JColoccia ID

Generally speaking, when you see an overdrive clad in green you can be somewhat sure of its spiritual ancestry. (And no, we don’t mean Gumby, Lime Jell-O, or Oscar the Grouch.) No surprise then that when you set the controls on the JColoccia ID at neutral positions, it’s a sonic dead ringer for a Tube Screamer.

For a lot of folks, that aural stamp is enough to pique curiosity—especially at a price that’s in line with most mass-produced 808 clones. But what the ID delivers that most 808 clones don’t is a genuinely useful, expanded EQ section that drastically enhances the pedal’s flexibility and delivers unexpected, sometimes very un-808 surprises.

Behind the Green …
For all the extra EQ control that ID puts at your fingertips, the circuit board is very spare, compact, and tidy—taking up less than half the enclosure’s interior space and leaving plenty of room for chassis-mounted input and output jacks, as well as a 9V battery compartment. The EQ controls themselves are a simple set—treble, mid, and bass. It’s a sturdy pedal, with a refreshingly utilitarian feel.

Anyone who loves a good Tube Screamer will feel cozy and at home with the ID. With all controls at noon, it dishes the squishy, present-but-not-spiky midrange that—with a twist this way or that—can convincingly stand in for a screaming tweed or jangling Vox. The big fun begins, however, when you leave the path most trodden and start attacking tone knobs.

Ratings

Pros:
Effectively expands on the TS formula. Great pick sensitivity for a TS-style pedal. Airy high end.

Cons:
None.

Tones:

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

Street:
$169

JColoccia ID
jcolocciaguitars.com

The most immediately satisfying departure from tried-and-true TS-ness comes via an inversion of the TS formula—which means, more or less, scooping the midrange and boosting the bass and treble. The transformation that results from this simple adjustment is profound, particularly with single-coil pickups. My Bassman has rarely sounded quite so Marshall-y. And the extra high end enlivens pick attack in a way that might win over the staunchest TS detractors.

Such settings highlight how responsive the ID is to guitar volume attenuation. Adding high end from ID also extends the range of your guitar tone knobs—particularly on Stratocaster- and Les Paul-style control sets where you can set up the individual pickups for radical tone shifts. And finding myself in a Beatles mood, I eagerly and easily moved from scathing, stabbing Revolver chord tones to soft, percolating Abbey Road lead tones using this technique and a two-humbucker Telecaster. In each case the ID lends excited, organic dashes of grit and a jolt of classy, not-too-brutish attitude.

On the back end of a fuzz, ID contributes bulk and aggression without sacrificing overtones. Not surprisingly, it also becomes a very effective equalization tool for a more unruly fuzz or distortion. I tried ID out with a Tone Bender, RAT, Fuzzrite, and Big Muff and the sum total of sounds I could extract from those combinations—and the civility with which ID interacted with each—was super-impressive.

The Verdict
I encounter more polarized opinions about the Tube Screamer these days than ever, but ID is a TS-inspired pedal that could put many related disputes to rest. Use the EQ right and adventurously and you can dial in more air, more punch, and more radical tones than you’ll get out of any 3-knob Tube Screamer. By any standard, however, the ID offers a versatile and satisfying way to dirty up your world.

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