JOYO TONE CHAIN, DIRECT RECORDING GUITAR PREAMP
The Joyo Tone Chain pedal puts three very useful and useable effects into a single housing. You get an Overdrive which feeds into a Distortion, which feeds to the effects loop-send. The effects loop-return feeds into the delay section. The delay time can be set manually via a knob or you can use the tap-tempo button to set the delay time.
A pair of XLR mic-level output are available to feed to a DAW or PA system.
An 1/8” stereo input is provided to feed backing tracks into the pedal, these are passed, unprocessed, thru to the pair of XLR mic-level outputs.
An internal “Cabinet Simulater” can be switched on or off, it feeds both the 1/4” unblanced outputs and the XLR outputs simultaneously.
A “long press” on the tap-tempo button will mute the audio output and activate an internal tuner function which is displayed on the LED display on the top of the box.
HOW DOES IT SOUND?
This pedal is packed with sonic goodness and for less than $100 it is an outrageous bargain. I’m comparing the tones from this pedal directly to standalone pedals that cost twice as much.
The Overdrive has lots of range and adjustability. The Distortion section also has lots of range, you can go from mild to wild to full on metal crunch tones by blending Overdrive and Distortion.
I love the digital delay in this pedal. I like clear, flat-response delays without a bunch of inbuilt character like many analog delays imprint on your sound. This digital delay has a very musical sound, it complements the distortion sections very well.
The effects loop is a fantastic feature. This insert comes after the distortion and before the digital delay. I had a lot of fun playing with an EHX Talking Machine in the effects loop.
With the Tone Chain laying on the floor right in front of my guitar speaker I was able to get some mechanical feedback (not the good kind). This was most obvious when I had a huge resonant boost from the Talking Machine running in the effects loop. With both Overdrive and Distortion ON I could hear very slight mechanical microphonics when tapping on the exterior of the Tone Chain box. I moved the Tone Chain farther away from the speaker and the microphonics diminished. In spite of the microphonics it’s a wonderful effect pedal with great rock tones and an integrated Impulse Response for direct recording.
Good tone from both distortion sections.
Overdrive and Distortion can be used together for more over-the-top tones.
Great digital delay, very musical.
Tap-Tempo works very well, reliable and easy to use.
Works with standard 9-volt DC
Tuner is mediocre, not a lot of resolution.
No ground lift on XLR outputs.
Requires 300mA current (that is a lot)
EPILOGUE - JOYO TC-2 TONE CHAIN
I sat down to do my usual first impression with this pedal and suddenly two-hours vanished from my life. The combination of distortion and echo was just so much fun I could not turn it off. I was able to get some really wild delay effects by going back and forth between short and long echos using the Tap Tempo button.
The Joyo TC-2 is a wonderful distortion pedal for an outrageous low price.
Thanks for reading High on Technology, Good Music to You!
©Sept 2021 by Mark King. It’s not ok to quote or copy without written permission.
SPECIFICATIONS - JOYO TONE CHAIN, TC-2 PEDAL - $99 Street price
Working voltage: 9VDC
Working current: 300mA
Polarity: compatible with Boss standard, center minus
Guitar input impedance: 1MΩ
AUX input impedance: 47KΩ
XLR output impedance: 4.7KΩ