The Visual Sound Jekyll and Hyde Overdrive is a two-headed monster of a pedal. In one (relatively cool-looking) pedal, you get a pretty decent TS-808 reproduction and the other gives your tone some fat distorted qualities. Add some well-rounded customization to both sides, and you’ve got all the gain you’ll ever need, and then some from this overdrive effects pedal.
Two pedals in one – The Jekyll side is a pretty faithful reproduction of the classic Tube Screamer, the TS-808. On the Hyde side, you get a fairly generic (but still useful) heavy distortion. Both sides have their own separate Drive and Volume knobs. The Tone section on the Jekyll side is in one knob, while the Hyde side essentially divides tone into two knobs, a Treble and a Mid. Presumably, it’s because the Hyde pedal focuses on distorting your tone, so it needs a little more fine-tuning to get that emulation just right. Another separating feature is a different switch on each pedal: Jekyll features a Bass Boost, and Hyde has a Sharp/Blunt switch. Sharp accentuates the brighter aspects of your tone, and Blunt compresses it, giving it a bit darker of an edge.
Two separate foot switches – Either one can be engaged separately, or they can be used jointly for a massive boost/distortion combination. This is useful if you want to have two different types of gain for different songs or guitars.
Uses one 9V battery or a 9V DC power supply. A word of warning: the battery won’t last long. Skip it and go with an outside power source.
Versatility – The Jekyll and Hyde gives you loads of options to play with in terms of distortion and overdrive. Not only do you get two pedals in one, but each pedal is fairly customizable by itself. Turn them on together, and you effectively get a third pedal (albeit a screaming, dirty, noisy pedal, even if they say it has “noise reduction”).
Durability – This thing is made of aluminum and can take a beating. Even if something does happen to it, Visual Sound does have a lifetime warranty on it (if you bought it new), so use it and abuse it.
Board Consolidation – If you really need both a TS-808-replica and a general-use distortion next to each other in your signal chain, go with this pedal. It will at the very least save you a patch cable and a power jack.
Price – The Jekyll and Hyde boasts two pedals for the price of . . . well, two pedals. It is possible to buy two separate pedals that do essentially the same thing – say, a Son of Hyde and a Boss SD-1 – for the same price as this pedal. If you need two overdrives on your board, then by all means, get this pedal and save a bit of space and cable; otherwise, just grab the one overdrive you’re looking for.
Feedback – Just because you can use both sides of the Jekyll and Hyde at the same time doesn’t necessarily mean you should. At higher gain levels, you’ll get some terribly nasty feedback. The most effective use of this pedal is when you’re using only one side or the other.
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