Could it be... The ultimate Klon pedal, isn't even a real Klon? In this video, we're checking out the brand-spanking new Archer Select by J. Rockett Audio Designs! Renowned for their amazing 'Klones', J. Rockett are at it again. This time, they've jam-packed some seriously cool mods into their popular Archer range. Let's check it out!
J. Rockett Archer Select: https://bit.ly/3KdvQ9R
J. Rockett Clockwork: https://bit.ly/3ntnwd2
J. Rockett Uni-Verb: https://amzn.to/3zaflF9
GTRS P800 Guitar: https://amzn.to/3Zli8pN
Howdy friend! You're here in the studio once again with Luke from GuitarIQ.com. In this video, we’re checking out what might just be one of the most interesting, versatile Klon-style circuits on the planet. You can see on the workbench in front of you I've put together this nice, little makeshift pedalboard for today's video. The purpose of which, is to showcase this guy here on the right. This is the brand-spanking new Archer Select by J. Rockett Audio Designs. This pedal I believe is being released today—as we speak. J. Rockett kindly sent me a pre-release unit in advance. So I've had this bad boy sitting in the studio for the last few weeks. For those of you who are familiar with the current range of Archer and Ikon pedals you'll notice that the aesthetic here looks quite familiar. This is kind of like a super-sized Archer pedal, if you will. Instead of the standard three knobs, we now have four. And instead of one footswitch, we now have two.
So what's going on here? Well, if you clicked on this video, it's very likely that you're familiar with the infamous Klon pedal. We all know that original Klon units go for crazy-stupid money on the secondhand market nowadays. And along with all the hype surrounding the original Klon pedal, as you might expect, that opens things up to a fair bit of speculation and misinformation regarding the original circuit design. In particular, some people swear by the influence of very special, magical, mystical, fairy dust-infused, unicorn-inspired clipping diodes as the one component that makes all the difference. The Archer Select is, in a way, J. Rockett’s answer to the quest for the perfect Klon circuit design. What they've done here, is they've hand selected a number of premium NOS germanium diodes. And they have put them all in the one pedal. The idea being that you can customize or create your own personal Klon circuit. Based, not on what someone is saying on some forum somewhere. But based on what your ears are telling you.
So the way this works is, if we engage the pedal, we’re currently just in the stock mode. This gives you something very reminiscent of their current Archer or Ikon pedals. And we have access to the same three controls: The output, the treble, and the gain. But the real magic happens when we switch on the secondary footswitch. This allows us to switch in a selection of different clipping diodes depending on where we have the clipping knob positioned. So you can kind of think about this as an instant switchable mod to your standard Archer pedal. The idea being that we can A/B different clipping diodes against the stock on board circuit.
Now, you heard this in action at the start of the video. But before we dive into some more in-depth sound samples, let's just cover a few important points. First of all, the differences here can be quite subtle. Remember, we’re just switching in and out different clipping diodes. We’re not, you know, replacing the entire circuit. And secondly, the important word to keep in mind is the “clipping” part of the clipping diode. To actually hear the influence of these different clipping diodes, we actually need to be running the pedal into clipping in the first place. The underlying joke here, I guess… Is that, you know, someone might swear by the influence of a particular NOS germanium diode. But then they set their Klon with the gain all the way down. And essentially just use it as a clean boost. Well, you’re not actually really hearing what that clipping diode is doing. It's kind of missing the point. So in the first round of sound samples you're about to hear, I'll start by turning the gain all the way up—so you can get a feel for the sound and character of the different clipping stages. Then in the second round of sound samples, I’ll dial the gain back a little bit to be more reminiscent of the type of settings I might usually use with a pedal like this.
So, my signal chain for today is a GTRS P800 super-strat style of guitar going straight into the Archer Select. From there we're picking up a little bit of slap-back delay from the Clockwork Echo. We’re then running that into a touch of spring reverb from the Uni-Verb pedal—both of which are also designed by J. Rockett audio. From there we're heading straight into the front end of my PRS Archon 50 amplifier, on the clean channel of course. And for my impulse responses today, I'll be using the cab section from the Imperial Mark II plug-in by Neural DSP. As we go through the sound samples, if you're enjoying this video make sure you click on that like button to let me know and to share a little bit of love with the YouTube algorithm. It’s certainly much appreciated. And with that, let’s take a listen:
Okay, so as you heard there, there’s a bunch of different colors shades and flavors of Klon on tap. Ranging from, you know, very subtle differences in EQ, compression, and saturation. To very noticeable differences in output volume and headroom. In fact, I might actually need to balance things out in post a little bit—just so those volume jumps aren't offending anyone's eardrums. But that does, I guess, introduce a really handy way that you could set this pedal up. Where you have, you know, the standard circuit as your main overdrive sound. And then you engage one of the higher output clipping diodes as a clean boost to hit the front end of your amp a bit harder—as a bit of a two-in-one pedal. All-in-all, I think this pedal is really going after the type of person that's already a huge fan of the Klon sound. A Klon connoisseur, if you will. Someone who really likes to dive into the nuances and loves the idea of being able to personalize or customize their own kind of perfect Klon circuit. If that's you, and if you like some of the sounds that you heard today, then I would certainly recommend checking this out.
So I'm really keen to hear what you think. Please leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments section of this video. One thing I haven't touched on today, is the additional output on the side of this pedal. J Rockett have included a separate cab emulated out, which is a really interesting feature to see on an overdrive pedal. There's a ground lift switch in the middle as well. So if you'd like to see that in a future video make sure to let me know in the comments. As I mentioned at the start of the video, the Archer Select was sent to me by J. Rockett to check out and to feature in a video. But this wasn't a paid promotion or a sponsored advertisement. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. If you do want to check the pedal out, I’ll certainly link to their website in the video description. If you like this video and you want to see more content like this, then please consider subscribing to the channel.
One last thing before you go, I warmly invite you to head over to GuitarIQ.com to check out some of the books and other learning resources we have waiting for you over there. Covering everything from fretboard memorization, to chord theory, to warm-ups and workouts for guitar players, and a whole lot more—that’s GuitarIQ.com. That was my look at the brand new Archer Select by J. Rockett Audio Designs. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video!