2016 Tour Series Pics

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Tranquilizer is one of 7 new Tour Series Pedals for 2016

It’s finally here, the release of our brand new Tour Series line for 2016!!  We will be showcasing all the new pedals at NAMM this week in Anaheim, CA.  We are shooting to have all the pedals ready through our dealers approximately 30 days after NAMM so be sure to check them out with your local dealer or online retailer!  We are stoked about these pedals and I know you will be too as they’ve all had rave reviews!  Click on the Tour Series Pedals Brochure link below to read about and see pictures of all the new pedals along with the Archer, Archer ikon, Boing and Dude pedals!

Tour Series Pedals Brochure

 

 

Tone Report-The Dude

The new The Dude by Rockett Pedals Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 in Brentwood, TN.

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Everyone knows that guy on any given guitar forum. The one who will always invoke that specific “holy grail” amp when talking about tone. Everyone will collectively roll their eyes, sigh, and say to themselves “Not this guy again.” On the guitar forum I frequent, there happens to be one of these “Dumblebores” (a term coined by a friend of mine for this specific guy), who swears by any rare concoction that made its way out of Mr. Dumble’s door. To be honest, I am quite intrigued by the rabid fandom and almost mythic reverence these amps carry, so I was excited to take J. Rockett’s latest pedal for a spin, to see what the hype was about, and to see if Dumblebore’s spell could captivate me into finally understanding the myth that is the Overdrive Special.

First things first, let’s start with the front. The Dude has a wonderful heft to it for such a small pedal, and I feel that it needs to be mentioned that this thing is one of the heaviest small-format pedals I have ever felt; the metal casing feels like it’s made out of a repurposed airplane fuselage. The switch and knobs are just as hefty, and feel almost overbuilt. It’s got four mini chickenhead knobs controlling Level, Treble, Ratio (Gain), and Deep (Bass). Seeing these chickenhead knobs so close together worried me a bit, as I thought they might catch on each other when turning them, but that is not the case here, as they are aligned almost perfectly so that they just barely miss each other (nice catch J. Rockett). The footswitch is just as hefty as the enclosure itself, and takes a bit (but not too much) oomph to click it. The jacks are top-mounted, and it takes standard nine-volt DC. The font is clearly inspired by the ‘80s incarnations of Dumble’s Overdrive Special, which is a nice touch for those seeking authenticity.

Most, if not all of Dumble’s circuitry is based on the Fender Blackface circuit, which is understandable. The Dude really sounds like a hot-rodded Blackface, and unfortunately carries over some of the undesirable (to me at least) parts of that circuit that Dumble seemed to do away with mostly in his amps. The Dude can be incredibly trebly, to the point of icepick, past 12 o’clock. The treble part of The Dude’s circuit doesn’t have an incredibly wide sweet spot, and really needs to be fine-tuned. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does require some time to understand how it all fits together. The treble circuit is connected to the gain, and boosting the treble also adds gain and volume. But at higher volumes, and even with darker amps, anything past 12 o’clock is almost unbearably trebly. That being said, the rest of the circuit sounds great once the treble control has been tuned properly. The Ratio control is Dumble-speak for gain, and the Deep control is based off of the Deep switch on a Dumble amp, which is essentially a bass boost. The Deep control really sounds wonderful, and paired with a well-tuned treble it adds a nice, clean, evenly layered crunch. These are the sounds you hear on Robben Ford and late Santana records: articulate distortion with just the right amount of finesse. It made me feel like I was playing through glass, as I really heard what the pedal was doing to my signal. The Dude is right at home with rock, blues, fusion, and anything in between, with a lovely hollow overdrive tone. I tried adding delay, reverb, and modulation, but really, this thing is meant to be played with minimal effects. You can really hear each note ring out with a reckless abandon that’s held tightly by the player’s dynamics. However, with a pedal this clear, I felt like I really wanted more. There was a tiny artificial sheen to the high-end of this pedal, perhaps due to the fact I had to cut out a lot of high-end for the sake of the continued use of my hearing. A lot of the time it feels like there is a light layer of cling wrap over the tone; transparent from a distance, yet annoying enough to notice if you’re really looking. If those issues are addressed, I would hasten to recommend this to the Dumblebore in your life.

What We Like: Great Dumble-like tones, very clear overdrive sounds with a nice hollow crunch. Overbuilt and hefty enough to chuck at a wall without fear of damage (other than your wall).

Concerns: Almost unusable past 12 o’clock on the treble control. Missing just an extra bit of that hi-fi sheen.

New Rockett Pedals 2016!

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2016 brings on seven new pedals for J.Rockett Audio Designs. All the pedals will be released as of Winter NAMM 2016 in Anaheim, CA. They are as follows:

  1. Blue Note Overdrive Tour Series
  2. .45 Overdrive
  3. Tranquilizer (Vibe, Phase, Univibe, Leslie)
  4. Hooligan (Fuzz)
  5. GTO (Guthrie Trapp Signature Overdrive Pedal)
  6. Alien Echo Tour Series
  7. Lenny (Pushed Steel String Singer/SRV Tone)

So, there will be plenty of pedal goodness to satisfy all your stomp box cravings! We are constantly trying to bring products to market that are innovative and tonally delectable! On that note, we’ve decided to ask YOU where you would rank the importance of a specific type of pedal on your board.

Here is a list of the types of effects pedals you will typically find. The list simply specifies the various pedals available out there and it is not ranked. What we want you to do is rank them in order of importance. This newsletter is an open discussion blog that will allow you to post your feedback so please do so!

  1. Overdrive
  2. Distortion
  3. Fuzz
  4. Octave
  5. Pitch Shifter
  6. Harmoniser
  7. Talk Box
  8. Auto-Wah
  9. Wah
  10. Chorus
  11. Phaser
  12. Flanger
  13. Rotating Speaker
  14. Tremola/Vibrato
  15. Volume
  16. EQ
  17. Compressor
  18. Delay
  19. Reverb

In the comment section below please provide your list of what you think should be #1 through #19 relative to importance on your pedal board.

Shawn Tubbs

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Shawn Tubbs

Many of you have probably seen some of our demo videos done by Shawn Tubbs. Not only is Shawn gracious enough to give us his time to create demo’s of our pedals, but he is also one of Carrie Underwoods’ guitarists on tour. Not a bad gig for sure! Shawn is one of the most accomplished session players in Nashville…and one of the nicest guys around I might add!

Shawn has a unique style, blending country, rock, blues and jazz progressions seamlessly. Those who follow Shawn on his YouTube channel (click here) are enamored by his talents. He is truly a phenomenal player! He is currently building a new website you can find by clicking here. It’s brand new and not finished yet as he will be adding much more in the near future!

I encourage you to check out Shawn’s YouTube channel as he’s one of those players you can watch play for hours and constantly pick up on something new. His phrasing is impeccable and his runs are spot on. The following video is an original Shawn wrote a few years back.

And the following video is Shawn doing a demo of The Dude! We’ve been waiting for months for him to get off tour with Carrie to do this video for us. We just finished it last week so enjoy!

Black Friday Dealers

 

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It’s almost here…Black Friday! Most of our dealers will be having tremendous deals on our pedals on Black Friday. If you’ve been in the market for one of our pedals, that will certainly be the day to get the best deals! Do us a favor and visit your local J.Rockett Audio Designs dealer in the city you live in. The best way to understand how good our pedals are is to play one and the best place to do that is at your local music store that carries our pedals.

If there isn’t a local dealer in your area you can certainly find great deals on Black Friday via our online dealers. See our dealer list by clicking on the following link:

J.ROCKETT AUDIO DESIGNS DEALERS

And, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is our newest video review of The Dude overdrive done by N Stuff Music!

Archer Settings

J. Rockett Audio Designs Archer

We are thrilled at the popularity of our Archer Overdrive! For those who are unfamiliar with the iconic pedal it takes after, they probably wouldn’t know the ideal way to adjust the Archer for the best tones. As with the infamous “K” pedal, the Archer was not designed to be a stand alone overdrive unit. In other words, you don’t want to run it into a clean amp and then use the pedal solely to create your overdriven tones. Even though it still sounds good when you attempt this, it won’t sound it’s best and it won’t be doing what it was designed for.

The Archer is designed to take what your amp already gives you and simply add to it. It won’t color the tone of a great amp, it will thicken it, adding some sustain and presence. And it will do all that with tremendous transparency. So, the best way to use the Archer is into an amp that has just gotten into that break-up territory. That’s where the sweet spot is between the amp and the pedal. Here are the most popular settings:

  • Output at 12, treble to taste, gain at 9
  • Output at 11, treble to taste, gain at 10
  • Output at 10, treble to taste, gain at 11
  • Output at 12, treble to taste, gain at 11

I could go through a ton of additional settings but the one’s I’ve listed are probably the most popular used by top musicians when utilizing the pedal as an overdrive unit to give your amp that extra something. However, the pedal is exceptional as a boost pedal as well. Personally, that’s how I like to use mine. When you dime the volume on the Archer it opens up the Op Amp, similar to how tube amplifiers work best when you open them up, tapping into the power tube section of the amp. Here are some great settings using the Archer as a boost:

  • Output dimed, treble at 11, gain at 11
  • Output dimed, treble at noon, gain at 9
  • Output dimed, treble at 1, gain at 8
  • Output dimed, treble at 11, gain at 1

Ultimately, however you use the pedal is up to you as every musician’s taste is different. To tap into what the Archer has been designed for, the settings I have suggested (combined with an amp that is already into break-up) is how you will get the best tones out of the pedal! Here’s a link to a great write-up on gearslutz of the original “K” pedal, it’s newest predecessor (which we originally manufactured), and the creation of the Archer.

Dude

Since it’s release a few weeks ago, The Dude overdrive has been a huge success! For those of you who don’t know, it’s our take on the famed Dumble Overdrive Special. If you haven’t had a chance to see some of the newer videos of The Dude, I’ve attached a couple here. We should have a video coming out in the near future from Shawn Tubbs as he always does such a great job doing pedal demo’s for us. As soon as Shawn gets off tour we will be sure to get him in the studio! In the meantime, enjoy a couple of the newest demo videos on The Dude from Pro Guitar Shop and Carter Vintage Guitars!


 

Guitars & Theft

Can you imagine walking into your home or business only to find that your prized collection of guitars had been stolen? I certainly can’t imagine it as it’s something that concerns me every time I leave town for even a couple of days! To musicians, nothing is more precious than their collection of gear. Musical instruments are a passion for those of us who love to play them as well as collect them. I can honestly say that if any of my gear was stolen it would be like taking a piece of my soul away!

This brings me to our good friend and pickup designer, Nathan Sanford of Sanford Magnetics up in Moncton, New Brunswick Canada. Last week, someone broke into Nathan’s shop and stole his entire, personal guitar collection!

Theft of guitars at Sanford Magnetics
Guitars Theft at Sanford Magnetics Shop

To the thugs who would do something like this, well…I don’t think I could appropriately express how I personally feel about something so low! I’m sure all of you gear heads out there feel the same way! Seeing as how we have a great following to our newsletter we are going to ask all of our subscribers to help if possible. Here is a list of all the guitars that were stolen from Nathan:

  • 2003 Gibson Les Paul Standard…light burst, head stock repair
  • 2013 Gibson Firebird, sunburst with a distinctive knot in the wood on the upper bout, looks like the eye of jupiter
  • 2005 Gibson Les Paul Jr., sunburst, loaded with 50’s Bumble Cap, finish worn off the back of the neck
  • 2005 Gibson SG, cherry and a one-piece body
  • 2007 Gibson Les Paul Special, Historic R9, tv white
  • 2012 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop, one piece back, gold is going green, P90’s
  • 2010 Gibson ES 335 Limited Edition, fat neck, dot markers, sunburst

All of Nathan’s guitars are loaded with his Sanford Magnetics pickups. Sanford Magnetics labels are on the baseplates or they are labeled Proto #. The Firebird pickups are prototypes and the bridge pickup isn’t hooked up. All of the guitars have blank truss rod covers. Please keep a look-out for these guitars as I’m sure they have been quickly distributed for re-sale, most likely in Montreal indicates Nathan.

“It’s certainly devastating” said Nathan. “It takes a long time to save enough money to purchase all the guitars you’ve always wanted. I feel like I’ve lost a piece of me…actually, several pieces of me as each of my guitars were one’s I coveted. It took me a long time to get them all! I’m just going to have to sell lots of pickups and start from scratch if I can’t recover them”.

If any of our subscribers see any of the above mentioned guitars out on the market, please contact Nathan directly. You can get in touch with him via his website at www.sanfordmagnetics.com or you can call him at 506-855-3737. Getting a set of Nathan’s pickups would also certainly help him. I’ve got three sets myself and love them!

Pedal vs Amplifier

At J.Rockett Audio Designs we go to great lengths to make sure all of our overdrive pedals sound organic, transparent, and amp-like. We feel it’s extremely important that a pedal has the tone, feel, touch, and feedback to your fingertips that a great tube amp will give you! Here are three video clips by Sam Vilo doing a demo of our Animal Overdrive compared directly to a 65 Amps Empire. I think you will be amazed at how difficult it is to tell the difference between the two! The Animal  will give you that 1968 Plexi tone!

Dumble Overdrive Special

Compare for yourself:  Video of an original 1983 Dumble Overdrive Special and video of The Dude overdrive pedal by J.Rockett Audio Designs! We set out to create an overdrive pedal that replicated ALL the nuances of the famed amplifier.

The Dumble Overdrive Special is the most difficult to acquire and most sought after amplifier in the world. Alexander “Howard” Dumble has no contact information online, requires several thousands of dollars for a deposit, and demands that you sign a bunch of agreements (one of which details the consequences of asking about your amp’s progress). Even if you’re patient enough to deal with all of that, the wait for a Dumble amp can be at least a decade!

The last, but certainly not least problem, when it comes to acquiring one of these amps…you probably have to pony up a minimum of $100,000 to buy one on the open market as there are only about 300 in existence!

No worries, you can plug into the new Dude overdrive for $199!