From the inception of the Supro Company in 1935 until its closing in 1968, no other brand of amplifier has had such a fascinating, mysterious, and legendary story. The Supro® amps deliver the voice of rock and roll, from Jimmy Page’s legendary Led Zeppelin recordings or Brian Setzer’s early Stray Cat tracks, to the raging rhythm tones of Switchfoot’s Drew Shirley. If you have ever played one of these vintage amps, then you know nothing sounds the same. No matter how high you take the volume, the amp delivers the same smooth but cutting tone that has shaped countless recordings over its 75+year history.
The JHS SuperBolt overdrive pedal, at its heart, is a discreet circuit designed to emulate the tone and character of the 1960’s-era Supro® amps. From its touch-sensitivity to the way the pedal sags with tube rectifier color at higher gain settings, the SuperBolt will give any guitar rig a versatile and useful new set of tones, reminiscent of some of the greatest sounds ever recorded. With three simple knob controls named Volume, Tone, Drive and a Gain toggle, you will have the ability to make any guitar rig drip with vintage soul and attitude.
To understand how the SuperBolt operates, let’s begin with the Drive knob. As you turn up the Drive, it’s like turning the volume knob on one of these small-box vintage amps; the more you turn it up, the dirtier it gets. Next, the Volume knob acts like what some would call a master volume. None of the vintage Supro® amps had this control, but it works perfectly for letting the SuperBolt get the dirty cranked-volume tones with the Drive knob and then backing down the loudness factor with the Volume knob. The V2 has an improved taper with a wider "sweet spot" for adjusting the best volume. The third knob is the Tone control, fairly true to the designs in many of these vintage amps. Our Tone control will serve as a breath of fresh air to all of you who are tired of the unusable and treble-ridden tone controls out there. All the way up, it is a biting and sharp tone that is extremely usable and easy on the ears; all the way back, you will find a dark but well-focused range of tones useful for jazz and more subtle styles.
The Gain toggle switch lets you toggle between two gain settings, much like the High/Low input jacks found on many of the amplifiers of the 50’s and 60’s. In the down position, the cleanest sounds are available and a slightly darker and more mellow tone is on tap. In the up position, you’ll find huge amounts of headroom, more upper mids, more available dirt, and the most rock and roll that the pedal can offer. When the Gain toggle is activated the status LED changes to Red. The Gain toggle is remotely switchable using the 1/4" jack on the top right side of the pedal. Set your normal SB setting and switch instantly using the Red Remote for an on-the-fly secondary tone without using hardly any extra space on your board at all.
The SuperBolt runs on a basic 9v supply, but internally it converts that 9v to 18v for massive punch, headroom, and its overall powerful character. Do not attempt to power the SuperBolt with an 18v power supply.
You will notice that the overall tone is open and full without the compression found in many overdrives on the market. It will compliment a more compressed drive beautifully, and it stacks well with everything we have tried — and we’ve tried a lot. If you love boosting your amp into natural overdrive, you have never heard anything do this like the SuperBolt. It will make any amp into a fire-breathing dirt machine. If you want a classic tool for your guitar rig that can handle any style you throw at it, the SuperBolt is for you. We believe this is a truly unique pedal in a world full of overdrives… get a taste of something different today!