Jetter GSB...B for Black!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Joses, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Joses

    Joses Member

    Messages:
    498
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    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore & Australia
    Ok, so I know I'm a little late to the dance...I only just received my Limited Edition GSBlack (#30/30) today (25th Jan) as I'm located in Singapore...but here we go!

    Firstly, lemme say that next to #1/30...#30/30 is the best model to have! :p

    Now, I plugged into my Gries 5 (the best Blackface in the world, seriously) and grabbed my Les Paul (Burstbucker Pros) and started with unity volume, tone and gain at 12 o'clock, switches set to 'soft' and 'I'...and well, wasn't that impressed at all! The breakup wasn't anything to run to the hills about...but when I swivelled the gain knob clockwise (3 o'clock), WOWzers! Talk about sweet crunch! And anything from 2 o'clock to max gain was super sweet...there was absolutely NO distasteful tone in that range at all IMO! It was med/slightly heavy crunch without much compression or saturation, and very responsive to picking dynamics! So...now the switch is flicked to 'hard' mode, and the crunch gets a bit more saturated and intense, but slightly less responsive to picking dynamics - but being a naturally inclined to the heavier side of things, I like it!

    Then we move onto setting 'II'...again, 'soft' mode...more aggressive than 'I', saturation & sustain increases, and with gain at 2:30-3 o'clock we're going into the heavy realm :dude. Still very sensitive and responsive to picking style. By now, I'm honestly thinking MP Mighty Red (my fav distortion)...watch out!! On goes the 'hard' setting and with gain at 2-3 o'clock, it completely does it for me - it has crisp (nice CLEAR highs w/o being ice-picky) and beefy (thick & saturated) crunch a la...well...a cranked angry JCM800.

    Mind you, this whole time (1 hour of playing) I haven't touched the volume or tone knobs cos 12 o'clock tone just sounds so sweet already. So now, I'm already sold on the settings of 'hard' & 'II' with gain at 2:30-3 o'clock...so I grab my Musicman SUB1 (stock Dimarzios), and the tone is a little more aggressive, a bit more saturation...but clarity is still so apparent here! I'm strumming open chords for crying out loud!

    So now I A/B this dude with my MP Mighty Red D which is my go to guy for rythmy heavy dirt - it definitely has more clarity, breaks up slightly nicer, highs are more pronounced and sweeter, but lacks some balls (bass) compared to the MRD...harmonics are sweeter with the Black as well... But one thing is clear - the GSBlack is not a transparent pedal. Yes, the characteristics of both my LP & Sub1 shined through on each take, but not nearly as much as they do when using something like the MRD or Timmy. But I don't think Brad designed it to be transparent if I recall correctly.

    Anyways, I've still got much more to explore with this little guy...these are simply initial reactions and thoughts.

    Bottom line: this is one sweeeeeet distortion pedal (yep, it ain't an overdrive...well not the way I use it), its probably one of the best heavier dirts I've ever played - if not THE best. And I've tried a lot (BOR, Crunchbox, KOTB, OCD)...its still fighting it out with the MRD for the title though - haven't quite decided as both are really different monsters...and I can't comment on how it matches against the BJF DRD as its been that long that I can't remember exactly what a DRD sounds like. But I have a feeling that the GSBlack may take the cake - simply cos I chose the MRD over the DRD when initially searching for a heavy dirt.

    *Note: I played mainly rythm stuff on the pedal - strumming, palm mutes, some light runs...but by no means did I put it through its paces for lead work (nor do I really intend to - as my lead stuff is covered more than adequately by the GSRed & Blackstone)

    Sorry for rambling...but I hope this can be of some help to at least someone out there :BluesBros

    *PS. I've had the pleasure of directly interacting with Brad a couple of times now & as previously it was a great experience, he's a phenomenal guy! Great service, great product...3 Thumbs up! :BEER
     
  2. honduras

    honduras Supporting Member

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    Feb 23, 2006
    Thanks for the excellent review. I can't wait for the full production run to start.
     
  3. clamdip7714

    clamdip7714 Guest

    :D I just paid for and should have next week or so #28 from a TGPer. :) I can't wait for it to reside next to my GSR.
     
  4. phileo17

    phileo17 Member

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    Mar 22, 2007
    nice comprehensive review joses :) hmm...have you compared the GSB to a Zen b4? how do they compare if you'd done that comparison b4?
     
  5. Joses

    Joses Member

    Messages:
    498
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore & Australia
    I haven't actually had the pleasure of trying a Zen before :( so unfortunately I can't comment on a direct comparison.

    However, I do notice that many players compare the GSRed & the Zen - so purely based on that I'd imagine the GSBlack & the Zen would be different monsters altogether - Marshall vs. Dumble, Crunch vs. Cream - if you will.
     
  6. phileo17

    phileo17 Member

    Messages:
    49
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    Mar 22, 2007
    hmm...i do have one :) mabbe u'd like to do a comparison sometime eh?? :) wouldn't mind bringing it over for a nice shootout?? :)hehe
     
  7. Kidcactus

    Kidcactus Member

    Messages:
    260
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Location:
    Yuma,AZ
    My Gain Stage Black (#3) is quickly becoming my favorite OD pedal. Lots of attack and note separation with toggle switches in hard and II mode W/gain, volume and tone straight up. Stacks well with other pedals before and after it. I've owned both Zen I and Zen II which are really smoother, more compressed, and easier to get lost in the mix in my music situation. I don't own either one now as I'm looking for more of a "classic rock" type sound rather than a smooth R. Ford, C. Santana type sound. I think the Gain Stage Red fits more into that catagory. I owned a GSR and turned it also. My .02
     
  8. clamdip7714

    clamdip7714 Guest

    My GSB gets delivered today so when I get home I'll have it! I will write a review when I get a chance tomorrow to put it through its paces. :dude
     

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