For recording buffs, engineers, and even novice music lovers, The Beatles still stand as one of the pillars against which all recordings are judged. Guitarists on the other hand, especially those who came of age after the 1970s, tend to point their reverence towards Jimi, Jimmy, and Eddie over George, John, and Paul.
The latter-year Beatles recordings may not be laced with the pyrotechnic acrobatics of a Van Halen or Randy Rhoads, but they do feature exceptional playing and part-writing, as well as some amazing tones wrung out of the emerging technology of that era.
It’s those tones that the new Jext Telez White Pedal aims to conjure by reproducing the sonic character of an often forgotten line of solid-state Vox amplifiers: the Supreme, Defiant, Conqueror and Virtuoso.
As meticulously detailed in the limited-press Recording the Beatles book, in the post-touring years of 1967-68, George Harrison often used a blonde Fender Bandmaster when Paul wasn’t running his bass through it. But on recordings from the White Album era like “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide…”, “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, “Helter Skelter”, and “Hey Bulldog”, the guitar tone was driven by a solid-state Vox Conqueror with a unique onboard overdrive/fuzz circuit.
So, there’s your little Beatles history lesson. Now, onto the White Pedal.
White Pedal Basics
Five knobs show slight silhouettes on the all-white design, referencing the classic album cover. The first two knobs — Volume and Gain — control the overdrive and fuzz, respectively. Those two on their own yield plenty of tasty tones — specifically that close, right-between-the-eyes sort of direct-to-the-console sound that you hear on Beatle records.
Dial back the gain and get that mid-heavy grit. Dial it up and capture an aggressive fuzz that doesn’t do the tubey sag that almost every other fuzz on the market offers.
The right two knobs are Treble and Bass controls. It’s a brash pedal when full-throated, so I tend to dial the treble back slightly to help tame the presence. But it’s the Bass knob and the fifth 3-position knob (the Yoko knob) that control a midrange boost frequency that really blew our mind. It’s here that you can dial in parked wah and bandpass filter sounds.
Pull the bass knob back half way, and it scoops out the lows and gives you a focused midrange. This works best when the fuzz is set past 9 o’clock.
Set the Yoko knob to its first position and pull the Bass knob back all the way down, and your guitar sounds like an AM radio station coming out of a 6” speaker.
Moving the bass knob back to 12 o’clock and changing the Yoko knob to the second position, you’ll hear a different bump in a different mid-frequency range more akin to an out-of-phase sound.
Twist the Yoko knob to the third position to change the frequency boost again, and it hints at an almost fix-phaser or ring modulator sort of sound.
Overall, I’m absolutely satisfied with what this pedal is. From honky overdrives and blistering, blow-up-the-board fuzzes to unique (and very usable) semi-parked wah functionality, this isn’t just a Beatle-emulator.
Classic rock players, blues players, and doomy/sludgey stoner rock players should all be able to get down with this one. It isn’t an always-on sort of overdrive. It’s a midrange sculptor. Tweaking EQ within an effect blend remains an important skill for any guitarist, and the White Pedal gives you more range to tweak and any other pedal I’ve picked up.Jext Telez White Pedal Fuzz Overdrive