Jetter Gain Stage Blue and Red Review...With Comparisons!

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
There have been some wonderfully detailed reviews of the Gain Stage (GS) Blue and Red on this forum, so I won’t cover the same ground. To offer a new perspective, I’ll draw some direct comparisons with pedals you probably know and/or own so that you can work from a point of reference in deciding if these pedals are for you.

GS Blue:
In one application of the Blue, think “Fuzz Face” (a well-mannered one!) in front of a seriously-cranked Marshall. The dynamics of a Fuzz Face that makes the notes pop with beautiful articulation, followed by bodacious sustain is there in spades – without any spitting or sputtering. What’s new in the mix here is that fat thud on the note attack that can only come from a closed-back 4x12 cabinet - somehow emanating from my ’67 Deluxe – how the hell does that happen?

Frankly, I didn’t know that there was another application for the Blue – but there is - the surprise is that the Blue is among the finest clean boosts I’ve used. With the Gain turned off, think “Lovepedal Balance”, but with a volume and tone control (the lack of which is why I sold my Balance!). That ultra dynamic response (switch set to “Hard”) that I loved from my Balance is 100% there and my clean tone sounds HUGE. Like the Balance, what is does to downstream OD’s is a thing of beauty. This is a really nice, unexpected aspect of the Blue.

GS Red:
The Red has a beautiful smooth, singing characteristic with a focused, dynamic quality. I immediately liked the Red, but thought that I really didn’t need it as I own some excellent pedals in this category (smooth, dynamic). I figured it wasn’t a keeper as it seemed redundant. But I wanted to give it a go since I had it for the initial trial period. So, I directly compared it with two well-loved smooth OD’s – the “Lovepedal Eternity” and “Xotic BB Preamp”.

The similarity to my ‘burst E was initially downright scary. I needed to bring it up to a higher volume to really discern any difference and what I heard is that the lows on the E are sloppy/loose in comparison and the Red’s lows are very focused, tight and musical. The Red is voiced a tad more middy than the E which works beautifully at volume and will likely cut the mix a whole lot better. Also, the Red has more gain on tap. Lastly, although the E is dynamic in attack with “chewy-ness” in the mids, the Red has it easily beat on both counts. The Red has more dynamic punch on note attack and it brings a whole new meaning to "chewy" - it really does a killer Robben Ford tone right out of the box. For me, the Red is the most “vocal” sounding OD I’ve ever played through.

The comparison to the BB Pre was a total bust. The BB simply does not have any of the dynamic attack of the Red – it literally sounds dead when a/b’ed with the Red. The BB has very little of the thick/chewy quality of the Red and sounds rather buzzy in comparison - I was very surprised. You really have to compare 'em side-by-side! I’ve held on to my BB for quite some time now but this is the ticket out for the BB for sure. The Red beats it hands down at it’s own game – NO comparison.

Some points made in previous posts that warrant repeating:
-- Both the Blue and Red are extremely dynamic and articulate, requiring that your technique is spot on. Do not expect either pedal to “cover you” (i.e hide crappy chops with a blurry OD drone), ‘cause it just won’t happen. Conversely, both pedals will showcase good chops like no other pedals I've owned.
-- The volume on both needs to be beyond 12:00 for the pedals to really attain their mojo.
-- The Blue tone knob needs to be in the 9:00 – 11:00 range.
-- Both sound wonderful at low volume levels, but are simply unbelievable at higher volume.
-- Beautiful build quality.
-- Very quiet – less noise than comparable pedals.

Brad has two VERY unique pedals here.
I am keeping ‘em both!
- bk
 

hawaii5_o

Member
Messages
636
Great reviews, thank you! I've been thinking of getting the Red, but the Blue sounds so appealing too!
 

Macaroni

Member
Messages
4,348
Nice reviews Billy!

Try the GS Blue with these settings for a nice Dumble type tone...

Volume - to suit - more volume will push the amp harder
Tone - to suit - find the sweet spot that works for your setup - probably around 11-1
Gain - 10:00
Hard + II or Hard + I for a softer version
 

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
Nice reviews Billy!

Try the GS Blue with these settings for a nice Dumble type tone...

Volume - to suit - more volume will push the amp harder
Tone - to suit - find the sweet spot that works for your setup - probably around 11-1
Gain - 10:00
Hard + II or Hard + I for a softer version

Will do!
 

claptonisgood

Member
Messages
380
These are the settings I have been using with an EJ Strat and a JTM45 in a 1X12 combo BB enclosure with a Cannibis Rex (this is my blues jam rig). I set the JTM 45 clean (Channel I only, bright cap removed, V-3, T-4, M-8, B-2, P-3). Alone, the Blue gives me a slightly broken-up boost. The Red alone gives me a moderately saturated lead tone. Together, it is a very harmonically rich saturation.
bluered001.jpg
 

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
Hey Brad:
I set the Red the same way. I use the Blue before the Red as well. Haven't tried the Blue at lower gain levels - still exploring the EJ tones at the higher settings! Since I've been setting the Blue to high gain, I don't cascade the Jetters, but I do goose the Red with a Tim set to low gain - a beautiful thing!
 
Messages
7,092
Great Review!!!!
I haven't Tried the Red yet. It seems my funds are keeping me from doing so, but the Blue has definitely became a keeper. I love the dynamic response it has when your picking. The overall feel doesn't really have that normal so so pedal thing going on. It sounds so real that you can hear it breath.
I got a Feeling I will be buying the Red before it's over.
 

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
Great Review!!!!
I haven't Tried the Red yet. It seems my funds are keeping me from doing so, but the Blue has definitely became a keeper. I love the dynamic response it has when your picking. The overall feel doesn't really have that normal so so pedal thing going on. It sounds so real that you can hear it breath.
I got a Feeling I will be buying the Red before it's over.

Dreamer,
IMO, the Jetters are in a class by themselves. Very unique pedals.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
11,266
As an author of several Gain Stage Red Reviews, I agree with everything Billy K has said here.

And while it sounds incredible right out of the box, the more I use it, adjust my playing style and tweak my amp and guitar settings, the more I am totally blown away by it.

Now I really look forward to my intimate time alone with this pedal each night.
 

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
Thanks for the feedback Dave. One unexpected result of finding the GS Red/Blue is being able to sell off a bunch of OD's that have been bumped to 2nd string status!
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,772
Would really like to hear some different clips of the RED..
the ones they have at their website leave a lot to be desired..
(maybe it's the player.. but it just doesn't press the gas button..)

Now I would love to hear Guitar Dave T demoing those pickups..
Now this Cat can play & would do these pedals justice ...
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
11,266
Thanks for the feedback Dave. One unexpected result of finding the GS Red/Blue is being able to sell off a bunch of OD's that have been bumped to 2nd string status!

I still find my TS808 works well for a more bluesy tone, and the Sparkle Drive is still the best thing for a true hollow body jazz guitar.

That said, I'm using the GSR about 90% now on stage.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
11,266
Would really like to hear some different clips of the RED..
the ones they have at their website leave a lot to be desired..
(maybe it's the player.. but it just doesn't press the gas button..)

Now I would love to hear Guitar Dave T demoing those pickups..
Now this Cat can play & would do these pedals justice ...

Oh stop it.

Before joining up with TGP, I was under the false impression that I was ahead of the curve. Then I got on TGP and started listening to all the local town players, basement jammers and regional guitar slingers who hang out here, and frankly I am completely blown away by the level of talent.

Damn. You guys are both humbling and inspirational, not to mention the resource you offer in sharing your experience in searching out good and unique tone.

That said, I'm bound to have a gig before too long that I can arrive early enough to setup some recording gear. If not, I'll just throw down some mic's and a backing track. With the Gain Stage Red, I keep thinking, "you gotta hear this", then I find a new 'tweak' and think, "oh, this is even better."
 

dock66

Member
Messages
157
Great review.

Both are great pedals.
Must say that I am more of a high gain kind of guy.Blue really surprised me with its versatility,similar to Fetto I have.
 

Don Rusk

BearFoot FX Owner
Vendor
Messages
7,397
Good info in here - I kind of didnt 'get' the Blue at first but yes thinking of it more as a sculpted fuzz helps in using it.... and the Red is more of an Overdrive - kind of what I was expecting from the Blue.......

anyway here are a couple comparison videos

First just a run thru of the control range on both.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4PqautTaO8

Then some various lead tones available.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDjSIYI-cSE


they each cover a different range and the toggles give some useful variation to the basic sound, but without going way off track ...

I like them stacked as well like I like a fuzz into a drive for a singing lead tone with some crunch ..... nice useful variable tone machines.
 

Macaroni

Member
Messages
4,348
Wow, I never set the Blue above 10:00 or 11:00 in tone.

Unless you have a very dark amp/guitar setup, it's not likely that you'd set the tone all the way up at gig levels. Remember, those clips were done at very low levels, so you're only hearing a certain aspect of the pedal's tones. It's a whole other ball game at gig volume.
 




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