Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
awesome and versatile 80s metal / 80s rock pedal
This thing sounds awesome. Van Halen, Ozzy, 80s sound in a box. Connect to decent sounding, warm clean channel with a 4x12 cab (the cab is an essential part of this kind of Marshall sound - you don't get it from a 1x12 open back really), and you are set. This is more of a boosted plexi sound, 80s version of a plexi. Ignore the description mentioning Duane...this is a metal beast.
I own two Marshalls, not solid state ones. And this 30 dollar petal arguably sounds more Marshall than what Marshall made after the 90s. Me, I like vintage and modern metal tones, and my 3 channel amp gets modern all day long, is always tight in the low end, but never crunchy, raw, and fizzy like an old Marshall.
This pedal has well known bugs. For one, the gain control doesn't really work. It's like the knob starts at 7 and ends at 10, and some say it's because Joyo messed up copying the circuits and put the wrong values. And then theres the issue of the pedal's lack of volume.
For me, with the tone at just under half or more, volume is a bit more than unity, which for my purposes is fine.
It might be more versatile with better gain and volume controls. I think though, it might sound worse with less gain, due to the way the tone changes.
Speaking of tone, the control is actually pretty useful. Straight up is pretty brown, and around 3/4 is getting pretty hair metal, Randy Roads, kinda stuff.
FWIW there is a simple mod out there to fix the volume issue, it involves "connecting 100k R between lug 3 of V and lug 2 of T." Basically, add one resistor, and get double the volume.
Over all I think it's pretty versatile because I could see doing any sort of classic rock up to 80s metal with it. It actually added a lot of chunk to the sound when I used it on an overdriven amp, which is pleasantly surprising considering I thought "bright marshall" pedal would sound like a can of bees into a OD channel. Not at all, very chunky.
So yeah, it works for me, sounds great. If my opinion changes, I'll update. I'm pretty picky about my tone, and this I just like. Sounded a lot better than the demos I heard, I guess because I have a pretty warm amp and it really gels with my 4x12.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Very good "classic Marshall" distortion, but a one-trick pony
I have to disclose that I'm a bit of a Joyo rube, as evidenced by the nearly dozen or so of them I now own. So given that I bought the pedal, and am generally very happy with it, it pains me to give anything other than a 5-star review. Still, they can't all be 5* pedals, so I think a 4* rating is more appropriate for this pedal that does one specific thing pretty well, but nothing else.
My biggest gripe with the Plexi Drive isn't with how it sounds, but more with the fact that it's a sound that's readily available on dozens of other pedals, even those under $100. In terms of gain structure, it reminds me a little of the MXR '78 Badass Distortion, except that it isn't as hot/bright, and it offers a little more gain. Users of this pedal will find that it depends heavily on the quality of your amp's clean tone, which becomes increasingly true as you use dirtboxes with less gain/saturation (which tends to smother or "hide" the underlying tone). For this reason, subjective opinions on how it sounds may vary from rig-to-rig.
But all that being said, the pedal does rock. Turn it on over as clean a tone as possible, and you can hit crunchy power chords with good mid-range punch and clarity. It also has a nice low-end presence that some other distortion pedals lack. The tone doesn't behave differently by changing the amount of gain, however. You get that vintage Marshall crunch with low gain settings, and then the same tone with more saturation as you turn it up. It does pair well with a good overdrive, such as the excellent Joyo Sweet Baby OD. Not necessarily good or bad, it just "is".
The build quality is good enough for most people, but certainly not to the level of a BOSS, MXR, or even some Biyang and older Joyo pedals. Everything works great now, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of these Joyo switches fail in 5-10 years. At this price point, though, that's not an unreasonable risk to take.
It was easier to purchase the Plexi with the prices falling to the $35 to $45 (U.S.) range, as opposed to nearly $60. But unlike the other Joyo products, which offer boutique-caliber clones, the Hot Plexi didn't "blow me away" as a unique value. But it sounds great, dials in simply and reliably, and is cheap, all of which make a great option for budget players or dirtpedal-obsessed hobbyists (raising hand).
UPDATE (09/21/2013) - Re-visited my review; going to revise it to 3 stars, as much as that pains me. Perhaps I'm being too hard on this pedal but for me, the number one rule for any distortion box (and especially on specifically dedicated to hard rock, aggressive, distorted Marshall tones) is this: It can't get QUIETER when you step on the pedal. The whole point of distortion pedals is that you need it to be on unity gain or INCREASE your volume easily. I have this turned all the way up, and it's barely at unity gain on any setting. That's unacceptable. Did the side-by-size with the MXR '78 Badass again, and while the Hot Plexi has a great sound (arguably) even better, it's not useful to me once you perceive it to be "weak".
This is not true example of the Joyo lineup, many of which are great products and have TONS of power on tap. The Crunch Distortion and Ultimate Drive have absurd amounts of output. This Hot Plexi is simply a near miss, and a slight disappointment.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. See all 17 customer reviews...
By Rich P.
I reserve the 5 star rating due to the dependability of the switch although I have been demoing this pedal for only a short time. Other than that it is a fun pedal with a smooth plexi overdrive breakup and sustain. If you watch the on-line demo video it will demonstrate the variety of sounds to be dialed in really well. For the money Joyo pedals seem to deliver a good product. I have an Joyo California Sound (white pedal) and have used it on a regular basis in my pedal board for nearly a year and it works flawlessly. This one is now mounted in the pedal board and will be used like all the others are.