09 December 2013

Pedals: Jetter Gear Jetdrive - First contact


After trying pedals like Weehbo's ones, it's difficult to get a pedal that can excite you enough. Weehbo pedals are, to me, one of the best preserving your tone and dynamics, while providing you a tone shaping tool to mime other aftersought amp sounds.
But, at least with my Fender Stratocaster, I don't feel them as having the right amount of gain I am needing.

I've bought a Suhr Shiba, a Suhr Riot and a Xotic SL, trying to cover all my gain needs.
Well, those pedals are "cooked pies" and, they work awesome but, to me, they lack the great dynamics of Weehbo effects and, they have a "cooked tone".
The three sound awesome, don't be fooled but, they are not what I really need, for how I like to play and combine pedals.

I don't know how, really!, but accidentally saw some youtube video demoing a Jetter Gear pedal and, I was interested from second one.

Taking into account that those three pedals mentioned above, where covering "cooked sounds", I wanted this time some kind of tube-like clean overdrive, able to get the harmonics from my amp, while playing in the clean channel and quiet volumes.

After reviewing Jetter Gear stuff, I thougth his Jetdrive could be the right pedal to complement my pedalboard.

Today, the Jetdrive came and, I had a short one-hour session testing it.
And, that's all about this blog entry, my impressions after my first contact.

Jetter Gear Jetdrive


As usual in Boutique Pedals, this pedal comes in a sad blank cardboard box, with one sticker on the upper side, with pedal name and serial number.
Inside, just the pedal and a single sheet with a few information.

I am lacking technical specificactions. There is nothing about how much current it draws and, which are the voltage ranges supported, etc. This information is key to plan your pedalboard.
Also, some sample settings would be welcome.

The pedal includes a battery and, to remove it, you need to unscrew the four short screws that stand the back plate.

To be fair with the other overdrives in my pedalboard, I plugged the DC input of the Jetdrive into a 12V output of the Voodooo Lab Power Pedal 2 unit.

This pedal weights considerablely and it seems to be built of a high quality components. Its size is even smaller than I thought. Same width than Weehbo's but, slightly longer.


It has two different overdrive channels that can be selected alone or stacked.
Each channel has its own Drive, Volume and Tone knobs (even if they are being called in other way).
Easy to tweak and, always useful tones.

No cryptic controls, highly dependent that can lead you to an infinite search of the right sound.


Did I said awesome?.
Yes, awesome!

This pedal shines out-of-the-box, whith controls at any position.
From subtle gain ranges to medium gain ranges, covering all drive needs, except for high gain stuff.

The Green channel sounds to me with some bump in mid-lows frequencies. Not a clear roll off of low end or high end but, as if it had some bump in mid-lows frequencies.
It seems to generate even harmonics, which gives it a silky and warm voice but, fully respecting your guitar and amp tone. It's just like driving your tubes to their sweet spot.
All notes are clearly audible and distinguishable but, just with that rich harmonical content.
I am finding this channel as the main overdrive channel for most of songs, even that for certain songs, I prefer the definition of the blue channel.

The Blue channel sounds to me with a plain EQ and a crispier tone, slightly more crunchy while transparenter. It's like if it was generating odd harmonics, that create a more defined sound, with an slight crunch that I wouldn't define as Marsallish.

Both channel stacked complement really good and allow you for liquid solos, while preserving all your guitar and amp nuances and QUIET enough.

Stacked with other pedals

I have to go to more in-deep tests but, I honestly didn't like how this pedal interactuates with my Area 51 Wah pedal. Probably, because the buffer of the Area 51 is on (I have to switch off that buffer !!!!).

I still have to check it with my other pedals but, had no time enough.
This will come in a new entry in this blog.

Stay tuned!.
I am planning some demo video, once I am more done to this pedal but, after testing it, I DIG FOR A DHARMA TO DEAD!!!!!

UPDATE 13/12/2013

I had the oportunity to check in depth the pedal and relationships with the rest of my pedalboard.
The first thing I've noticed is that the Jetdrive DOESN'T LIKES ANY BUFFER BEFORE.
It sound way better without its input being buffered.
I had to un-buffer my Area 51 Wah, move the Wampler Decibel+ to the end of the chain, and switch off the buffer in the Vibe Machine.

Second thing is that, compared similar settings between the Jetdrive and the Suhr Shiba, Suhr Riot and Xotic SL, the Jetdrive gets same overall feeling but stays more defined and dynamic so, I've ended romemoving those three pedals and, now, my pedalboard is of a very small size.

I would probably go for some pedal with that Hellium from Jetter Gear and a nice hi-gain distortion, to complete the picture.

I can unload the Wampler Decibel+ since, it's doing no good and, at the end, I am planning to substitute the Vibe Machine with a Strymon Mobius (for all the modulation stuff) and that Wampler EGO with some good and no-brain compressor. I found Wampler's as thinning a tad my tone.

This is the picture on how my pedalboard was reduced, to cover a lot of ground:

Just the minimum!
And the decibel+ can disapear, I have it switched off all the time.

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