039 | Siren Pedals Juneau: A Closer Look at this Bluesbreaker Inspired Overdrive | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 39 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring a Renegade Pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today, we have one of our very own. Today we're going to be talking about our Juneau overdrive pedal. This is Blues Breaker inspired, and we can't wait to talk about it on the other side.

Hey everybody, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you guys today. Hope you're having a great one. I know we're in the middle of summer here in Nashville, so it's a hot one, but hopefully you guys are staying cool. But today we've got a fun one. We don't typically do this, but we're going to be covering one of our very own pedals. Today we're going to be talking about our Juneau overdrive pedal, which actually just released about two weeks ago. So we're excited to share this one with the rest of the world.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I've really enjoyed getting a chance to work on this one and just be able to play with it in the shop and stuff. And it's really, it's been a great addition to the rest of the pedals we have.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah. I'm super thrilled with this one. And not only do I love the way this pedal sounds, but I love the artwork. I know we take a lot of pride in the art that's on our pedals, but out of all the pedals that we have, I guess maybe I'm personally biased towards this one. I really love just that shiny blue, the white tiger, or kind of white purple-ish tiger. Yeah, it's just, it's got a cool vibe to it, it's got a cool sound, and yeah, I'm excited to get this in the hands of as many people as possible.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I've always been a pretty big fan of the Blues Breaker style circuits. And this one's just a pretty interesting take on it. It's not a direct Blues Breaker clone by any stretch of the imagination because you have a lot more gain on tap, and then you have that presence control, the ad in a lot of that glassy topping into your signal. So really great additions to a good circuit.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, definitely. Obviously, that circuit's got a lot of history to it. And for those of you not familiar with the Blues Breaker circuit, we've covered actually the original Marshall Blues Breaker pedal on this podcast. We've covered other variations of it, like Wampler's Pantheon. But yeah, in case you're not familiar with that history, we're just going to kind of give you sort of the abbreviated version, but it actually goes all the way back to the early 1960s, 1961, 1962. Eric Clapton was looking really just for a great amplifier. And so Marshall provided him with this great amplifier as he was performing with John Mayall and the Blues Breakers.

And anyway, long story short, we've covered this story earlier, but that was really kind of the birth of the Blues Breaker amp. And it just kind of has that classic sort of early Clapton sound, which then led into the Blues Breaker pedal in the early to mid nineties, which that was really popular at the time, eventually got discontinued, and there've been a lot of Blues Breaker sort of rebirth coming out of that. Everything from GHS's Morning Glory, to Wampler's Pantheon, to Analog Mans King of Tone, to Achilles 1962. And in this case, Siren's very own Juneau Overdrive pedal. So lots of great history. It's a very popular circuit. You'll see this on many boards, particularly for those that are looking for that low gain sort of overdrive sound.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I've always found circuits like this really help you to simulate the tone of an amp naturally breaking up when you have a higher water champ that typically it's just a clean platform amp. Specifically, I'm thinking of Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Fender Twin, just those kinds of amps that have a ton of headroom. These types of circuits and a circuit like the Juneau really helps to bring you that amp like tone without blowing out your ear.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, so the Juneau fits right into that mix. And I guess probably if we had to sort of pinpoint one that's probably most similar to ... All of these are different. It would probably be, I know Eric, you kind of pinpointed this yourself. There'd probably be Analog Mans King of Tone.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I've owned a King of Tone. Well, I didn't really, I didn't own it. I was borrowing it from a friend for a while. But from what I remember, and it's been a few years removed now, but I do remember the similarities, especially in the higher end. You can get that presence, especially with, they have a presence trim pot on the inside. So what's really nice about the Juneau is that we brought a presence control to the actual front of the pedal, and then we also added some more gain on tap. So it just makes it really accessible, really easy to use, and it sounds great.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, definitely. And I know, anything with tone is always subjective, so people can have their likes and dislikes. If you happen to be in this camp where you like more of that sort of glassiness, this is what the Juneau is all about. This is what it provides. And you get that with that presence knob that you're talking about, Eric.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I find with those amps, typically fender amps or a darker amp, even maybe some Marshalls, this pedal could really compliment those well, because it does have that high end to where a lot of times you can be fighting the cut-through mix or something, or to have that clarity. With the Juneau and the presence control and kind of where we have the tone control set, you're really able to gain a lot of that clarity back. So it's something that can really help you if you're looking for more clarity in your signal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, definitely. So not only do you get that, but obviously there's a number of other sort of tones that you can dial in. And so yeah, what we'll do real quick, it's just kind of walk you through the four knobs that available and then, yeah, just kind of idea of some of those sounds that you can actually capture.
So essentially you've got a volume knob, a tone knob, a gain knob, a presence knob. Eric, I'll let you kind of walk, I know that's kind of our standard protocol. So Eric, I'll let you kind of walk everybody through those knobs and we'll talk about what you can get from that.

Eric Wilson:
I mean, your basic three volume gain tone knobs, they're pretty standard. The tone knob gets you to where it can roll off a lot of the high end. And honestly, if you leave the presence control down, it reacts like a more, I'd say, more typical Blues Breaker pedal, but it's still quite a bit different. I don't really know. I haven't really found a good way to describe it. I like it. I just haven't found the right words to package it all together.

But when you have just those three knobs, you just get some really nice control. Like I said, with the gain control, you have a lot more gain on tap. So you can even get into some mid to mid-high gain stages with that while maintaining that Blues Breaker tonal quality. And then, like you were saying, where the magic happens with the presence control, that's really just bringing back some of those higher frequencies that you might be missing with just the standard tone control.

But yeah, I mean, overall, the controls are really simple, really intuitive, no clipping switches, no really need to take off the back plate to mess with trim pots or anything like that. So it makes it really accessible just for anybody who wants a really great sounding Blues Breaker style pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. So, I mean, you can definitely get that classic Blues Breaker sound, but then you can also get sort of that cranked, two by 12 sound as well, and a plethora of other options just given the diversity of the four knob options there. Again, I think the presence being the kind of shining star or the differentiator there that allows you to kind of go to that next level.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And I found, I mean, the one riff I kept playing on it was the, Who Did You Think I Was, the John Mayer riff. So it really nails that kind of bluesy Strat tone, that kind of thing. So been really great.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Well, if you guys are curious to actually hear what this Juneau is all about, what we're going to do now is get things connected here and give you a nice sample of it. Eric, what are you going to go with for today?

Eric Wilson:
I'll probably play the Strat for this one. And I'll actually, I'll probably try and use the round setting on the Iridium just to have something different, and also kind of emulates that darker amp that could benefit from the use of the presence control.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Well, good deal. Well, we're going to get everything connected here and we will see guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That was our own Juneau, and yeah, love the tones that we get out of that with all the blues tones and everything.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, I'm so excited to have this one out in the market. If you guys are interested in picking one up, you can grab one at sirenpedals.com. So definitely excited to have this one out into the universe.

Well, that's what we wanted to cover today, guys, with our very own Juneau overdrive pedal. Join us next week. We're going to be talking about Walrus Audio's D1 high fidelity delay pedal. This thing does a ton. It's a fun one. And we're excited to be unpacking that one in our next episode.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, it's a really great delay. Picked it up a few weeks ago. And honestly, it's making me consider replacing my Timeline. I don't know if I will yet. But it's a fun pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Whoa. That a big statement.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. It's a fun pedal, has a lot of capabilities, especially with all the mini built in. So I'm excited to talk about that one.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Well, we will join you guys next time as we unpack that one. Until then, have a great day, have a good week, and we will see you next time.

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