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Expensive but Well Worth It!
I purchased the JHS Colour Box to use as a preamp on my bass pedalboard in lieu of the typical Sansamp. The pedal is recreation of channel strip of the famous Neve recording desk used by such bands as The Beatles, Lenny Kravitz, Led Zeppelin, etc. Think the "fuzzed out" drive tone from the intro of The Beatles "Revolution". The Beatles achieved this tone by plugging a guitar straight into the Neve's preamp and maxing out the channel to overdrive the transformer. The Colour Box achieves this tone when the pre volume is high enough to achieve break up. The Colour Box features a Lundahl transformer to achieve this, and runs on 18volts of power. The pedal comes with its own wall power supply upon purchase, but be sure to keep this in mind when powering the pedal using an isolated power supply brick,
The pedal is simple to use, with the red knobs functioning as controls for the preamp, the blue knobs are for EQ, and the grey knob is a hi pass filter which can be turned on or off by the switch on the face of the pedal. The preamp section has a Master Volume, Pre Volume, and a six way rotary switch called "step" which changes the amount of gain the pre volume can achieve. The first notch is as clean as you can get with the pedal, while each notch ascending in gain, with the last notch achieving the most fuzzed out overdrive tones. I use the preamp section to add just enough gain to my signal to warm it up, without adding too much gain or overdrive.
The blue section of the Colour Box is a 3 band EQ that features Treble, Mid, and Bass. The EQ is powerful enough that I use it rather than the EQ on my SVT classic. This is especially useful for DI tones when recording bass. Though I do not use the Hi pass filter for bass, it is useful when recording guitars with the pedal.
For bass players, the colour box features 1/4 OR XLR input, with a -20db pad for active basses, as well as a 1/4 inch AND XLR out. This is especially useful to recording bass. In recording my bands EP, all I used was this pedal along with my four pedal pedalboard (Tuner--> JHS Lime Aid Compressor-->Fuzzrocious Demon King-->JHS Colour Box) and no amp. The pedal is that good.
In terms of guitar, the pedal is also perfect for recording guitar in that it brings amp simulators to life. Beware, however, that this pedal has a LOT of volume and power and can cause damage to your equipment if you are not careful when using the volume.
The pedal can also be used on mics, including condenser and ribbons mics (though the pedal does not provide phantom power). If you are looking for studio sound in your live sound, this is the pedal you need.