Shawn Tubbs

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




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:


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.


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 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!

Dude Overdrive

For those of you who have been waiting, here it is, The Dude Overdrive! This is our take on one of the most iconic amplifiers ever made, the Dumble Overdrive Special. Whereas many Dumble pedals that have been made focus more on the Larry Carlton/Robben Ford sound, we wanted to make the pedal such that it exhibits the full range of tones you will find in a Dumble Overdrive Special. You can go from clean boost territory to classic Dumble tones, to hi gain lead tones with tons of sustain.  Please experiment with the settings and be careful with the output…the Dude is loud!

Demo video attached below!


Here are the settings for the pedal:

  • Level: The Level control introduces clean boost and can be used independent of the Ratio control.
  • Ratio: The Ratio control introduces the ratio of gain vs boost. You can achieve the classic ODS sounds very easily but it all depends on your guitar, pickups and amp as to where the sweet spot is. Start blending in the gain control and it will simultaneously reduce clean volume and introduce gain.
  • Treble: Turn to the right to increase output, to the left to decrease output.
  • Deep: The Deep control varies the level of midrange prominence. Turn to the left and it will be scooped in the midrange with more emphasis on treble and bass. Turn the Deep control to the right and it will introduce a thick, low midrange. Once you achieve your desired tone on the Deep control, adjust the treble to taste for clarity.

The Dude will be shipping out to our dealership network this week so be sure to check our dealer list on our website to find the dealer closest to you!

See the following video by Michael Britt, the guitarist and founding member of the band Lonestar.

Recording with Small Amps!


Back in the 1960’s when Rock music came into prominence, amplifiers made by companies such as Marshall, Fender, and Vox were big, loud amps! It was commonplace to see multiple, 100 watt Marshall stacks as they were designed to push a lot of air and create volumes loud enough to be heard at large concert venues. They were not, however, designed to be ideal in recording situations! Sure, if you had the luxury of being able to rent out a sound proofed recording studio, it wasn’t a problem.  Today, that’s just not a viable option since so many people are creating music from their home studios.

As you all probably know, amplifiers sound their best when played at higher volumes. In my opinion, an amp doesn’t start opening up until at least 4 on a volume knob where 10 is max. Try that with your 100 watt JMP Marshall and the cops will be taking you away in handcuffs due to pummeling your neighbors into sonic submission!

Thank goodness for the boutique amplifier movement! As more and more boutique amplifier companies have come into prominence, these companies have realized the popularity of the home recording segment, so much so, that it is commonplace to now find 1, 2, 8, and 10 watt tube amplifiers that sound really, really good! Additionally, many companies are now using power scaling and attenuation built right into larger amplifiers so as to reduce the wattage of the amplifier. Although I’m still not a big fan of using attenuation when recording, it at least allows for practicing with a good tube tone at lower volumes.


When recording I feel it’s essential to open up the amp to get the best tones. The higher the volume of the amp, the more the transformers are working in combination with the tubes to create that juicy, touch sensitive tone we all crave so much in a tube amplifier. Since J.Rockett Audio Designs is committed to creating pedals that help to give you the great tone you are looking for, it’s also important to note that using a higher wattage amp set to very low volumes, with an overdrive pedal in front of it for your tone, is not the ideal way to get a good recording. You will never be able to create an ideal tone for recording by trying to use the overdrive from your pedal in front of a Marshall Stack with the volume set to 1 or 2.

A great pedal will make a great amp sound even better. It will take the tones your amp gives you and simply accentuate them. If your amp is set to a volume that’s too low, you will never get the sounds from it that make for an ideal recording. The lows will be diminished and the highs will sound thin. So, invest in a small amp, nothing more than 20 watts. I happen to have a small tube amp that will scale between 2 watts and 8 watts. I also have a well made, 1 x 12 cabinet that I’ve fitted with a 1966 Celestion G12M 20 greenback. Needless to say, the combination of the amp dialed in at about 6 and that speaker amounts to tones from the Gods!! I put an Archer ikon and Boing reverb into the signal chain and my recordings end up huge!

Archer Ikon guitar pedalBoing Spring Reverb guitar pedal

My point is this; with the high quality, smaller tube amps being produce today, you don’t need a 100 watt monster amp to create a great recording. A smaller amp allows you to crank the volume enough to open the amp up for the best tones. Pedals will always sound better when adding their signatures to an already opened up amplifier. On that note, when you go to your local music store to demo a J.Rockett pedal, do it in front of an amp that’s opened up. That’s the only way you will truly understand what the pedal adds to the amp and you will also be on your way to creating killer recordings right from your bedroom!