JHS’ Color Box Version 2 is a combination of DI box, preamp and equalizer with a completely analogue circuit in the style of a Neve 1073 preamp. The new version adds a couple of useful features that makes this interesting little tool even more useful.
Playing guitars directly into the mixer is not for everyone. But recording them in this way has created some legendary sounds on very famous recordings, including “Revolution” by the Beatles, for example. The JHS Color Box was originally launched in 2014 with the aim of bringing you the sound of the legendary NEVE 1073 preamp, with two two circuits arranged in series. JHS head honcho Josh Scott says:
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 new Color Box V2 has the same XLR/quarter-inch combo jacks as the original edition from 2014. Where it differs is in a set of controls with a 3-band EQ. Below those is a set of knobs for shifting each of the frequency bands. That lets you hone in on a certain part of the bass, mid or treble frequencies and adjust them accordingly.
Controls for Master, Pre-Vol and Step are then used to control the gain stage of the preamp. The Step control increases the gain of each preamp stage in five stages. Plus, you get a very useful Hi/Lo Switch for what JHS describe as “ultra clean” headroom. You also get silent switching, so no pops when the pedal is engaged. The XLR output has 48v phantom power.
The pedal runs via a standard external 9V power supply. Is this the perfect little preamp for many studio applications? I think it could be a great little tool for these scenarios. Make sure to check out the official video below and check the main JHS site for full specifications, as between the two they cover all the juicy details on this great-sounding preamp.
RRP – USD 399