Submitted December 31, 2020 by Joe Griego in Bishop, CA
"JHS Bonsai - the last Tube Screamer You'll Ever Need"
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What can I say, except this is the first and last Tube Screamer pedal you'll ever need to buy. Nine (9) pedals in one - what's not to love? I get all the classic tube screamer tones through my Fender Deluxe Reverb & Li'l Dawg Champster Special (tweed Champ clone), and man, they sound great. I *love* this pedal, and so will you. Two bills for every classic tube screamer a player could ever want? It's a great deal.
So how does it sound? Well, just like a Tube Screamer. Having owned several over the years, the tone is exactly what you'd expect. The difference between the 808 and TS9 modes are quite similar (still great!), and the other modes offer distinct variations on the classic Tube Screamer sound. I'm currently running it through a Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, as well as a Li'l Dawg Champster Special (Fender Champ tweed hand-wired clone) and it sounds fantastic. I really love the versatility and ease of use.
What was the most useful feature(s)? Well, it's gotta be the fact that you get nine (9) Tube Screamers in one! Want that classic SRV tone? Some badass ZZ-top style grind? Don't want to spend a grand collecting each of those vintage pedals? Well, here you go. True analog circuits with digital switching between them, and you've got an interesting range of tones at your fingertips.
Ease of Use
It's simple to get great tones from the Bonsai. At the twist of a knob, you can go from classic Boss OD sounds, to classic Ibanez TS sounds, they're all there. There's even a Keeley modded TS sound. For anyone looking for a range of Tube Screamer tones, this is the be-all and end-all pedal, really. Get this one, and you won't need to spend another dime tone-chasing classic TS sounds.
Well made? It's got a solid metal box, and the switch is provides solid foot feedback. The LED is bright, and let's you know it's on. Reliable? Hard to say, since I'm using it on a bedroom pedalboard that includes a Boss DD-2 digital delay from 1984. Will the Bonsai last 36 years like my DD-2? I guess I'll update my review in a few decades... ;)
Is it worth the price compared to other products? Well, compared to buying nine different pedals, it's a fantastic value. I love flipping between modes and trying different tones at different volumes. You can get a *wide* range of tones from it, so it's a great product. I don't think there's another pedal quite like it on the market, so good job, JHS!
Didn't have to contact JHS for support, so I can't speak to their customer service.
The Wow Factor
The appeal of this product? The sheer number of different modes in one single pedal is, well, unique in the market. Now that I've tried this, I'll be looking for similar products that can put several circuit designs in one pedal. Muffaletta - you're next on the list, baby!
All styles, really. Just love music.
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