by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Joyo R-03 UZI Distortion Pedal

Joyo R-03 UZI Distortion Pedal  ·  Source: Joyo/Youtube


After the announcement last week that Chinese pedal maker Joyo is releasing a new R Series of effects, which launched with the Tauren Overdrive, news has reached us of a new R-03 UZI distortion pedal. In the official demo video below, you can hear it being put through its paces.


R-03 UZI distortion pedal

Joyo manufactures budget effects pedals, with a fairly large operation based in China. A couple of its effects have become budget classics in recent years. One particular pedal, the Ultimate Drive, was so good that an unscrupulous ’boutique pedal builder’ was rebadging them and selling them on at a serious premium. When the guitar community outed them it all went horribly wrong, with some serious online backlash.

When Joyo announced a new premium budget pedal line last week, it piqued the interest of many players. I own the Ultimate Drive and I’ve found it’s a decent drive pedal, so this new R Series has my attention. The latest pedal in the line-up is the R-03 UZI distortion pedal, the higher gain sibling of last week’s R-01 Tauren Overdrive.

Joyo R-03 UZI Distortion pedal

Joyo R-03 UZI Distortion pedal

British and American

Essentially, this is a high-gain pedal with a Bias knob and the ability to cover both British and American drive tones. These are based around the legendary Marshall JCM 800 and JCM900 amps, so it should suit both classic heavy rock and metal styles.

It sports a simple control layout consisting of Volume, Gain, Bias and a three-band EQ, which consists of High, Mid and Low knobs. 

The pedal sounds pretty tight in the official demo video, with lots to offer for such a low price. I’m hoping that the pedal holds up at high volume, which I find is where a lot of heavy gain distortion pedals often fall down and become fizzy. However, the demo sounds really good. The UZI distortion has the handy ambient light feature from the Tauren overdrive that you can toggle on and off using a switch on the base of the unit.

RRP – GBP 49.95


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  • Joyo R-03 UZI Distortion pedal: Joyo
Joyo R-03 UZI Distortion Pedal

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3 responses to “Joyo extends new R Series with R-03 UZI distortion pedal”

    William Paxson says:

    Looks good-Joyo seems to be stepping up their offerings and are getting quite a good rep. Popular one over here in the States is the Joyo US Dream pedal which is literally the Suhr Riot distortion at less than 1/4 the price.

      Jef says:

      I’ve heard good things about the US Dream as well, never bought one as I already own a Suhr Riot pedal. I was always impressed that Freekish Blues got away with their whole rebadging of the Ultimate Drive for so long. Goes to show you don’t need to spend a fortune to get good guitar tones though. This new R-Series looks like it could be a real hit, especially if the build quality is decent, which is where a lot of cheaper pedals often fall down on.

      Pretty sure I will have to try some of these out when they hit dealers here in the UK.

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