In 1961 a British engineer would start a company from a spare room in his England home that would permanently change the history of the Pro Audio industry. This company set a trajectory for musical tones that spanned across genres and impacted every generation that followed. We are talking about the famous piece of gear known as the Neve* recording console. From "Love Me Do" by The Beatles to the famous sounds of Led Zeppelin, U2, Spoon, Pink Floyd, Motown, Quincy Jones, Nirvana, Steely Dan, Neil Young, Tears For Fears, and Tom Petty (the list is endless), The Colour Box is our tribute to the legend and application of how a piece of gear can change music.
Have you ever heard songs like the Beatles "Revolution", or Motown classics like Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, or even the modern Radiohead's "Bodysnatchers" and thought, "How are they getting that guitar sound?" Well, the answer is sort of clothed in obscurity, but it's actually created by the simplest practical application......plugging a guitar directly into a vintage studio console and recording "direct in." The JHS Pedals Colour Box is designed and created to allow you to recreate these guitar tones with your live rig, or in a studio environment by using 100% analog circuitry true to the design and schematic of vintage Neve* circuitry. The Colour Box is completely free from any digital modeling. Never before have "direct in" tones been available from your guitar amp in the way that the Colour Box delivers them. Aside from creating these "direct in" tones, the Colour Box covers all the ground that you would expect a high quality studio preamp to cover. From your microphone, bass, keyboard, or even your acoustic guitar, it does it all.
We have gone to great lengths to bring the color and character of a real vintage console to your feet or desktop. We started with two gain stages in series that produce beautiful clean tones but that can also destroy any signal into a beautiful fuzzy mess, full of rich harmonics and body with over 39db of gain on tap. The local feedback of each gain stage makes for a very unique type of distortion. We used the same topology and discrete gain stage found in the Neve* 1073, but we have two gain stages in series instead of one. We use a high quality Lundahl transformer that adds weight, heft, and a 3D quality just like preamps that you will find costing much more. The transformer fattens the lows, adds harmonic complexity and richness to the midrange (kinda like stirring flour into your drippings to give you gravy) as well as smoothing and rounding of the high frequencies. It also blocks all DC voltages, adds electrical isolation, and blocks RF frequencies ensuring super quiet operation and noise floor.
The Controls and Jacks?
Think of the controls as three separate sections:
The gain structure is made up of three parts:
–The Pre Volume (labeled "Pre-Vol") can be used the same as you would a Drive knob on an overdrive pedal. In this circuit, the Pre Volume is between the two gain stages, and the setting of the Pre Volume determines how much signal continues to the second stage.
–The Master Gain (labeled "Master") is what would typically be considered as a Volume control. Other terms are "master volume" or the "output trim."
–The Step Gain (labeled "Step") changes the gain of each preamp stage in five stages. Rotating the "Step" knob from left-to-right will increase the gain by the following:
1 is X 18 db
2 is X 23 db
3 is X 28 db
4 is X 33 db
5 is X 39 db
Equalizer / Tone Control (BLUE)
The tone control section is a highly modified Baxandall type that is tuned for less control interaction and more boost/cut capability. The center frequencies are Treble 10kHz, Middle 1kHz, and Bass 120Hz, with +/- 17dB of control.
Highpass Filter (YELLOW)
The Highpass spans from 60Hz to 800Hz with a 6dB per octave slope. This control allows you to only let high frequencies pass. In return you will find a vast palet of tones that sit perfect and inspire textures that you have never heard from your rig. The toggle switch will turn the Highpass on or off.
In and Out Jacks
You will notice that in addition to the normal 1/4" instrument input/output found on a guitar pedal, we added an XLR input and output so that The Colour Box can be used as a vocal, bass, acoustic, or keyboard preamp live or in the studio. The 1/4" mono output and the XLR output are independent and allow you to run parallel outputs to two destinations. For example, run the 1/4" mono out into your guitar amplifier and at the same time run the XLR output to your front-of-house mixing board. Another example of using parallel outputs would be to track amp tones and the "direct in" sound of your performance onto two separate tracks. We achieved the parallel output by way of a discrete shunt-feedback circuit.
Input Selector Switch
The input selector switch located above the input jack lets you choose line or microphone input. In the down position it is in mic mode. In the up position it is in line mode.
The Colour Box runs on 18v DC negative center power. We supply an adapter but you can also use any standard 18v DC pedal power supply or voltage doubling cable like the Voodoo Lab found here: .
Some Noteworthy "Direct In" Guitar Tones To Check Out:
"Revolution" The Beatles
"Black Dog" Led Zeppelin
"The Beast And Dragon, Adored" Spoon
"Cinnamon Girl" Neil Young
"Highway 61" Bob Dylan
"Reeling In The Years" Steely Dan
"Strange Brew" Cream
"Another Brick In The Wall Part 2" Pink Floyd
"Engines Of Creation" Joe Satriani
"LA Woman" The Doors
"Territorial Pissing's" Nirvana
"Sgt. Peppers" The Beatles
"Get Lucky" Daft Punk
"Im Coming Out" Dianna Ross
The Colour Box does not supply phantom power so you will need to purchase one of these quality phantom power supplies to run in line with your Colour Box if you intend to use a phantom powered microphone or other device.
Never before has a guitar pedal crossed into this territory to bring the tones of pro audio to your pedal board.
*The word/name Neve® is a registered trademark of AMS Neve ltd.
The JHS Colour Box pedal is in no way affiliated with AMS Neve ltd.
Payment Methods: We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Money Order, Cashier's Check, and PayPal. PayPal is accepted from confirmed U.S. shipping addresses only. Checks must clear prior to release of your order. International orders are by Bank Wire Transfer only. Layaway Policies A 20% Non-Refundable deposit will hold any instrument for 45 days! No returns accepted on layaways. Special Orders A 50% Non-Refundable deposit is required for all special orders. There are no returns accepted on special orders. No exceptions.
Shipping Policies We usually ship using FedEx. With the high quality of instruments that we offer it is recommended that you use this safe and reliable method of shipping. On special request, we will try to accommodate all special shipping requests. All shipments are fully insured. Customer pays all shipping, insurance and any bank charges, including shipping and insurance charges on any returned merchandise. All insurance claims are the responsibility of the customer. We will do all we can to assist you with filing a claim with a shipper.
Returns Return arrangements must be made within 24 hours of receipt. Returns will not be accepted if we are not contacted within 24 hours of receiving item. All refunds will be less shipping costs both ways and applicable credit card fees. You may use your refund for full store credit on another "In Stock" item. No returns accepted on tubes, amplifiers, power attenuators, and speakers. No exceptions. The returning item must have an RA number given to you by a J & E Guitars™ representative. Any item being returned without an RA number or verbal approval over the phone will be refused. The returning item must be shipped back in the same manner which it was received. If there is any damage to the item due to insufficient packing the return will be refused and no refund will be issued. All returns must be insured for the full amount of the purchase price. We will not accept a return if the item has been modified in any way. Returns are not accepted on any layaway items. Layaways are final sales and will be treated as such. Exchange for credit on another "In Stock" item is acceptable. No returns on any special orders. No exceptions. "In Stock" item is any item physically in the store and ready to ship.