JF-01 Vintage Overdrive review by Joyo

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (26 votes)
Joyo: JF-01 Vintage Overdrive

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: Amazon

Sound — 8
I only gave it a "8" because "10" would indicate "holy grail" and I have yet to find that in any pedal and this pedal does have one draw back that I will get to... I play around with OD pedals quite a bit. I'm very picky when it comes to my pedals. I've owned an OCD, Jekyll & Hyde, Green Rhino, Hardwire Tube Overdrive, Fryette SAS, TC Electronic VPD-1 (discontinued) and I've experimented with many more. One thing I have noticed with many or most OD pedals is that they design them with over-kill in the range of the knobs; they have far more range than is usable. For instance, the tone or "drive" knob usually goes into a territory that just isn't usable so what's the point? The Joyo JF-01 is usable across the entire range of all 3 knobs. Some would argue that having that wide of a range offers a wider range of "variety"; well, a grocery store could sell rotten bananas in the name of offering variety but is it really a good idea? The best adjective I could use to describe this pedal's tone is "smooth" or "usable". You don't have to muck around with it for hours on end to find a "sweet spot", like many "boutique" pedals. It simply doesn't have that "harsh" sound regardless of where you set the knobs. The harmonics are even and smooth. With the Drive set to zero, it adds a nice "hair" to your clean sound and it's touch sensitive so you can get a near-clean sound just by lightening your touch. The one negative I can say about this pedal is it does attenuate your low-end. With my 2007 LP Standard on the neck pickup, I set my rig for a nice, jazzy sound with nice low-end and clear highs but when I kick in the Vintage OD, it cuts some of the bottom out. It's not a deal breaker by any means but if it weren't for that I would have given it a "9".

Overall Impression — 8
I play primarily classic rock and southern rock and have no real need for heavy distortion. For what I play, the tone, volume and level of Overdrive from this pedal is ideal for me. I've been playing for 20+ years and currently own a 2007 Gibson LP Standard, a Dillior DR-45 and a Samick Strat copy. I have an old Peavey Deuce with 2x12 Black Widow speakers and 120 watts of teeth-loosening power. I also have a THD Flexi-50 on an Avatar 2x12 cab. My pedals consist of: Hardwire Tube Overdrive, Fryette SAS, DigiTech Harmony Man, Ernie Ball VPD1 volume pedal, Hardwire Reverb, Peterson StroboStomp II, TC Electronic Corona Chorus, HBE Uno-MOS and a Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde.

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Reliability & Durability — 7
The case seems solid enough but I haven't taken it apart to see if the solder joints are as shoddy as some say. I'm handy with a soldering iron so if I have to re-solder some connections, no big deal. It's still worth the effort. What good is a pedal that's built like a tank if it sounds awful? The knobs seem to have a good feel with medium resistance. The bottom is partially rubber covered with the exception of the battery area. The next chance I get, I'm going to open it up and see what's under the hood.

Ease of Use — 10
Easy enough to use... three knobs. Twist em', hit the foot switch and let er' rip. Not sure how to get 500 characters into this field.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bought this to give my loved but ageing Marshall Bluesbreaker mk1 pedal a rest (it was also introducing a lot of noise into the pedal chain while on mains). This pedal is amazing, smooth and pleasing, and the controls give a lot of different sound textures. Tbh I'd have paid double for this and still thought I'd got a bargain! The Harley Benton version is going for less than 25! This quality of this pedal shows just how much we guitarists are being ripped off by so called 'boutique' pedal manufacturers....
    Was looking to buy a Visual Sound Route 808 (TS808 clone), as I really missed the OD that was in the Jeykll and Hyde I sold - it was among the better TS808 clones I had ever heard. Decided to give this a shot as we have a local dealer for them and I was blown away - more clarity and better cut through the mix than the Route 808! Have used it live at decent sound pressure levels and can tell you this is NOT one of those pedals that sounds great in the bedroom but starts to suck as you turn up the volume to gig levels. I'm a bit of an OD/Distortion junky and this sits right along side of the only boutique pedal I've ever kept for any length of time (Solid Gold High Octane Overdrive - try one if you can!). The Solid Gold has been downgraded to function as a fairly clean boost now (which it is awesome for) and the Joyo Vintage Overdrive has become my main low/med drive pedal. Incidentally, I ended up buying the Joyo Crunch Distortion as well and it is my main high gain distortion - very Marshall like and kicked my Boss OS-2, RAT and Jekyll and Hyde (distortion side) off my board. Also very nice cut live and good usable range on the tone control. I tried the Ultimate Drive (OCD clone), which most people seem to love, but I found it compressed and lacking in mid-range cut compared to the Crunch Distortion - not my bag I guess. A/B the Crunch Distortion and the Ultimate Drive if you get a chance. I also have the Joyo compressor and tremolo on my board - both amazing - best stomp compressor I have ever used and very very quiet. I didn't have anything low end on my board, but these things sound so amazing they are kicking pedals off that cost 4 times as much or more.
    I've got 3 joyo pedals. one being the vintage overdrive. i use it in conjunction with my Bad monkey . its all u need .it sings, screams and would do back flips if it could. How can u justify paying 5 times the price for the famous green screamer....