Tonal Report: Joyo Ironman


Tonal Review: Joyo Ironman series, Rushing Train (Vox) and Golden Face (Marshall) preamps


I must say, I'm incredibly impressed by these two tiny wonders. My pedalboard has been constant for almost 2 years and I felt the itch to purchase something, but I wasn't in the mood to pay that much since I felt I had most of my bases covered. My pedalboard was completely full but somehow I could find the space for these two pedals, albeit at a weird location.
I've played two shows with them and jammed in the studio plenty of times since the acquisition of the pedals before writing this.

I didn't like the older Joyo pedals because I felt that they had poor build quality. The Ironman seems extremely well-built compared to that, and I have confidence in the product. I have no qualms about pedals built in whatever country (in this case China).
And come on, those LEDs are pretty damn cool.

Rating: 80%

Ease of Use:
4 universal knobs across the range of the amp simulators, with Voicing being the trickiest to use. With some amps, it can feel notched and very well shows why they are MEANT to be used into the loop of an amp, not in front. This only becomes an issue with those amplifiers with exaggerated EQs, like the lower mids in the DSL40. Other times it can sound great in front of the amp as well.

Rating: 90%

Both pedals aren't high gainers, but they perform admirably as a slightly gritty, dynamic, platform for my pedals to work with. In one gig I used it in the loop and I basically had a Vox and a Marshall at my foot. I still feel my AMT V1 is a better VOX emulator than this but the real estate of the Rushing Train was a win for me. I would bring the V1 for those gigs when the backline wasn't a VOX for my band Atlas where I needed that sound, running it off the board on the amp. With these Joyos integrated into my setup, there is minimal compromise for a lot more convenience for me. Pushing the Joyos with pedals make it very convincing in the response; I enjoy the fact that I have three base tones at my feet, the amp's preamp, and these two pedals.
I played another gig with the pedal in front of the amp; very happy with the results too. Loving the dynamics I can attain and how they give each dirt pedal I have three distinct tonal variations. The Rushing Train can get plenty of chime with the right amount of edge, while the Golden Face has quite a bit of thump in the low end. If I'm playing a phrase with a Mudhoney, switching on the RT gives it a treble spike to cut through, or the GF to add more punch and fatness to the tone.
At home, the GF can sound exactly the same as the Crunch mode on my DSL while I'm on the clean. Effectively, I have the full disposal of the green channel which I really enjoy. However, can my Vox sound like my Marshall and my Marshall sound like my Vox? Nope. The speakers and power amp plays a huge role in the overall tonality, but at least I have an approximated ballpark! I felt the Golden Face was voiced much better than a JCM900 at a show too.
Tone test equipment:
Guitars: Gibson SG Standard, Fender '62 Reissue Jaguar
Main Amps: VOX AC15HW1x, Marshall DSL40C
Other Amps: Marshall JCM900, Bogner Alchemist, Marshall AVT100, Line 6 Spider 150, Sound Drive SG100

Rating: 88%

I am immensely pleased with the purchases and would definitely use them more. They were purchased to tinker around and ultimately end up as situational pedals on the board where every pedal already had its place. These pedals perform well and gives the setup additional versatility, lending a myriad of distinct voicings to an already complete palette for my use. Today, I could go from the Bogner Alchemist's base tone for one song, to a sweet Marshall grind for another, and then some voxy presence in the next. With or without the price tag, I'd definitely consider them to be great purchases nonetheless.

Overall Rating? 85% for me!

Ease of Use
Overall Tone

Emphasised sound may feel filtered in some amps
Footswitch pop is extremely audible in the loop
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Instead of the usual bump for a thread, decided to compile all the snippets of what I shared in my gear convo with my friends. Compiled everything into a YouTube vid.

Enjoy! And hope this helps!


I am. Are these designed to be used as pedals in front of an amp or do they have cab emulation so they can be run direct into a PA or recording console?

I believe they are similar to the role of the Tech 21 Character pedals. I felt the best sound was through the effects loop, and most of the demos online have them direct to the console/PA.
My usage is more unorthodox in front of the amp, which sounds great with most amps but the emulation may make it sound "filtered" for some amps.


How well do these ironman series pedals stack with other overdrives? I saw a demo of the Clean Glass and it really sounds like a fender amp.


How well do these ironman series pedals stack with other overdrives? I saw a demo of the Clean Glass and it really sounds like a fender amp.

Pretty good I must say! Both pedals sound good with other drives feeding into it, if you set them clean/slightly driven. At higher gain settings, I don't like pushing them with drives and tend to use it as a standalone (on/off). One perception I have not explored fully is whether the volume needs to be "opened" up to sound better; I feel it does but it's not a a good test as anything above unity means my amps are doing more work too.
I am torn between the Rushing Train and my AMT V1 as I think the RT is better distorted whereas the V1 is a monster clean. The V1 has saved my ass at multiple gigs where the backline wasn't a vox, more so when the amp was mediocre. I'm still at the exploratory stage currently for the ironman but if you need the space, it's a clear winner.

Maybe you should post this in the right section... gear demos. Just saying before you get snarky.

Technically it is a tonal review first and foremost. I wrote the review and the thread had no responses before I compiled all the clips I sent to my gear chat group and turned it into a video two days later for TGP.
Also, it'd be nice to discuss the product since there areclose to no discussions on the series, and absolutely zero on these models in particular.
Thanks for your concerns!

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