Joyo JF-15 California Sound Effects Pedal Review
Under: Guitar Gear Reviews
This is a review of Joyo JF-15 California Sound Effects Pedal. It’s a complex guitar distortion effect stompbox reportedly based a Tech21 pedal of a similar name.
The Joyo JF-15 California Sound Effects Pedal, is also available from Thomann as part of their Harley Benton guitar effect pedal range.
The California is able to provide you with everything from a slight boost and tone shape to over the top fuzz guitar tones. It’s a really versatile guitar effects pedal.
Build Quality: 8/10
A well constructed pedal with the two jack sockets screwed to the case and not moulded jacks on the PCB. This is certain to increase the life of this JOYO pedal.
The power socket is PCB mounted and isn’t fixed to the case. It’s also on the side of the pedal, which is little annoying. As is the LED placement, located next to the foot switch. Luckily, the LED is super bright and having used it on stage, it’s really easy to see, despite it’s weird location.
The battery compartment is easy to access and uses a plastic door on the bottom of the pedal. This makes the pedal easer to use in a number of situations without any issues.
Controls and Features: 9/10
The first thing to mention, is there’s a lot of controls. I’ll try to give you an overview of each one.
Long the top row is a three band EQ: Bass, Mid, High. Pretty standard and simple to understand, so far.
The second row has a Level control, which is the overall volume of the pedal. Next, the Voice control changes both the gain structure and the EQ as you move it. Finally, the Drive control allows you to add more or less distortion to your guitar sound.
Also, the Joyo California is true bypass which an added bonus and will ensure you have a cleaner signal path.
Tones and Sounds: 9/10
The California can go from slight boost with the Voice and Drive control down low and the EQ and Level controls adjusted to suit. This pedal has a lot of volume, so if you do use it as a boost, you’ll be find you have more than enough volume lift for every situation.
Getting into distortion tone. Like I said, the Voice control changes the core sound of the pedal and can provide a range of usable tones, simply by moving this control. In it’s lowest position, you’ll find bluesy overdrive tones. As move it up, the pedal offers more crunch guitar tones. Finally, with the Voice control all the way up, you’re in metal guitar tone territory.
The EQ on the pedal, is just as reactive as the Voice control and allows you to go from bluesy overdrive to scooped metalish tone by simply backing the Mid control down.
A note on EQ, the bass control is set so you have about 4 times the amount of bass you’ll ever need. So, you’ll need to play with the pedal’s EQ controls to really understand how it works for you. Of course, you’ll need to keep tweaking until you find what guitar tones work for you.
Overall: Joyo JF-15 California Sound Effects Pedal
I’ve owned this pedal for about 2 years. I’ve used it on gigs, in teaching and have sold a few to students as well. To my ears, it’s one of the most versatile distortion effect pedals I’ve played or used. I highly recommend you buy one!
The best tip I can give to get your head around how versatile this pedal is to set the EQ controls at 12 o’clock. Then set the Gain and the Level controls around 10 o’clock. This should provide a nice overdrive tone. I’d then suggest playing the Voice control to see how the pedal changes as this knob is moved.