Review of: JHS Pedals 4-Wheeler
Reviewed by: Gabriel TanakaRating:4On December 15, 2013Last modified:October 6, 2016
Josh Scott over at JHS Pedals certainly knows a thing or two about making a great fuzz pedal. The Pollinator, Bun Runner, and Mini Foot Fuzz pedals all showcase his skills at creating exceptional fuzz pedals that fill a wide range of great fuzz tones. The 4-Wheeler is his take on a room-shaking bass fuzz. But as many guitarists have come to realize, this pedal sounds killer on guitar, too. I’m writing this review because I’ve been converted myself. When I first heard the 4-Wheeler I just thought it was a massive sounding guitar fuzz and didn’t even know that it was originally intended for use with bass. While I will cover briefly how this pedal sounds on bass, my review will mainly cover the 4-Wheeler’s use as a guitar fuzz. Is this the best bass fuzz pedal for guitar? You’ll find out in our JHS Pedals 4-Wheeler review. Let’s run down the features of this pedal and bring on the fuzz.
Tone control knob for adjusting overall fuzz tone. Roll counter-clockwise for brighter sounds and clockwise for darker tones.
Fuzz control knob adjusts amount of fuzz distortion.
Gate control knob is specially tuned to provide synth-like tones with note cutoff and punchy response. Roll it clockwise to clamp down on your tone or counter-clockwise to open it up.
Level control knob sets overall output level.
Hi/Lo toggle switch selects between normal operation and a deeper, low-end focused response.
True Bypass foot-switch for letting your signal pass unaffected when disengaged.
Visit JHS Pedals for more info about the 4-Wheeler Bass Fuzz.
Sound & Performance:
I really spent some time with this pedal as it surprised me more than I thought it would. In the accompanying video review demo I’m pretty much giving you a rundown of how the various controls interact and the kinds of sounds it produces, but for my written review I’m going to show you several of the cool settings I found on this pedal while sharing my thoughts about the sounds it produces. I’m using a Strat throught a flat, clean amp setting with the 4-Wheeler in between.
Monster Truck Rhythm Tones
With the Gate and Tone rolled fully counter-clockwise, the Fuzz maxed out, and the Volume at around noon, set the Hi/Lo switch in the up position for some massively thick rhythm sounds. The 4-Wheeler has a beefy low-end that will make your riffs sound absolutely huge. You can experiment with pushing up the Gate knob for a really quick cut-off that sounds great with tight staccato riffs or push up the Tone knob a little to darken your sound a bit.
Fat Overdriven Preamp
With the Gate and Tone still rolled all the way left, pull the Fuzz all the way down, too, and boost the Volume to compensate. Leave the Hi/Lo switch set to the up position. For a pedal with such bestial fuzz capabilities, the 4-Wheeler will allow you to achieve some awesome cleanish overdrive tones with added presence and low-end thump. The 4-Wheeler produces some awesome mild overdrive sounds that are great on their own or when used to push your amp into breaking up.
Velcro Buzz Fuzz
Leave the Fuzz and Tone rolled all the way to the left and crank the Gate all the way up. Set the Hi/Lo switch in the down position and set the Volume to taste. The 4-Wheeler can do some really great velcro style fuzz tones that sound awesome with monophonic single-note leads and riffs. It’s also worth adjusting the Tone controls on the 4-Wheeler and your guitar to achieve the perfect smooth, droning fuzz sounds.
Warm Vintage Fuzz
Set the Fuzz around 3 o’clock, the Tone around 9 o’clock, and the Gate around 10 or 11 o’clock. Set the Hi/Lo switch to the up position and set your Volume level. The 4-Wheeler can achieve some really thick vintage-style fuzz sounds that benefit from a jolt of extra low-end boost. Tweaking the Tone will give you just the right amount of high-end rolloff for the warmest sound.
After spending plenty of time playing this pedal with guitar, I pulled out my trusty Jazz bass to see how the 4-Wheeler performs. The results were quite satisfying, and all of the previously mentioned sound settings provide equally good starting points for using the pedal with bass. I especially love using the pedal as a preamp (with the aforementioned “Fat Overdriven Preamp” setting) to add some mild overdrive to the bass sound. Also, try maxing out the Fuzz, Gate, and Volume with the Tone around 10 or 11 o’clock and the Hi/Lo switch set in the down position. The 4-Wheeler delivers some smooth bass fuzz that’s great for driving 8th note rhythms.
The 4-Wheeler makes a killer addition to your guitar pedal arsenal if fat fuzz is what you’re after. If you’re a multi-instrumentalist, you’ll appreciate that this pedal has such a wide range of useful applications for guitar and bass. Let’s see the final result.
The JHS Pedals 4-Wheeler is a versatile fuzz pedal that offers incredibly useful fuzz tones for both bass and guitar. If you play both instruments and need a fuzz, you must try it. If you play either just guitar or bass, you’ll still find the 4-Wheeler a noteworthy consideration if smooth bottom-heavy fuzz and great playing response are what you’re after. This pedal is a definite candidate for the best bass fuzz pedal that can also be used with guitar. Give it a try and see if it’s right for you.
That concludes our JHS Pedals 4-Wheeler review. Thanks for reading.
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