JHS Pedals company is located in the USA and all of its pedal units are manufactured in three places - Kansas City, Southern California, and Michigan. Started in 2007 by Josh Scott, it is recognized all around the world for its quality effect pedals. Pulp n Peel V4 compressor pedal is labelled as a true and transparent compressor by JHS. Some even call it a compression pedal for players who do not like compression.
Originally, the compression pedals were created to suppress the undesired volume peaks, which could otherwise make the needle fall off the records. Modern guitar players use the compressor pedals to create unique tones and alter the dynamic range during a solo or live band performance. They can also help add sustain, which makes the played note last longer.
By altering the dynamic range, we mean that, compressor will bring down the volume when you play your guitar very loud, thereby reducing the difference between the peak and average value of the signal. Compressors basically flatten out the loudness and softness of the guitar volume making the sound very even. This often leads to a common misconception that this effect deprives the sound of its dynamics and texture.
Compressor pedals have two main controls, threshold and ratio. They work by comparing the volume of guitar signal to the set threshold volume. If the input is more than the threshold value, the excess value is reduced by the set ratio. Consider an example, where X dB is the threshold value, X + 5 dB is the input signal value, 5:1 is the set ratio. As the input signal surpasses the threshold by 5 dB, this excess signal is reduced to 1 dB and output from the unit is X + 1 dB.
Things to Consider before buying a Compressor Pedal
Some of the factors you need to consider include parameters to be controlled, type of compression used, do you want to use the pedal with other effect units, size of the unit and True Bypass Vs Buffered Output. We will briefly discuss these in this section
Pump n Peel V4
Features and Benefits
JHS pulp n peel V4 compressor unit is a relatively new addition to the compression pedals repertoire of the company. It is an advancement over JHS Pulp n Peel V3 with additions like an EQ knob, dirt toggle switch, an XLR output and improvements in features like detection, headroom, built in parallel overdrive circuit etc.
We will discuss some important features of the JHS unit here:
- 1Truly transparent: The unit is true and transparent, which implies that it does not impact the frequency shifting effects but only affects the volume.
- 2Headroom: This unit features more headroom. Headroom quantifies how much clean power, without any distortion, can be delivered by an amp in a small interval, above its regular steady output. So more headroom allows the clean tone to stay clean and at the same time when the volume is higher, it will push the amplifier harder into overdrive.
- 3Blend Control: The unit has a parallel compression circuit. This feature allows you to mix the compressed and uncompressed signals in your desired proportions to get ideal balance.
- 4Active EQ Control: This control allows you to add extra bass or treble, as per your requirements.
- 5Detection: Pulp n Peel V4 has vastly improved detection system that allows you to maintain the instrument's natural attack, provide low noise floor, to have smoother tones and added sustain.
- 6Dirt Control: The unit has an overdrive circuit, that injects the desired amount of dirt / overdrive into the signal path. The amount of diet is controlled by a trimpot. The dirt control is impacted by blend control also by a substantial amount.
- 7The pulp n peel unit has fairly standard 1/4" input and output jacks. In addition to these, it has an XLR output jack for DI purposes, providing balanced output, so that you can directly connect your JHS pulp n peel V4 compressor pedal to a mixer or studio interface. This output converts pulp n peel unit to an active DI channel strip for bass and other acoustic instruments. Additionally a ground lift is provided to take care of the case where the DI signal creates a hum.
- 8This is an analog unit that works on 9V DC Power supply with 32 mA current. One negative feature of the unit is that it does not have a provision to work with a battery and power supply adapter is not included.
JHS pulp n peel V4 compressor preamp pedal has all the essential controls to compress the tone and improve its qualities. These controls are established through 4 knobs, 1 dirt switch, one foot switch and a dirt pot. Let us look at them in some detail.
- 1Volume knob: This is the standard master volume control that governs the baseline output volume of the unit, basically the threshold.
- 2Compressor Knob: This controls the amount of compression applied to your sound. This adds more compression / sustain when you rotate the knob clockwise.
- 3Blend Control Knob: This controls the blend between the compressed (wet) and the uncompressed (dry) signals. Compression increases as you rotate the knob clockwise while the ratio of uncompressed signal increases in counterclockwise rotation of the knob. The attack is governed by this control.
- 4EQ Knob: When the knob is in center (12.00 hrs clock) position, the control is bypassed. Moving the knob counterclockwise, adds the low end and decreases the high end, while clockwise rotation adds high end and reduces low end frequency signals.
- 5Dirt Toggle Switch & Dirt Trim pot: Added by JHS in the V4 compressor pedal, this control activates the overdrive circuit. This works in conjunction with the trim pot located on the side of the V4 compressor preamp. The trim pot allows the players to decide the amount gain they want. Thus Pulp n Peel V4 compressor preamp also acts as a low gain overdrive unit. This feature is particularly helpful for bass players.
- 6Buffer On / Off Switch: This switch allows users to go from True bypass in off position to Buffered Output in On position and vice-versa.
As is common with any of the compressor pedals, if you are using pulp n peel for the first time, you may feel that it does not make any difference to the sound. You need to switch off the pedal to note how much it was actually improving your sound.
The below video demonstrates the performance of JHS pulp n peel V4 with different settings of the volume, compression, blend and EQ controls. The demo also shows the effect of the dirt switch, which adds a parallel layer of overdrive and harmonic overtones over the compressed signal.
JHS Pulp n peel V4 compressor preamp produces smooth and sweet sound. When the EQ is in bypassed condition, It improves your tone without impacting its dynamics. The pedal works perfectly with all types of acoustic, electric and bass guitars.
Social Proof of the Pedal
It is very important to read the views of new as well as experienced players, who have purchased and used the instrument in consideration. In this section, we present some of the reviews that we have collected from the web, with our comments on them to guide you.
The reviewer expresses his appreciation of the performance and features of the JHS Pulp n Peel unit, particularly the buffer and the dirt mode. Ability to switch the buffer on and off with ease through the side switch is very helpful. He places pulp n peel V4 as the first pedal in the chain, and likes the sweet tone.
As stated earlier Compressor pedal is one of the most underestimated and not commonly understood pedals. Same is the case with this reviewer, who states that he is not clear what it is doing but invariably uses it with his guitar, bass and baritone.
This reviewer had some dead spots in the knob of his unit and returned it, but wants to reorder and have a Pulp n Peel V4 compressor unit again.
Pulp n Peel V4 compressor is among the very best compressor pedals available in the market. You may find it a bit expensive in comparison to its competition, but its features, build quality, parallel overdrive, low profile gain control and sound output justifies its price and makes it an ideal device to invest in. Unless you are severely constrained by the budget, check out this pedal!