Anyone using a JHS Crayon?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jj4001, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I'm curious how anyone out there may be using the JHS Crayon (or even the Colorbox).

    I really like what I hear in the few demos of it paired with bass I can find online. Maybe I'm wrong, but somehow I get the feeling that setting it cleaner with just a little bit of grit can get that tubby, rubbery bass tone you'd hear on a Joe Meek recording. (Man, I LOVE that bass and drum sound.)

    My SGFX Beta died on me so I'm looking for it's replacement. Only, I'm wondering if it makes any sense to run a Crayon in between my preamp and DI to FOH. My thinking is that if the Crayon clones the sound of a Neve channel strip, wouldn't it make sense to put it last in the signal chain to fully recreate the effect?
    Nunovsky likes this.
  2. Jonahlane

    Jonahlane Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2016
    I use a colourbox v2, which is the crayon plus an EQ and transformers. I really like it, but wouldn’t compare it to the beta. The beta feels more tube like in the breakup response, kinda farty and responsive, while the colorbox is stiffer and has a very different kind of breakup. Don’t really know how to describe it.
  3. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I'm interested in something different than the Beta. It's a great touch-sensitive OD, but I don't always love it when I'm playing notes on the D and G strings. That said, I will have it repaired at some point anyway.
  4. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    That's how I use my Broadcast which is also a good option for that sound, specially when runned at higher voltages.
    jj4001 likes this.
  5. Kendescending


    Feb 27, 2020
    I haven't tried the Crayon, but I have the Colourbox V2, which sounds great. However, the distortion out of it doesn't sound like tube distortion. I actually like the sound of my Hudson Broadcast better, but the Colourbox V2 does have an EQ (if that's important to you). The Broadcast is permanently on my pedal board.
    jj4001 and Nunovsky like this.
  6. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Interesting. I didn't know about the Hudson Broadcast. Looks like more research for me.
  7. I've had the Crayon, Colorbox and quite a few Broadcasts.

    Really like them all, but for totally different things. Colour Box as a clean Preamp with a great EQ, Hudson as an always on slightly dirty Preamp and the Crayon as full on distortion.

    I find the greatest similarities between the Hudson and the Crayon but found the Crayon to get a bit "overblown" when you hit it hard, like when you hit a compressor and it dips your signal. However you might find differently depending on your setup.
    Personally I just don't think I dig the distortion character of the Colour Box and Crayon, but as a clean / pushed Preamp, the colour box was great.

    The Hudson has less EQ options but if you're looking for the "overdriven console" sort of sound, it does that, as well as being a good general overdrive, distortion and Preamp.
    jj4001, Kendescending and Nunovsky like this.
  8. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    This is exactly the type of feedback I was looking for. Very helpful. Thank you.

    Overdriven console is the sound I’m looking for more so than full-on distortion. I was thinking of using the Crayon as an always on, cleanish signal, last in my chain before DI and into my power amp. I wasn’t aware of the Hudson Broadcast before posting this thread, but I think the dual version would be perfect since it can do that and overdrive, both in one unit. That said, it’s very spendy! Anyone out there have experience with the DIY Broadcast clones? Do they stack up?

    I’ve got EQ and DI elsewhere on my board so the Colourbox is much more than I need (and would like to spend).
    DosiYanarchy likes this.
  9. The actual retail prices of the Crayon and the Hudson are actually pretty similar (actually the Crayon is more expensive) BUT because the Hudson is only produced in small batches, they sell out quick and then people charge more than the retail price for used one. Not sure what its like in the US (or wherever you are) but the Broadcasts are about £150-160 new.
  10. Kendescending


    Feb 27, 2020
    I have a Hudson Broadcast and a clone of it. The clone I have is very close in sound.
    Morfman6, jj4001 and Dark Horse like this.
  11. Bass Jack

    Bass Jack

    Nov 1, 2016
    I’m using my Crayon as my fuzz pedal. It’s surprisingly brilliant at it. I don’t know a lot about fuzzes TBH but sounds smooth & vintage-y to my ears. I originally used it more as described in this thread but then got tweaking it and fell in love with it as a fuzz.
    IronLung1986 and jj4001 like this.