Jackson Audio Golden Boy Overdrive Pedal
Jackson Audio Golden Boy Overdrive Pedal
Overview by GAK
Jackson Audio’s Golden Boy is easily one of our favourite overdrives out there, delivering a tonne of tonal flexibility and a beautifully transparent overdrive tone that’s inspired by the legendary Bluesbreaker circuit. The Golden Boy pedal was the result of fruitful collaboration between leading guitarist Joey Landreth & Jackson Audio, taking the framework of the best-selling Broken Arrow and pushing it a new sonic direction.
Jackson Audio have bestowed their Golden Boy pedal with some serious pedigree by basing its circuit on the fabled Bluesbreaker & King of Tone. The result is an inspiring tone that can effortlessly blend into a mix whilst boasting the openness & transparency that you’d expect from those iconic circuits. Even though you’re enhancing your sound with extra overdrive and crunch, your guitar’s natural voice is completely retained.
Jackson Audio and Joey Landreth have also expanded upon the regular Bluesbreaker-type circuits and given the Golden Boy an edge. The Golden Boy can run at even higher gain settings and you also have the ability to switch between 4 gain amounts hands-free. This means you can set the Golden Boy up as an always-on tone enhancer then change to a low gain overdrive, a mid-gain crunch then a high gain lead tone without interrupting your playing.
A huge advantage of the Golden Boy (and a Jackson Audio signature feature) is that it’s equipped with 4 presets of clipping diodes which each present a completely different sonic character. The feel and tone of the overdrive will be drastically altered depending on which clipping diode you choose. Preset 1 is a “classic screamer” with that legendary compression and drive, 2 uses asymmetric clipping which produces a rich & complex tone, 3 features symmetrical clipping for a direct & focused Timmy-style sound and 4 is akin to vintage Marshall, with an open and uncompressed feel.
The way Jackson Audio have designed the Golden Boy makes auditioning and switching between the clipping modes a seamless experience. All you have to do is hold down the Drive footswitch for over a second, then tap the switch to change between them. You can even change between clipping modes during a performance, as Jackson Audio have cleverly engineered the Golden Boy so volume level is consistent as you move through the presets - only the tone changes!
Once you’ve selected a clipping diode, you can then sculpt it with the Golden Boy’s studio-grade 3-Band EQ circuit, which is based on the renowned Baxandall EQ. All three of the EQ circuits controls feature 12dB of boost or cut and centre detents so you can quickly return to a totally flat response. Jackson Audio have specially tweaked the EQ circuit to be optimal for guitarists, nailing all the key frequencies that you’d want to adjust and removing the muddy lows and piercing highs that can occur at extreme settings.
The Golden Boy is also equipped with a top-notch Boost, which is based on MOSFET circuitry (as found in the Amp Mode & Prism) and has that characteristic amp-esque response. It lives on its own true bypass loop and can be used independently of the other circuit.
Like the overdrive circuit, the Golden Boy’s booster features 4 preset modes which affect the boost’s EQ. Preset 1 is a bright boost that works well when adding clarity to a thick drive, 2 is a mid boost that features additional low end, 3 has been designed to work well in tandem with the overdrive circuit and 4 is a natural full-range boost.
If you crave even more gain and don’t mind crackle when you tweak the Boost knob, you can switch the internal jumper to stock MOSFET operation.
You can control the Golden Boy via MIDI for lightning-fast transitions between settings. Using MIDI, you can instantly alter the on/off states for both circuits, the clipping diode for the drive circuit, the EQ preset for the boost circuit and the stage of the Gain Cycle.
If you’re a fan of that incredible Bluesbreaker/King Of Tone sound, the Jackson Audio Golden Boy overdrive should be at the top of your list of pedals to try out. The Golden Boy doesn’t just nail that classic sound, it also presents a lot more flexibility and functionality.
- Transparent overdrive effect pedal, made in the USA
- Developed in cooperation with Joey Landreth (The Bros. Landreth)
- Analogue sound generation with digital control
- Four clipping modes (Classic Screamer, Asymmetrical, Symmetrical, Amp Style)
- Switchable boost with boost regulator
- Four boost modes (Bright boost, Mid boost, Tailored boost, Full Range boost)
- Active 3-band EQ with +/- 12 dB boost or cut per frequency band
- Gain Recycling
- Metal enclosure
- Operation with optionally available power supply unit