Amp Review – Heptode Jim 81 – Awesome sounding 100W solid-state amp

Jean-Luc Chtioui is a French engineer specialized in repairing guitar amps, with or without tubes. For his own line of amps under his brand Heptode, he chose to focus on making the greatest sounding solid-state amp possible.


The Jim 81 100W amp - Heptode

Amp Review - Heptode Jim 81: awesome sounding solid-state amp

Amp Review - Heptode Jim 81: awesome sounding solid-state amp

Amp Review - Heptode Jim 81: awesome sounding solid-state amp

Recording setup

  • Guitar #1: Strat / Vintage type pickups
  • Guitar #2: Les Paul Gibson Faded 2007 modified by Larry Corsa to get the Peter Green sound
  • Post production: reverb Average Room 20% added in Final Cut Pro, level normalization

Sound - Shure SM57 mic

Sound - XLR Cab Sim output from the amp

Heptode is a pro partner on The Guitar Channel

What I enjoyed the most

  • The sounds
  • The overall quality
  • A lot of connectivity options
  • Lightweight
  • No more tube to change!

What I enjoyed the least

  • Not cheap


With a price of 2 000€ for the combo version reviewed in the video above, the Jim 81 amp from Heptode is not a cheap solid-state amp. Keep in mind though that high end gear is never cheap! Nevertheless, its price/quality ratio is excellent because we are dealing with a high-end product.

The sound of both channels is excellent, the power is perfectly scalable, the quality of construction is irreproachable, the connectivity is very complete (channel footswitch, effects loop, XLR direct output and line with or without simulation).

Not only this Jim 81 ticks all the usual good boxes of the specifications of the guitarists (regarding sound and look) but in addition to that, its all-transistor technology eliminate the costly tube changes, the fragility of old amps, back pain to carry around monsters (the Jim 81 is only 12Kg in combo version).

Until the next gear review of interview, keep on playing the guitar!

Pierre Journel.

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