046 | JHS SuperBolt V2: A Closer Look at this Classic Amp-Style Overdrive | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello and welcome to episode 46 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. We're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion we've got a personal favorite and this is the JHS SuperBolt specifically the version two model of this, it's the SuperBolt overdrive pedal. And so, if you're a fan of Jimmy Page or even Bryan Setser then you're going to love this discussion. Everybody it's Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you guys today. Today, we're going to be talking about another JHS pedal. Specifically this is the GHS SuperBolt V2 overdrive pedal. It essentially mimics the 60s era supra amp so it's really like an amp and a box. It's absolutely fun. I adore this pedal and excited to be sharing it with you guys today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, this was actually the first overdrive pedal that I was really excited to get to try early on when I first got into pedals. And so I mean, that was a couple of years after this one came out. So it's still one of the staples if I had to pick out a couple of drives to just throw on a board, it's still one of my favorites so really excited to talk about this one.

Scott Schwertly:
It's solid, it's definitely a fun one. And for those not familiar with the history of this pedal it actually, the version one model actually came out in 2012 and about four years later the version that we're talking about today which is the V2 model that actually came out I think specifically around maybe late February. According to my notes here I've got about February 27th of 2016. So it too has also been around for awhile. It has a few different upgrades to it which we'll talk about here in a bit. But yeah, definitely a great pedal that yeah seems to be adored and loved by many really for the last close to a decade now.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah it's a really great pedal and it does a really good job of nailing those small lamps, Supro tones and even the larger amped Supro tones at lower gains and things like that. So it's just all around just a great overdrive pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah really the headline for this or probably the main selling point about it is because it does mimic that so well for those out there that love bands like Led Zeppelin and particularly let's say you really love the early days of Led Zeppelin and with Jimmy page on a telecaster this is what this pedal is all about. So, if you're wanting to play those songs or capture those tones you're going to get that with this type of stomp box.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. And I know for me my introduction to this pedal and even amps like this was actually like I grew up listening to a lot of Switchfoot and Drew Shirley is a huge proponent of using, he has a small little Gretsch Supro amp that he uses. And then later on, now he uses the SuperBolt and stuff with I think, I forget what amp he plays now but I think it's like the [inaudible 00:03:02] amps or something like that. But he'll run that through the [inaudible 00:03:06] amps to get that tone for it. And I mean, when you look at the list of artists that use this pedal there's just a ton who have really taken a liking to this kind of circuit and that amp tone.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I know specifically with version one I mean I've seen names like Noel Gallagher, Josh Klinghoffer, Robin Ford, I mean the list goes on and on again those being folks that use the V1 but again there's also been a lot of improvements as we mentioned with V2 so definitely a lot of users and fans on that front as well. So I promised that we were going to talk about just the subtle differences between V1 and two, really with V1 essentially they had a high, low toggle. On the version two that we're talking about today they essentially got rid of that and switched out with a gain toggle. And then they also added the ability to connect GHS's red remote where if you want to basically go from blue mode to red mode or basically do that toggle switch change you can do it with essentially clicking on the foot switch.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah and I think another good thing to note is they also released, between these two they released the Ruby Red which is the SuperBolt and a boost and it's a signature pedal for Butch Walker. So he was a huge fan of the original pedal that Josh released and then Josh wanted to do a signature pedal forum. And so, they threw a boost on the end of it and that's how you got the Ruby Red. So if you see the Ruby Red it is a SuperBolt with a boost added on. So, I guess you could almost call that a SuperBolt 1.5 or something.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah well that's a great combo. I actually need to look more into that pedal it does sound enticing.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah it's similar. So it's similar with the way the boost interacts with the drive is the kilt but now I don't know how hard they are to come by. I haven't looked at the Ruby Red much in the past couple of years but I know the [inaudible 00:04:59] V1 I don't know why but the prices have shot up so I'm probably never selling mine. But which it seems ridiculous but anyway, the Ruby Red is also a great choice. If you're looking for one of those combo pedals or if you don't have that much space on your board and you need a boost and the SuperBolt.

Scott Schwertly:
Nice, awesome. Well, I need to add that specific pedal onto my list of things to check out so but all good stuff. I mean so from that pedal to the V1 of this and the V2 of this pedal obviously some proven history here, some great years of proven admiration. So, there's a lot to like about it. Again, it's a solid pedal as we've mentioned already. Super easy to use and I know JHS has or Josh has his ways of illustrating or having little stamps on pedals. But I love the simplicity of this one, I love the off white little lightning bolt that it has. It's classy in its own way.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah I think they've done, I was actually just looking into this the other day where I think I was watching an episode of JHS' blog where they're talking about just the evolution in their branding and how they started out with writing on stuff and then the stamps they found at Michael's or something. And then now they just print everything to resemble those stamps. And so, I think they've done a really good job of preserving the original brand and the original identity they created with that while also moving forward as you have to when you grow as a company. So, I think it looks classy, they look great. All of JHS' stuff is fairly simple but I think they all look really good.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah I do love it. It's got definitely its own unique charm to it which is cool. So yeah so going beyond the aesthetics of it we'll just dial in here a little bit into yeah just the specs and knobs and what you can expect from a pedal like this. So I mean, it is fairly straightforward. You're dealing with three knobs, you've got a volume knob, a tone knob, a drive knob and then that gain toggle that we talked about which basically again goes from blue mode to red mode. So Eric, I'll let you go into more detail on what people can expect from it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah so this pedal can give you anything from a light gain, you could use it as a first stage, anywhere to super fuzzy overdrive tones similar to that of a little six inch speaker, Supro amp. So obviously the knobs are pretty self explanatory, they do what they do. And then obviously the gain switch gives you the ability to tap into a higher level of gain when you are at lower gain settings.
So, one cool thing about this pedal is that the power has a charge pump on it so where you give it nine volts and it converts it to 18. And so, what that does is that allows you to have a lot more headroom so you're able to have a lot more volume on tap. You can run lower gain settings, still get it as loud as you need to, that sort of thing. So overall, just a great sounding pedal and you can really get some stabbing high-end out of that tone control which is once again very reminiscent of those Supro amps and things like that. So, it's really faithful to what they say it's based off of and so yeah it's great.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah I mean, I really do love how this pedal can go from a mild amp breakup into that fully saturated overdrive. So I mean, there's definitely a lot of versatility to it and I mean there is a significant difference between that blue mode and red mode when you switch on that gain toggle switch. So yeah there's a lot that this thing can do and definitely worth every penny.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah I would definitely agree and really I mean if you don't need the functionality of the red remote I don't really think the circuit has changed much. I mean, when I was messing around with the V2 this morning... I've only owned the V1 and so I don't really think that there's much of a difference in the circuit at all, I don't think there is one. And so, you can pick up the V1 for pretty cheap. So, it's really great if you want to get into JHS pedals, if you want to get into the boutique market, if you want to get out of the $50 to $80 pedal game then you can really get into these pedals for fairly cheap and they're really solid, really great, they'll hold up for a long time.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah I mean just like Boss pedals and whatnot these pedals can take a beating and can last a long time. So again yeah definitely worth it if you're looking to diversify your collection or again just to get into that again Jimmy Page, Brian Setzer type sound this pedal will help you do that. So with all that said guys, we're going to go ahead and give you guys a taste of what this actually sounds like. We've been doing a lot of talking about what it captures but we'll let you hear it firsthand here as we demo it. So Eric, what guitar are you going to plug in for this one?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to use the Tele for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Yeah, that sounds exciting. So, we're going to go and get this all connected and we'll see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right that was the JHS SuperBolt. It's a great overdrive pedal. It helps to get all the Supro tones and it's a great pedal from low-gain to high-gain. So yeah, I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you haven't gotten the chance to play one.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah, this is definitely a good one, definitely one of my favorites. And yeah, glad to have this one as part of my collection. So, well good deal. That's what we wanted to cover today guys. That was the JHS SuperBolt V2 overdrive pedal, that's a good one. Join us next time, we're going to go back and revisit another one of our favorite brands again. We're going to go back and cover a Boss pedal but it's definitely worth mentioning. We're going to be talking about the Boss TR2 tremolo pedal. I've used this one for a long time, actually replaced it with the Boss MB 500 that we covered a couple of episodes ago. But yeah, definitely still worth mentioning and definitely we're talking about so we'll be covering that in the next episode. Until then have a great day, have a great week and we will see you next time.

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