“Dave Friedman has done it again”: Friedman unveils new Jake E. Lee signature amp head – and it combines 2 specific eras of classic rock tones

Friedman JEL-20 Head and Friedman JEL-112 Cab
(Image credit: Friedman)

Guitar amp specialist Friedman has reignited its relationship with Jake E. Lee for another signature head and cab rig.

The pair’s second collaborative release, the JEL-20 Head and JEL-112 Cab follow the previously released (and limited edition) JEL-100 signature head, though the former streamlines proceedings into a far more compact and transportable 20-watt package.

Despite the smaller scale, Lee and Friedman have refused to compromise on tonal capacity, with the JEL-20 seeking to combine two distinct decades of guitar tone into one unit.

Specifically, they’re tones close to the former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist’s own repertoire: “muscular, articulate” ‘70s-era Plexi-style sounds and the “aggression”, “scream” and “aggressive slant” of ‘80s amps.

“Jake’s tonal choices provide the evolutionary glue between the sonics of those two great eras,” the Friedman listing noted. “This new signature amplifier brings those tones in a user-friendly 20W package with features normally only found on the very highest-end amplifiers. Dave Friedman has done it again.“

“I grew up in the ‘70s and those muscular, articulate rock tones were the tones I always sought, but I made a name for myself in the ‘80s when you needed a little more aggression and a little more scream,” Lee reflected. “I’ve always tried to retain a little of that ‘70s heart and I still do, and that’s what this amp does.”

But while the tones of yesteryears are the order of business here, Friedman and Lee have also kept modern players in mind, and have included an internal load and cab sim XLR output for both analog-accurate, straight-to-mixer sounds and silent recording.

Furthermore, additional ground lift, level and center/edge of speaker cone simulation switches introduce some extra simulation versatility, with a global Presence control and FX loop capping off the spec sheet.

Control-wise, an impressively streamlined control panel has been tailored to fit around the tonal double act the JEL-20 is tasked with. A shared three-band EQ accommodates JEL and Plexi channels, each of which can be accessed through the front Channel switch.

Friedman JEL-112 Cab

(Image credit: Friedman)

While the Plexi has an additional three-way Bright switch, the JEL channel has a boost function that can be harnessed via the push/pull gain control. A final universal Saturation switch adds gain, compression and, obviously, saturation.

Under the hood, two EL84 power tubes lineup alongside a trio of 12AX7 preamp tubes.

“This amp puts the two specific tones I use to create my sound in one head: The sweetness and warmth of a classic Plexi and the more aggressive slant of the master volume amps of the ‘80s – all tweaked to my taste,” Lee continues. “Dave [Friedman] has an innate understanding of where I’m coming from as a player and we’re alike in the way we hear tones.

“Dave doesn’t hear things as a technician, he hears things like a musician, and that made him really easy to work with.”

The JEL-112, meanwhile, comes loaded with a 12” Celestion G12M-65 Creamback speaker and flashes an identical signature red tolex.

The JEL-20 and JEL-112 are available now for $1,699 and $699, respectively.

Head over to Friedman for more information.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.