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based on 376 Customer Reviews
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By Gabriel R. Barteck
January 24, 2018
I have tried many Joyo pedals and they all seem to be amazing values for any level of player. I think this does a good job of the metal distortion tone, especially with the mid tone knob for scooping mids just to the degree you want. I tend not to overdo the ultra heavy scoop tone, but you can. It also can behave at lower gain values like a more traditional distortion. It would never be my only dirt pedal, but it is perfect for the heaviest songs in my playlist. (This becomes obvious if you experiment and try to play through it "off" without any pedal power... no signal at all...which means that this pedal is never completely out of the circuit when "off" as true bypass implies). Many Joyo pedals are true bypass. Then I noticed that Joyo may be hinting at this with the pedal graphics... if you look it actually says "bypass" and not "true bypass" like several of their other pedals. (For example, I verified the vintage overdrive and crunch distortion are true bypass and they say this next to the button, but the ultimate drive is not, and it just say says "bypass" like this pedal.) Anyway, it is not a deal breaker for a decent pedal (many great pedals are not true bypass), but you should be aware they are not the same. Joyo button labeling may be more telling of the bypass wiring than the description if this is important to you.
December 22, 2017
Great clone of a much more expensive Crunch Box pedal. True bypass. Knobs and switch are sturdy. Great for amps that have only a master volume and no gain knob because you can dial in the dirt at bedroom levels. This is a Marshall type distortion (more mids, less scooped). No Brutalzzz - there are better pedals to cop the scooped 5150 or triple rectofier kachunky palm muting downtuned type thing, but you can get close with the right amp EQ and this thing dimed. I agree with another reviewer- this thing has a very high output- so be forewarned the first time you plug in. Unity is around 8 o'clock on the level knob. It gets thumbs up for the sound/price ratio. If you don't mind a longer shipping time, these pedals can be found more cheaply by searching the web. This was my fourth Joyo pedal and I believe Joyo and the Dano Cool Cat line are some of the better deals going these days in terms of price/quality.
December 13, 2017
I bought the Joyo Ultimate OD mainly because it was cheap and I wanted something to stack with my Bad Monkey, which would have a little more drive. Very pleased. Now for a deeper look. I keep the mini toggle on LOW as it compresses the signal and creates a bluesy tone. The HIGH position is looser and louder-not bad at all, just not my style. Most folks will probably prefer HIGH over LOW. Build quality is as good as anything else. Not sure what's under the hood, but the pots and switches are good quality as are the jacks and 9V connection. The pots all have easily discoverable sweet spots. I had it dialed in to my preferences in minutes. It IS gain-y. With the drive at 10 o'clock it provides what I'm looking for. Higher gain settings are nice, too. I use the Bad Monkey to push the U OD, setting the Monkey's gain very low and the level up to push the volume and clarity of the U OD for solo work. Great results with Fender tube amps, a red stripe Peavey Bandit and an assortment of tube and SS modelers. If you are looking for that "in between drive" tone straddling OD and Distortion...this will make you happy. Plays well with stacked pedals and is tube and SS amp friendly. Downside....? That hideous devil face graphic. It's embarrassing! Woulda got a 5 without the devil face...LOL.
December 6, 2017
This pedal definitely gives you the crunch distortion sound of a high gain amp. I compared it to a few of my high gain amps and it obviously doesn't sound like the real thing, but it comes close. It will get you the brown sound but you will need to play and tweak with the tone and preamp knobs to get you there, so don't expect to take it out of the box and get that EVH tone. I only give a 4 star, because it can sound a bit thin, especially if you go direct into an interface to record. The case color and overall construction looks and feels sturdy. Overall, I'm impressed given it's a third of the price of comparable pedals.
By Chris R
December 4, 2017
This pedal I find pretty darn good. I use it with gain at 12 o clock or less. It really cuts through the mix for me. It can go from mild to bombastic, and that was nice for my new board build that is only sporting two od/dist pedals. I like setting it for crunch rhythm than drive it with my joyo vintage overdrive pedal for soloing. Those two pedals works nicely together. Simple, tough design, good tone, great price! Time will tell how it lasts? I've called them for questions, got a human and some good advice as well. Don't get them shipped from China, too long and you don't really save more than 2-5 bucks. I love all my joyos, biyangs and donners. Got a moen shaky jimi gen. 3 on the way, that one was a whopping 63 bucks, lol ,the gem of my board hopefully! I currently have 6 joyos, 2 biyangs, 1 donnor and a moen on the way. Yes I support the no tone snobbery way, but firmly support good tone!
By Patrick Richards
November 21, 2017
Bear in mind thay I am a lo fi, blues/funk rock player who loves distorted tones. Now: Is this a boutique fuzz, made by hand in America? No. Does it have a ton of great fuzz tones that you'll have a blast tweaking and messing with? Yes. Built like a tank and capable of everything from just a pinch of fuzz to full on fuzzageddon, the JF-12 has a huge range of musical, usable tones. The octave up effect, like most, doesn't track perfectly and definitely works better with single note riffs and leads than with chords. Engaging the mid cut switch kicks in fat , creamy sustain for days. I am very happy with this steal of a pedal, it made an immediate impact on my playing and songwriting. Definitely worth a listen for the money. Four stars because nothing is perfect.
November 20, 2017
This pedal is awesome! I play my guitar through a PA system, and my sound was definitely missing something.this totally does exactly what it says it does, it gives you a full range of Marshall tones.a lot of other reviewers seemed annoyed with the voice control, but I think it's awesome and really lets you sweep through the spectrum of different Marshall amp sounds. what I like the most about this pedal is that you are able to add a generous amount of Drive before the signal starts to actually distort, which is awesome for using it as a preamp . I picked up the joyo overdrive pedal to put in front of this one, and use it as an overdrive channel, to great success! this panel looks awesome and is built like a tank, and the on board Eq lets you completely shape your sound. I have to give this product four stars however, because like mentioned in other reviews, the unit is very noisy. for the money and the tone though, I don't regret this purchase at all and recommend it to anyone looking to use it similarly to how I do.please note that this is an amp simulator, not a dedicated distortion pedal. this is my third pedal from this manufacturer, and I have been nothing but pleased! Joyo is known for shamelessly cloning other gear, but that's okay! I will continue 2 purchase Joyo products in the future :-)
By W. K Ward
November 13, 2017
I've had enough pedals to pay off my home. I love hard rockin crunchy guitar tones. This pedal delivers a good solid crunch. I have a recording studio so I AB'd it against a few other non tube pedals I have at stage volume. Running into an isolated miked amp /cab set up it did well but not as well as my Tech 21 GT2, my Seymour Duncan Power Grid or my Digitech Hardwire TL-2! These three pedals just sounded better. The JF-03 had a bit of muddiness in the midrange and didn't have the amp like sag that my better pedals have. I recommend using an eq with this pedal to clean up the mids. I have never owned a MI crunch box so I don't know how well it replicates it's sound. You do get what you pay for and there are better pedals out there for not a whole lot more but the JF-03 is hard to beat for the money. Cheers!
November 11, 2017
I bought this pedal a while back, maybe a couple of months... I waited to write a review about it because i didnt want to leave some hyped up garbage and have it fail miserably after a short while... Im happy to say that after a few months im still very impressed with this pedal. The hp lp switch makes it very versatile and it doesn't lose the bottom end the way my other overdrive pedals do(Boss Blues Driver, and BBE Green Screamer). It keeps the bass frequencies right where they should be and just overdrives your signal in a sweet way... Im not ususally a person to write reviews but this pedal inspired me to do so. The one thing i will say about the pedal thats a little different for me, is the volume is very high to start with... i keep mine about half and half on the volume and gain... It has a lot more headroom but im not really up for blowing people away with my mind melting solos. Overall the build quality is really impressive. I looked at the Fulltone OCD and compared the idea of spending another hundred bucks for it but ultimately decided to pass. If your in the market for a cheap pedal that performs and you aren't overly concerned with a "Brand Namer" Then this is probably the pedal for You... Im very happy with mine.
By Kell Baker
October 21, 2017
It's not a Maxon or an Ibanez, but for thirty clams, it's probably the best clone out there as far as tone, quality and construction. Solid aluminum housing, nice build quality, and clean interior. Quiet switch. Looks and reacts like true bypass to me. No noise unless the knobs are dimed out and even then it's mostly feedback, which doesn't bother me. If you've ever owned the real deal, you realize right away that this pedal comes pretty close to matching a lot of the same tones of an 808 or a TS9. (Includes the JRC4588 chip that tubes creamers are renowned for.) The drive and volume knobs provide good variation and work together well. The tone knob gets about a 12 o'clock setting and everything to the right of that was way too bright and thin for my liking. This is the point of separation between this well done clone and the real deal. I dropped it on my main pedal board rig between the EQ and distortion pedals... plays real nice with the Pro Co RAT at low distortion levels... jumped between driving blues and AC/DC riffs nicely, which is straight up how I measure a good overdrive. Sounded great through my Blackstar head (clean channel) through Celestion V30s. Put it alone on my modded Ampeg R212R and drove it into pretty sweet blues territory. Gets real dirty if you amp up the drive and volume. Sensitive tone dial is going to take some time to get used to. Bottom line. It's a quality cheap fix for replacing a TS. It doesn't stop me gassing hard for a Maxon OD 808, but it will serve as a great back up and a standalone for my second rig. I'm happy in between tube screamers, let's see how long it lasts.
By Brian in AZ
October 18, 2017
I've been playing guitar for about 30 years and have gone through many pedals, guitars and various types of gear. Currently I play a 2007 Les Paul through a THD Flexi-50 and a 2x12 Avatar cab. I've played a number of overdrive pedals in the last few years and I can say without reservation, the Joyo Vintage Overdrive would probably be the "go-to" pedal if I had to choose only one. What strikes me most about this pedal is the smoothness. Many of the "boutique" pedals, like the OCD, are harsh and brittle. This thing is as smooth as silk. It's also perfect if you want to turn the gain down to "zero" and just add a little "hair" to your sound. My only complaint with this pedal is that the tone knob isn't linear in sound. When you get up to the 3-6 o'clock position, it spikes sharply. Other than that, it seems built well enough. I don't currently gig out so I can't say how it would old up on the road. I have it on quality pedalboard and I take care of my gear.
October 17, 2017
I would give this 5 stars, except I am not an expert and have not owned any other overdrive pedals. I bought this for the price. I use this pedal with a vintage Silvertone 1482 amp with a GreenBack speaker. I play guitars with passive and active pickups through this. I have been very happy with the sound I'm getting. I really like it. The pedal seems sturdy enough - perhaps not for a touring musician but if you are at that stage you are probably using a higher end pedal. Overall I am happy with this pedal. I'm sure I will try other pedals in the future but if you need something on a budget this one is great
By seth patton
October 10, 2017
I was a bit skeptical at first because of the price and the fact it's from China but it's working out even better than expected. First off, I run an Am. Strat through a 40watt boutique tube amp (ChromeDome) so I'm very conscious of tone loss when things are added to the signal chain. Tube screamers and the like (digital pedals with no real bypass) are literally useless when you have a high-end amp; why invest $1500+ on an amp and then choke the signal with a digital pedal? This JOYO pedal has TRUE BYPASS that means when the pedal is off the signal is pretty close to what it would be if you plugged straight in to the amp. This is why I can say this pedal beats the Tube Screamer hands down. This cheap knock off pedal actually works better with higher-end amps than a Tube Screamer but on the flip side, if you have an entry level amp save your money for a Tube Screamer. If you have a good amp and a good sound you'll want the JOYO because of it pretty much just 'boosts' what is already there. If you have an entry level amp you'll want a true Tube Screamer because you don't want more of your amp's sound you want to disguise it. The JOYO's gain is minimal but it's extremely useful if you already have the sound you want and just need a little more juice.
October 10, 2017
I've probably got too many distortions, overdrives and dirtboxes. Right now, I've got my trusty MXR script Logo, a BOSS OS-2, a Boss FZ-5, a home-made distortion based on the shredmaster, and now, this little number. I got this one because i heard the hype about it, and about the OCD that it supposedly rips off, and well, yes, it's a really good distortion pedal. It does have some overdrive character, but it's got more of the hard clipping distortion. A TS9, this is not. In that respect, it's definitely able to do the "Marshall in a box' thing that people like. But, by bringing the gain down, setting it on the high switch, and bringing the level knob past noon, it's a really solid Boost pedal. By bringing up the gain ( and bringing down the level) you can get some really saturated distortion- but it does get a bit fizzy on the really high gain settings. I've only had it a few hours, so I've not yet dialed in the settings I'll stick with, but they are definitely there. It can get a bit boomy with a neck humbucking pick up, but, on the bridge humbucker, and on the neck with a single coil, it pretty much instantly goes for a great mid range voiced distortion. It's worth the 30 or so dollars, at least.
October 7, 2017
Very good pedal - While I don't believe it sounds exactly like a "Marshall" it has some of that character and it IS a GOOD sounding pedal - I use it for live performances along with a compressor and few effect pedals (rev, dely, mod) and it works really well. I don't like the heavy drive settings at all and it can get noisy at higher gain and/or with VOICE control (as you turn it clock wise) - I like it for adding charcater/punch to my live rig - the tone controls allow you to make quick changes just as if you had an amp and I can now just plug into a board and use monitors instead of lugging my amps. I also have the "American" model for which my review is identical to this one. They are BOTH very good pedals and great tone shaping tools. Great unit overall.
By Nathan Christie
October 4, 2017
I normally don't write reviews, but I like this pedal. I does not sound exactly like a Marshall, but we all know that the only way to accomplish that is to buy a Marshall. I have never used the Tech 21 British pedal that this is a clone of so I can not say how close it comes to that, but I won't be dropping $170.00 anytime soon to find out either. I bought this to run on a VHT Special 6, which is a single ended tube amp. I am running Mullard re-issue 12ax7's and a NOS RCA 6V6GT. With that set up this pedal does a pretty good Marshall tone. Gets even closer if I swap the 6v6 for a EL84. In fact, it does the best $35 worth of Marshall tone I have ever bought for $35. The settings are very close to the Tech 21 setting guide, at least to my ear. I can get a fairly decent vintage Plexi out of it. The true bypass is also clean, unlike other clone "true bypass" pedals I have tried that were not actually true bypass and sucked the tube tone right out of my amp. It's not a high gain pedal, more of a boost and voicing/foundation pedal. I liked it better than my tube screamer clone as a boost so I don't even use that pedal now. It works good in my effects loop too which is actually touchy on that amp. The EQ is nice if you have a small tube amp that has a fixed tone stack like mine. This pedal also does not take away from tube amp responsiveness to touch and attack like my tube screamer clone does. It does get noisy like other reviewers have stated, especially when you start to crank the voice knob past 12:00 or dime the drive.That's why I only gave this pedal 4 stars. Otherwise, for value for the money I would have gave it a five. I'm impressed at what Joyo put into this for the price, and I will try their other pedals in the future now.
September 11, 2017
Great pedal and was veryyyy pleasantly surprised. I also tried a high end $200 AC30 pedal and for what I was looking for - clean sparkly AC30 spank a la beatles and Edge and Petty sounds it is great. It can get a bit muddy at the very high end gain settings but most of the time with this pedal (and any distortion really) I am somewhere between 9-1 o clock on settings and its very much in the sweet spot there. I also like it as a slight boost/pre into my amp or other overdrives too. Kudos and phenomenal value at this price. Even if it only does half the gain range as the expensive boutique guys this is a must buy from a pricing standpoint. I will be looking at more joyo gear ....
July 7, 2017
Pretty cool knock-off of the Schaller trem or Diaz Tremodillo. This is my 2nd or 3rd Joyo pedal, and my favorite thus far. I don't care for the cheap jacks, but you get what you pay for, and I can always replace them if they break (I work on pedals all the time). I've got a scratchbuilt improved EA Trem (with two footswitchable speeds) and a cheap little Danelectro Tuna Melt. Other than the crummy bypass and plastic construction, the Tuna Melt is my favorite since it has the hard/soft switch. The improved EA has a great preamp for guaranteed unity gain (or more), and the footswitchable speeds that I added gives it extra flexibility. But I think the Joyo trumps it by just a little bit in that the core trem sound is a nice blend of the Tuna Melt's hard and soft settings. So part of this is really a subjective take on this flavor of trem, but suffice it to say if you've tried a few, this one will probably satisfy you at least a bit. No unity gain issues, and the speed and depth have a good sweep throughout their ranges. And it's just a niggle, but how hard would it be to get the word "tremolo" silkscreened so that it's centered on the box? At least there's no skull and flames like on the High Gain Distortion.
By Film and music buff
May 9, 2017
The reason this is only getting 4 stars and not 5 is due to an issue I only discovered yesterday - yes - almost one year after I purchased it. Going back to October, 2014 - plugged it in and played with it. Loved it. Around 12 o'clock position just worked for me. Yes - that early EVH sound is there but playing around also gets you Gilmour and Hendrix as well. Sounds great with distortion, or without. But a word about distortion - I place it in front of my amp and after distortion pedals. If I place it before distortion it is more subtle and when placed in front of amp, and with the amps overdrive channel on, it is very subtle. I point this out because of some reviews and comments about this being far too subtle of a pedal and it really isn't - and if you open it up there is a small "sweep" knob you can access and adjust - people have reported finding it set too low. I would suspect opening it would void your warranty - but it is an super easy tweak if you think your pedal is not working correctly. Now onto the issue I found - in trying to reduce overall noise I discovered, by process of elimination, the pedal causing a lot of buzz is the JF-06. So I removed it from my chain and put in the battery - and guess what? Does not work. When the battery is in and pedal off the signal passes through but when I kick on the pedal it outputs buzz and nothing else. Hard to think I never used this with a battery before yesterday. So I suspect this buzz is some sort of miswired/faulty connection having to do with the internal 9 volt battery clip. I did do a look over inside, looking for anything obvious such as loose solder. Nothing jumped out at me. So for now living with it, but because I love this so much I will get another - although technically this is still under the one year warranty I really do not want to pack it up and send off to China for a replacement. But if any of the official US JOYO distributors reading this would send me out a new one that would work too.
March 17, 2017
I don't know if it lives up to all the hype and mystical powers of the all-mighty vintage tube screamers of Ibanez, but it is an exact clone including the same component values, potentiometers, ICs (JRC), etc. For proof that it is exactly the same, I was able to modify it for different frequency response (corner frequency), and add asymmetrical clipping with the exact same components in exactly the same spot in the circuit as seen in TS9 mods. Of course the board is layed out a little differently. The only reason I gave it 4 (really 4.5) stars was because it does produce some noticeable noise (hiss) at higher gains, but this is expected given the boosting stage acts like a high pass filter (this gives it the characteristic mid-range boost). It can be cut with the tone control, but it also may have been due to a poorly shielded amplifier, and or a one-spot power adapter.
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