So this is a post that is bound to stir up some controversy as there is no right answer and there are so many overdrive pedals available today that’s there’s almost a different one for every guitarist out there. In the constant search for that perfect tone that we all hear in our head, I’ve tried a lot of the pedals out there today and I usually have 2 or 3 different ones on my board to allow for a variety of tones over the course of the gig. In the collection currently are an EH Little Muff (vintage), Univox Super Fuzz (vintage), Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer (early 80′s), ProCo Rat (original big-box), MXR Micro Amp (80′s) and MXR Distortion+ (late 70′s). Then several of the more modern units like the Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet, Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive, Xotic BB Boster, Hermida Zendrive, Boss Blues Driver, Fulltone Fat Boost, and a couple more I can’t recall right now.
So is that too many? For sure if you’re a minimalist and get your tone all from the amp, and no if you’re like my friend Billy who makes my collection look anemic. But I recently heard about a pedal that is getting rave reviews, so when one popped up on Craigslist at a good price I couldn’t resist. And man, am I happy I called! The new overdrive is the Jetter Jet Drive pedal. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet, check out their site at www.jettergear.com. And if you get a chance, definitely find one of these pedals and give it a try. This is basically two pedals in one box, and they’ve done a great job of making the two sides work seamlessly with each other. I’ve tried other dual pedals that have settings that just don’t work with each other, but it has been impossible to find any setting on either channel that doesn’t sound great alone or combined. What you have with this pedal and a clean amp is basically four “channels,” taking you effortlessly from clean to mild to crunch to solo.
The Jet Drive has two two channels, Blue and Green, and each offers it’s own unique flavor. The Blue channel is a bit more aggressive in nature while the Green channel is more buttery. Either channel can provide everything from clean boosting to crunchy grind, and even at maximum gain settings each channel provides harmonically rich, moderate gain lead tones that never get flabby or overly compressed. But it’s when you combine the two channels that this little pedal really shines! Adding the perfect volume boost for solo work, notes really sing, and your Tele still sounds like a Tele and your Les Paul still sounds like a Les Paul. The tone remains very transparent, the low-end stays tight and focused, and you will not hear any harshness or spikiness on the top.
The tone controls are a bit different here as well, as they are tuned to the frequencies most often used by guitars. Going from Lean to Rich, you can dial in very usable high end as needed in both channels. I’ve found settings between 1 and 3 o’clock work best for me. This pedal will be going on my travel board, as it should give me a wide variety of sounds with whatever backline I find at the venue. I was going to shoot a short video of the pedal in action but came across an amazing demo by one of my favorite guitarist, Peter Thorn, so thought I would share that with you here. Both the pedal I have and the one Peter demos are Version 2 of the pedal and have about 25% more gain than the original version. I talked with Brad at Jetter and he said that any serial number that starts with “0810…” or higher is a V2.
So have a look at the demo and let me know what you think!