Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Review

manufacturer: Visual Sound date: 05/14/2014 category: Guitar Effects
Visual Sound: Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2
For the guitarist who plays a bit of everything and wants a compact OD/distortion that does pretty much everything, this is a great place to start.
 Sound: 8.1
 Overall Impression: 7.9
 Reliability & Durability: 7.7
 Ease of Use: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (3) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 19, 2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 140

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: This pedal is amazingly simple to use. I'll start with the Jekyll (Overdrive) circuit. It has 4 controls: volume, Drive and tone knobs and a bass boost Switch. Its really simple and easy to get great Overdrive tones not unlike a TS808 Tubescreamer. You can get smooth blues to crunchy metal OD and everything in between. The Hyde (distortion) side is just as easy to use. It has 5 controls: Drive, Volume, Mids, Highs, and a sharp/blunt Switch which can change it from a chunky Distortion to a brittle one with more bite. For those who like to have absolute control it also features several variable controls inside the casing: a noise gate control (on/off Switch, and variable noise reduction) for the Hyde side (factory default setting is noise gate at minimum; This is a new feature not on the Original J&H), and a bass boost control for the Jekyll side (allows you to change the amount of bass added by Jekyll when bass boost is in circuit). With all these controls at your disposal and the know how you can get a huge range of sounds in a matter of seconds. The manual is fantastic. It includes plenty of suggested settings to start you off for Jekyll, Hyde and combinations of both circuits, it tells you in detail what each of the noise gate and bass boost controls are doing, and it even includes a small circuit diagram showing where these controls are. One of the easiest pedals I've ever had. // 10

Sound: At the moment I'm using it with an Epiphone Les Paul Std and a Fender FM212r SS amp. I have a bunch of other effects which, if you're really interested in what else I'm using, you can view on my profile. This pedal is pretty damn quiet. So long as you don't turn the volume past 1 o'clock on both sides and have them both on at the same time you wont have too much trouble. The Hyde side is definitely the noisier of the two though, so if you do have problems with noise you can just turn the noise gate on. I bought this pedal at the same time as I bought a ProCo Rat2 and a Zvex Fuzz Factory. This one came first in the mail and it was my first really decent OD/distortion pedal. It took me about 5 mins to read the manual and dial up sounds from Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Dave Gilmour, John Frusciante and a bunch of other people, as well as finding some other great tones. There are many great tones to be had out of this pedal. My favourite sounds, however, are almost invariably on the "sharp" setting with the bass boost off. But that probably reflects more my taste in music than the performance of those functions. I used this pedal about three days after I got it in a studio recording and I got the best guitar tones I'd ever recorded out of it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Its built like a brick. I wouldn't worry about dropping it down stairs, or throwing it at a wall. Only problem is that the on/off switches are a little temperamental. The design they went for are nice looking, but don't work that great. You've really got to make sure you hit the Switch in the center and press it down all the way. So if you have a crowded pedal board (like me) it can be difficult to turn them on and off without altering settings on this or other pedals. I've had problems once or twice getting them to turn on during a gig when I really depended on it to change my tone for a solo. Not good. I think a little WD-40 or something may do the trick though. // 7

Overall Impression: This pedal's sound fits perfectly into my rig and into the music a play. For the guitarist who plays a bit of everything and wants a compact OD/distortion that does pretty much everything, this is a great place to start. I've been playing seriously for about 5 years and started using effects pedals about 2 years ago and this is probably my favourite distortion pedal in my rig. If it were stolen or lost I would definitely buy another (failing crucifying the guy Who stole it). I love the noise gate and variable bass boost features. Even though I don't use them much, its great to have them there for the day when I will need them. I hate the switches and I'm considering replacing them if possible. The only thing I wish it had was decent switches. The Original J&H switches were standard buttons, that made a loud click when you stomped on them, like on many other pedals. They were ugly, loud and rusted a little easy, but they worked and were easily and cheaply replaced. Big drawback for me. // 8

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overall: 7.5
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: Taint McGooch, on january 13, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 140

Purchased from: Sweetwater Sound

Ease of Use: 7 Knobs (3 for Jekyll, 4 for Hyde), 3 internal customization options, including 2 trim pots for amount of Bass Boost on the Jekyll side, Noise Suppression, and a switch to turn the Suprression on/off. User Manual is dummy-proof, absolutely flawless in explanation of how every knob works and interacts with each other, and great explanations of how to adjust the internal pots for further tone-molding. Overdrive circuit is the same circuit used in the Ibanez TS-808. However, i'm slightly irritated that the guy at the factory got a little happy with the WD-40 and the adjustment knobs can practically catch a gust of wind and throw all your settings off. Also, footswitches (while pretty) are slightly tempermental when stomping on them, as sometimes they do not activate. // 8

Sound: My current setup consists of a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser loaded with Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups ran into an MXR 10-band EQ, the Jekyll and Hyde, and a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor (no ISP Decimator yet), running into a Mesa Boogie Roadster through a Diezel 4x12 cab. Boss DD-3 is ran into the effects loop of the Mesa. Jekyll: 3 Knobs: Drive, Tone, Volume, also Bass Boost switch Mainly I use the distortion channel on the Mesa, with the Jekyll as a slight overdrive/boost to get some extra harmonic qualities. The Jekyll sounds beautiful like this and cleans up well by rolling off the volume. Through the clean channel, it provides a substantial clean boost with the Drive all the way down and Volume all the way up. Also, boost is immediate as soon as volume is rolled past 0, which i have not found in a pedal yet. Drive function is very versatile, ranging from clean boost at 0, to a thick Overdrive that would be pretty substantial for almost any kind of rock. Tone knob is not quite as versatile as I would have thought. Rolling it all the way to 10 provides a jangly, trebly high end sound that hurts your ears a little, and rolling it to 0 gives some slight boost in mids and a much more prominent bottom end. Now, that being said, there is a Bass Boost button that cuts a lot of the high end out, and can really accentuate the bottome end if necessary (amt of boost is adjustable via an internal trim pot). Jekyll gets a 9 Hyde: 4 knobs: Drive, Mid, Treble, Volume, also Sharp/Blunt Swtich Hyde sounds amazing, as if it were Jekyll's big brother, not creating that "classic MetalZone crunch" (which I hate by the way), but more of an improvement of your original tone. As far as I can tell, the Hyde barely takes any natural qualities away from your tone (there is always a little suckage though), while still adding a crushing distortion that delivers more than necessary. There is such a thing as too much gain with this pedal in my opinion, but if anybody is a fan of black metal that sounds like your television after the cable company has shut you off, that is contained in this wonderful "home plate" as well. Treble has a decent effect rolling from 0 to 10, you can hear the bite become more and more prominent every little bit that you move the knob (I have backed away from my amp going "that sounds like shit!"), but if you are careful with it it will provide cut/boost where necessary, as will the Mid Knob. Mids are well rounded, however the more you turn the gain up, the more you will want to turn these down as the bite and bark that they provide at lower gain settings get lost in the distortion, and clarity is removed. Volume is the same as Jekyll. Sharp/Blunt switch is great for adding extra cut if necessary, but the Blunt side doesn't do a terrible amount unless your amp is waaaaaay up past normal practice volumes. Hyde gets a 7. Now, you can also combine both sides, which makes the tonal possibilities practically endless, and makes this pedal very fun to mess around with. That being said, the Noise Suppression circuit is terrible, as it takes forever (even with the trim pot maxed) for it to track and eliminate noise, so do NOT rely on the noise suppression contained within the pedal. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Steel housing is very durable. I have used this on several gigs without a backup and it performs great. Major con for most players is that while the switches are rated for 10,000,000 (yes, that is 7 0's)switches, getting them to activate can be troublesome sometimes. It is not a problem for me because it is on all the time in my chain, but for people who will want to experiment with both sides and combinations of sides live, will want to really get used to exactly how to stomp on it to get it to work every time (it is possible). because of stomping reliability this gets a major cut. // 7

Overall Impression: I've rambled on enough already so this will be short. This is a great sounding pedal, and if you can deal with the flaws I mentioned, it is a great addition to any rig. I'm not answering the age old question because if I broke into someones house and say a Mesa Boogie Roadster and a Jekyll and Hyde my mind would not go "decisions, decisions". This is one of the greatest Overdrives and Distortions in this price range and the fact you don't need to buy 2 pedals is an awesome bonus. // 8

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overall: 5.3
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: jamesr, on february 01, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Local Shop

Ease of Use: This pedal is easy to use with decent preset examples in the book. It does have a noise gate and bass adjustment for the Hyde side, but you have to take the pedal apart to make adjustments. So count those out for a live situation, for the size of the pedal they had room to put them somewhere to make adjustments without taking it apart. So for that reason it gets a 5. // 5

Sound: For reference I play an American Stratocaster and Gibson SG Standard through a Fender Deluxe Reverb. I bought this pedal to replace my Boss DS-1 and MT-2 after seeing the pedal shootout on you tube. I sold the Boss pedals to buy this one, and wow what a mistake. The Jekyll side does not compare to a TS808, and is just a dull sounding Overdrive. The bass boast is just ridiculous; it goes from sounding boxy to boomy. It should have been a pot so you could adjust the bass. The Hyde also has no middle ground with the sharp and blunt switch. The blunt sounds muffled and dull and the sharp sounds like you are playing out of a 5 speaker. Also the Hyde has terrible sustain for a metal type distortion pedal. The next down fall is when you combine both side the volume boost is too much for lead work. I was planning on using them both for lead parts, but it is just way too much of a volume increase. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Visual Sounds uses a manufacturing plant in China. It seems like they have low quality standards which is normal for Chinese products. This pedal has a loose treble pot on the distortion side. I took it back the same day to get another one, and they all were like that. They said they had a guy bring back a Comp 66 that was bad out of the box. And my H20 v2 is hard to turn the delay on and off. I have no Faith this pedal will stand up to abuse since the one pot is already loose. // 4

Overall Impression: For 50 this isn't a bad pedal to cover a large range of sounds, but I wish I still had my MT-2. I will probably sell this pedal and get a Keeley MT-2 and TS808 reissue. But if you are on a small budget and need to cover a full range of distortion for a low price this would be a decent choice. It does have a great buffer which doesn't affect your tone and seems to help on long cable runs. // 6

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overall: 9.5
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 02, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 149.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: This pedal requires a little knowledge of basic pedal "Eq"ing and testing. Some have said that this pedal is horrible, I do not agree. After playing with the knobs and whatnot, I found several positions that I liked. You must EQ the pedal, as well as adujust the Drive and volume knobs, to get the sound you are looking for. I was easily finding Joe Satrianiish sounds with the pedal. // 8

Sound: The Overdrive on this thing is amazing. It is very well done with a sound better than just about any tube Screamer I have heard. To me it seems smoother and more versatile. I was able to dial in some good blues tones, as well as a good rhythm rock tone. The bass boost is usable, but may not me appropriate for all songs. The distortion is pretty good too. Out of the box, I found it was a little bassy and noisy (that was my opinion, you may like it). To adjust bass response and the noise gate in the pedal, you have to adjust two trim pots inside of it. There is an explanation of how to do this in the book. I had the pedal where I wanted it after a few minutes of adjusting. After the bass was set where I wanted it, I was impressed. You can really get a large range of drive. At first, I got some mild overdrive, but if you crank the Drive and scoop the mids, metal sounds great. With the two combined, the sound vesatility is pretty good. You can really rock with this pedal, but you need to know how to EQ a pedal. I tried this pedal with humbuckers and single coils and the pedal sounded good with both, but I found it was easier to dial in good tones with single coils than humbuckers, and I normally play SG's. This pedal screams with a Crybaby and some delay. I am sure if you played metal that it would sound good with flanger and phaser too. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built like a tank. Better than most Boss pedals in my opinion. The switches have been consistent and have worked without an issue. The casing is great, too. I looked at the wiring, and I was pretty impressed. The wires and everything were high quality. The solder joints were pretty good, too. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything, and I have been very impressed with the quality of this pedal. I tested this pedal through the following setup: Kramer Strat or Stock Epiphone G400 --> Crybaby --> Bad Monkey --> Jekyll and Hyde V2 --> DigiTech RP 90 --> Boss DD-20 --> Line Six 15 watt amp. I would buy this pedal again if given the chance. The tonal options are really good, and it works well with other pedals. // 10

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overall: 6
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: bcrich1234bc, on october 19, 2010
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Music Center

Ease of Use: Mostly this pedal was easy to use. Unscrewing the back plate can be aggravating to adjust the bass, noise gate, etc. Really the manual wouldn't be needed if the was no adjustments you could make on the circuit board. Its very straightforward and something that doesn't require too much effort to dial in on the different sounds available. // 8

Sound: Not my sound at all. It has a lot of low end, and an over-all bluesy tone. Using the pedal with a marshal Mg250DFX on clean and a B. C. Rich Assassin. There are a variety of sounds you can achieve; however, they all retain the same blues/rock tone, not something I like. // 5

Reliability & Durability: Problems with reliability and durability that I had were soon apparent after trying to unscrew/screw the back piece off and on. 2 of the 4 screws wouldn't screw in, and one wouldn't screw out. Other than that the actual pedal seems pretty solid and stable. // 6

Overall Impression: I mostly play metal and in my opinion, this doesn't provide the mid-hi end sound I like. I would happily trade this pedal in for any DigiTech Distortion pedal. Looking back, I regret this purchase and unfortunately will probably never use this pedal. I wouldn't recommend this pedal to anyone. // 5

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overall: 9
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: ne14t, on april 30, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 170

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Ease of Use: This is a simple to use effect but can go into great tone detail. Standard true bypass and able to run off a 9V battery, which amazingly actually lasts quite some time provided you don't leave it plugged in, if you do it draws enough current in bypass mode to kill a battery overnight; however this is the same for a lot of pedal not just the double pedals. No Patches to edit or add. Comes with a nice sheet that gives you TONS of starting tones that you can tweak to suit your needs, everything from just OD settings and just Distortion settings to both pedals combined. I have a first edition of this pedal so since they have upgraded the knobs to be a little more visible in on stage settings and have changed the Rocker switches to what I find to be a crappier DPDT switch, to me they look uglier then the rockers. 9/10: Ease of use is amazing, each knob is labelled for its purpose and does it's job well. You can twist them pretty much randomly and still get a decent sound out of it. Certainly nowhere near as daunting as something like an Empress Effects pedal. // 9

Sound: This is my main OD pedal, it produces a nice creamy OD on the clean channel of my 15W Marshall Haze that just DESTROYS the amps Drive channel, it is ALWAYS plugged into my amp. Either a Gibson Explorer or Epi Les Paul Plustop Pro FX plugged into it, the LP with lower output pickups can't scream as much as the Explorer, but that's a given. The OD side is a modded version of the good old TS-808 and is the side I use the most as I can turn the Drive down for some sweet blues or crank it all the way and get a really driven sound, good example is some early Metallica like "Kill 'Em All". OD has controls from Drive, Tone, Volume and Bass Boost. The Distortion side from what I have heard is a totally tricked out version of a TS-808, and is certainly voiced differently then the OD so there is no worry of having two pedals that sound the same. Works great for newer metal and up. Having controls for Drive, Highs, Mids, Volume and Sharp Distortion you can get high gain lead stuff right to scooped mids metal. I am not going to BS you this wont make you sound like Satch, Vai or any other guitar god, but it can certainly get you pretty authentic sounding Drive out of either side that can closely mimic your favorite artist, I mean the TubeScreamer is almost on every performers pedal board at some point. This was the first Visual Sound pedal I tired, I was a little uneasy because of the price, but after testing it in the store and owning it for a few months I am pleased. Another thing I really liked was the dynamics of the pedal, changes to your guitars volume and tone will make a very noticeable difference in the tone. It can be noisy once you crank up the gain on the Distortion side and/or start stacking both drives in the pedal. Visual Sound has built a noise gate in the Distortion side that really quiets things down to the point it shouldn't be a bother, I run with it off and it still sounds great, a little hum with high output pickups but certainly not enough to Drive you nuts. 9/10: Hands down awesome, I have gone through a couple OD pedals and only one other distortion pedal. I no longer own any of the other OD pedals and the distortion pedal was an MXR Fullbore and well it doesn't even compare to this pedal. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I thought MXR pedals were built like a tank, and if that's the case this thing is built like a nuclear shelter! Solid Metal casing it can take stomps, kicks or drops no problem. Nice thick rubber back on the pedal so it doesn't move around if you don't use it on a pedal board. The stomp switches were one of the things I was concerned about but Visual Sound guarantees them for a million stomps (not a joke) so that made me feel better. And TBH they are a soft switch which I have come to like cause you can easily tap it on or off. The placement of the switches is perfect I can turn them both on with my averagely large foot! Oh yeah and its got a battery door for easy battery swaps a piece of cake. Would certainly gig this unit without a back up, heck I think you could almost use it as a hammer and a pedal its that solid. 10/10: Bomb proof, spilled some liquids on it and its fine, solid paint job, knobs that don't fall off, switches that actually work, can't ask for more then that! // 10

Overall Impression: I play anything but Jazz (only because I suck at it! ) and this pedal suits it all, plug in my HOT Explorer to get that hard rock or heavy metal sound or plus in the PAF Les Paul for that Classic rock tone. The OD channel with my 57 classic neck coil split gets deadly Jimmy Page tones. I actually did a lot of question asking about this pedal before I purchased it and luckily enough the guy I was talking to had one at home himself and already knew all the goods on it. If it were lost or stolen I would certainly replace it, its become a pretty crucial part in getting my tone out of my little Marshall. Though with how little I use the Distortion side I would even consider there OD/Compressor pedal since its the same OD circuit. The only thing I hate about it is the size, it can take up a good chunk of real estate on your pedal board which could be a downside if you are limited by that, otherwise its pretty flawless. 8/10: I am going to rate this low for one reason only, and that's to even out the average score a bit. My overall impression of this pedal is actually 10/10 as it fit my bill perfectly; however the size, price and how quickly it can kill batteries may put some people off. Plus also I didn't want a review that made it look perfect cause we all know nothing is really perfect. // 8

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overall: 10
Jekyll And Hyde Ultimate Overdrive V2 Reviewed by: Kylie2112, on may 14, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Daddy's Junky Music, Portsmouth NH

Ease of Use: 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. // 10

Sound: 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]). // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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!!! // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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