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The main reason Joyo guitar pedals have gotten so popular is because of how well they replicate the sound of established effects. While there are a whole host of options available in their catalogue, the four we’ve reviewed below are some of the most popular options. They’re, in our humble opinion, the best Joyo pedals on the market today.
JF-01 Vintage Overdrive
The Vintage Overdrive is Joyo’s version of the Tube Screamer, guitar history’s most iconic overdrive pedal. With the JF-01 Joyo gives you a simple interface on a relatively compact pedal. The three-knob control has a dial for volume, tone, and drive, with a true signal bypass on a footswitch.
The sound of the pedal is really what counts, though, and on that front it matches the Tube Screamer in effect as well as character. It even improves upon the original pedal in some ways, getting rid of that “mid range hump” the vintage pedals were known for and instead giving you great clarity in your mid-range whatever your overdrive level.
D-SEED Dual Channel Digital Delay Pedal
Delay pedals are one of those effects that tend to cost a lot if you want one that gives you full control over the speed and sound of your delay. This makes the D-SEED Dual Channel delay pedal from Joyo an especially exciting entry in their catalogue, considering it offers features you’d expect to find on pedals that cost twice as much or more.
The pedal (see full specs) gives you the standard mix, mode, time, and feedback controls common to all digital delay pedals. It also gives you two programmable channels that you can switch between using a footswitch, great for quick effect switches mid-set. The tap tempo function is also straightforward enough that it can be activated with your feet, making this an excellent delay pedal for live performances.
JF-39 Deluxe Crunch
The versatility of the Deluxe Crunch certainly makes it a contender for any list of the best Joyo pedals. Like many of their other stompboxes, it’s a compact pedal with a true bypass footswitch—and it delivers a massive sound that belies its small size.
It has the standard controls for volume and distortion level (see full specs), but also gives you two other ways to change the character of your sound. The Tone knob lets you change from a smooth crunch to a thick, gritty distortion, while the preamp knob gives you another layer of tonal adjustment. If you want a customizable distortion that gives you a musical, fluid effect at all settings, the Deluxe Crunch’s massive sound delivers what you’ve been looking for.
JF-16 British Sound Effects Pedal
In addition to creating clones of popular effects pedals, Joyo has a series of pedals that emulate the sounds of various classic amps. Of these, their British amp emulation pedal is by far the most popular, putting the vintage tone of a Vox or Laney into a convenient stompbox.
The six tone shaping knobs make it far more than a simple amp emulator, too. It has a full 3-band EQ across the top, while beneath it are dials for level, voice, and drive. Between these three, you can tweak the amount of fuzz in your sound, getting a whole range of warm, ‘60s and ‘70s era colors. This pedal is an easy and inexpensive way to bring that old-school British tone into your arsenal—and is one of the best Joyo pedals for the money.
Why Buy a Joyo?
Because Joyo guitar pedals are strictly aimed at emulation of other popular effects, the way that you shop for these pedals—and the situations in which you might find yourself using them—are going to be a little bit different than with traditional effects pedals.
You’ll likely find it most beneficial to look for a Joyo version of a pedal when the original is either prohibitively expensive or not widely manufactured. In the case of delay pedals mentioned above, for example, those can often be costly pieces of equipment. It’s very likely that the Joyo pedal will give you exactly the kind of effect you’re looking for, and you won’t have to spend nearly as much to get it.
Even if you’re not concerned with the cost of your effects pedals, there are situations in which you might find a Joyo clone is the right option for you. One of the most useful features of the majority of Joyo pedals is that they feature a true signal bypass, controlled by a footswitch. This means that when you don’t want to use the effect, your signal passes through the pedal without being altered at all. This is helpful especially for effects you might not want to use all the time. Adding in a bit of extra crunch can be as simple as tapping your foot with a Joyo guitar pedal, especially on the ones that have programmable channels.
Many Joyo guitar pedals are also far more compact and have a simpler interface than the designs they’re based off of. Some vintage pedals have a tendency to be clunky, which is fine if you only use a single pedal but can get cumbersome if you like to use a lot of different effects. While it’s certainly not as important as how they sound, the fact that Joyo pedals are designed to fit nicely alongside your other equipment is often a point in their favor—when the sound is just as good, the more convenient option certainly seems like the better choice.
There is something to be said for the small batch, handcrafted approach to effects pedal manufacturing, but that’s certainly not the only way to get quality guitar effects. With the best Joyo pedals, you can expand your sound arsenal without wiping out your bank account.