Hudson Electronics Broadcast vs. JHS Colour Box

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mstill78, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. Hudson Electronics Broadcast Dual Footswitch

  2. JHS Colour Box V2

  1. Hello TBers. Wondering if any of you have direct experience with both the Hudson Electronics Broadcast dual footswitch version and the JHS Colour Box V2? Although these boxes seem to be marketed as preamp pedals, I am actually interested in potentially using one as a mild(ish) drive pedal.
    I am a fan of that vintage, saturated bass tone and I generally play passive Fender basses through either an Ampeg SVT-VR or an Ampeg V-4B.

    I am interested in learning about the characteristics of each pedal and how they compare to one another. I am also interested in learning about the perceived pros and cons of each pedal, their tonal characteristics, how they might, if at all, color the tone as well as the sound quality of the OD.

    What draws me to the Broadcast is the low gain/high gain option, the germanium transistor and its simplicity. What concerns me about it is whether or not it is a noisy pedal as well as its lack of EQ capability (if that is even at all a valid concern).

    With respect to the Colour Box, I like that it has a ton of control and EQ capability, the step control for the gain stage and the XLR out. Conversely, a potential concern that I have is given that it might be difficult to get it dialed in due to all of the control options. I'm also wondering if when being overdriven that the tone might not be as desirable compared to the Broadcast.

    I do recognize that these are very subjective considerations but I would very much welcome and appreciate the experience and opinions of those of you have played with these boxes, particularly those who have direct experience with both. Both pedals aren't what I would consider to be inexpensive so I am merely attempting to consider all possibilities to assist me in making an informed choice.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
    BrentSimons likes this.
  2. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Anytime there’s a non JHS option, that’s the one I would take
    ghill166, jbhaugh, extreme and 2 others like this.
  3. Ouch. They make good pedals on par with Boss or MXR, but the Colour box is their flagship pedal. I'd give it the benefit of the doubt.
    mojo filters, BrentSimons and DrMole like this.
  4. I don't have any direct experience with JHS pedals. Is there any reason why I would want to keep away from them?
    BrentSimons likes this.
  5. I voted Colourbox V2 due to more controls (yes, more is not always better) and XLR output AND input (good to sing through your pedalboard). I'm not Sinatra so maybe a chorus pedal will smooth out my monotone delivery.
  6. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I’m sure you have top notch google skills
  7. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I would buy a MXR or Boss pedal any day
  8. Everyone has an opinion, but if you don't mind me saying, you don't exactly back up your claims. What happened that was so bad? I don't buy MXR, for example, due to multiple "meh" experiences.
    BrentSimons and DrMole like this.
  9. I'd go Colour Box. JHS use it for the bass in most of their YouTube videos and it always sounds really good. Not sure I've ever heard the Broadcast on bass but I feel like it's more aimed at guitar players.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  10. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Colour Box. It's really not hard to dial in. There are a bunch of decent how-ta videos. Really good direct-board tone and you can drive it a little and sounds good. Cool thing about JHS is most of their stuff works well with bass even if it isn't labeled that way. They make one called a Crayon (tried but didn't buy) that is basically a simplified, lower cost Colour Box, single tone color and gain, can fuzz, no XLR, built in HPF but might be higher than you need for bass at 200Hz. I got the Colour Box instead but I've never had a chance to DI it, there's a pandemic that's slowing a lot of experiential thingys now. Everyone has an opinion, that's mine.
    BrentSimons and DrMole like this.
  11. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    For actual drive use, I'm not sure the JHS will do mild very well... it's a great box and modeled after the Neve 1073 studio preamp, but that pre is known for getting its best sound clean and riding the edge of breakup. It's got a strongly characteristic solid-state clipped signal once you cross well over. I personally like it but it's not what many would call a classic or typical overdrive.
    Nunovsky likes this.
  12. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I have a broadcast clone and I really love it specially when runned at higher voltage (my power supply only goes up to 18v but I also love it that way) with low gain. It adds a really cool saturation that adds the right amount of grain to your tone. The combination of the germanium with the transformer based tone works magic. And if you run it at lower voltage and max the gain it's a great sounding fuzz on it's own. It does loose a bit of low end once you start cranking up the gain but it's really a great sounding pedal. Mine is a modded version that has also a low pass filter that helps to tame the loss of low end.
    I've never tried the Colour Box but it looks like an amazing unit. It's more complete in the way that it has eq and DI out and that may be worth the extra money.
    From what I know, they have been shaped using 2 diferent reference vintage mixers so although they may cross common ground they are diferent pedals and may be complementary.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
    DrMole likes this.
  13. Thanks for the constructive feedback. I looked at the Crayon as well and thought that the Colour Box was the better option of the two. Glad to hear that its not difficult to get it dialed in. In your experience, what is the tone like when you start pushing the gain harder?
  14. Hmm... I'm not sure that I am after the solid state clipped signal characteristic, I'm more interested in acquiring something that resembles tube amp break up. Thanks for clarifying.
  15. Yes, I do believe the same to be true about them being modeled after 2 different mixing consoles. The versatility of the Colour Box draws me toward it but everything else about the Broadcast intrigues me more, with the exception of not being able to tone shape. May I ask which Broadcast clone you have? Thank you for the feedback.
    Nunovsky likes this.
  16. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I have this one from Demiurge Instruments which is a small builder based in the UK. It's basically a double broadcast in a smaller box with the internal gain trimpots placed in the front, with a switch to select silicon instead of germanium and an added lfp. I really love it. It has a certain tone quality that brings into your tone that you don't get with other pedals.

  17. It is internet-fashionable to hate on Josh and JHS.:meh:

    I have zero JHS pedals but the Colour Box is on my shortlist of pedals in next 6-12 months.
  18. jbhaugh

    jbhaugh Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2018
    ABQ, NM, USA
    The reasons people avoid JHS don't involve the quality or reliability of the product. They involve the business practices of the company and some things Josh Scott has done and said. If none of that matters to you, there's no reason for you to care.
  19. Erik herman

    Erik herman Gold Supporting Member

    I voted the colour box, Josh Scott is the man! I highly suggest watching his YouTube channel, where he spends most of his time fanboying over other people’s pedals. He is an avid collector and has wealth of knowledge of the history of pedals. If showing a modern comparison to a vintage pedal he almost always uses one of his peers pedals for demonstration and constantly brings offerings from other pedal builders to the table. He seems like a really humble and down to earth guy who passionately loves all things effects
  20. Wow! This appears to certainly have some more tone shaping options with both the HPF and LPF. Also, the ability to switch between silicon and germanium is an added bonus. Is it a reasonably quiet pedal, i.e no hissing?
    Nunovsky likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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