Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive review by Visual Sound

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (51 votes)
Visual Sound: Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive

Sound — 10
I use quite a few guitars, the two main ones being my Epiphone Les Paul Classic (H/H uncovered), and my H/S/H Ibanez GIO, modified with a Seymour Duncan P-Rail in the bridge, and with the middle pickup set out of phase. I also use it a fair amount with my first no-name junk shop guitar that I modified with a DiMarzio BC-2 Mini-Bucker in the bridge. My amp setup is also a little unorthodox. I run a solid-state Laney LX65R through a Trace Elliot 4X12 intended for bass guitars. The cab is more for increased volume and more present low end than anything else. The Jeckyl & Hyde must be pretty transparent when it comes to hum, as I can't think of an instance where I was bothered by it. Setting the Hyde side's gain knob to full blast will create some feedback, but that's par for the course when you're diming such a gnarly distortion. I mainly use the Jeckyl side as a boost instead of a distortion, mainly because it won't do much for my solid-state setup anyway. That's not to say it doesn't kick my clean channel in the ass a bunch. I've heard that the Jeckyl's circuit is a Tube Screamer clone, and it sure as heck sounds like one. I leave the bass boost switch on at all times. Single note runs and mellower solos are very nicely accentuated by this Overdrive unit. My setting for the Jeckyl side has the white lines on the Drive and Tone knobs facing each other. The Hyde side of the pedal has become my main distortion effect among my four different distortion boxes. It's simply monstrous pretty much anywhere you turn the dials, but when you find the right spot on it, you won't change it around very often. I get a great grungey tone out of it without any mud with the tone dial at 9 o'clock and the EQ at 3 o'clock (the Drive is always dimed). It's a very tight, growly tone reminiscent of "Dookie"-era Green Day, or Kurt Cobain's live 'kronng' kind of sound. I personally keep the sharp/blunt switch set to blunt. I'll note that with my setup, the sharp setting was very grating when playing with the bridge pickups, but that might just be because I put HOT humbuckers in all my bridge positions. Using both circuits together with both Drive knobs dimed will unleash an interesting over-the-top fuzzy tone. This setting is definitely not for everyone, I just personally enjoy ridiculous noise sometimes.

Overall Impression — 9
I play rock music of all kinds, but mostly heavier stuff. I've been playing for eight years. My pedal chain looks like this, from guitar to amp: DigiTech Whammy 5th Gen, EHX Big Muff Pi Reissue, Visual Sound Jeckyl & Hyde V1, Boss Metal Zone, Visual Sound H2O Chorus & Echo, Daphon Flanger, Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter. I have five electric guitars; Epiphone Les Paul Classic, Ibanez GIO, Squier Bullet Strat, Peavey Raptor Plus, Burswood Strat knockoff. All of my guitars have HOT pickups installed in the bridge along with other modifications. If my pedal got swiped, I'd certainly replace it if I had the cash to do so, although I might try out the Son Of Hyde before buying another Jeckyl & Hyde. I use my Big Muff Pi quite a lot, but when I'm playing a song that's a little more nuanced, I prefer the Jeckyl & Hyde to the Pi's full-on assault. I use the Jeckyl & Hyde any time I need a more mid-happy distortion effect than the super-scooped Muff. The one and only gripe I have about it is that the Sharp setting just seems to add way too much treble than is needed, but again, that might just be my own equipment. The on/off switches are placed fairly close together as well, but that's only a problem for me because I wear big boots on stage. I love the overall smoothness this pedal achieves while not having to sacrifice the extreme growliness and intensity of the distortion. This is a tone-chasers' dream come true.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This pedal sports one of the sturdiest (and nicest) looking chassis I've ever seen. There's absolutely nothing fragile about it. I would definitely depend on it for every gig with no backup. As for the apparent issue of how this thing chews through batteries like Timbits, I wouldn't know because I bought a 1-Spot 9V Daisy Chain.

Ease of Use — 7
While it sounds more than decent out of the box, the Jeckyl & Hyde is a pedal that truly rewards you for tweaking those knobs just right. I personally do not have the manual for this pedal, as I acquired it in a trade. I do not know the revision number, but I do know that my pedal is the V1 version. The V2 is currently in production, which, beyond adding better noise suppression and a sleeker design, doesn't appear to be that much different tonally from its predecessor. That said, I haven't tried the V2 just yet.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Looking for an overdrive & distortion for my bass went through quite a few , got Jekyll & Hyde an never looked back.