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Joyo Sweet Baby JF-36 overdrive pedal review

 
Joyo-JF36-Sweet-Baby
Joyo-JF36-Sweet-Baby
Joyo-JF36-Sweet-Baby

 
Overview
 

Type:
 
Buy: Buy from Amazon
 
Sound
9.0


 
Features
7.0


 
Build Quality
7.0


 
Value
10


 
Total Score
8.3


User Rating
6 total ratings

 

Pros


Great tone for amazing price

Cons


A little light weight


Verdict

Amazing tone for such a low price. An easy recommendation to add to your gear.

0
Posted November 20, 2013 by

 
Full review
 
 
J

oyo is getting a bit of a reputation….for producing really cheap effect pedals that produce a great sound.  Manufactured in China, their range covers a broad spectrum of tones and the Sweet Baby is their most popular overdrive offering.  It is becoming widely available as retailers jump on to offer these budget priced stomp boxes to guitarists worldwide.

Joyo Sweet Baby

First impressions of the Sweet Baby are that it looks great.  It has a vintage appeal and the pale orange looks good.  The finish has a powder coat effect which feels premium.  The build quality is solid, however, it is light and some may say a little plasticky.  The button itself is heavy duty, so there were no problems in use, but its definitely not as solid as other common stomp box brands.  In saying this, it’s important to note that the Sweet Baby costs less than 20% of some other overdrive pedals.  I don’t think the pedal will break, but it is definitely light and the casing is either a thick plastic or a thin alloy.  If anyone has owned a Sweet Baby for a while, or any other Joyo pedals, please leave some comments about your experience regarding durability.

It’s not all about looks

Of course, we don’t buy stomp boxes to look at them and weigh them (well, at least I don’t), so lets talk about tone.  Now considering the very low price, my expectations were low.  If I can get even one tone I like, I’d be content.  This is where the Sweet Baby delivers far beyond her price tag.  This pedal sounds awesome!  I would call it a light overdrive, the sort of tone where you can strum chords and still hear each string.  Then when it comes to lead playing, it’s just spot on.  Now I realise this is a subjective thing, everyone looks for different tones in an overdrive.  However, in discussions I’ve had with retailers, this pedal is being bought by a wide range of players, so there is wide appeal.


In terms of use, it’s a basic stomp box…everyone knows how they work, one input, one output, one button – that’s part of the reason they’re so appealing.  There are 3 basic dials, Volume, Drive and Focus.  The first two are pretty obvious, Volume will amplify the signal and Drive will increase the level of overdrive.  Combined, they offer a wide range of settings to give you the right level of “crunch” that you’re after.  I found the best tones to be at 12 o’clock or lower for both controls, but that’s definitely a personal preference.

The Sweet Baby will excel for blues applications, but I also found that with the Drive set low, you could give any chord progression some colour, suiting basically any style.  The Focus control is supposed to add an additional tone control to the Sweet Baby.  To

The Sweet Baby will excel for blues applications

be honest, I didn’t notice a huge difference when I used this control.  If anything, I would say that when turned “up” the Focus control added some brightness to the tone.  This may be more noticeable on some guitar/amp combinations?

I tested the Sweet Baby with a variety of single coil and humbucker guitars, as well as solid state and tube amps.  I found all to be equally as appealing, with no apparent preference to any particular combination.

True Bypass

Joyo Sweet Baby 1

You will see that just beneath the button on the Sweet Baby, it says “True Bypass”.  So what does this mean?  Well in lay terms, it means that when the Sweet Baby is not on, your guitar signal is being passed straight from the input to the output of the pedal, “bypassing” the circuitry in the Sweet Baby.  I won’t go into the pros and cons of this in this review, but suffice to say that many guitarists would consider that true bypass is a real bonus in such a cheap pedal. On some pedals without bypass, your amp tone can be altered when the signal is passed through the circuitry.

The Verdict

So in short, the Sweet Baby is a bit of a no brainer.  The light weight construction won’t bother you, and it looks more expensive than it costs to me.  But the most important aspect is tone, and this is where Joyo have delivered beyond the price tag.  I found excellent crunch tones, especially on the lower settings.  At this price, even if you just get one tone you like, it’s worth it. Having said that, I think you’ll find a lot more than that after playing around for a while.  Hearing the quality of the Joyo Sweet Baby makes me want to review more Joyo pedals, so stay tuned!

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