At The Farm, we don’t rely on bland manufacturer stock photos - we physically photograph one of each model to show a better representation of the product. Some minor details like wood grain and color finishes can and may vary slightly from the pictures below.
In 2012, JHS had a crazy idea for a tone shaping device that had never been done before in the world of guitar pedals. They wanted to create an effects pedal that replicated the hard to achieve sounds of "direct-in" electric guitar recordings that so many love. Bands like the Beatles, Spoon, Wilco, and Steely Dan had used this technique for years, but it was nearly impossible to recreate live.
JHS wanted this pedal to transform guitar rigs into the tonal equivalent of a Neve studio console, and that was no small task. After lots of trial and error, experimentation, and re-works, this concept evolved into something far beyond what they had imagined.
In 2014, as they filmed the first demo videos at Abbey Road Studios in London, this idea had evolved into the most unique product JHS had ever made. The Colour Box was a full-fledged studio-grade preamplifier, EQ, and distortion generator with multi-instrument compatibility.
The Colour Box V2 has all the same functionality of the V1 with many new and improved additions like expanded EQ controls, a Hi/Lo switch for massive clean headroom, and the ability to pass phantom power to your condenser mics.
The most significant improvements are:
Addition of an Output transformer
Safely Passes 48v Phantom Power
EQ Shift Knobs for precision EQ control
Hi/Lo Switch for ultra clean headroom
100% available clean signal even on acoustic guitar
Silent switching, aka no "switch-pop"
Runs on standard 9V DC Neg power
The Gain section in red has three controls: Master, Pre-Vol, and Step. The Master volume controls the overall volume of the unit. The Pre-Vol controls the amount of gain between the two internal gain stages. This acts as a "drive" or "gain" control, adding more grit, distortion, and even fuzz as you increase the gain.
The Step control increases the gain of each preamp stage in five stages. Rotating the Step knob from left-to-right will increase the gain by the following: 1st is +18 dB, 2nd is +23 dB, 3rd is +28 dB, 4th is +33 dB, 5th is +39 dB.
The Colour Box V2 has a new Hi / Lo switch to control the amount of clean headroom you have available. In the Lo mode, you will easily be able to get ultra clean sounds without breakup. Lo Mode is excellent for tone shaping when distortion is not needed. In the Hi mode, the Colour Box V2 will distort much more readily, giving you a broad spectrum of overdrive, distortion, and fuzz sounds.
In addition to the Hi / Lo gain switch, there is a -20dB pad switch on the right side of the Colour Box V2. This function only works when in XLR input mode and can help tame the volume for high output microphones.
The EQ section in blue has three new Shift controls correlating to its standard Treble, Middle and Bass controls. The Shift knobs adjust the range of frequencies that the Treble, Middle, and Bass knobs control. The center frequencies for the Shift knobs are Treble 10kHz, Middle 1kHz, and Bass 120Hz, while the Treble, Middle, and Bass knobs boost or cut with +/- 17dB of control. If you want to boost high-mid frequencies, turn the Mid Shift knob to 3'oclock or above and increase the Middle knob above 12 o'clock If you want to cut upper treble frequencies, turn the Treble Shift knob to 3 o'clock or above and set the Treble knob below 12 o'clock. The Shift knobs give you precision control over the EQ for anything you put through the Colour Box V2.
Frequencies controlled by Shift Knobs:
Treble: 1kHz - 15kHz +/- 15dB
Mid: 160Hz - 2.5kHz +/- 10dB
Bass: 20Hz - 400Hz +/-15dB
HPF 160Hz - 650Hz 3dBper octave filter
The Hi-Pass section is enabled by the toggle switch below the Hi-Pass knob. Just flip it up to engage the Hi-Pass knob, which spans from 60Hz to 800Hz with a 6dB per octave slope.
The Colour Box V2 has a combination XLR and 1/4" input jack to use either an instrument or microphone. Select your input with the input selector switch on the right side of the pedal labeled INST/XLR.
- Brand: JHS Pedals
- Approx. Weight: 1lb 5oz
- Effect Type: Preamp/EQ/Overdrive/Distortion/Fuzz/DI Box
- Battery Type: 9 Volt
- Power Supply Included: No
- Input 1: 1/4 Inch/XLR
- Output 1: 1/4 Inch
- Output 2: XLR