[review] Joyo Ironman JF-305 AT Drive - OverDrive (by rlm)

rlm is a Supersonic tone addict and plays in a melodic death metal band.

JOYO TECHNOLOGY is a Chinese company specializing in R&D, manufacturing and marketing digital products for music education. Their main products include: Effects Pedals, Guitar Amplifiers, Tube Amplifiers, Rock House, Metronomes, Tuners, EQ systems, Drum Practice Pads, Pedal Controllers, Synthesizers, E-Erhus, Professional Amplifiers, Stage Amplifiers, Wireless Systems, Audio Cables, and Portable Power Supplies. I think most of us know the company for their budget effect Pedals like the Ultimate overdrive, AC Tone, Californian Tone and Vintage Overdrive to name a few.

They recently added a new series of effect pedals to their product line up: the Iron Man series. This coloroful range of small sized pedals includes different overdrives, boosts and a compressor. Every Pedal comes with a patch of velcro so you can attach the effect on your pedalboard and a little piece of foam to put on the bottom to stop the pedal from sliding all over the place when placing it on the floor. Both the foam and velcro are cut to the exact size of the pedal.

Since the pedals are so small, there is no room for a battery. A 9v adapter is required.

The tone knobs are hidden behind an enclosure. When you activate the pedal, a white led lights up through the black plexi enclosure. All pedals are also true bypass.

Joyo Ironman AT DriveI got my hands on the new AT drive. The orange/reddish color of the pedal and the cursive nametag looked familiar to me. The looks of the AT Drive reminded me of the Xotic BB Preamp in a smaller version. Does this mean the pedal sounds exactly like the BB Preamp? No, it’s not a clone, but like the familiar Xotic pedal, there are quite a few possibilities for using the AT Drive.

The AT Drive features a 2 band eq, low and high, a volume and drive level. When plugging the pedal in for the first time, I dialed everything in on 12 O’clock.I was positively surprised about the classic overdriven rock sound it produces. After fiddling with the settings a bit, I was amazed how easy it was to get good tones out of this pedal. The AT drive can be used as an excellent clean boost, it can be used as a classic sounding overdrive with clear mid tones as well as to create a thick lead sound for solo’s.

It responds to your picking and it cleans up quite well when cutting back on the volume on your guitar. Another thing is, this pedal loves both single coils as humbuckers. The AT drive makes them both sing. The only thing that bothers me about this pedal is the final gain stage. When cranking the gain, the pedal gets a bit muddy.

For me this is the most useable pedal in the Iron Man series. It may not be as versatile as a BB preamp, but the things it does and what I need it to do, it does well: produce a tight classic rock overdrive sound and a clean boost to get that extra out of your amp.

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