We live in a blessed age for lovers of boutique pedals. Every other day a company shows up online with a bucket (brigade?) of analog effects claiming to be the new paragons of tone. Brad Jeter’s story is typical: a guitarist begins tinkering with pedals seeking a sound he can’t find in the existing models. (The extra “t” in the company name is so people don’t mispronounce it “jeeter”). Thousands of hours later, he reproduces the elusive tone in his head. Unleashing it on the guitar world, he finds that many agree with his definition of sonic excellence—success! Customers express wants and needs of their own, leading him to other models and other effects. Jetter now offers six overdrive pedals, catering to a wide variety of distortion tastes. Here we look at two of his grit monsters, as well as his unique entry into the Uni-Vibe sweepstakes.
I tested the pedals with a Fernandes Strat fitted with DiMarzio Virtual Vintage pickups, a Burns Steer, a Hanson Chicagoan with mini-humbuckers, and a Danelectro Pro-1, into an Orange Tiny Terror head and a ZT Lunchbox amp.
Gain Stage Green
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Green Clean: First you hear the pedal off through the Orange Tiny Terror. From the second time through the lick the pedal is on.
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Green Grit: The pedal on with the gain at about 1 o’clock and the tone at 11 o’clock
The Gain Stage Green is one color in a Crayola box of overdrive pedals offered by Jetter that also includes: Red, listed as offering “OD tone in the style of Ford/Carlton” (read: Dumble); Purple, with its “50 watt Plexi-style tones”; and Blue, with its “Fuzz into cranked Plexi tone.” The reference to green might hint at the ubiquitous Tube Screamer sound, available from Ibanez and various clone manufacturers, but Jetter’s Gain Stage Green sounds nothing like those popular pedals—Jetter literature urges you to “Think Hot Rodded Plexi.”
Given the wide range of sound that hotrodded Plexi implies, let me just start by saying that the Gain Stage Green does lean toward the British side of the tonal spectrum, instantly separating it from the more American-toned Screamer crowd. Though endowed with the same three controls—Volume, Gain and Tone—the Jetter pedal dishes out a much wider range of sounds than the Ibanez or its imitators. It is also notably less compressed than that category of pedals.
With the gain set between off and 9 o’clock, the Green operates almost as a clean boost, with just a hint of “give” responding to the pick attack. At 10 o’clock a little dirt kicks in, but it remains extremely responsive to picking dynamics and cleans up nicely with reduced instrument volume level. Above noon the Gain Stage Green moves from major crunch to sustaining gain, especially with humbuckers.
The best thing about the Gain Stage Green is that regardless of the gain level, I never felt like I was playing through a pedal. This overdrive sounds and feels like a high-quality amplifier. Going Green will definitely improve your sonic environment.
you’re looking for an overdrive pedal with a small footprint that ranges from mild to wild.
you prefer your drive All-American.