Posted by An In Depth Description by the 3 Series Creator Josh Scott of JHS Pedals on 18th Aug 2021

In this article, I’m debuting into the world not one, not two, not even four, but seven brand new pedals. I’m just going to take a second and let that sink in.

Seven. Pedals. That wasn’t a typo. This is actually happening.

In this article (and in the episode of the JHS Show that dropped earlier today) I’m going to show off the newest series of JHS Pedals: the 3 Series. I love them, and I think you will, too.

Here’s how it all happened. Several years ago, lightning struck my brain. Thankfully, it didn’t hurt, but in that moment I was struck with a problem I knew I had to solve: the fact that so many new pedals nowadays have amazing features, tons of controls, but they're too dang complicated. Plus, more features means more money, so they usually have a bigger price tag. I’m a simple guy. Sometimes I just want a simple pedal, preferably from a super affordable series so I can have fun and try a lot of different effects. I said to myself, “Josh, can you make a line of pedals that are under a hundred dollars and easy to use?”

Yup. We can, and we did.

That’s the 3 Series in a nutshell. Every pedal is $99, no matter what the effect is, and they all have three knobs, one toggle, and one footswitch. They're incredibly easy to use, and I took my inspiration from some really classic budget pedals.

In fact, let’s take a look at some of those pedals real quick.

The History of Budget Pedals

The first ever budget pedals hit the market in the early 1980s. They offered a more affordable option to the powerhouses BOSS and Ibanez, who ruled the pedal market. In 1983, Arion Effects was one of the first brands to ever gain prominence and respect with a series of budget pedals. There are several of these pedals that go for huge money on the used market because they sound amazing, plus they've been used by a lot of famous players. Then we see other brands like Rocktek come along in 1986, making pedals even more affordable. In 1989, Ibanez got involved with the Soundtank Series. This was one of my very first pedals ever, and you can find them all over the place. They sound really great.

Even into the nineties, we see brands like ProCo making cheaper, more affordable versions of their famous pedal, the Rat Distortion: the Roadkill and the Brat, which came out around 1997.

In 1999, we saw the release of one of the most important budget lines ever made: the Danelectro Food Series. Let’s put aside the amazing fact that this allowed you to play pedals with names like Chicken Salad, Grilled Cheese, and PB&J. This was a very important series for me, because it allowed me to play tons of circuits that I could never have afforded in their original form. These were everywhere. So many guitarists, including myself, cut our teeth on effects by buying these in the mid-2000s.

Then Behringer dropped an (arguably infamous) compact line of effects, following in the footsteps of Danelectro’s Food Series by offering expensive and rare circuits in this form factor at a low price.

With the 3 Series, I wanted to build on the backs of these great budget lines because they're so important. That said, as a pedal maker, I wanted to fix some of the glaring and obvious problems with budget pedals:

  1. Quality. I love budget pedals as much as the next guy, but I need pedals that sound great and that I can trust to keep working on a crazy six month tour. Most budget pedals would probably do it, but I couldn’t be sure. If I’m going to make a JHS budget pedal, that’s the first problem to fix. I want the same quality in our $99 pedals that we put into our $200 pedals, which is why we use the exact same hardware, enclosure style, foot switches, jacks, and toggles in the 3 Series.
  1. Originality. Most budget pedals are just clones of classic pedals with minor tweaks, and there's nothing wrong with that. I love it because it lets you try classic circuits. But I wanted to take this a step further with the 3 Series and create a budget line of pedals that offers something unique. That’s why the 3 Series are mainly all original designs. When we did use an existing circuit or design, we modified it in such a way that turned it into a totally different pedal.

As far as I’m concerned, the 3 Series is our opportunity to make the greatest budget pedal line ever. I'm really proud that we put together a USA-made pedal series for $99…not to mention, they’re all pretty baller.

Now, let’s take a look at these individual pedals.