Clean alternative to Joyo American?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BunchyMutt, May 29, 2018.

  1. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    My distortion comes from running a guitar distortion pedal in parallel with the Joyo American Sound. There are some things I love about the Joyo and some characteristics that I find difficult.

    What I like:
    - Price point
    - Size (not too large)
    - Best of all, it's control of the mid frequencies with the mid control and the voice.
    - Not totally transparent. When drive is set to minimum or almost, it adds a subtle warmth/compression

    What I dislike:
    - Bass control. Just doesn't sit right with me. It's a little loose to me and doesn't seem to add much emphasis on the fundamental, just low end presence
    - Lack of headroom. Since I run it mostly clean and the eq is before the drive, it's hard not to clip it. I don't particularly like the od/distortion character either, just a little mushy

    So, is there anything out there that has the eq control of the American, that is capable of adding some slight distortion or compression magic, that has a better bass control, and isn't hundreds of dollars (rules out DG stuff)?

    EDIT: I've tried the British and it didn't sit as well in the parallel mix + the bass response was sorta weak

    I'm also comfortable switching out components in the American if people have experience doing that.
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  2. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    somebody correct me if I'm wrong but fairly sure the Joyo American is a copy of this:


    there is also the Throttle Box and the Dr. Boogie not to mention the Wampler Triple Wreck and the R3FX Dual Resistafier...but I have never tried any of them on bass
  3. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    I think the American is a clone of the Blonde. Fender, from what i understand, not Mesa
    ruju, ObsessiveArcher and Axstar like this.
  4. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    I'd think that maybe the VT bass could fit the bill, except for a major problem - the mid control on the Joyo American is set at 1kHz while the VT is at 500Hz. I don't want to lose the mid eq capabilities
  5. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    um that would be this one...


    pretty sure the Us Steel with the tread plate is supposed to emulate a Rectifier type sound

    if not the California is absolutely a Mesa emulator

    Duder likes this.
  6. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    I took apart my old American Sound a few years ago for an inspection and compared it to a circuit schematic to see what mods were possible. Yes, the Joyo American Sound is a clone. The last stage output buffer has a 1Khz bump of around 6db. This is what gives it that characterised mid push. None of the EQ controls are set to the same frequency, so you can't dial out this colouration on board. The bass control (from memory) is set to a quite high 120hz. This allows for a strong bass boost, but without the usual cone rattling thunder that happens with 50-100hz bass boost. I means you can boost your bass without killing your amp / speakers. this frequency can easily be changed by soldering a resistor of the correct value in parallel to an existing resistor to change it's value, thus shifting the frequency.
    So after all that, here's the bad news. Most of the Joyo's circuitry is miniaturised SMD components. It's very unlikely that a domestic user can solder this finely or accurately. Unless you have a serious skills and equipment in this are likely to make a big and unrecoverable mess of your pedal. Which is why my American Sound was left unmodified.
  7. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    TC Mojomojo perhaps? It is also meant to be a 'Fender' style overdrive, clips seem to display it sounding pretty clean at minimum gain. I have one on the way to me so I'll be able to compare to my Joyo in a few days time.
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  8. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I owned a Joyo American for a while. It has an always-on speaker sim circuit in place, and the circuit board itself was populated with SMT components. There is a mod for bypassing the speaker sim, but it involves soldering jumpers to SMT components, and won't tighten up the low end or shift the center frequency of it.
  9. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    "I know you said you want to keep it fairly inexpensive and that that rules out DG pedals, but I think you should get the AO/U. It's the greatest!" - common TB response....

    I think the mid control for the VT is 1000hz and the 500hz claim is a typo. Or is it the other way around? Now I don't remember.
  10. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  11. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    If you like the American and sort of liked the British you might try the California. I have all 3 and use the American and California in two separate boards.
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  12. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    pudgychef likes this.
  13. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    What are the tonal differences?
  14. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    For my ears I think the California has a little tighter low end and overall punchier and more compressed.
    SirMjac28 and GentProvocateur like this.
  15. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Any idea if the Tech21 versions of the pedals are easier to mod?
  16. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
  17. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Hmm, sorta hard to tell. I actually prefer the American in that vid. The CA is a lot darker and less articulate.
    Snowglo likes this.
  18. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I use the American and California sound constantly. I have to use them along with my SansAmp. It tightens up the bottom end significantly. I find the American warmer, but the California slightly punchier. I run the American clean to very mild grit and the California medium to heavy grit. Both are great at those settings.

    The only way I found to keep up clean headroom is to keep the voice knob turned below noon. If you go noon or up, with most pickups, it's gonna get gritty.
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    If you're having output issues with the American I would think the Cali is going to be the same thing. All those pedals are exactly the same just with different flavors I imagine.
    GentProvocateur likes this.

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