Video: Josh Scott on Pedal-Building Fact and Fiction

The evening before he joined us for a video shoot, Josh Scott ordered some food from his hotel room via an app on his smartphone. Of course, this is a common, everyday occurrence for millions of people—and only one small example of decades of technological innovation that have followed since effects pedals were first created.

So when asked if some rare vintage pedal part is truly irreplaceable, he says: "We've gone to the moon. … This [holding up his cell phone] is a freaking super computer. But we can't make a chip for an overdrive? Do you know how stupid that sounds?"

In our video above, Josh punctures common myths of pedal-building, sharing the facts he's learned from studying and building effects—and putting them up against the fictions he sees, over and over again, on the gear internet.

As a little taste of The JHS Show on Reverb's own YouTube channel, we sourced questions from far and wide, asking Josh, "What's the deal with:"

  • Germanium vs. silicon? Is one better than the other?
  • Toggle switches? What do they actually do?
  • Digital/analog hybrid? What does that mean?
  • True bypass? Is it as big a deal as some people act like it is?
  • Big Muff-style or Tube Screamer-style variants. What does that mean?
  • 9V and 18V options? Why?
  • Handmade pedals? Printed circuit boards are bad, right?
  • "Tone is in the fingers." Do you know any good pedals with fingers in them?
  • Op-amps? Do some actually sound different or are they basically the same?
  • NOS components. Are they better than new ones?
  • Transistors and diodes? What's the difference?
  • Asymmetrical vs standard clipping? Kinda sounds like BS.
  • Pedals "cleaning up nicely" when you roll the volume down? How nicely does it need to clean up before someone can say it cleans up “nicely”?

Watch the full video above to hear the answers.

JHS' latest is the PackRat—which puts nine different Rat distortion circuits in one small enclosure. Browse JHS Pedals on Reverb.

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