With 25% off JHS pedals at Sweetwater you can create a ‘board that covers all bases – here’s the 5 stompboxes we’d choose

Two JHS guitar pedals
(Image credit: Future/JHS)

I’m always adding and removing pedals from my pedalboard, usually because I’ve gotten tempted by the next exciting stompbox release. Whilst the marketing teams at many pedal companies are super effective against me, the truth is I might only use a certain effect once in a live set. Realistically, we guitar players could cover a lot of different sounds and styles with just five pedals if we really wanted to. Since a massive selection of JHS pedals has got a huge 25% off at Sweetwater, I figured I’d put together a five-stompbox ‘board that will be versatile enough to cover pretty much any style.

JHS Bonsai: Was $249, now $186.75

JHS Bonsai: Was $249, now $186.75
Everybody needs a Tube Screamer on their ‘board, but how about nine of them? The JHS Bonsai gives you every imaginable flavor of the world’s most popular overdrive pedal. Whether you want the classic low-gain grind of the TS808, or the late 90s TS7 with its characteristic low-end dirt tones, this pedal gives you pretty much every iteration of this ultra-popular overdrive pedal. 

JHS PackRat: Was $249, now $186.75

JHS PackRat: Was $249, now $186.75
What else to pair with a Tube Screamer? A Rat of course! And not just any Rat either, the JHS PackRat is packing no less than nine different Rat emulations, including the OG ‘big box’ model, my favorite the Turbo V6 Rat, and the always popular 2-in-1 Dirty Rat. Paired with a Tube Screamer you get saturated guitar tone heaven, and the PackRat is a pedal that can do myriad flavors of drive, fuzz, and distortion. 

JHS Emperor V2: Was $219, now $164.25

JHS Emperor V2: Was $219, now $164.25
Next up we need some modulation on our ‘board, so we’ve gone for the JHS Emperor V2, which handily covers both our chorus and vibrato needs. It’s got a bucket brigade chipset which delivers a superb chorus sound that’s bright and never muddy. You get three different waveforms to choose from, which cover a lot of sonic ground from smooth, rotary-style sounds to choppy, tremolo uni-vibe tones.

JHS 3 Series Delay: Was $99, now $74.25

JHS 3 Series Delay: Was $99, now $74.25
Simple, affordable, yet incredibly effective, the JHS 3 Series delay will get you from slapback to lengthy, warm wash thanks to its 80 to 800ms delay time. There’s a handy type switch that lets you change from cleaner, brighter digital delay sounds to the darker, warmer tones of an analog delay pedal, making it very much a jack-of-all-trades delay stompbox. I think the plain looks actually make it stand out a lot, and it’s incredibly good value at the moment. 

JHS 3 Series Reverb: Was $99, now $74.25

JHS 3 Series Reverb: Was $99, now $74.25
Finally, no pedalboard is complete without a reverb pedal, and the JHS 3 Series is super value for money considering the astronomical sums other reverb pedals are going for. It can do short, echo-style sounds right through to huge reverberations. The flavor of this pedal is very much like a room or hall reverb to our ear depending on the setting, with the EQ knob swapping you from a bright sound to a darker warmth. The pre-delay switch is a handy function that saves your initial pick attack from getting lost when you’re using bigger settings.

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Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer at Guitar World and has been playing guitar as his main instrument for well over 20 years. He also plays drums, bass, and keys – producing out of his home studio in Manchester, UK. He has previously worked for Dawsons Music, Northwest Guitars, and freelanced for various magazines and blogs, writing reviews, how-to's, and features. When he's not downloading the latest VSTs or justifying yet another guitar pedal purchase, you'll find him making a racket with Northern noise hounds JACKALS.