In collaboration with Ryan Adams and PaxAM, JHS brings us the VCR. This unique stompbox is meant to distill the DNA of 80's guitar into one pedal. What they did not intent is to create a perfect pedal for a horn player's small-sized setup. Do you like reverb and chorus? Do you like having control over your own volume? Then this pedal is something you must try. With two wonderful sounding effects and a clean, useful volume control, the VCR can be either a great starting point for a beginning pedal user, or a great solution for a smaller, travel sized pedal board. With its beautiful and warm reverb, surprising versatile chorus and its overall simplicity, this pedal packs far more into one box that one might initially think.
External Control: None
Although this is not a one-knob pedal, the VCR is incredibly simple, almost like three one knob pedals in a single case. Each effect has one knob and an on an off switch. The switches make is easy to quickly add or remove any of the three effect choices while the pedal is on, and makes preparing the nexk combination of effects, while the pedal is bypassed, incredibly simple.
This multifaceted effects box does three things, reverb, chorus, and volume boost. That is a lot in a small package, but what makes it so versatile, is not only its multitude of effects, but its ability to give you control. That volume knob can truly be a life saver. For any player that plays in smaller venues, or with sound guys they may not trust, the simple, clean volume boss can give you a level of control that can make you more present in the mix when neccessary, and can give your volume a much needed bump when you are taking a solo.
Quality of Effect: 4/5
The volume boost on this pedal is very clean. You will not have to worry about breakup or distortion unless you really really push it. The chorus contains the most potential variation on this pedal. At its lower settings, it can give you a gentle edge, that can fatten up your sound in a section, or give you just a bit of extra color for a solo. The more you intensify the chorus, the more you can electrify your sound. At its most extreme settings, the chorus has an oscillating, almost insect-like sound. The reverb in the VCR is truly beautiful. Simplistic and warm, this reverb would serve any player well, and its variable strength and decay time will make it usable in most situations.
Live application: 3.5/5
Although this is an exceptional pedal, it may no be suited to all players. This pedal is the perfect solution for the beginner. If you want a lot of bang for your buck, then this is the right way to start. With one modulation effect, one time based effect, and a practical volume control, this one pedal could serve as the entire effects setup for a beginner. It gives you a great taste of the potential of your affected sound. This can also be an extremely useful tool for someone looking to build a smaller board for travel or for tight stages. With the VCR, a delay pedal, and a harmonizer/pitch shiftier, one would have a rather complete board, with a full compliment of effect choices. That type of smaller yet complete board construction is made much more doable with pedals like the VCR. With all of that said however, this may not be a pedal for those with a larger effects setup. It certainly will give you quality sounding effects, but with a more extensive palette of effect choices, the VCR might do you a disservice when it comes to signal chain. Depending on where you place it in a larger board, your VCR's reverb may be in the wrong place, or its chorus may come too late in the chain. Another potential issue for those with larger boards, is its lack of presets. In this modern, computerized world, we have become spoiled by the availability of presets. This pedal could be a burden for those who have lots of pedals and who rely heavily on presets in their use of effects.
In the first clip, we hear just the reverb in the VCR. This showcases the reverb's warmth and conventional usability.
The second clip shows the full range of the chorus. The clips is just one held one as the chorus knob is slowly turned from 0% to 100%.
Since the VCR is meant to be an 80's box, here are two examples of classic 80's sax sounds
This last saxophone clip shows the extreme potential of the chorus. This is where the chorus borders on crazy noises.
A brief, simple example of the VCR's reverb sound.
I tried to find a noticeable but not too overbearing and digital sounding chorus for the second trumpet preset.
An example to demonstrate how clean the volume boost sounds on the VCR.
An example of chorus and reverb used together.
- Classic 80s style effects tailored to Ryan Adams’ specs.
- Individual bypass toggles for each effect.
- Simple controls for easy dialing in of your sound.
- Master bypass footswitch so you can engage all effects at once.
- Please be kind, no need to rewind!
All product info from jhspedals.com