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Jetters Gain Stage

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I haven't seen that line before...nice looking builds. The blue sounds like it might be a tweaked silicon-based fuzz face, or something along that line. Lots of interesting things being done with FETs as well, thanks to a lot of exploration by the guys at runoffgroove. They didn't invent the use of FETs to simulate tubes, but they've certainly done a tremendous amount of work at refining it. It could be that this Jetters pedal has the front end of a silicone FF and a FET circuit at the back.


I've been looking at these circuits for a few years, and especially over the past year, and there's not a whole lot of truly original circuitry in the pedal world. Almost all dirt boxes are some variation of a previous circuit, with a few component value changes, a different op amp, different transistors, different clipping diodes, a circuit fragment from another box inserted somewhere, etc. Very clever, but not what one could really call truly original, at least not from the booteekers.


The common thread for most of the booteekers out there seems to be that they take an existing circuit that people tend to like, tweak it around to make it "their own," put a great deal of effort into an excellent build, and market it as the holy grail. If they attach a lofty enough price and limit production, it often becomes internet folklore in months, and suddenly, everybody NEEDS one, and the Ebay prices soar.


All that said, given that the booteekers are generally refining and improving upon already-proven designs, the end result tends to be very good sounding pedals, and I'm quite sure that the whole Jetters line follows this trend. Ever since I started building these things on my own, I've found little justification for paying hundreds of dollars for one, but I can certainly see that they are viewed as worth the cost by those who don't want to bother with their own builds, but want an oustanding sounding box to enhance their rig. My hat goes off to the courageous businessmen who've found a way to carve a unique niche in a market that's heavily flooded with extremely similar design offerings, without question.


In that sense, it's completely logical that some are willing to pay $400 or so for a Klon (which is a pretty unique design, from what I've seen). What's NOT logical, imo, is someone paying $800 for a used ts-808. That's the most copied circuit in existance, and believe me, after a couple decades of refinements, the original is pretty lame in comparison.


At the end of the day, these things are worth whatever the market will bear, of course, and, if a pedal can inspire someone beyond the place that they previously were, how can you place a dollar value on it? I guess what I'm trying to say in all of this verbal assault is that I'm quite sure that the Jetters line is fantastic, and any of the pedals would sound terrific in front of any amp that already sounds terrific on its own, but not so great in front of any amp that's not so great on its own.

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thanks for that. I'm pretty new to all of this (playing guitar for about 2 years and learning my POD/variax 700 for 6 months). I like the overdrives in my POD so i'm looking for some of the better pedals based on what I like in it. One thing about multi-fx units (and modeling guitars) is that they will certainly show you what you like and don't like. In the end I want an array of good pedals, to go with standard equipment.

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I would suggest you not get too hung up on effects at all, and particularily, not digital "multi" effects. The best course, if you're looking for "your tone," is to get intimately familiar with your guitar(s) and your style, and work with different amps to see what suits those variables best.


Once you've become intimately familiar with the tools in your hand and the style you favor, you can start to experiment with different boxes, to see what trips your trigger. There's nothing in a $300 box that will guarantee that YOU will be inspired to new levels by it.


Like I said, all of these booteeky boxes are excellent in their own way, and they all are worth SOMETHING. The question for you, as an aspiring player, is "will it pave a path for ME?" Only YOU can answer that. No amount of hype or dollars will define that.


Here's how I try to lay it out for young, aspriing guitarists, since I've been through much of it myself over the years:


1: Define YOU as a musician. Are you a blues musician, a classic rock musican, a progressive rock musician, a jazz musician, a funk musician, or a combination of all, or something different altogether? What yanks YOUR crank?


2. What type of equipment do YOUR favorite guitarists use? Tube amps or solid state? Les Pauls or Strats? Pedals or no? Anybody using million-effect wonder boxes?


3. Only when you define the first two can you begin to effectively refine nuances such as "what type of overdrive pedal should I use?"


If you're a blues guy, you probably lean towards fat tube sounds, probably derived from either a hollow body or Les Paul, though perhaps a tone-darkened strat, into a tube amp. Probably with only a bit of tube grind for dirt.


If you're a jazz guy, you probably favor a hollow body into a clean amp, perhaps even a solid state amp.


If you're a classic rock guy, you probably favor either a strat or Lester into a plexi Marshall, with tubes heavily overdriven.


And on and on. There are just too many variables to the tone equation to let yourself rely upon a single pedal to be the answer to all of your needs. It's so much deeper than that, and you, as a young player, will not realize that until you've opened up paths of your own.


Where someone such as myself, who's been on this road for a couple decades, can help, is to save you years of time and thousands of dollars by helping you help yourself to define YOU before you embark on ANY major expenditures. Trust me, this is an intangible that you will never understand until you've walked the path yourself, but you will KNOW "it" when you "feel" "it," and you'll know what I'm saying at that moment.


My advice to you, as a 2 year player, is to focus on what YOU like. What moves you? What players do you aspire to? Once you've nailed that down, you can ascertain what's being utilized to create THOSE tones, and THEN, you can begin to carve you own path. If you choose to blaze your own path without any such direction or purpose, you're destined to spend many years and many dollars, searching in vain.

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The biggest plus for me in the beginning (and still is to a certain extent) with the modeling stuff is that you can go in just about any direction. I still practice a bit of flamenco not so much because i like it, but because it's hard so i do quite a bit for the challenge of it, but to answer your question I'm a KISS fan, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd etc. So I'm a bit all over the place. The Models in the Variax I use most are the Gibson Les Paul, Gibson ES 335 and the Rickenbacker 360 (i really like the 360 model). With the POD it's almost always the AC30 amp model, 65 Marshall JTM 45. and the Hi-watt 100. For Pedals it's usually, flanger, phaser, and OD, so I feel like i'm narrowing it down a bit. My biggest problem is the Variax 700 itself (if you call it a problem) It feels like it's made for me. Fit, feel, finish. There isn't anything I don't like about this guitar. In the end it may be the only digital link in the chain. I've played alot of guitars in the stores, but so far nothing comes close to how this thing feels in my hands. The Valve Jr made a vast improvement to my overall tone over the Vox DA 20 I was using if I can continue that improvement with a few pedals it would be great. i may end up being a hybrid kind of guy as far as the guitar goes.

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None of that digital stuff is real, or even close to the real deal, but it looks like you're aware of that, and it's currently floating your boat, so that's cool. I wouldn't go overboard on booteeky anything until you've worked your way closer to defining your own sound. You're still clearly in the experimental phase at this point, so it really wouldn't make a lot of sense for you to spend a few hunny on an over-hyped pedal of any kind, imo.


You're right in the sense that both the POD and the Variax will allow your to play around with a number of tones. That's the real strength of those modeling units. Even though they're not the real deal, they can give a person a reasonable fascimile of something that they may otherwise never have a chance to plug into, including, of course, some of the more revered amps and guitars of all time in the electric world.


When you start to find yourself plugging a real Les Paul or Strat straight into the amp and you want to see what this or that pedal can do, THAT'S when you start shopping. When you've reached the point where the guitar and amp are an extension of your hands, and are producing what YOU milk out of them, rather than what a piece of gear hands you, then you've reached the point where a carefully thought pedal purchase can be made into another extension. Until then, it's just a noise box, frankly.


I've seen a lot of players, myself included, who went overboard with pedals and outboard gear, when they really weren't even close to having carved a specific tone out for themselves. Personally, I can't even say how much money I wasted on this over the years, but I can say that I wasted probably 15 years dicking around with it. Through all of that dicking around, I always thought that I had what I wanted, but I was never really happy, when I got a chance to hear another player that plugged straight into an old Fender or Marshall. There was something about "that tone" that really set me off, and I just wasn't getting it.


For a long time, I kept adding this or that gadget, trying to reach that elusive goal. It really wasn't until one of my digital wonder boxes broke that I began to really start to see the light. Once I was forced to blaze a new path, I dramatically trimmed my gear and focused on the purity of "guitar-into-amp." THAT'S when I started to really carve out "my tone."


At the end of the day, this stuff is all subjective, so you really have to choose the path that YOU think is best for YOU. I'm only tossing out some advice that's based upon my own experiences, in an effort to try to save you some time and money. I don't know everything about everything, and especially about tone and YOU. All I can do is offer what I've found to be true for ME. What YOU find to be true for YOU is up to YOU to learn as you go. The only thing that really matters is that whatever path you choose, gearwise, is a path that inspires you. Good luck on your journey, and enjoy yourself, always!

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yeah - I've been playing since the mid 60's and usually go Guitar -> Amp - I do use a Multi-Effect pedal at times but usually it's for the Reverb, Chorus, Delay, etc. Went through the Pedal stage but love the pure amp sound especially with tube amps. I have a Tubescreamer, and a Korg ME - sold all the other pedals as I felt they "cheapened" the natural tube sound I love so much. My goal is eventually to just get an Analog Reverb and Chorus - then I'm basically set. My 63 Ace Tone has Reverb and Tremolo to die for but my VJ needs a bit of Reverb at times and I like Chorus too (small amount) as it gives it more "feel"... I set my ME Pedal to Acoustic Presets a lot ("Gibby" is my Favorite on my Korg) - then crank the VJ and it "sparkles" =D> I also have a 66' Multivox with throbbing Tremolo but it didn't have Reverb either, although cranked up the Multivox (model 45) sounds like a Plexi - especially with the old 12" ROLA Alnico.

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