I must confess I am quite the Jackson Audio fan and have been since they first launched the Prism Boost + EQ + PreAmp + Buffer. I added the Bloom Compressor + EQ + Blooming Boost as soon as that materialised and the Broken Arrow Programmable Overdrive + Boost has been one of my all-time favourite overdrives since that landed. This trifecta has been an unshakeable part of my pedal-chain since launch, and only now is that hegemony being challenged by another!
I, same as Joey Landreth generally prefer the warmer, more open, less compressed tones of the Blues Breaker circuit to the somewhat harder-clipping Tube Screamer circuit that the Broken Arrow is based on. Joey loved all the clever functions of the Broken Arrow, but wanted his signature pedal to be based on his preferred Blues Breaker circuit.
Besides the core circuit change - which is obviously a significant update, the Golden Boy carries forward all those essential features and functions that make the Broken Arrow such a joy to deploy. You have the same 4 clipping options selected by the left footswitch, and the same 4 boost options selected by the right, along with the cool Gain Cycle feature which lets you step up the gain in 25% increments by pressing on the two footswitches simultaneously. The Golden Boy also has the 1/4" jack midi socket like the very latest V2 edition of the Broken Arrow.
The 4 left-hand Drive clipping options are as before :
Joey Landreth’s favourite clipping option on the Broken Arrow is the Magenta type, and he seems to have brought that forward to the Golden Boy too - which is pictured with Joey’s favourite Drive and Boost mode combination (Magenta + Aqua). My favourite clipping on the Broken Arrow is also the Magenta mode - so it’s likely I will follow Joey’s lead on this one.
The 4 right-hand Boost mode options are as before :
The Gain Cycle function works as before in that you get 25% step increments of whatever you set the Gain dial to. So if the Gain dial is set to 3 o’clock then that equals 100% max on Gain Cycle, 25% would equate to circa 9 o’c, 50% circa 11 o’c and 75% circa 1 o’c.
The only other things you need to know is that you can use the Boost independently, and that the original show version was simply laser etched into the enclosure, which made it sort of look like it had white print (which I kind of slightly preferred actually), while the released version is the classic black print type - like the standard Jackson Audio models, and unlike the latter colorway variants which do indeed have white print!
In any case these are beautifully engineered pedals inside and out, and have some of the smartest player-friendly functionality yet created for stompboxes. I always knew I wanted this one from the day it was announced, I would have preferred to have bought it direct from Jackson Audio’s store with my discount intact. But Reverb.com cut a deal with Jackson Audio on the NAMM show floor back in January - that they would have exclusive access to the first 500 pedals off the production line. Were I to want one direct, I would have had to wait until well into June for one to become available to me - once Reverb.com had taken delivery of its promised stock of 500.
As it was I really wanted this pedal, I set up all my feed alerts on Reverb.com, and had ordered one within mere minutes of it going live on the Reverb.com website or around 15:55 today BST. I sincerely hope that this gets to me somewhat sooner than my Menatone trio - which seem to have been lost somewhere in North Carolina by the USPS. I was told I could not order direct from Jackson Audio unless I was willing to wait until June sometime, but oddly Jackson Audio is referenced as the vendor on Reverb.com also - technicalities eh!
I had said in an earlier post that my pedal acquisitions were on hiatus for much of this self-isolation period - partly to conserve resources and protect the innocent! And partly because I had an inkling that deliveries might by troublesome - I just did not realise to what degree. I do hope my 3 Menatone pedals turn up eventually - but it does seem that some depots have embargoed international deliveries - so any overseas acquisition poses some degree of risk.
Most of the pedals which I have ordered within the last couple of months or so - which hasn’t been a lot - but has still largely failed to materialise at this end! I sincerely hope things will be different with this one. Are any of you thinking about acquiring a Golden Boy? Drop me a line and let me know how it all goes.
Here is the most salient demo from amongst the launch videos :