Coming from an audiophile background,
Andy Fuchs started Fuchs Audio
Technology with the intention of making
the best tube amplifiers he could muster.
Since then, his creations have captured
the ears of such players as Al Di Meola,
Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamassa, and
Dweezil Zappa. Fuchs eventually branched
out to pedal design with his critically successful
Plush line of effects, and recently
turned his eyes on bassists with the Jersey
Thunder bass EQ and booster.
The Jersey Thunder comes in Fuchs’ standard,
cast-aluminum housing and sports a
striking, purple powder-coated finish. With
just two knobs to adjust the amount of gain
and the shape of the EQ, it’s a very simple
pedal to operate. The Thunder boasts three
custom-voiced EQ curves and gain boost
settings, which are accessible via a 3-way
switch located on the side of the unit.
Each of these three settings was crafted
to solve the problems and headaches of
audio engineers who deal with
electric bass. The settings provide
varying EQ slopes and
gain levels to either boost lows,
dial back low-mids, or add snap
in the highs for bassists
that use slap techniques.
The 3-way switch
offers immediate access to techniques
engineers and soundmen
typically use to shape the bass
tone at the board so it sits well
in the overall mix.
Blood and Thunder
If you’re looking for a pedal
that adds grind and dirt to
your bass tone, the Jersey
Thunder isn’t going to be
your cup of tea. What it
does offer is many more
tonal possibilities than a simple
overdrive circuit can deliver.
The pedal isn’t designed to
turn your bass tone into a roaring,
purpose is to bring out the frequencies
that make a bass stand
out, some of which you might
not even know are there until
you turn on this unit.
With a 2011 Fender
American Special Jazz Bass and
a Genz-Benz ShuttleMAX 12.0, the Jersey
Thunder kicked out some of the tightest,
expansive lows I’ve heard from a bass EQ
in some time. The dynamic range was perfectly
preserved as I moved through a fingerpicked,
Stevie Wonder-inspired groove,
with the low end churning in and out like
a heaving body of water as I dug into the
strings, or let up with my picking hand.
The Shape control was incredibly useful
when using the low-end boost EQ slope,
allowing me to precisely set just how much
punch I wanted the pedal to generate, while
keeping everything from going overboard.
Speaking of precise, I was really taken
aback at just how perfectly tuned each of
the three slope settings were. The scooped
midrange setting didn’t knock out too
much of the low-mids to make the tone’s
definition disappear. And the high-boost
setting brought out just the right amount of
top end for meaty slaps and pops, without
the irritating, razor-like highs that so many
preset bass EQs deliver.
The Jersey Thunder is a stellar choice if
you need to tighten up and give more
definition to your bass tone, but want to
accomplish the task with a compact, simple-
to-operate stompbox. It’s a great pedal
for coaxing the best sounds from your bass
and will especially appeal to those with a
you need to shape your bass tone further, but don’t want to deal with the fuss of big EQ units.
you need overdrive or distortion.