John Bull Jr Overdrive review by ToadWorks

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 0 (0 votes)
ToadWorks: John Bull Jr Overdrive
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Price paid: £ 75

Purchased from: Johnny Roadhouse Music

Sound — 8
The setup I'm currently running is as follows: AM Standard Strat -----> John Bull Jr Overdrive -----> Desalvo/Stinger 50w tube amp. The sound lives up to what it says on the box. The replication of a british voiced Overdrive is great, the pedal sounds very warm and analouge and its not sterile/digital sounding in any way. The range of the gain control at first may seem a bit limited but after a bi of tweaking with Eq the pedal comes alive, turn the gain control anti-clockwise and it gives a real dirty boost but turn the mids up and turn the gain clockwise and it gives a Killer 80's hard rock tone with lots of crunch. At times the pedal can cause the bass frequencies to get a little muddy but a little Eq-ing soon sorts this out. I can't really compare this sound wise against any other pedal I've used as it sounds entirly different. Overall I'm gonna give it an 8, sometimes you might want just a touch more gain, and it can get a little bit muddy.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall this is a great little compact OD. We play a range of everything with th majority of infulances being funk/punk. This is an excellent match for punk, role of the gain and use it as a dirty boost and its a great match. I've been playing a few years now, I've not really owned many pedals but this is by far the best I've owned and played for what it does. If it was stolen or lost I would more than likely buy the pedal again, its a great little pedal for the price. I like the simplicity of the pedal (one of the main things I look for) and I love that what ever you dial in sounds killer. The things that I don't like are the battery compartment and that's about it actually. I compared the pedal to a number of other OD pedals out there, the main ones being the Boss Blues Driver, the Pro Co Dirty Rat and the ToadWorks American Voiced OD, this one was better suited to what I was looking for and blew away the others in terms of tone. I'm gonna give it an 8 again here, its a great little pedal and for the price I feel it can't be beat.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I've only had this pedal a while but it looks like its gonna last. The build quality is fault-less. A full metal casing protects the circuits inside, there is no battery compartment as the battery resides inside the back of the pedal which could make battery changes a little awkward. I would gig without a backup as it seems a solid pedal, it got a good kicking around at band practice the other night and no problems to be reported. Overall its gonna get an 7 for this section, although the pedal its self seems solid the knobs are made of a hard plastic although this isn't to much of a problem, also marking it down for the battery changes being a bit of a chore.

Ease of Use — 10
Just a brief intro: Not many people have heard about ToadWorks but once you've heard one of there pedals you wont be looking else where! This is British voiced Overdrive pedal, it has two dials one to control the gain and one for the output level, which makes it insanely easy to dial in a Killer tone. The pedal didn't come with a manual (didn't really need one) and that's really all there is to say on this topic. As much as I hate to give 10's I honestly can't fault this.

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