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JHS (Pedals) Colour Box 500 Preamp/EQ on Drums 500 Series Other Processors
Old 22nd December 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
JHS (Pedals) Colour Box 500 Preamp/EQ on Drums

Hey All,

I decided to make some samples of what the JHS Pedals Colour Box 500 Preamp/EQ can do on a piar of ribbon room mics. I'm using a Cascade X-15 stereo ribbon mic about 10ft up in the room and about 10ft away from the kit. Take a listen!

Old 24th January 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
 

JHS Colour Box 500 series

Sounds sick man!!! I know this is an old thread but wanted to chime in and see if you're still digging the Colour Box. I'm literally about to pull the trigger on a pair along with the pulp n peel compressor and superbolt distortion. I don't understand why these never caught on bc they sound great (at least in the examples/vids I've seen and heard). Have you tried any of their other 500 series modules besides the Colour Box?
Old 30th January 2018
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Thank you! Yes, these are great Distortion/effects boxes. You can really do some awesome creative stuff with them. I haven’t tried any of the other modules but definitely want too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post
Sounds sick man!!! I know this is an old thread but wanted to chime in and see if you're still digging the Colour Box. I'm literally about to pull the trigger on a pair along with the pulp n peel compressor and superbolt distortion. I don't understand why these never caught on bc they sound great (at least in the examples/vids I've seen and heard). Have you tried any of their other 500 series modules besides the Colour Box?
Old 3rd February 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Avenaim View Post
Thank you! Yes, these are great Distortion/effects boxes. You can really do some awesome creative stuff with them. I haven’t tried any of the other modules but definitely want too.
Just a heads up... if there's any other JHS modules your interested in better act fast. Looks like JHS is discontinuing their 500 series stuff. I had a hard time just finding a retailer with two Colour Box modules in stock. I was finally able to grab me a pair and also picked up the Pulp N Peel comp. They just came in today. Unfortunately my new patchbay and cables won't be here for another week so I won't be able to test them out yet.
Old 22nd February 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post
Just a heads up... if there's any other JHS modules your interested in better act fast. Looks like JHS is discontinuing their 500 series stuff. I had a hard time just finding a retailer with two Colour Box modules in stock. I was finally able to grab me a pair and also picked up the Pulp N Peel comp. They just came in today. Unfortunately my new patchbay and cables won't be here for another week so I won't be able to test them out yet.
What do you think about these modules? How would you compare the pulp and peel vs other preamps like the vp28 and daking or others? How about the colour box vs something else in the xx73 camp?

Thanks. I’m really considering a colour box to replace my Ma5 since it has a lot of tonal options.
Old 24th February 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ox Han View Post
What do you think about these modules? How would you compare the pulp and peel vs other preamps like the vp28 and daking or others? How about the colour box vs something else in the xx73 camp?

Thanks. I’m really considering a colour box to replace my Ma5 since it has a lot of tonal options.
Def been digging the JHS 500 series stuff. I think the Pulp N Peel would be quite different from the vp28. The vp28 preamp is based on a vintage API console channel with transformers and the Pulp N Peel is based on the THAT1512 IC and has no transformers. Where the Pulp N Peel gets fun is with the distortion, compressor and tone sections. It also has a mix knob which comes in handy when you want to blend with the dry signal. Honestly, I would hold on to the vp28 unless you're just not happy with it. That being said the Pulp N Peel is a very cool little box. I've already ordered a second one for stereo sources. The Colour box is another great piece of gear too. It's circuit is based off the 1073, however, it has two cascaded BA283 gain stages a discrete op amp and matched carnhill transformers. The two series gain stages allow you to drive the signal in really creative ways all the way up to total obliteration. It has a really powerful and useful EQ section too. It allows you to really sculpt the signal and get really creative. The EQ gives you lots of tonal options even though it's not based on the 1073 EQ. It really covers a lot of ground. It's definitely not another clone or emulation. I can't give any in depth reviews right now as I've only had several days to mess with mine and explore the different sonic options and territory these cover. Unfortunately I'm having to send one of my Colour boxes back to JHS to be repaired or exchanged as it wasn't functioning correctly. JHS responded very quickly though and are getting me taken care of. Even being restricted to processing mono signals ATM has been killer. I've just been processing drums and having a blast... haven't even gotten to processing other instruments or sources yet. I would hold on to the vp28 and MA5 for now, at least until you're able to decide what's right for you. JHS has several videos up demonstrating the Colour Box, Pulp N Peel and other modules. I've attached a link below demonstrating the Colour Box and Pulp N Peel. I was able to verify from JHS that they're only discontinuing the Superbolt, Panther Cub, and Emperor 500 series modules. The Colour Box, Pulp N Peel and Kodiak are still available and in production.

Old 25th February 2018
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the awesome feedback and update on what JHS will discontinue and keep producing. Actually, the more I watch videos of the superbolt 500, the more awesome I think it sounds. I guess I could run any preamp or instrument into it. I was skeptical about its advantages over the pedal but it seems cooler and cooler. I really like it in the Tweedy video.

I’m not familiar with the THAT 1512, so I wasn’t sure what the pulp n peel sounded like. Is that a well known sound, or piece in another preamp? I thought the vp28 is just a great all around pre and could be used as a standard in this situation. I’m a huge fan and won’t give mine up. I was wondering if the pulp n peel brings something else to the table. As you said, the tone and the compression.
What type of compression is in the PnP? Any sources in particular you like the PnP tone/eq, distortion and comp on?

I like the Ma5 and also mentioned it just as a reference. I don’t care about which pre/module sounds most like a Neve. The color box is intriguing and both the AEA and Spencer Tweedy demos sound amazing. Both videos have lots of vibe, but I was wondering if that vibe is actually from the colour box or from the mics and whatever the colour boxes are feeding (console?). It seems to add a lot though. I’m really curious about it and what it does well and what kinds of genres/instruments, etc. it is and isn’t suitable on. Lots of character in that box, or so it seems

Thanks again
Old 27th February 2018
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ox Han View Post
Thanks for the awesome feedback and update on what JHS will discontinue and keep producing. Actually, the more I watch videos of the superbolt 500, the more awesome I think it sounds. I guess I could run any preamp or instrument into it. I was skeptical about its advantages over the pedal but it seems cooler and cooler. I really like it in the Tweedy video.

I’m not familiar with the THAT 1512, so I wasn’t sure what the pulp n peel sounded like. Is that a well known sound, or piece in another preamp? I thought the vp28 is just a great all around pre and could be used as a standard in this situation. I’m a huge fan and won’t give mine up. I was wondering if the pulp n peel brings something else to the table. As you said, the tone and the compression.
What type of compression is in the PnP? Any sources in particular you like the PnP tone/eq, distortion and comp on?

I like the Ma5 and also mentioned it just as a reference. I don’t care about which pre/module sounds most like a Neve. The color box is intriguing and both the AEA and Spencer Tweedy demos sound amazing. Both videos have lots of vibe, but I was wondering if that vibe is actually from the colour box or from the mics and whatever the colour boxes are feeding (console?). It seems to add a lot though. I’m really curious about it and what it does well and what kinds of genres/instruments, etc. it is and isn’t suitable on. Lots of character in that box, or so it seems

Thanks again
Hey no problem. The 1512 IC is a relatively newer circuit. It's def not vintage or anything like that. This quote is straight from the THAT corp website.

"Responding to industry demand for ever higher performance, THAT Corporation has released its advanced microphone preamp IC, the THAT1512. Boasting lower noise over a wider range of gain settings than any integrated circuit preamp on the market, the 1512 offers lower distortion, wider bandwidth, faster slew rate, and reduced supply current compared to competitive models.

"The 1512 Mic Preamp IC is extraordinarily quiet at both microphone and line levels, Moreover, its bandwidth is nearly three times wider than that of other ICs, which results in improved distortion and transparency on a par with discrete designs. This lets the 1512 deliver discrete performance in IC form."


The PnP is essentially a channel strip with a clean preamp, compressor, EQ and parallel distortion circuit. I'm not exactly sure what kind of compression they're using in the PnP but I can say it's very smooth but can also add tons of sustain if you push it. I particularly like it on drums, however, it's equally great on bass, guitars (and more sources I'm sure, just haven't had a chance to try it on much else yet). It can go from transparent and smooth all the way to complete mayhem. It's really great at blowing out drums or doing any kind of lofi vibe.

Yea the vp28 is excellent little preamp. I've been thinking about building a pair for a while now but am also really intrigued by the LTL Chroma. The PnP would def bring something different to the table. I can maybe post some clips later once my second PnP arrives.

The audio examples in the AEA vid def sounded great. I think it's a combination of great mics, mic placement along with the Colour Box preamps. The guitars used more transparent settings while the drums were driven harder to get more mojo from the transformers (which are huge). It was the first thing I noticed when I unboxed mine as they were very heavy. Aside from that there was a bit of EQ but not much. I don't think they used a console or much else as it would defeat the purpose of being able to objectively listen and make judgements on the gear. The YouTube details on the vid say everything was recorded to an Antelope Orion 32 into Logic @ 96k/24bit. That being said I'm sure there are companies out there that do exactly that. The Tweedy vid seemed to lean much more on the JHS 500 gear. He did mention that they used 1-2db of compression on the mics but other than that it was a pretty basic quick n dirty setup. The Colour Box is definitely a unique little box. It's one of those rare pieces that has endless uses and possibilities. That's essentially how JHS came out with their 500 series options. The Colour Box was originally a guitar pedal and ppl were using them in a lot different and unconventional ways in the studio so JHS re-engineered the Colour Box along with several other mainstay staples in their guitar pedal line. They re-built all of them from the ground up for the 500 series format using better components while providing more tonal options and features that just wouldn't be possible in a pedal. The SupertBolt 500 is different from the pedal version as it accepts line level sources along with hi-Z (which is definitely nice since it keeps you from having to purchase extra gear to convert from line level to hi-Z and back). I'm not sure what else in the SuperBolt 500 differs from the pedal, however, the guys at JHS are great ppl and are always quick to reply to any inquiries.

That being said these are NOT guitar pedals repackaged as 500 series modules. Like I mentioned earlier everything was re-engineered and designed from the ground up for the studio. My two Colour Boxes have giant Carnhill transformers which weren't in the pedal version and the PnP has a built in preamp along w/the parallel distortion circuit (the pedal version only had a flip switch). Anyways, these boxes are full of character and have limitless tonal options and uses. I'm stoked to finally have these in my rack. I have another 500 series chassis coming this week with a second PnP. I'll post a couple clips if I can once they come in, just to give you an idea of what they can do.

UPDATE: I was able to resolve the issue I mentioned earlier in regards to one of my Colour Box modules. Apparently for whatever reason it didn't like the first couple slots in my lunch box. I put both of them in the last four slots and haven't had any issues since. My Mpressor 500 comps both work fine in those slots so not exactly sure what was going on. That being said the team at JHS was awesome and reached out to me the same day to get me taken care of. Luckily that's no longer necessary but nice to know they're easily accessible and stand firmly behind their products.
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