[review] Joyo Ironman JF-301 Rated Boost - Clean Boost (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, WiJoyo Ironman Rated Boostreless Systems, Audio Cables, and Portable Power Supplies. I think most of us know the company for their budget effect pedals like the Ultimate Drive, AC Tone, California Sound 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 colorful 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 a lid. When you activate the pedal, a white led lights up through the black plexi of the lid. All pedals are also true bypass.

The “Rated Boost” has 4 knobs to tune in your favorite sounds consisting of 2 eq knobs, high and low, volume and drive.

Since I mostly use a clean boost on the clean channel, I spent most of the time (about 70%) testing this pedal on the clean channel of the amps mentioned below.

The Rated Boost is a clean boost which is best used with clean amps. Unfortunately my Bogner Uberschall is not quite the prime example of a clean amp… Which resulted in, let’s be honest, a slight disappointment. I assumed it to be as surprising and impressive as the other pedals in the series. Since the pedals are reasonably priced you get a lot of bang for the buck. This one however felt like you don’t. It compresses the sound a lot more compared to my trusty TC Electronic Spark and pushes the amp into overdrive very quickly. This might be nice when using the high gain channel, especially for soloing, but not at all when using the clean channel. Compared to my TC Electronic Spark it just didn’t hold up… 

Until I got my hands on a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe I borrowed from a friend! This amp already has an amazing clean sound and the rated boost just makes it better. It delivers just the right amount of compression. Whereas just a hint of gain (9 o’clock) pushed my Uberschall into a heavy overdriven crunch sound, the hot rod isn’t affected by it as much as the high gain amp. This means that you get more possibilities from a sparkling clean, to crunch to a tight overdrive.

This is a pedal you just switch on and leave on. It improves your tone by miles. The Rated Boost is preferably used with really clean amps, however I also had the chance to test it on a Marshall TSL and Orange Rockerverb and the pedal made those amps sound amazing as well. It is also a perfect pedal to make your solos stand out.

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