JHS Moonshine V2 Review – Smooth Overdrive with Serious Bite

4.9 out of 5 stars

JHS Pedals are known for their innovative controls and pristine, unique tones. The Moonshine V2 – an upgraded version of their original Moonshine Overdrive pedal – is no exception. As a new and unique voicing of a classic Ibanez Tube Screamer-style unit, the Moonshine V2 is a great option for players looking to give their tone a distinct, flavorful character. Let’s take a closer look to find out why this is one of the best overdrive pedals on the market.

Features

The Moonshine V2 is still based off the core of the original Moonshine unit – players that enjoyed the first version will love this one as well. It retains the original volume, tone, and drive controls, as well as the distinctive ‘proof switch.’ When toggled up, the switch gives more headroom and an overall volume boost for lighter styles.

Flip it down, and the switch adds a hit of sustain and midrange boost for a thicker, more forceful overdrive. The V2 also features a new clean knob, which gives you the ability to blend your clean signal into the driven output for smoother, classic breakup tones. While this pedal only requires standard 9-volt DC power, an internal charge pump converts the power to 18-volts, giving the Moonshine a heavier, punchier low end and greater headroom.

Controls

The four-knob control setup means that the Moonshine V2 is very easy to adjust, yet also possesses a ton of flexibility to help you find your perfect tone. The first three knobs, imported from the original Moonshine V1, control volume, drive, and tone. The first two are self-explanatory, while the third helps sharpen and contour your signal.

New to the V2, the clean knob blends the overdriven tone of the Moonshine with your dry sound from the amp, opening up new tonal possibilities and creating smoother, luscious breakup tones. Finally, the proof switch adds another layer to your tone, with its high headroom when left up and punchy midrange boost when toggled down.

Performance

The Moonshine V2 pumps out grainy, mid-boosted tones that are just perfect for styles like blues, rock and classic crunch. Unlike many popular drive pedals today, it’s explicitly not a transparent overdrive – players need to know that this box will add its own flavor to their sound, no matter what amp it’s plugged into.

The good news is that the Moonshine has a warm, saturated character with tons of distinctive charm. The edge-of-breakup and crunch tones in this thing are some of the best available. The clean blend knob is a great way to achieve a smoother, cleaner breakup without jumping straight into high-gain territory.

While it’s not the dirtiest overdrive around, the Moonshine V2 can take on harder rock when maxed out, especially with the proof switch engaged in the downward position. For anybody short of exclusive metal players, this unit offers pretty much every flavor you could need.

Conclusion

Players looking for a warm, distinctive overdrive can’t go wrong with the JHS Moonshine V2. This pedal’s saturated, creamy breakup and unique tonal color make it one of the best options available for blues and rock players, and the extra midrange punch means hard rock guitarists can also find something to love here. Along with the lighter tones from the clean blend knob, the Moonshine V2 can suit nearly any guitarist’s needs.

For more info about the JHS Moonshine V2, click here.
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