Video: JHS Crayon Overdrive

The English have fielded an army of innovations in music through the years: the British Invasion, Burns Guitars, how to power an amp using fish 'n' chips. Alright, that last one might not actually work, but the fact remains: The rude sound of rock 'n' roll wouldn’t be what it is today without the politest nation on the planet.

Another coveted breakthrough conceived in England is the fuzzy bite produced by plugging a guitar or bass directly into a console. The resulting compressed distortion tones are synonymous with the discography of another favorite English export: The Beatles. From The White Album to Sgt. Pepper, D.I. distortion’s full-bodied buzz is palpable in the Fab Four’s music. Question is: How do you get that distortion without plugging into a professional console?

JHS first addressed this question with the Colour Box, an expansive preamp pedal built to emulate the famous Neve console. Now, for those interested in a less expensive, more streamlined effect that still nails D.I. distortion, the company offers the Crayon. Featuring a smaller enclosure, selectable 200 Hz or 750 Hz hi-cut and simplified controls for volume, pre-gain and tone, the Crayon can turn the dial from a punchy clean lead to compressed grit buzz with the turn of a knob. This little box with big character makes console quality distortion as easy as Earl Grey and a cookie (it’s a cookie, not a biscuit).

Check out our video of Joe putting The Crayon to the test along with a band and look below to scoop up one of your very own.

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