If you look at the order in which some of the oldest guitar effects came to be, boost pedals were the basis for what we today know as overdrive effect. These two are relatively close to each other, even though they are different in nature.
J Rockett Audio Designs decided to fuse the boost and overdrive effects at the point where they naturally meet. Just how successful they were, you can see by plugging in their Archer stompbox to your signal chain. Let’s just say that it went much better than expected.
The whole idea behind boutique effects pedals is to get better overall quality. This means better components, more solid wiring, the works. J Rockett Audio Designs Archer brings that type of package and a lot more. You are looking at a very rugged design that is capable of withstanding a lot of abuse, which makes it perfect for frequent stage applications.
The stomp switch is a solderless type that is generally more responsive. True bypass is there as well, along with pretty refined circuitry. At the end of the day, J Rockett Audio Designs Archer is an impressive pedal, even for the boutique variety.
Combining overdrive and boost in one unit inevitably means that you will have to deal with more knobs than you would on a standard boost pedal. In this case, those are Output, Gain, and Treble. The output is your volume control that starts to impact the tone fairly early. This is your clean boost knob when Gain is completely reduced.
Once you start adding gain, you are entering overdrive territory. The treble knob allows you to dictate the color of the tone, and it acts as a robust EQ. All of these combined make for a pretty versatile platform that is capable of delivering both clean boost and overdrive, but also everything in between. This type of versatility is exactly why this boost one of the most interesting effects pedals you can get at the moment.
The range of tone that is packed within this single pedal is impressive, to say the least. The clean boost you get can be put up against just about any pedal that is specifically designed to offer this effect alone. On the other hand, overdrive is also among the more refined ones. However, the spectrum of tone color you get from blending these two effects together is both wide and full of interesting results.
It is not often that a brand delivers a pedal that is capable of performing two different tasks with the equal amount of quality. J Rockett Audio Designs definitely managed to do just that. The amount of potential Archer has makes it well worth its boutique price tag. You will rarely find anything that comes close to the tonal capabilities this awesome little stompbox can deliver. Put it in a decently thought out signal chain, and you are working with a whole new dimension of sound.