Jackson Audio Golden Boy Transparent Overdrive Pedal
Rich in harmonic detail and overflowing with headroom, the Golden Boy redefines the concept of transparent overdrive and brings it up to date with modern features never before seen in an overdrive pedal.
The GOLDEN BOY is a very flexible overdrive with 4 presets for clipping options, an innovative gain adjustment feature that we call GAIN CYCLE, and a 3 band active EQ for maximum tonal flexibility. To top it off, we added a boost circuit which is the same type of MOSFET boost circuit found on our top selling PRISM Preamp pedal.
The boost circuit is in its own true bypass loop which means it can be used independently of the DRIVE circuit. The boost circuit in the GOLDEN BOY is a MOSFET based boost much like the AMP MODE found in our best selling PRISM Preamp pedal. To activate/deactivate the boost circuit simply press the BOOST footswitch.
One of the things that makes the boost in the GOLDEN BOY different from other boosts on the market is that it has 4 presets available. Each preset is EQ’d slightly differently to allow it to alter how it interacts with the overdrive circuit in the GOLDEN BOY or any other pedal you may have in your rig
- Preset 1 – YELLOW LED: Bright Boost. Very useful for creating a thinner sound or when boosting a thick sounding overdrive.
- Preset 2 – GREEN LED: Mid Boost. Not as thin as the yellow mode, the green mode allows more lows and takes on the character of a mid boost.
- Preset 3 – AQUA LED: Tailored Boost. Most people will find this a perfect setting that will complement most any overdrive setting in the GOLDEN BOY.
- Preset 4 – BLUE LED: Full Range. No tonal coloring here! Just your guitars natural tone!
To select a boost preset, press and hold the BOOST footswitch for more than 1 second and boost program mode will become active.
When in this mode, the BOOST led will flash to indicate that you are in program mode. A quick tap on the BOOST footswitch will cycle the boost presets and you’ll be able to hear these presets change as you cycle through them, assuming that the boost circuit was active when the boost program mode was entered. Once you arrive at a boost preset that you want to use, press and hold the BOOST footswitch for more than 1 second and boost program mode will exit.
The Golden Boy is based on the Bluesbreaker/King of Tone circuit, so the resulting tone is very open, uncompressed and transparent sounding. Think John Mayer overdriven tones. The Golden Boy sits in the mix perfectly and while it adds overdrive and grit, your guitar still sounds like your guitar!
Where the Golden Boy differs from other Bluesbreaker type circuits is that it has the ability to run much higher gain and instantly switch to a low gain transparent overdrive with a tap of the footswitches. With four gain settings at your feet while you play, you can use the GOLDEN BOY as an always on tone shaper, a low gain transparent overdrive, a mid gain drive or a high gain solo drive all without bending down to adjust settings! With the GOLDEN BOY, you keep playing and use your foot (or MIDI) to adjust the gain for you!
CLIPPING DIODE PRESETS
The GOLDEN BOY allows for 4 different presets of clipping diodes which themselves drastically alter the tone and feel of the way the overdrive clips and distorts.
To select a clipping preset, press and hold the DRIVE footswitch for more than 1 second and the clipping program mode will become active. When in this mode, the DRIVE led will flash to indicate that you are in program mode. A quick tap on the DRIVE footswitch will cycle the clipping presets and you’ll be able to hear these presets change as you cycle through them, assuming that the drive circuit was active when the clipping program mode was entered. Once you arrive at a clipping preset that you want to use, press and hold the DRIVE footswitch for more than 1 second and clipping program mode will exit.
- Preset 1 – GREEN: Classic Screamer. Two symmetrical silicon diodes give the classic drive and compression that the Tube Screamer is known for.
- Preset 2 – MAGENTA: Asymmetric Clipping. Three asymmetric silicon diodes will clip the top and bottom portions of your guitars waveform differently resulting in a more complex and interesting tone. This sounds great when laying down aggressive rhythm parts!
- Preset 3 – BLUE: Symmetrical Clipping. Four symmetric silicon diodes will clip the top and bottom portions of your guitars waveform evenly which gives a more focused and direct tone. Two notable pedals that uses this style of clipping are the Timmy and the King of Tone.
- Preset 4 – AMBER: Vintage Marshall. Two RED LED’s are used to symmetrically clip the top and bottom portions of your guitars waveform evenly. The LED’s allow MUCH higher headroom so your tone will stay more open and less compressed much like a vintage Marshall.
Changing clipping diodes are a great way to radically change how an overdrive pedal sounds and feels but oftentimes the change that you perceive has more to do with a change in volume than an actual change in tone….until now!
When we were designing the GOLDEN BOY we knew we wanted to give the overdrive section a lot of tonal flexibility and most importantly make that flexibility useful on stage. So when changing clipping diodes we included circuitry that level matches the output of the pedal as various clipping diodes are selected. So now you can select between all four clipping options, your volume level will remain constant. More importantly, the difference that you hear between the clipping modes will be because of the difference in how those clipping diodes sound and not because your volume is jumping all over the place as it does with other designs.