In our review of the JHS Color Box way back in 2015, we noted that the unique preamp approach of the unit lends it to an authentic Revolution-esque drive sound, and that its extensive controls allowed it to function well in pretty much any rig. Now the Color Box has seen an update for 2019, with some new features and improvements to the now ubiquitous device.
Not a guitar pedal as much as it is a general preamp, the Color Box V2 features the same XLR/quarter-inch combo jacks as its predecessor. It is now, however, one row of knobs taller, as below the 3-band EQ there’s now a knob for shifting each frequency band around, allowing you to pinpoint a certain area of bass, mids or treble to control. The same Master, Pre-Vol and Step controls manage the gain stage of the unit.
Josh Scott of JHS said of the upgrade, “In 2012, I had a crazy idea for a tone shaping device that had never been done before in the world of guitar pedals. I wanted to create an effects pedal that replicated the hard to achieve sounds of ‘direct-in’ electric guitar recordings that I loved… This unit can be heard on dozens of recordings from U2, Wilco, Beck, Mac DeMarco, St. Vincent, The National, Spoon, Collective Soul, Muse, to War on Drugs, Foo Fighters, and Phantogram amongst others. As proud of this pedal as we were, we wanted to make it better, so we did.”
The most notable changes listed are the addition of an output transformer, the ability to pass on 48v Phantom Power to Mics, the aforementioned EQ shift knobs, a Hi/Lo switch for adding in more headroom, and the introduction of silent-switching.
The Color Box V2 lists for $399. More information at jhspedals.com.