OMG... This little pedal sounds KILLER! Like thick, sustaining, amp-like saturation from your OD pedals? Then, this bad boy is for you! Today, we check out the brand new HRM V2 pedal by J. Rockett Audio Designs. It's a Dumble-in-a-box style pedal that really delivers the goods. Could this just be the unit to kick that tired, old tube screamer off your pedalboard? Let's find out...
J. Rockett HRM V2: https://rockettpedals.com
J.Rockett Uni-Verb: https://amzn.to/3PKhktz
GTRS P800 Guitar: https://amzn.to/43e3eDv
Howdy friend! You’re here in the studio with Luke from GuitariIQ.com. Today, we're checking out another brand new release from the team over at J. Rockett Audio Designs. They were kind enough to send me out a sneak peek of this pedal before launch day. So I'm very excited to be able to showcase this for you in today's video. The pedal in question is the brand new HRM V2. Now, I’m pretty sure V1 of this pedal was based on The Dude circuit—which is a popular Dumble-in-a-box style of pedal. I'm led to believe that the HRM mod was a popular mod done to the EQ circuit of Dumble amplifiers back in the day to tweak the EQ characteristics of the amplifier. To have a bit more body and girth in the low mid-range of the amp.
Now, apparently the mad scientists over at J. Rockett were able to capture a real life, living and breathing HRM modded Dumble amplifier from out in the wild. They then managed to get it back to the captivity of their workshop. Where they've spent the last couple of years really studying the nuances of that amplifier. So the changes they've made to V2 of this pedal, I guess, reflect everything they've subsequently learned. And I'm reliably informed that V2 of this pedal is really what they always wanted the HRM to be right from the start.
So for me personally, and probably for a lot of you out there that don't own a real Dumble amplifier, I'm not overly concerned whether or not this sounds identical to the real thing. The questions I'm asking are 1) Does the pedal sound any good? And 2) Does it give me a different color or flavor to the type of gain stages that I usually reach for? If you've played V1 of this pedal, you’ll be very familiar with the layout of the controls. Up here, we have the level knob which controls the overall output volume. Here, we have the gain knob which controls the amount of saturation. Down here, we have the top end which controls the amount of glassiness or bite that we're getting from the pedal. And over here, we have the all-important mid-range control which is what allows us to dial all that body and fatness into our guitar tone.
So with all that out the way, let's jump straight into some sound samples. The signal chain for today is my GTRS P800 super-strat style guitar going straight into the HRM V2. I’m then going to pick up a little bit of spring reverb courtesy of the J. Rockett Uni-Verb pedal. From there, I'm hitting the clean channel on my 50-watt Series One head. And for my cabinet simulation today, I'm going to be using the Archetype Nolly plug-in by Neural DSP. So if you like some of the tones today, make sure to click on that like button to let me know and to help us out with the YouTube algorithm. And with that, let's take a listen:
Okay. So hopefully that was able to give you a bit of a feel for the different sounds and textures we can get from the HRM V2. In terms of my first impressions having played this pedal… I knew I'd like the pedal before it arrived. I’ve played enough J. Rockett stuff now to know that when they come out with a new product it’s going to be well built and it's going to sound good—particularly when it comes to gain stages. I really feel that J. Rockett get how to do an overdrive pedal as well as anybody, if not better than most. But even having said all that, I was still surprised at how much fun I was having with this pedal.
When I first plugged it in, I genuinely didn't want to stop playing it. And I think that's because, with a lot of overdrive pedals, I don't typically like to dial in that much gain. I often find that the harder you're getting the gain stage on the pedal to work, the more it kind of takes away from what your amp is doing—if that makes sense. But I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't really finding that with this pedal. Even when you crank the gain things still stay very articulate. It doesn't add a whole bunch of noise. Things don't start sounding overly compressed. The high end doesn't become sort of overly fizzy, or brittle, or anything like that. It really just gives you more of a good thing! Likewise, with a mid-range control, it really gives you what you might expect from the HRM. It kind of adds a whole lot of body and fatness to the sound, without adding a bunch of muddiness, or flabbiness, or low end information that you don't want.
So, as you hopefully heard in the sound examples, this is a pretty versatile pedal. It does everything from low gain to mid gain crunch. I even had a kind of clean boost setting dialled in there—which worked surprisingly well. But for me, where the fun really happens, where this pedal really starts coming into its own, is all about leaning into those gain and mid-range characteristics that this pedal produces. Turning these up really does add a lot of smooth sustain and fatness to your sound. It's really well suited to single note melodies or lead lines—that kind of thing. So if that's what you're looking for, and you enjoyed some of the sound samples that you heard today, I would definitely recommend checking this out!
Well, that was my look at the HRM V2 by J. Rockett Audio Designs. Thank you so much for sticking around to the end of this video. As always, as I alluded to at the start of the video for full disclosure, this pedal was sent to me to check out. But this was not a paid promotion or a sponsored advertisement. J. Rockett had no say in this video content. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. If you are interested to learn more about this pedal, I'll leave some links 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. And finally, I'd like to warmly invite you to head over to GuitarIQ.com at your leisure to check out some of the books and other resources we have waiting for you over there. Covering everything from topics like fretboard memorization, and warm-ups and workouts, and chord theory, and a whole bunch more—that’s GuitarIQ.com. Thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next video!