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Effects Pedals

JHS Morning Glory Transparent Overdrive Pedal Review

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the james dukes morning glory

The James Duke’s Old and New Morning Glory’s

The JHS Morning Glory can perhaps be giving the award for shifting the effects pedal landscape and starting the boutique overdrive craze this side of 2010. The Morning Glory has been on nearly ever worship guitarist’s pedal board from Nigel Hendroff to The James Duke. In fact back on November 6th 2014 the Duke himself posted an instagram shot of his new Morning Glory with his first one serial #18! Here is what he had to say.

on the left we have my old morning glory. serial #18. i remember ordering it direct from josh @jhspedalsin 2009 without ever hearing it. I was out on tour with @johnmarkmcmillan opening up for jeremy camp. they shipped it out to whatever city we were coming to next. they brought it to me and i unplugged my broken joyride pedal and plugged it in. i loved it and it stayed in that same place for years. on the right is my new morning glory. serial #4253. it’s brand new and unaware of all the places it’s going to go and tsa agents it’s going to meet.

Even though most people have played if not owned one of these great pedals we still wanted to do a review for those people who live somewhere other than planet earth, just kidding. But really after this article go pick one up on reverb.com.

The Morning Glory for me is the best stage 1 gain pedal out their. I leave mine on nearly 100% of the time. I start out with a super clean, super delicious amp, preferably a Morgan RCA35 or Matchless C-30 series amp. I then have the Morning Glory on for my edge of break up tone. My favorite settings are; Drive – 9 to 10 o’clock, Volume – 1 o’clockish, Tone – 1 o’clockish and bright cut switch up.

The next great thing about this pedal is how it pairs with other pedals. I love to pair it with other light gain overdrives like a Timmy or Tubescreamer type pedal. Then if a third gain stage is needed I go for a Cusack Screamer or the new JHS Moonshine. The only pedal that I did not like this pedal paired with was the Mojo Hand FX Rook Overdrive. That being said it is more of a Rook problem as I rarely liked that pedal with anything else.

I ran this pedal through a ton of different amps and here is how well the pedal pairs with each amp with 10 being the best.

  • Fender Blues Junior: 8
  • Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (Modded): 7
  • Vox AC30CC2 w/ Alnico Blues: 9
  • Vox AC30 Hand Wired w/ Greenbacks: 8
  • Orange Dual Terror Head w/ 2×12 Cabinet: 8
  • Matchless SC-30 – 10
  • Tophat Club Royale – 7
  • Morgan RCA35 – 9
  • Dr. Z Maz 18 NR – 10
  • Dr. Z Maz 38 NR – 8

Overall this transparent overdrive loves to be paired with just about any amp but it really shines in amps with EL84s. It did well with EL34’s as well and if you had to pick an amp it did poorly with it was the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. That being said it still sounded better than most overdrive pedals through the Hot Rod Deluxe. The Maz amps from Dr. Z perhaps sounded the best with it but that is no surprise due to their attention to detail in the front end of the amp.

Pros

  • Usability: It is extremely easy to get great tones out of it and it can be paired with nearly any other pedal or amp.
  • Durability: As evident in James Duke’s #18 the pedal will withstand the test of time.
  • Great Company: I cannot say enough great things about Josh at JHS. A stellar dude that runs a business with extreme integrity and attention to detail.
  • Tone: It’s great and there is nothing else to say.
  • Flexibility: Along with pairing nicely with other pedals and amps this pedal’s gain structure can be used in a variety of ways from clean boost to mid levels of gain. Makes a great 1 and 2 stage gain pedal.

Cons

  • Bright LED: Some have complained that the LED is just to bright. It has never bothered me but a piece of gaffers tape will fix the problem if it does bother you.

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