JangleBox J-Gate Noise Suppression Gate
Dynasonic, lipstick, and P-90 are all great names for pickups with iconic single-coil tones – typically accompanied by the 60-cycle hum we’ve come to accept as part of their sound. Now plug any of those pickups through several effects pedals powered by a generic external power supply and then factor in the neon beer sign that some genius mounted behind the stage. Those quick, cutoff endings your band has been rehearsing? Your audience will be treated to a nasty coda while you scramble to turn down your volume.
Enter the JangleBox J-Gate, a modern-day improvement on cranky old-school noise gates. An On/Off switch activates the JangleBox, and a mute switch instantly silences the entire rig. The left LED indicates the unit is on. The guitar signal passing through the circuitry triggers the middle Active LED, and the right LED illuminates when the mute button is on. All are clearly visible from several feet.
The J-Gate’s Threshold knob controls the degree of volume that it takes to break out of silent mode. A Decay knob allows the user to determine how long the output is allowed to fade before the J-Gate kicks in to silence the ensuing electronic din.
At a club gig, a Wilson Style E with single-coil pickups was plugged into a digital tuner, an original Dyna Comp, a Tube Screamer, an EHX Holy Grail reverb, and finally the J-Gate. Only the venerable Dyna Comp was battery-powered, so the recipe for unmusical noise was complete with a Morris Charlie Christian neck pickup and a vintage bridge-position Dynasonic thrown into the soup.
With the rig fired up, the hum was clearly audible. A light touch triggered both sonic signal and the Active LED with the Threshold knob at nine o’clock. With the same setting, the Decay knob cut the signal in just a few seconds; at three o’clock the resulting decrescendo sounded similar to the actual string decay. The Mute switch proved noiseless when activated… no stompbox pop.
Unlike noise gates tested in the past, the J-Gate featured a remarkably natural decay in the last milliseconds of the note instead of a chopped-off response with leftover digital chatter. The sound was uncolored due to true bypass switching and a design that excludes electrolytic capacitors. With a quick, intuitive learning curve, easy-to-read LEDs, and natural musical response, the JangleBox J-Gate just might be the noise suppression unit you’ll want on your side in those barroom skirmishes.
This article originally appeared in VG August 2014 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.