top of page


Understanding Overdrive, Distortion, Boost & Fuzz With Josh Scott Of JHS Pedals – That Pedal Show

Published on Nov 16, 2018

We’re delighted to welcome back to the show the splendid Josh Scott of JHS Pedals, for a discussion about classic overdrive guitar pedal types and how you might better understand them.
We talk about stuff including silicon, germanium, opamps, FETs, diodes, transistors, clipping and more, along a broadly chronological timeline of pedal development.

This is not an exhaustive history of ALL gain pedals with EVERY gain pedal ever invented. It’s simply a gentle stroll through some technical terms and topics to help you navigate the kind of pedals you might like to try.
It’s also not a science lesson. It’s a discussion that covers things you may want to investigate further, rather than providing solid answers because, well, there aren't any and the sooner we all get our heads around that, the sooner we can get back to enjoying playing. Ha!

Huge thanks to Josh for stopping by and laying the knowledge on us. Check ‘em out –

Also check out when Josh took over TPS for his vlog: - it’s hilarious!

#JoshScott #overdrivepedals #guitareffects #distortionpedals #boostpedals #fuzzpedals

Life too short for long YouTube videos? See the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ info below.

Pedals used in this episode
• TheGigRig Three2One

• D’Addario Pedal Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Colorsound Power Boost (18V by Stu Castledine)

• Dunlop Volume (X) Mini Pedal
UK & Europe:

• Dunlop Eric Johnson Fuzz Face Distortion
UK & Europe:

• Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi (reissue listed below)
UK & Europe:

• JHS Super Bolt
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man / Maxon OD9/808 standard mod + Bad Bob

• Analog Man Bad Bob Boost

• ProCo Rat (vintage)
No longer made – reissues and clones available

• Marshall Blues Breaker
No longer made in this form. Try the Analog Man Prince Of Tone / JHS Morning Glory and other derivatives

• Klon Centaur (original 1990s)
No longer made - lots of clones available!

• TheGigRig G2

Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 00:00
- What are we doing today? 2:30
- Why overdrive at all? Rewind: 4:18
- The first overdrive? 9:40
- Maestro FZ-1A, Keef and a Clyde McCoy tangent: 11:15
- The FZ-1A hits London: 12:50
- Tonebender & Fuzz Face, 1965/67, and transistors: 14:30
- Transistors or diodes? 16:25
- Eric Johnson Fuzz Face: 17:08 (17:30)
- What does ‘biasing transistors’ mean? Voltage/headroom: 18:26
- Moving on… the Colorsound Power Boost: 21:38 (24:10)
- And the Big Muff? 27:48
- Treble boosters? 29:12
- The importance of components: 30:25
- Germanium and silicon transistors explanation: 33:17
- Guitar pedals do not drive technology: 34:30
- What is a FET, MOSFET & JFET? 38:25
- Design is more important than the part: 41:35
- Analog Man Bad Bob Boost (FET): 42:03
- The opamp arrives: 43:25
- What do transistors and opamps look like? 44:18
- Clipping. Diodes: 46:30
- ProCo RAT: 49:40
- Hard & soft clipping? 50:55
- Diodes and clipping levels: headroom: 55:55
- Sovtek MIG-50 tangent: 1:00:38
- The hard clipping Klon and germanium diodes… or transistors… and temperature: 1:02:15
- Klon, Blues Breaker, Tube Screamer: 1:05:08 (1:07:10)
- Using opamp ODs with overdriving amps: 1:10:30
- Macmull Classic-S tangent: 1:13:40
- Back to FETs, Analog Man Bad Bob Boost and JHS Superbolt: 1:14:40 (1:15:40)
- What have we learned; summary: 1:20:30

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender Custom Shop 1952 Telecaster Relic – Dan’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster - watch Dan’s video at
• Macmull S-Classic:

Amps in this episode
• Fender Super Reverb 4x10 combo
• Matchless King Cobra 1x12 combo

We hope you enjoy this video. Please subscribe to our channel.

Please buy a T-shirt to support our efforts

We are also on Patreon – crowdfunding for creatives

bottom of page