015 JHS PG-14: A Closer Look at this Paul Gilbert Signature Distortion Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 15 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast, where we're exploring Renegade Pedals that have changed the music landscape. The one we've got up free today hasn't changed the musical landscape, but it is changing the music landscape right now. And that is JHS's PG-14 overdrive/distortion pedal. We'll see you on the other side. Hello and welcome. I'm Scott Schwertly here with Siren Pedals.

Austin Bryan:
Hey guys, Austin Bryan here with Siren Pedals.

Scott Schwertly:
And for episode 15, we have the PG-14.

Austin Bryan:
The Paul Gilbert signature pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Which is a fun one. I know, Austin, you got this one about a week or so ago.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, and I haven't come out of a room since. It's incredible. This is a really special pedal for us to talk about today, the PG-14, man. It's an all around overdrive distortion pedal that really adds an extra dirt and some extra gain, an extra section to your amp set up. So, if you've got a clean amp, throw this thing in. You're basically good to go, rock and roll.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, there's a lot of great stuff out there. JHS has done a really fantastic job marketing this thing. There's lots of great videos, I think, not only on says channel, but Sweetwater where it's Josh Scott from JHS and Paul Gilbert talking about it. Wonderful.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
If you come off this podcast wanting to learn more about it, definitely just do a quick Google search and you'll find those videos that we're talking about.

Austin Bryan:
Some great content and it's awesome because Josh and all those guys, they figured out a way to take all of Paul Gilbert's skill and talent and all of his ability and put it into this pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, let's actually pause there. For folks that have no idea who Paul Gilbert is, we're just going to take a couple of minutes here and just briefly explain his background. Really, in a nutshell, he's a really dynamic musician. According to Guitar One, he's considered one of the top 10 guitar shredders of all time. Guitar World has listed him as one of the 50 fastest guitarists of all time. So, definitely a standout musician for sure.

Austin Bryan:
Oh, great guy too.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and if you're familiar with bands like Mr. Big, which was really big I believe in the '90s.

Austin Bryan:
Oh, yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
It was like a supergroup. Racer X was the other one.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Hopefully, some of that stuff is resonating with you. And again, if you don't know anything about Paul Gilbert, that's a little bit about his background.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, and this pedal is a gift to us for those that are really wanting to capture some of his magic. From the second I first tried this pedal out, it really does give you a little bit of an extra feel. So, if you're playing any sort of rock and roll riffs, if you're just wanting to get just a little something extra, this pedal in a box with six knobs really gives you that little extra.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, that's definitely what I'm excited to hear that the demo on. I know you've been chomping at the bit, pick up your guitar...

Austin Bryan:
I'm ready.

Scott Schwertly:
... And showcase this one for everybody. So, fun stuff, fun stuff. Obviously, this is a brand new pedal on the market. It's only been out for, I don't know, probably maybe two weeks, three weeks.

Austin Bryan:
A couple of weeks, yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Not very long.

Austin Bryan:
Maybe.

Scott Schwertly:
And maybe by the time of this airing, it might even be closer to a month. But obviously, it's got a lot of great features, but it does have some flaws. There are some early reviews that are out there right now, not super terrible, but definitely things worth noting if this is something that you're thinking about adding to your collection. So, we'll just run through a few of these really quick.

Scott Schwertly:
Because it is this overdrive/distortions tube-like distortion pedal, some people are complaining that maybe just a little bit of noise, maybe some lack of girth to it, kind of sounds like an amp on 10 in some cases. So, lacking some of that extra stuff that you might get in some other distortion type pedals.

Yeah, its controls, you've got volume, obviously you control the overall volume of the unit. You've got drive to really push that amount of overdrive, you've got a push knob, which might be confusing for some folks that might not know. The manual is your best friend, ladies and gentlemen. Check out the manual. The push will actually impact how hard the preamp is hitting the drive section. So, to not make this super confusing, this pedal is driven by an FET, a FET distortion circuit acting as an amp in a sense, in the way that it responds.

Austin Bryan:
So, that push actually hits the overdrive section in this pedal to almost give it that effect of an amp that's, like you were saying, like one of their reviews on 10. It's pushed really, really hard. So, that can be hard for somebody maybe who's new to the pedal world who's new to trying to set up their sound if they're using a clean amp and maybe they're trying to find something to get a good tone right off the bat. This one might take a little bit of tinkering.

Scott Schwertly:
Obviously, we're a podcast dedicated to pedals. So, let's briefly talk about that whole idea of it being like a second amp and the whole idea of FET distortion. That term, FET distortion, is probably going to be new to a lot of folks.

Austin Bryan:
Oh.

Scott Schwertly:
So, I just want to go in and just unpack that.

Austin Bryan:
One thing that you need to know about FET amplifier style distortion is, instead of using tubes, in this case for this pedal, instead of using tubes, you're actually replacing that with an FET circuit. And what that does is it emulates a lot of the same effects that a tube amplifier would.

Scott Schwertly:
And for, again, those that are new to this sort of terminology, FET, basically that acronym stands for a field effect transistor. Typically, in the pedal world, we just refer to that as a FET.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, a FET. So, that it creates a lot of that characteristics of what an amplifier would sound like. So, in a sense, this pedal would give you a lot of things that an amplifier would. So, running through anything clean, your favorite Fender amp, even running through into your interface, you can pretty much get a really nice, even, natural amplifier tone.

Austin Bryan:
As well, on this thing, you've got tone control, you've got to mid-control, and a mid-frequency control, which controls how the mid-frequencies are on the mid knob, which might be confusing for some people. And as you'll notice as well, there isn't a base knob on here as well. So, just some things to consider for those that might be playing around with amp in a box overdrive distortion/effect. If you're looking for retaining that low end, just be aware this pedal doesn't have a control for that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, there have been just a few reviews about that same thing. So, just lack of that base response, but really not the end of the world. I think those are obviously just some flaws or cons, whatever you want to describe it, but I think the pros definitely outweigh those things.

Austin Bryan:
Oh, yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
I know you've been 100% satisfied with your purchase.

Austin Bryan:
I'll say outright, and Josh, if you're listening, this pedal has become one of my favorite overdrive distortion effects. Because of the fact that you can adjust with the drive and that push, it is acting like another section of an amp. So, if I'm wanting my clean section and then I've got an overdrive section, and then maybe I want to push a little bit further into a fuzzier territory, I can actually set this pedal up to be as its own channel.

Austin Bryan:
So, I've been having a lot of fun with it sitting down, and it is so much like an amp. It really, really connects. I'd say for me as a player, I've been able to really actually connect with this pedal. And I feel like it's enhanced a little bit of what I've been doing, which is great.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Plus the design is awesome. You've got this cotton candy, this blue and pink and black...

Austin Bryan:
Hard to lose it.

Scott Schwertly:
These pink knobs are wonderful.

Austin Bryan:
It's cool.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and then obviously, it's got the shoe as the icon or the branding for this specific pedal. And it's got, I believe that's Paul's name in Japanese, or is it Katakana?

Austin Bryan:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, that's so cool. Just the little details, even the updated JHS pedals logo with Paul Gilbert, PG-14, and the signature on the front, a very classy pedal with some really, really fun quirks to it in terms of the aesthetics that really make it stand out. So, it's a Looker for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I'm a sucker for, again, that pink and blue. It's just so different.

Austin Bryan:
Pink and blue with a lot of attitude.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I would say for a pedal, for those that are Paul Gilbert fans, I would really recommend this pedal, not just because it's his signature model pedal, but it really helps emphasize a lot of those dynamics in the playing. So, if you hear a lot of Paul's playing style, you can really get an idea of the way he feels and the way he plays. And this pedal really gives you a lot of those emphasis on the notes so you can really hear how he's utilizing it.

Scott Schwertly:
And he originally was doing a lot of gain stacking. Now, he's reduced his rig down to this pedal, and I believe the bonsai. So, it's for in terms of drive. So, it's covering a lot of bases for him.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, we're going to shut up now and actually let you guys listen to what this pedal is really all about.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh, yeah.

Austin Bryan:
As usual, we're going to plug into our tele here that's at the office.

Scott Schwertly:
This is a trustee telecaster.

Austin Bryan:
And we'll take this thing for a spin.

Austin Bryan:
The PG-14 JHS pedals, Paul Gilbert's signature. It's a hard one to put down. I could sit here playing this pedal all day.

Scott Schwertly:
Do you feel like Paul Gilbert when you're actually [crosstalk 00:12:41]?

Austin Bryan:
I do, actually. I feel like I've channeled all of his might and his ability and skill. I literally think I could go out and probably change my name to Paul Gilbert now.

Scott Schwertly:
And as the product manual says, do you feel like you have his good looks?

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, I feel like I have this talent, decades of experience, good looks, and all those countless years of practice. I even feel like I've been in the bands that he's been. So, it's crazy. I've lived his life now in this box. It's crazy.

Scott Schwertly:
It's that good, folks.

Austin Bryan:
They did something. They did something right. That's for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
Well, we've talked about one turquoise-colored pedal. In our next episode, we're going to talk about another turquoise blue-ish type pedal. And it's the Fulltone Octafuzz.

Austin Bryan:
The Octafuzz.

Scott Schwertly:
So, if you love fuzz and the whole world of fuzz...

Austin Bryan:
If you love Fulltone pedals...

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and by the way, we need to actually talk about the Fulltone OCD one of these days.

Austin Bryan:
We're going to do that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah.

Austin Bryan:
It's a staple.

Scott Schwertly:
Yes, it is a staple, but we'll talk about this one first, again, the Fulltone Octafuzz. We'll cover that in our next episode.

Austin Bryan:
All right, see you all later.

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