Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 review by Visual Sound

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  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.4 (15 votes)
Visual Sound: Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2
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Purchased from: Daddy's Junky Music, Portsmouth NH

Ease of Use — 10
One channel with 3 knobs and a switch (boost), a second channel with 4 knobs and a switch (sharp/blunt). It's not rocket science, folks. We're not trying to set up a tap tempo on a delay pedal or run a looper. But yes, while getting on the right page takes some fiddling around (even within the same model), you can get your tone to the right chapter very easily. All the controls are intuitive, and the green (Jeckyll) and red (Hyde) LEDs make it very easy to see which channel(s) you're running, even in a total blackout.

Sound — 10
I mostly play metal (Iron Maiden and Gamma Ray-style Euro metal), and recently joined a girl-rock cover band (Vixen, Heart, Pat Benatar, etc), and both the overdrive side (Jeckyll) and the distortion side (Hyde) can easily be used to get whatever tone you want. It's basically a mashup of an Ibanez TS808 and a Boss MT-2 (so much so for the former that the Jeckyll half is available as the "Route 808" stompbox) for less than the cost of either on their own. The only downside is the distortion is before the overdrive, so using both halves don't give you that "overdriven distortion" sound. But individually, oh dear god this is all you need for a distortion and overdrive (and I have both the original issue from '98 and the V2 reissue I bought in '12 on my pedalboard for two different overdrive and distortion settings [the V2 Jeckyll and original Hyde sound slightly better than their counterparts, but both sides of both incarnations are phenomenal]).

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's built like a tank. I don't abuse my gear, but this should hold up to anything short of a nuclear bomb going off. Yup, it eat batteries like popcorn, but if you're gigging, you *should* have a power supply on your pedal board, or at least an AC adapter so your pedals don't die horrible deaths. I've yet to encounter any problems with my original issue (that I've used everywhere for 16 years) or my V2 (no issues for 2).

And I can't believe people are complaining about battery life in a pedal. It's only a concern if you're jamming in your bedroom/basement. Otherwise, meh, MORE CABLES!!!

Overall Impression — 10
I've owned a few overdrives and distortions (including a Boss MT-2, which I replaced with my first J&H), and this is by far the most versatile distortion/overdrive out there. You can get anything from a nice dirty blues tone a la ZZ Top to full-blown thrash metal in one neat little package. The sharp/blunt switch on the Hyde side is a great addition for getting a bit more high end out of your tone. The only issue is that it's distinct enough to almost warrant its own footswitch (because it's a great rhythm/lead toggle for hard rock/metal). Other than making the best even better, I have zero qualms and would recommend this to anybody playing any kind of overdriven/distorted guitar-type music.

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