Joyo Ultimate Overdrive JF-02 Review
Under: Guitar Gear Reviews
The Joyo Ultimate Overdrive JF-02 Pedal is a simple distortion effect stompbox. It’s reportedly based on a high-end pedal, a Fulltone OCD, but you didn’t hear that from me!
It’s simple to use pedal with a distinctive distortion sound. With three knobs and one toggle switch, you can get a range of guitar tones from it. You can use a battery or 9V power supply with it. Plus, it has a true bypass footswitch, meaning it’s doesn’t color your tone when switched off.
Come with me as I dive into the Joyo Ultimate Overdrive JF-02 Pedal.
While you might not know the brand Joyo, I’m sure you’ll have heard of the high-end pedal that the Ultimate Overdrive is based on. Harley Benton, a Thomann brand, also sells a version of the pedal. So you have seen the pedal in a few different forms.
Joyo pedals are now widely available and have turned up on a few pro pedalboards. No surprise given how easy they are to buy and their affordable price.
The pedal is a simple distortion that goes from a light crunch sound into fuzz territory. But don’t be fooled by the three knobs and tone switch! There are plenty of amazing crunch tones available from this overdrive pedal.
Build Quality: 8/10
The pedal is fairly well built, with both jack sockets being screwed to the case and not molded onto the PCB, which then sits on the edge. By using jacks screwed to the case, Joyo has increased the pedal’s life as they are less likely to break and will withstand some abuse.
The power socket is PCB mounted and isn’t fixed to the case. However, it’s on the top of the pedal, which is nice, especially if you’re using this pedal on a pedalboard.
The battery compartment is easy to access and uses a plastic door on the bottom of the pedal. Great news if you prefer using a battery over a 9-volt DC power adapter.
The LED placement is a little weird as it’s next to the footswitch. That said, it’s bright. I’m sure you won’t miss seeing whether it’s on or off – regardless of how dark the stage is.
Controls and Features: 7/10
So the first thing to mention, this pedal is true bypass, which ensures you have a cleaner signal path. So, when the pedal’s off, it doesn’t color your signal chain.
In terms of controls, we have Gain (amount of distortion), Tone (dark to high), and Level (overall volume) controls. There’s also an HP/LP switch (hi peak/lo peak), which allows you to alter the overall sound further.
And, that’s pretty much it in terms of controls.
Tones and Sounds: 5/10
Keeping the gain low, you can get a clean booster with a tone control which allows you to shape your guitar tone or use it as a volume lift for guitar solos.
With the gain nearly on full, you can get a tripped-out fuzz tone that’s unique but still useable. In between, you can find several useful distorted guitar tones that should work for you.
The tone control has a nice range to it that allows you to shape the distortion sound further. Unlike some tone controls, there are plenty of variances as you move the knob from minimum to maximum.
Sadly, I didn’t see much change in the sound with the HP/LP switch. So I don’t really understand what that feature brings to the table!
Overall: Joyo Ultimate Overdrive JF-02 Pedal
I owned the Joyo Ultimate Overdrive pedal for about 9 months. After using it a few times, I decided I wanted to like it but couldn’t.
It’s not that it’s a bad pedal. However, I felt the tones it produced weren’t as good as other pedals I’ve owned or currently use. It seemed to lack something that other pedals have in spades.
I didn’t like how colored the guitar’s natural tone when set as a low gain booster. It sounded hollow and adds unusable upper mids. Also, it’s not as versatile as the Joyo California Sound.
Neither did I like the fuzz sounds when the gain control was on full – as it lacks the depth that a RAT or a Big Muff has. I’d much rather buy a RAT, even if it’s a clone.