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Overuse of a compressor can really turn a player off, too much and all that hard earned tone gets squished out of the signal. But in the right application it’s like an audio spice, adding just the right amount of kick. JHS unleashes the latest version of their Pulp ‘N’ Peel compressor, which isn’t just the average stomp box, and it’s not just for guitarists.
The controls are really simple: Volume, Compressor, EQ and Blend, which balances the level of effect vs an un-effected sound, while the Dirt switch engages a distortion/overdrive circuit. Inside the pedal is a trim pot that can control the level of this effect. For the real pedal nerds, it can be set for either true bypass or buffered bypass. Standard 1/4” TRS inputs and outputs are there, but an XLR output is also available. A ground lift switch can eliminate any grounding hum and uses a standard 9V connector.▼ Article continues below ▼
Plugging it in, and starting with each control at “noon,” it is certainly present when engaged, but not overpowering. Even at extreme settings, there’s still plenty of toneful goodness coming through. It’s one of those pedals that doesn’t seem to get in the way of the music; the design isn’t based off of a program, rather the feel of what’s actually musical, and what a guitar player will want to use it for. A great application of this is really maxing out the compressor control, but dropping the level of effect, and giving it more volume. It can really make a guitar pop out of a mix, without getting goopy or overdone. Adding in the dirt switch, especially for solos, can really smooth things out, almost emulating the sag of a tube amp. This could possibly replace a boost pedal on a lot of pedalboards.
With the XLR out and the ground lift, this is also great as a DI for acoustic guitars, live or in the studio. Plug in an acoustic pickup through this while mixing the sound hole, can really open up tonal opportunities in the studio, without the need for CPU-hogging plug-ins. Bassists usually don’t go for guitar based fx pedals, but this used as DI, with or without an amp, can really add some extra thump; engage the dirt switch, and it can really cover any vintage-style overdriven bass tones, without getting over saturated.
Sound-wise, JHS hit it out of the park – it’s not over processed, and works best on its natural terms. Coming in with a $229 street price, it’s certainly not cheap. But considering it’s a classic sounding, musical compressor that can deliver for electric or acoustic guitars, as well as bass guitar, can be used as a DI or as a boost, in most situations, there is a plenty of value to be had.
Great sounding, musical in every setting, works for guitars or bass.
A bit pricey, cannot be powered by a battery.
We hoped you enjoyed our review of the JHS Pulp ‘n’ Peel v4 compressor/preamp pedal. Let us know what you think in the comments below or drop a line on the Performer Magazine Facebook page or on Twitter @Performermag.