Sunday, September 27, 2015

Joyo: AT Drive

I'm not a pedal geek but I do own some for days when I'm bored. This little ditty here is a new member in my over drive line up; JOYO's AT Drive, from the Iron Man series.

I have a positive account with JOYO's Blue Rain over drive so naturally, I was out hunting for something of similar performance which can double up as a booster if the need arises. The AT isn't too far off its Blue Rain sibling in terms of drive intensity but it has a wee bit more gristle and not inclined to manifest an overtly smooth voicing. Imagine a VOX amp's preamp section that turns a little ferocious once you turn up the volume & drive.

The AT works equally well with humbuckers & single coils. For the latter, things are a little less woolly in the neck position compared to a humbucker but it's something your amp's EQ can address. As a stand alone unit, the AT is your typical over drive pedal albeit crossing over the mild-mannered limits at times, especially with active pickups. If you choose to cascade another drive or distortion unit into this one, you might want to be wary of fuzzy tendencies especially when that preceding pedal is of a stronger gain/ drive manifestation. 

Warning to those of us with limited handling patience; that flip-up cover might get to you if you wish for quick adjustments especially during live performances. Also, many of us aren't quite receptive when dealing with minute tone controls. 

Confession- I've been ignoring JOYO products until these Iron Man pedals came round. Despite being a novelty acquisition in terms of size, the manufacturer has something going tone-wise. At $99 each, they are worth considering if you are in for a compact pedal board that you can lug around on the fly. All these distractions aside, do remember that they actually sound above average & a definite vlaue-for-money in this sense. 

PS: Thanks to all at SV Guitars (Penin Branch) for their hospitality while testing was in progress.

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