Review: Truetone V3 Jekyll & Hyde Overdrive Distortion Pedal — Video


Visual Sound, known for their award-winning Jekyll & Hyde, Route 66 and H2O pedals and 1-SPOT power supply, has officially changed its name to Truetone. Some might say if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But fans of the brand need not worry.

The company continues to build high-quality products with detailed tones and unparalleled reliability, and now they’ve managed to fittingly describe the sound of their brand in one succinct word: Truetone.

Their first launch under the new moniker is the V3 Jekyll & Hyde Overdrive Distortion, which is a complete redesign of their flagship dual effect pedal that offers even more versatility, combined with stellar overdrive crunch and focused hi-gain tones.

FEATURES: The V3 (third version) Jekyll & Hyde comes in an indestructible metal chassis and loses its former Visual Sound badge-like shape for a more compact rectangular pedal board-friendly size. Its two-pedals-in-one design features an all-new overdrive circuit and rebuilt distortion channel each with their own set of controls.

Overdrive (Jekyll) has drive, tone, and volume, as well as bass and clean mix knobs. On the Distortion (Hyde) side, there is hi-gain, treble, volume, bass and mid knobs, along with bright and voice A-B switches. The overdrive and distortion have separate on/off footswitches and their own set of inputs and outputs, which allow you to change their order in the signal chain, loop other effects in between them or use the overdrive and distortion separately.

In addition, there is an internal Pure Tone buffer on/off switch and a built-in noise gate for the distortion.

PERFORMANCE: Without a doubt, the V3 Jekyll & Hyde is unlike its previous versions, having a more open amp-like overdrive and a beefy distortion with plenty of bottom end that can get downright aggressive when pushed to its maximum limit.

Part of that open sound is due to a finely tuned bass control on both channels for adding a great deal of body to your tone. Truth is, you can hang on the overdrive side all day long because it’s so transparent and fluid in response to your touch. I tend to back off the drive here but if you need more gain, it delivers it with crunchy-rich character and just the right amount of compression.

The Hyde side requires more finesse to get the perfect balance of harmonics and fire-breathing distortion. I opted for more compression by moving the bright switch to “B,” and a hotter signal with the Voice switch set to “A.” Using the remaining EQ controls, I was able to craft a singing distortion with plenty of sustain.

Turning up the hi-gain and mid knobs and reversing the switch order offers more volume and saturation that’s great for metal. What I found most useful is using the Jekyll channel for rhythm and combining the Hyde channel with it for lead work.


CHEAT SHEET: The Jekyll & Hyde combines warm overdrive and wicked distortion personalities that can be used separately or together, or inverted in the signal chain.

The pedal utilizes its proprietary Forever Footswitch that performs flawlessly for over ten million stomps or in other words—longer than you’ll live.

THE BOTTOM LINE:The Truetone V3 Jekyll & Hyde has been sonically reengineered into a flexible dual mode pedal with transparent overdrive and searing distortion textures that superbly covers any style of music.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.