There is a tone that folks refer to as ‘Direct in Distortion’. It’s the kind of crazy that happens when you plug an electric guitar straight into a mixing board with little regard for the controls. The resulting distortion is unique in many ways and is the tone most attributed to the raucous guitar on “Revolution 1” by the Beatles. It’s a tight wound, crackly sound that expertly cradles itself somewhere between amazingly obnoxious and awesomely warm and wild. It’s a tone of many fine lines and one that JHS replicated perfectly with their Colour Box several years ago.
This month, in response to the cries of their fan base, JHS is releasing the Crayon – a streamlined version of the Colour Box the does away with the XLR function and 3 band EQ. At its most base, it’s a dirt box, but underneath the offered controls is a subtle pedal with a range of tonal possibilities. Here is what they have to say:
The Crayon excels at Direct-In fuzz tones, but it truly covers more ground than you would first imagine. From subtle tube-like overdrive to classic rock distortion and all the way to spitting fuzz, the Crayon is much more than a one-trick pony. The Crayon also cleans up with your guitar’s volume better than any other drive we make. It is exceptional for the player who want to access multiple dirt tones with the controls of their guitar.
There is a ton of buzz around this pedal right now. Which always tends to happen when you give people the exact thing they’ve been asking for. Between this and Muffuletta that came out earlier this year, JHS is really on a roll. Their success is only a boon to the rest of us. Below you’ll find a review of the controls as well as a demo of the pedal. Don’t forget if you get close to this pedal – please leave a review at Pedal Finder. AND don’t forget that we have an awesome giveaway going on right now for a Sunsine Audio Limited Edition Gold Harmonic Decoder!
Master: Volume Control
Pre: This knob works as a drive or fuzz control like turning up the pre-volume on a preamp to send it in to overdrive. As you reach 75% and above, the fuzz will begin to gate out as you pick the strings harder when playing, it is very responsive to your input signal and touch
Tilt: This knob acts as an active tone control that is flat when the knob is at 50%. When turned to the left, the Tilt control boosts bass and simultaneously cuts treble. When turned to the right, it boosts treble and cuts bass. This allows for some very unique and usable adjustments to the overall feel of the Crayon.
Hi Pass: The “Hi-Pass” toggle switch lets you activate from two different frequencies located on the side of the pedal, 200Hz and 750Hz. These settings let only the high band frequencies above them pass, and this allows for some amazing tone shaping possibilities.