JHS Moonshine Overdrive
Overdrive pedals, the biggest sonic genre for guitar pedals, there are more overdrive pedals than probably anything else and yet each and every one manages to sound slightly different to the rest of the pack. Choosing an overdrive can sometimes be difficult just because of the amount of choice, so it’s wise for a player to choose a pedal based on musical genre. Once you start to narrow the field down you will realise that you are probably after a specific players guitar tone, legends such as Eric Clapton, Steve Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Page and Richie Blackmore are good examples of players that inspire guitarists to the point that people fall in love with the tone so there are some pedals out there that can given you a specific voice. However if you want your overdrive to sound like a few different things then this pedal could well be ‘that’ pedal. The JHS Moonshine is the kind of overdrive that manages to cover quite a lot of ground, largely in the blue rock area but also for modern crunchy pop rhythm tones, single coil, P90 or humbucker guitars will get on with the Moonshine as it has good variety in the controls.
The JHS Moonshine was initially designed as a Bass overdrive pedal, which is interesting as it is more difficult to get overdrive right for a bass than it is for a guitar, it’s in the nature of the low frequencies on the bass that make it a little more difficult to get just right. You can imagine the creators at JHS hearing this with a guitar for the first time and being totally blown away by it. The eq control on this pedal is avery well voiced and at no point should you find it either too dark or too bright which is part of it’s secret as this is a pedal that can get on well with so many different types of amps, if you have an EL34 , 6V6 or EL84 amp you will find that you can dial the tone in really easily using the Moonshine. The Gain control, has an extended range for what it will no doubt be used for but you can turn the gain up to maximum for a really pushed Vox AC30 though the magic in this pedal is if you have the gain at roughly 11 o’Clock, it really comes alive. The way this pedal responds to pick dynamics is fantastic, delicate finger playing will give you you a crisp clean tone but with a tiny bit of sparkle thrown in and when you dig in with the pick it really growls. The JHS Moonshine also has a toggle switch underneath the gain dial, the switch, christened by JHS as the ‘Proof’ switch selects between a natural pushed amp feel or a voiced coloured tone as a pedal would sound and both positions work really well, the natural setting is great if you want to drive your amp harder but also it’s great a low volumes, if you are playing at home, it still gives you that mojo sound but without irritating your neighbours.
The JHS Moonshine is standard 9v centre negative powered only, this is then upscaled in the pedal to 18v which gives the pedal it’s natural bloom and useable headroom. If you are looking for a versatile overdrive pedal then you’ll do well to find one as versatile as the JHS Moonshine, if you play blues, rock, pop, country and funk then this pedal will give you a thick sparkly push without becoming to hard or too bright, great for cutting through the mix of a live band. Like all JHS pedals, this is really well made and put together in a sensibly light casing, which is great for pedalboards.