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Joyo Uzi Distortion Pedal Review

Rouge Delta

Joyo Uzi Distortion Pedal Review

About the reviewer...
I play at home, I don't do gigs. I'm into hard rock and metal as my primary sounds. I don't really like death metal or speed metal. I'm more into "radio metal" and those really great deep tracks that make you wonder why they never made it on the radio. I like the stuff from the 70s, everything from Black Sabbath to Gordon Lightfoot ("The Wreck Of The Edmond Fitzgerald" and "Sundown"), on through to today's nu metal and the hip hop / metal hybrid as well.

Psychedelic, industrial, easy breezy, all that stuff.

I don't do many covers, I like to play my own music.

The reviewer's normal dirt setup...
My normal dirt starts with a Roland Jazz Chorus amp (squeaky clean). I like to run either a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone or else a Boss DS-1 Distortion into an MXR Double Double on low gain with the drive set lower than 9 o'clock. The low gain setting on the MXR Double Double is a Tube Screamer clone, and adds some grit to the tone that I love. I seldom run the Metal Zone or the DS-1 without the Double Double, and I like to keep the overdrive set low because it makes the tone sound more rough, while keeping it solidly in the "distortion" category and not merely "overdrive."

I'll also run the Double Double on low gain by itself for that classic rock stuff, or on high gain for something like an "anthem rock" type of sound.

The reviewer's guitar/pickups...
I prefer mahogany body and maple necks, and then it's anything and everything from Seymour Duncan over here...59s, Alnico II Pros, Invaders, The Slug, Duncan Distortion; and then a smattering of other stuff such as the Ibanez Super 70s, Super 58 Customs, Bare Knuckle Aftermaths, DiMarzio Super Distortion, etc...

The Review...

First of all, the Joyo Uzi has some decent build quality to it. The knobs turn silky smooth, like melted butter. Not one of my pedals is even close to being that smooth. The on/off switch is "normal industry standard," and the power light is clearly visible. There are some ambiance lights, and I don't use them; but if you like bells-and-whistles, there you go. The case isn't bullet proof, but it's plenty strong enough. You can quote me as saying, "I wouldn't want it any lighter than that, but it's fine."

I paid $50 US brand new, and I'm surprised by the build quality. WELL DONE, Joyo...!!!

There is a volume control, gain control ("overdrive/distortion"), 3 tone controls (bass, mids, trebs), and a bias control. This is what I want in a dirt pedal...!!!

The tone controls are merely adequate in their ability to shape the sound. They don't make huge drastic changes. The mid control is clearly the most obvious of the three, which is nice because it allows me to scoop or bump the mids right there at the Uzi, and then do some final shaping with the EQ pedal. A person who fancies themselves as a "pedal modifier" would likely crack it open and start swapping capacitors.

The bias control allows you to rotate from a "Marshall high gain" type of sound to a "Mesa/Boogie high gain" type of sound. And since it's a knob and not a switch, you can dial it in anywhere from Marshall to Mesa/Boogie and anywhere in between. I really like the 12 o'clock setting on the bias, but it's fun to sweep through the whole range. Any way I go with it, the Uzi plays well with the Double Double on it's low gain setting. (This means that it should logically play well with a TS9 Tube Screamer.)

The Joyo Uzi is as free of noise as any of my other overdrive/distortion pedals. Again, WELL DONE, Joyo...!!!

The Joyo Uzi has a really big sound to it. The bass on that thing is almost out of control on my rig. For me, that pedal absolutely needs to be EQ'ed, and I'm cutting the bass on it (31.25hz and 62.5hz). I don't have to do that with any of my other dirt pedals. But once it's EQ'ed right, it has a very likable sound to it! Very "big" sounding to my ears. Big, clean, and clear. A good way to describe it is that the Uzi is more like being at a live concert, and my other dirt pedals are more like listening to a recording. No joke!

To me, the Joyo Uzi sounds to me like a true distortion pedal, and not an "overdrive / distortion hybrid." When you turn the gain down, it just has less distortion...it doesn't fall into mere "overdrive" territory.

Summary of Pros & Cons...

  • Well made
  • Full tone control (bass, mids, trebs)
  • Flexible "next level" distortion shaping with the bias control
  • Free of noise
  • BIG sound...!!! Clean and clear.
  • Power adapter at the top, not on the side where it can get in the way of the patch cables
  • TONS of dirt for a reasonable price...best "bang for the buck" on my pedalboard!
  • Treble and bass tone control functional but have a somewhat limited range (mids are "less limited"), which is easily handled with an EQ
  • Very bass-heavy to the point of break up, easily fixed with an EQ...but really needs to be EQ'ed
  • Although it does tame down, it doesn't tame down to mere "overdrive" levels

I think that the Uzi is a legitimate option as a "number 1" dirt pedal. I think that its shortcomings lie in the tone control knobs and it's overall natural EQ settings. I think that these shortcomings are easily dealt with using an EQ pedal, and that these shortcomings are more difficult to deal with simply using the tone controls on the amp.

If I didn't have an EQ pedal, I might not like the Uzi as much as I do. That's the best way that I can describe this awesome product from Joyo.


I know this is an older post, but well done! I'm looking at getting one of these. Any other comments?

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