Commonly dubbed the hidden gem of the guitar pedal world, Joyo’s JF-02 Ultimate Overdrive pedal took the guitar world by a silent storm upon the initial US launch. The device copies the sound of ’70s overdrive tube amps in a quite plausible way.
Apart from the sound, the element that makes the JF-02 instantly stand out is clearly the price. Featuring a $30 to $40 price tag, the device most often has the musicians baffled over such a small figure. Seeing that the pedal does an extremely well job of delivering a sound strikingly similar to what significantly more expensive devices are able to produce.
Sound-wise, Joyo JF-02 is able to cover almost any genres, ranging from pop and country to punk and hardcore metal. The three-knob system gives the user significant freedom as far as audio configuration goes, so as long as you have the skills or desire to tweak the sound long enough, the top-notch grove is pretty much at the tip of your finger.
So if you’re looking for a budget overdrive guitar pedal with a great tone, amazing for the given price tag to be perfectly honest, the JF-02 is the kind of deal you need. We’ll check out most of the device’s features in more detail below, so scroll down and join us for a full review.
This point easily ranks as the pedal’s strongest feature. The sound quality Joyo JF-02 delivers will pleasantly surprise you, to say the very least. As noted, the device replicates the sound of ’70s overdrive tube amps, so it goes to show straight from the top that the company aimed big with this pedal. They didn’t only aim though, but also delivered.
Whether it’s lightweight pop and mellow blues tone you’re looking for, or perhaps the full-on, fuzz-rich, crushing vibe of hardcore punk and thrash metal, the JF-02 has your back covered at all times. The three-knob system we’ll discuss later on in the features section works quite nicely and will allow you to shift styles and shape up the sound you desire with much ease.
As far as noise is considered, the pedal is typically described as mostly silent, but not exactly a true bypass either. So you will be getting a bit of noise on the side, but nothing that will prevent you from delivering high-quality audio.
So as the image shows, the pedal comes with a few classic and bonus features. There’s the input, output and an on/off switch for basics, as well as three sound knobs and a low/high switch. Specifically, the knobs adjust gain, tone and level, allowing the user to implement different levels of crush to the final audio output.
So it goes to show without saying that the device requires a decent level of guitar skills, but still works quite well without much tweaking. And that is always important with pedals, that a great sound can be acquired by simply plugging into the device, without hours of hassle and adjustments. However, if you do invest the given amount of time, you will have the JF-02 figured out, allowing you to drive your tone to perfection.
The low/high switch comes as the first feature to comprehend, instantly determining on the initial type of sound you’re after. Then, gain and tone knob will help you tweak with the output audio even further and add exact amounts of fuzz, punch and loudness you desire.
Durability and reliability
For an average $35 price, you’re probably thinking that the cuts had to be made somewhere. Well, not really, but to be fair, the durability department is somewhat lagging when compared to the rest of the features. Joyo JF-02 comes in a sturdy casing strong enough to withstand lower levels of damage, but shouldn’t be handled too harsh.
You shouldn’t have any problems with basic transportation and standard use, but drops and stomping do know to take their toll a bit more heavily than with other products and manufacturers. But considering that such products cost about six times more, it’s not exactly a critical flaw we’re talking about here now isn’t it?
In the reliability department, the pedal once again scores good marks with a performance best described as a strong 8. The JF-02’s inner circuits are unlikely to cause you much trouble, the casing was previously discussed, so it should be fairly clear now that this is a high-quality sounding, very good value device that you need to take care of. If you don’t treat your equipment with any care, this may not be the choice for you.
Overall: Pros and Cons
Summing it all up, we’ll make a brief rundown of Joyo JF-02’s strength and weaknesses, just so you have a clear picture of what this device will bring to your performance in a nutshell. Scroll down for further details.
Joyo JF-02 Pros:
- Sound – First and foremost, there’s the sound. The audio quality this device delivers might even stun you at times, being a surprisingly authentic replica of some of the top-notch ’70s overdrive tube amps. And the surprise is likely to get even bigger when you take the next pros point into consideration.
- Price – $30 aren’t enough to buy you a hit video game these days, let alone the piece of musical equipment that will allow you to express yourself, produce high-quality sound and have some good old axe fun. And that’s exactly the price you can get the JF-02 for. An average price tag sums up to about $35, but the device hardly goes for anywhere above $40 on today’s market.
Joyo JF-02 Cons:
- Durability – Although Joyo JF-02 can be legitimately compared to six times more expensive devices in the sound domain, that can’t exactly be said about durability. The pedal is far from fragile of course; it’s just that throwing around and stomping aren’t an option here.
So is Joyo JF-02 a pedal worth your money? By all means, yes. If a budget overdrive guitar pedal is what you need, the JF-02 is the first item we’ll point at, with no hesitation whatsoever.