Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Good Sound Poor Quality Control
on 10 October 2013
The Joyo Vintage Overdrive is great for adding crunch to your set-up. In fact, even plugged directly into a laptop or multitrack with no speaker emulation, it sounds pretty similar to a lightly overdriven valve/tube amp (provided the gain is kept low).
On my pedal the included battery was jammed tightly in the compartment and I couldn't remove it with fingers - I had to carefully prise it out with a screwdriver... I then tried to plug in my DC power supply but the socket was so far out of line with the casing that the plug could not be pushed in. Things were not looking good, and I decided to look inside the pedal to find out what was happening.
I removed the knobs, and found that the nut holding the level pot was loose. The tone nut was just right but the nut for the drive pot was very tight. To get this nut off I had to gently work the nut back and forth, and then I saw the reason - the threads had been crossed !
Next, I removed the nuts holding the sockets (actually that's not strictly true because the sockets are PCB mounted). One of these nuts was loose. I then took out the circuit board and could see why the power socket did not line up with the hole in the casing - a washer had been placed over each pot which caused the board to be mis-aligned. By removing these washers the socket lined up perfectly, but now a capacitor touched the casing when the board was re-fitted. Looking at the board, it appeared to be well made except for inconsistencies in the height of installed components - for example certain parts that were identical were actually placed at different heights. Some were quite snug up to the board and some were too high.
I was able to bend the high capacitor slightly to one side which allowed the board to sit in the correct position.
Because the nut for the drive pot had been cross-threaded at the factory, it had obviously been difficult to tighten. Rather than junk the pedal, the assembler had continued to tighten the nut - but this had caused the pot body to actually twist on the PCB... I carefully twisted it straight and was ready to re-solder the pot connections but they appeared to be ok.
I cleaned up the damaged thread and thankfully there was just enough thread there for the nut to bite on. A word of warning about those in /out socket nuts - they are very flimsy and must only be nipped up gently - the PCB is actually doing most of the holding anyway... With the pedal back together, the power socket was now in the correct position, and everything was working again.
Should I have to do this to a new pedal ? I decided to go ahead and fix it because it was quicker than waiting for a replacement - and maybe that would have had issues anyway. The stories of poor build quality of Joyo pedals is backed up by what I found - I have an American Sound pedal and this also has a DC power socket that is not central with the hole in the casing (plug can't be inserted). Yes, these pedals can sound good but it's a lottery whether you get one that's been made right.