors. Whether it’s the right high-gain head for you may hinge on whether your favorite tones rely on fizzy preamp-tube distortion, or whether you prefer authoritative power-amp distortion…
…executed by hand with supreme skill. The JMX100 is a masterful piece of work.”
Guitar & Bass January 2017
By Dave Hunter
“...a bountiful package of extremely playable and enjoyable textures.
...this amp issues big, fat, juicy guitar tones with, yes, a predisposition towards classic-rock and blues, but more versatility than you might expect.
...so much fun to play.
...being a loud 50-watter, there’s plenty of clean headroom at lower volume settings...
...advance the volume controls to induce a huge, pillowy crunch that is consistently thick, yet impressively clear, and also delightfully easy to voice thanks to the internal paralleling of the two channels.
...massive body, aggressive midrange thump, appealingly musical harmonic depths...
It’s an enjoyable, musical and infectious sound generator, and a great alternative in the crowded field of Plexi-alikes.”
Vintage Guitar May 2016
By Ray Wuolo
“…an amp with a voice of its own – and possibly one of the best plexi-style amps ever.
…delivers warm, clean tones with lots of low-mid range and some of the creamiest overdriven crunch we’ve heard.
The range of tone is simply astounding, from the barest hint of warm signal breakup all the way to tweed Bassman-like meltdown – and everything in between.
We kept plugging different guitars into the JTX45 to find the limits of the amp’s character. Everything sounded terrific.
…for an amp that can deliver eviscerating sound, the JTX45 can also be stunningly silent.”
Guitar Player March 2016
By Art Thompson
“...superbly rendered point-to-point circuit.
...among the best-made guitar amplifiers we've seen.
...a good range of distinctive tones.
The JMX50's Normal channel sounded surprisingly thick."
...delivering tones that were richly saturated, but with plenty of bite and definition.
Activating the Volume Boost provided a perfect amount of level increase to cut through on a loud stage.
The JMX50 never looses its tightness when running high gain levels or when more volume is demanded.
The JMX50 is able to keep flexing its muscles while other 50-watters might be getting short of breath.
The JMX50 offers much of what is cherished about vintage Marshalls: ballsy, in-your-face presence, firm lows and a harmonics-infused treble that sings sweetly when pushed...
The JMX's use of octal tubes helps to bring more clarity and dimension to the mix, and the result is an amp that stands out from the crowd of Marshall clones.”
ToneQuest Report November 2015
“Once again we are smitten with this new amplifier.
The JTX50 sounds as smooth and toneful as an amplifier can possibly sound.
...the octal tubes produce a tone that is far more 3 dimensional than a "normal" amplifier. Even set clean you will hear a deeper tone and an overdriven character that is much more complex than mere distortion.
...the Link middle setting of the toggle switch really turns the amp loose with a polyphonic mix of overdriven tones and overtones that are nothing less than inspiring. Playing through this amplifier gives you the freedom to really work with the harmonic character of the guitar and variable levels of sustain. It's as if you are occupying a new space that adds another dimension to your sound.
Clement knows what he is chasing and he simply gets it.
We love Clement's work and every amplifier we have reviewed has spoiled us rotten.”
Vintage Guitar August 2015
By Pet Prown
“It sports fresh features in a crowded ‘boutique’ market.
The footswitch puts four significantly different tone settings at the ready, making the No. 10 Mk. II akin to a four channel head.
The cleans were huge and full with just enough grit.
…monstrous blues-rock hues that would make Paul Kossoff smile.
The reactiveness of this amp was amazing. We could dial in the exact nuance of desired drive and the amp responded.
We pushed everything to the limit and were rewarded with heavenly hard rock and metal sounds, again with the emphasis on fat, broad guitar tone – no thin, brittle flavors, just earthshaking guitar tones.
Throughout testing, the BC Audio Amplifier No. 10 Mk. II proved outstanding. From the superb build quality to the stunning array of tones inside, it’s a top-end tone tool any guitarist would love to own.
With gear of this caliber, price isn’t the point. If you’re looking for a new guitar head in the “best of the best” category, check out this BC Audio model. It’s a serious contender.”
Premier Guitar March 2015
By Jordan Wagner
“The No. 10 dishes tones with the muscle of a finely tuned late-’60s Shelby Mustang.
I was floored by how lively and full the amp’s clean tones sounded... I relished the sparkling harmonics of clean arpeggios and clean-toned Keith Richards-style riffing.
The No. 10’s tones hit me in the chest more strongly than anticipated. The amp’s delivery simply feels more powerful than equivalent amps with 12AX7s.
The amp was far louder than most 50-watters I’ve encountered.
The drive’s grittiness advanced and retreated with a response similar to a fully cranked vintage non-master volume amp.
BC Audio’s mighty No. 10 Mk. II delivers voluptuous tones, chest-caving power, and fantastic responsiveness.
The build couldn’t be more rugged.
The No. 10 is truly a force to be reckoned with.”
Guitar Player February 2015
By Art Thompson
“Kudos: Masterful build quality. Wide range of potent overdriven tones.
The build quality is impressive throughout, and is especially evident in the hand-wired circuitry, which features true point-to-point construction (no eyelet or turret board), super neat wire runs, and chassis-mounted pots, jacks, switches, and tube sockets.
…it’s a sweet looking rig to say the least.
…muscular sound at all volumes.
…excels for distorted rhythm and lead tones, and without the need for OD or boost pedals.
Getting the 6SL7s and EL34s cooking together is definitely the recipe for badass tones...
All considered, and given its excellent build quality and reasonable price, the Amplifier No. 10-Mk II should be at the top of your list if you’re shopping in the boutique section of the rock amp market.”
ToneQuest Report November 2014
“If you like to rock, you can’t do better than BC Audio, period.
We think you should seriously consider an amp built by Bruce Clement. You certainly won’t have heard anything like it, and that’s an iron-clad guarantee.
Five minutes with [Amplifier No. 9] and you will be walking around the room wondering how you missed this tone all your life. Well, ya did. Get over it.
Amplifier No. 10 is a formidable performance amp, powerful and rich with a tactile feel that is absolutely unequalled.
...like all of Clement’s amps, they bring out the very best in your guitars and your technique. In this regard Clement’s amps are entirely unique and completely manageable for any situation, from quiet listening rooms to outdoor stages. Simply put, you need a BC Audio rig.”
Guitar Player February 2012
By Darrin Fox
“A beautifully slick, streamlined tone machine…
[The] ticket to total titillation…
A ton of frothy gain…
String-to-string clarity is breathtaking…
Rich, musically compressed, chimey...sweet…
Very touch sensitive.”
The ToneQuest Report October 2011
“Much bigger, richer and less compressed than any 18 or 20 watt Marshall or clone.
There isn’t a bad tone to be found in this amp.
So thick and juicy.
Intense distortion and vivid overtones.
Huge and magnificent with tremendous low end, mids, and a super smooth treble voice. No. 8 is a fatty, pure and simple.”
Premier Guitar December 2010
By Steve Ouimette
“Capable of a startlingly wide spectrum of sounds…
A capacity for overdrive that’s stunning for an amp of such simplicity…
Pick articulation and clarity was stunning…
Chiming clean tones…
As much sustain as I needed that bloomed gorgeously…
A rounder, thicker character than any of my Marshalls…
Huge tone in a small package…
The workmanship and build quality is worthy of a museum piece…
An amp you can count on.”
Guitar Player Holiday 2010
By Darrin Fox
“A joy to play…
Bell-like clean tones of a Vox AC30,
the toughness of a blackface Fender…
A finely manicured grind and a singing, musical midrange and taught bottom end…
Like every amp you’ve ever heard, yet something all together different with its own character and vibe…
Amplifier No. 7 is impressive in more ways than one, but its most remarkable attribute is its tone. Bravo!”
Guitar World July 2010
By Chris Gill
“Sweet 6V6 overdrive and chiming clean tones with surprisingly ample headroom and volume…
Killer tones that will stun any audience…
Build like a tank…
As far as smoothness and tone, this is the one I’m gonna put on point. Definitely check this out.”
The ToneQuest Report March 2010
“...one of the best sounding compact and moderately-powered rigs we have ever reviewed. Yes, we said that, without reservation…
A deceptively big, lush sounding rig…
Clean and extraordinarily clear tones…
Beautifully rich, elegantly musical distortion that very few modern amplifiers possess…
Exceptionally rich, deep voice…
What is hip? This is hip.”
Vintage Guitar February 2010
By Phil Feser
“The two distinct voicings produced by the Bright and Normal channels, combined with the Presence control, get you wherever you need to go, tone-wise…
Its heart, soul, and guts are 100 percent solid. This is a straightforward amp with a thick, crunchy tone, and it’s built with top-notch components, assembled right.”
Premier Guitar January 2010
By Steve Ouimette
“A whollop and kerrang that I’ve never experienced from a little 6V6 amp…
A pure and gorgeous saturated tone that reminded me of a mix of a Superlead and an AC30…
A magic blend of muscle, tone and pure rock and roll…
A great, blooming sound…
Fantastic clean and semi-clean/dirty tones...
Takes pedals like a schooled pro…
The amp had a presence about it that felt both familiar and new at the same time…
More nuance and tone than most amps I’ve played…
It made me wonder why I’d ever need anything else.”