Positioning its sonic M.O. squarely in the 1960s and ’70s, Jam Pedals strives to create a distinct line of effects. Beyond their fun graphics and tongue-in-cheek names, Jam’s stompboxes are set apart in the way they achieve their objective.
Hand-made in Greece, Jam Pedals are wired for true-bypass functionality and use NOS chips, transistors, and carbon-comp resistors.
One of the company’s newer offerings, the Delay Llama is a fully analog tape echo with a maximum delay of 600ms. It runs on a 9-volt adapter and uses BBD analog chips along with reproductions of the Panasonic MN3205 to replicate Jam’s rendition of vintage tone. A sturdy lo-fi delay, its controls are super simple, which forces the player to dive in fully and explore the ways in which it colors one’s playing rather than constantly twiddling the knobs. Its three controls are topped with chicken-head knobs; D. Time sets the amount of delay, D. Lvl controls the level of the affected dry signal, and Repeats controls the number of echoes. There’s also an internal trim pot that controls the number of maximum repeats.
The Delay Llama adds beautiful depth to the signal that is more useful for bringing a lustrous fullness to the sound, rather than for tricky delay settings. The repeats and delay times offer sweet slapback with great utilitarian range, but it’s the quality of the sound that will beat any digital delay. If you need bells and whistles like tap tempo and knobs to modify the decay, look elsewhere. You’ll just have to settle for having your rig sound amazing.
Wah pedals can be a real rabbit hole. Given the number of models and features available, one could spend all day just thinking about options, when you could be making music. Factor in the level of grit and boost added to your signal, and you could quickly find yourself in a quagmire of catastrophic mental gymnastics. Another recent Jam offering, the Wahcko Wah cuts to the chase.
Powered by a 9-volt adapter, it’s Jam’s version of the classic wah of the late ’60s and early ’70s, but with modern appointments. In addition to its red fasel inductor, internal gain trim, carbon comp resistors, and mini LED, the Wahcko has a handy six-position rotary switch for dialing frequency sweep to taste. With the switch turned all the way counterclockwise, it achieves the most edge and top-end with the toe forward. The last clockwise setting elicits a thick, warm, and throaty midrange in the toe position. The four positions between produce subtle variations of the two extremes. It’s like six wah pedals in one!
Compared to similar effects, the Wahcko Wah exhibits a rugged, broken-in maturity. It sounds like a sweet old wah with lots of miles on it. Plus, it’s solid, sports a hip psychedelic paint job, and has an adjustable tension control to fine-tune the movement. The Wahcko makes a great addition for the discerning user, and provides superb tone-sculpting choices for clean and distorted amps.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.