JHS Colour Box VS Preamp REview
Verdict and Review Summary
I like that you can use this with an XLR connection or like a guitar pedal. Putting it in front of an amplifier was very useful for shaping tone, perhaps more so than the amp itself. Cleans sounded particularly good and were an immediate improvement over the amp's sound on its own. It should be noted that I used a Boss Katana 50, which is a solid amp, but certainly not top tier. The Colour Box V2 is a great tool for any rig and can easily replace an amplifier if needed.
I tested the JHS Pedals Colour Box V2 like a guitar pedal, going into an amplifier, which I had set with a very basic EQ. The alternative is to use it as your only amp and then run it straight to a mixer with an XLR (balanced) connection or an audio interface. Either one works. To summarize, it gives you a ton of granular control, especially on the clean side, higher gain settings sound more like a fuzz box, which is good if that's what you're after, but I didn't find that as compelling. The improvements to your clean tone are worth the price of admission. Here's the unboxing, with demos below.
My Quick Review Card/Summary of the JHS Pedals Colour Box V2 Preamp
BEST FOR: Clean tones, anyone looking for granular control over their non-distorted sound, going direct to a mixer or PA system, going without an amp.
- Analog/transformer circuit
- Tons of control on the clean side
- Shift controls give you another layer of detail for your EQ
- Great solution for guitar, bass, or microphone
- 9V power is convenient for such large pedal
- Pricey, even by preamp standards
- High gain/breakup sounds are just ok, more like a fuzz
Colour Box use cases?
Heavy settings, distortion, and fuzz
The Colour Box learning curve
Hi pass filter and low end
The JHS Color Box control scheme
Summary of my JHS Pedals Colour Box V2 Review
The use cases are pretty clear, as are the strengths of the Colour Box. I'd recommend it for clean tones, even if you have a capable amplifier. It's the kind of thing I'd run all the time in front of my amp, using the additional control. You could start with EQ'ing your amp, then the three bands on the Colour Box and then the frequency tweaking on the Colour Box.
Of course it's also capable of completely replacing your amp, and would be especially - perhaps primarily - useful for recording and playing live into a mixer or PA system.
It does a lot, even for the somewhat high price tag.
If you have questions about my JHS Pedals Colour Box V2 review, drop them in the comments section below and I'll help out as much as possible.
Related Guitar Pedal Articles
Live JHS Colour Box V2 Price
Price updated Thu, February 29th, 2024.
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