The name suggests that the new Joyo R 20 King Of Kings could be a clone of the boutique Analog Man KOTv4 dual overdrive pedal. The much-coveted KOTv4 pedal currently has a multi-year waiting list, and prices on the second-hand market are reaching well above the original cost. Could this be a cheaper way to get that elusive tone?
The King of Tone pedal is based on the Marshall Blues Breaker pedal’s circuit that Mike Piera of Analog Man originally developed for The Band guitarist Jim Weider. It’s a good pedal. I owned one and gigged with it for a while, but I think it sounds best when played at stage volume, and not as sweet at lower levels. That is just my personal preference. But players do love them, so much so, that the waiting list to order one is now around 3 years, and because of this, the used prices of the KOTv4 have skyrocketed in recent years.
There have been four major revisions, hence the current V4 in the abbreviation. Mike also makes a single channel Prince Of Tone, essentially half the pedal. It takes far less time to build, for people who cannot wait for a fully-fledged dual version.
Joyo R 20 King Of Kings
The new Joyo R 20 King Of Kings is also a vintage double overdrive, and I assume has two identical circuits, just like the KOTv4. Each has its own independent volume, gain and tone controls. The Joyo version has two mini-switches on the front panel to vary the diode clipping and feedback of each section. Whereas the Analog Man KOTv4 uses internal mini DIP selectors to choose between clean, overdrive and distortion modes for each side of the pedal.
Are they the same?
Unlikely. But I think Joyo is trying very hard to clone the Analog Man KOTv4 circuit as best they can. Though I very much doubt it will be as well put together as the boutique hand-made pedal from the USA. It will be built to a price in a factory in China instead.
The very brief official demo video below gives an indication of what it sounds like. For now, we will have to wait and see what players think, once they get their hands on them. The price appears to be roughly €75, and many guitarists may find that super attractive.