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Jackson Audio ASABI Distortion Overdrive Pedal

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Jackson Audio ASABI Distortion Overdrive Pedal

Overview by GAK

Jackson Audio collaborated with Brazilian guitar virtuoso Mateus Asato to produce the incredible Asabi, which features an independent distortion & overdrive circuit in one robust pedal. Versatility is the name of the game with the Asabi and each one of its vast array of tones sounds fantastic in its own right.

Transparent Overdrive

The Asabi’s overdrive circuit is beautifully transparent thanks to a totally flat frequency response with no mid-range hump or artefacts, it’s the natural sound of your guitar pushed to another level. The Drive section is also highly responsive to the touch & dynamics of your playing. Not only does has the Asabi’s Drive been voiced to perfectly compliment the Distortion section, it sounds brilliant in its own right. Because the overdrive circuit resides on its own true bypass loop, you can use it solo as a great crunch, subtle gain boost or a potent preamp to give the front end of your amp or pedals a kick.

With the Drive section, 4 different flavours of clipping to choose from - Vintage Marshall, Classic Screamer, Asymmetric Clipping (similar to a Timmy) & Symmetrical Clipping (similar to a King of Tone). Switching between modes is as easy as holding down the Drive footswitch for more than a second, tapping on the switch to cycle through the types (which makes auditioning them a breeze) then holding the switch down for over a second to select it. Each clipping preset drastically alters the character of the Drive circuit, giving you 4 distinct overdrive tones in 1 pedal.

Modular Circuit

An advantage of the Jackson Audio Asabi is that you can swap out its onboard distortion circuit with another analogue plug-in, which completely changes the tonal character of the Distortion section. Instead of buying another pedal altogether, you can kit out your Asabi with a more affordable plug-in module. The one that comes pre-loaded with the Asabi is the Modern High Gain plugin, which is inspired by the legendary Marshall JCM-800. This plugin has the crisp & open tone that you’d expect from that iconic amp and can go from warm old-school crunch to blistering modern metal with ease.

Versatile Distortion Circuit

The ASABI allows for 4 different presets of clipping diodes which themselves drastically alter the tone and feel of the way the distortion clips.

Just like the overdrive circuit, the Asabi’s Distortion section features 4 clipping options that you can quickly & easily switch between - Guv’nor Style, 808 Style, Asymmetric High Gain & Symmetrical High Gain. Mixing up clipping diodes is an effective way of changing the sound of a distortion pedal, though it often results in a drastically different volume level. With the Asabi, Jackson Audio have designed it so when you change between the clipping presets, a specially designed circuit cleverly matches the output of the one that came before. This makes a huge difference when switching between presets during a live performance and helps you get a better feel for the sonic character of each circuit.

Instant Gain Cycling

Another way that Jackson Audio have primed the Asabi for live performers is the Gain Cycle feature. Once you’ve set the maximum distortion level with the Gain knob, you can press both footswitches at the same time to switch through 4 gain settings - from 25% to 100%. This is particularly handy if you want to use the Asabi for a crunchy rhythm part then kick it up a notch for a lead section without having to reach for the knobs.

Active EQ Circuit

Providing additional tonal flexibility is the 3-band active EQ circuit. This studio-quality equalisation circuit is based on the Baxandall EQ and allows you to tailor the Asabi’s sound however you see fit.

MIDI Compatible

Just like with their Broken Arrow overdrive, Jackson Audio have made the Asabi receptive to MIDI messages. If you’re using MIDI in your rig, you can use this feature to seamlessly jump between Gain Cycle settings, clipping preset modes and On/Off status for each section by sending the Asabi MIDI CC messages.

With the Asabi, Jackson Audio have created a tone that’s more than worthy of the leading guitarist that they designed it with. On its own, it’s like having an arsenal of brilliant overdrive and distortion pedals in a compact stompbox. The fact that you can also switch out the distortion circuit for a different one with its own clipping presets and sound means you’ll be finding new things to love about the Asabi for years to come.

  • Analog Distortion and Overdrive pedal
  • Unique modular and replaceable Distortion board concept
  • Installed MODERN HIGH GAIN Distortion module - based on the JCM800 high-gain sound
  • Overdrive circuit based on the smooth Plexi-style tone
  • Active 3-band Parametric-EQ - for optimal tone shaping
  • MIDI control
  • 4 Clipping-Diode Styles for both Distortion and Overdrive circuits, with drastically different sound characteristics
  • Output level matching circuitry - counteracts output level differences of various Clipping-Diode options
  • GAIN CYCLE circuit - for instant gain adjustment in 4 steps
  • Small footprint and top-mounted jacks - for ease of pedalboard mounting
  • Powered by 9 V DC PSU (centre -, 2.1mm, ~ 160 mA current draw)



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