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Morley JD-10 and JD-20


This is a twin-channel overdrive/distortion stompbox that has a speaker simulator (or cab-sim filter) built in. August 2000. Award-Session JD20 review, page 80, Guitarist magazine Summer 2000. I have this issue. 1-page review. Reviewer gave it a very high rating. The rivals are listed as: Has a G12T speaker simulator. Can go in front of amp or into mixer for DI sounds. Twin-channel unit, now. Overdrive/distortion stompbox/ DI preamp.

"In these days of POD and the whole new generation of direct-to-tape recording devices, the JD20 seems almost archaic. But that's only one application of the JD20. As a controllable stompbox the JD20 excels; it's simple and intuitive and as a tonal 'Mr Fix-it', nothing compares."


Morley Jerry Donahue JD-10. Overdrive/dist, direct box, preamp, speaker sim, Humbucker emu, line driver, headphone amp. $198.

Morley Pedals site [replace by direct link to JD-10 page when site is back up]

Harmony Central - JD-10 user comments - excerpts:

Made by Award, not actually Morley. Award has been building tube amp simulator circuits for over ten years now.

Ad page 45 Guitar Shop Oct 1996: distortion/direct box. accurately emulate any amp in the world. From deep, fat grunge sounds to the crystal clear tones of its namesake. A wide footpedal. 5 knobs, 2 round red push switches, chrome big click footswitch.

Price Paid: US $125

Very responsive tone controls that actually *help* my Twin's tone pots. The manual gives a number of suggested settings which are very helpful. The "Dirty (AC) Thirty" is worth the price of admission on its own.

Sound Quality: 8 Sound is very compressed through my 73 Twin Reverb...it adds a lot of softened punch to my amp's attack.

I love the crunch I get from the Byrdland guitar, and the high, singing feedback imparted by the treble boost. Its a little noisy when you use the "rock" push button, but the "classic" setting gives you great tone with little noise.

Overall Rating: 8 I play a variety of styles including modern country and loud screaming rocknroll. This unit fits both very nicely. Clean, bright tones for country twang....nasty distorted overtones for that Nugent harmonic feedback thing, a Vox AC30 brown tone that Jackson Browne/David Lindley fans would like. I've been playing for 30 years and this pedal is the first distortion unit I even considered buying. Very versatile, very easy to use. I do wish it had a second foot switch to change the "classic/rock" setting. Other than that....Its a winner in the sound category but needs some work on the reliability front. How many Big Muff's did Jimi have anyway?

Treble, Middle, Bass, Drive Depth, Classic/Rock, G12T Speaker Emulation, Output Level and Bypass make up the controls. This is basically a preamp/distortion pedal with speaker simulation.

Sound Quality: 9 The sound is very good. The one thing I noticed is that this thing puts out TONS of bass. Almost too much. I cut the bass way down on my unit and it sounds fine now. The distortion is a little "tight". When played next to a real tube amp, the tightness is apparent. The distortion is very good and the speaker simulation is great. I have noticed that the unit sounds a lot better through speakers as opposed to listening with headphones through the mixer. It still has a little too much buzz (i.e. highs) when listening through headphones with ROCK setting enabled. I think that the Classic setting is incredibly good. Nice crunch for chords. All in all, you cannot go wrong with this unit. It is great.

Overall Rating: 9 I love this unit. If it broke or was stolen, I would buy it again.

Operation of this unit is very straightforward. It is a preamp/amp/speaker emulator which can also function as a DI. It has bass, mid and treble controls, along with drive and volume knobs, and switches for speaker emulation and classic or high gain mode. It has a stompable on/off switch, but the line driver is always on. The manual has some recommended settings and does a good job of explaining what the controls do. It took me a bit of fiddling to dial in the sound I wanted, which was emulation of an almost clean tube guitar combo amp. I would prefer if the unit had markings for the knobs, so that settings could be more easily reproduced.

Sound Quality: 9 I am using the JD-10 with the following signal chain: Kramer Pacer Deluxe->EH Deluxe Big Muff->ProCo RAT->Yamaha REX50->Digitech Time Machine 7.6->Peavey Valverb->Morley JD-10->PA system. I play ambient space music in a group with two synthesists, and wanted to eliminate the onstage guitar amp to get a better mix. So far, the JD-10 has allowed me to do that. The sound is a little tighter than a tube guitar amp, but that subtlety is lost in the mix. The guitar sounds just a bit more electronic, but for this group that's not a bad thing. I was pleasantly surprised at how controllable the feedback is and how good it sounds. Of course the distortion is coming from the other devices, but playing direct throught the PA with the JD-10 did not require any signifcant alteration in my technique.

Overall Rating: 9 Overall I am pleased with the unit. I feel that it does what I got it for very well. It is less expensive than the SansAmp products. My H&K Cream Machine, by comparison, would not allow me to dial in the specific sound I was after. For my purpose of playing live space music along with synthesizers it is a useful tool. I'm not about to give up my tube amplifiers (or my 2-15" speaker cab) for performing or recording rock music, though.

Ease of Use: 10 Simplicity is beauty. OK, you get no 250 presets loaded w/digital effects but hey, spend your time listening to music instead of figuring out how to program some cheesy multi-fx! Features: EFFICIENT 3-band eq, drive and output knobs - and drive-selection (low/high gain) PLUS "Celestion" style cabinet simulator push-buttons. `Nuff is enuff. The manual gives suggestions for different "amp-style" settings and this is the point: use it for home recording, in no-time youīll get GREAT "miked-amp" tone to tape! Youīll have to use an adapter (no battery compartment) but not to worry, the JD-10 will accept just about ANY adapter you have lying around the house.

Sound Quality: 10 Iīm using it both for home recording and live; w/ SSH Squier Strat/Blues Junior and sometimes Marshalls. Tends to be a bit boomy inta an amp (so turn the bass down) but thatīs because itīs a cab simulator...nice country spank tho (e. g. into a Marshall - instant "Fenshall"!). Hereīs another one: engage the Celestion G12T button - make your SC Strat cut through a 10 piece-band! Now, the real stuff is using it for recording. Believe me, Iīve recorded cranked Marshalls and VOX AC30īs and this little pedal sounds just as good (albeit not the SAME, but who cares anyway). Miked amps to tape never sound like the real deal either (the SM57 will colour the tone!). I record both my strat and a cheesy (soon to be world-famous ) Falcon bass into a Fostex XR-5 4-track and both sound good. Punchy is the key-word! Both clean/overdrive/distortion are good, the first maybe a tad less convincing than my Blues Junior run clean (but that amp is a studio MONSTER!).

Overall Rating: 10 I chose the JD-10 for itīs apparent (real!) simplicity and it was slightly cheaper than the SansAmp. Also, I wanted to be able to use it live. I play original rock/pop (of the infamous 5 Naked Guys, Kalmar, Sweden!) and for demo recordings/arranging itīs a must. Just plug in and play. It lets me concentrate on finding the right NOTES instead of the right fancy effects-overladen preset which will drown in the mix and not contribute to the harmonic/melodic content of the song. I experiment in weird bass-lines (great hobby for the non-singing guitarist) and that really helps my arranging skills! And hey, a tip for bass players, listen to J. S. Bach, bass lines donīt get any better. Yngwie Malmsteeeeen was on the right track there (but the wrong instrument IMHO because thereīs even more interesting stuff to steal!). Bottom line, you get great recordings EASILY!

Ease of Use: 9 The manual does an excellent job of describing settings to emulate specific tones, from "Hey Joe" Hendrix to "I Can See for Miles" Townsend. There are "four and a half" controls that vary your sound - bass, middle, and treble are three of course. The drive control is a two stage overdrive control, the stages being "classic" and "rock" - use the switch to go from the cleaner "classic" to the heavier "rock", and vary the amount of drive within stages by a drive control. There is also a switch to turn on/off the Celestion 12" speaker simulation -- I leave it on all the time, because that is the real beauty of this unit.

Sound Quality: 9 Because of the JD-10, I have switched my gigging amp to a solid-state Bass amp, and with the JD-10 I can cover every spectrum from Wes Montgomery clean to Ritchie Blackmore grind, and can get this sound at any volume level.

The JD-10 does not claim to be "tube emulation", but it does display the key properties of tubes - it is touch sensitive to distortion, and has singing harmonics, perhaps less "glassy" and mid-rangey than tubes.

Reliability: 6 A problem has ocurred where the unit occasionally starts to "clip" (for lack of a better term). When this happens, the tone becomes somewhat shrill and gated. This is a definite problem with the unit, and I have developed a test for it. Normally, as I turn up the drive control (say, from 1 to 10) you hear get a drive increase as well as a slight volume change when the unit is "clipping", the drive starts out OK at 1, the unit goes dead from 2 to 4, then comes back to drive and volume (but still clipping) after 5. I have two JD-10's, and both have "clipped" -- one unit it happens very infrequently, and fixes itself after a few clicks of the bypass switch. My backup unit "clipped" more frequently, and since it was recently repaired (stupid drummers have no respect for floor pedals!), I leave it in a set position -- it's when I start adjusting controls that it begins this clip.

Overall Rating: 9 I've tried the JD-10 in front of traditional guitar amps, but it does not seem to react to tubes very well -- even with clean Music Man amps I find it to be distortion on top of distortion. But in front of a bass or keyboard amp set as clean as possible, that's where the JD-10 shines. This reflects a paradigm shift, because what guitarist would go to a music store, plug straight into a guitar amp, then a bass amp, and choose the bass amp? I love tube amps, and have a Pro Junior for home use -- still I am thrilled with what I can get from the JD-10 and a moderately priced Bass amp.

True confession time: I met Tele-master Jerry Donahue (as in "JD"-10) at a Fender clinic in Rochester, NY -- he was running the JD-10 into a Fender BXR amp, which is where my setup came from!! Check out his work with the Hellecasters, and if you like that steely type of Tele sound, (and don't have the clipping problems), I'd rate this unit as a great buy!

Ease of Use: 9 Doesn't have nearly the variety of sounds that the manual purports, I agree

Sound Quality: 8 Whit a good amp (MusicMan)it is useless. Not at all noisy not bad, but not creating the sound I like. But for home playing and recording its an ace! The speaker simulator button makes wonders. It makes home stereo sounds like 60`Marshall! Heh,heh...As a headphoneamp it is useless.

Very good 8 for the purpose!

Ease of Use: 8 The box is more of a preamp than just a pedal. It does take a little bit of futzing around with to get use to the way the drive and output level knob work together, but once you do it is pretty simple to get some nice tones.

Sound Quality: 10 Not comparing it with high end preamps, this unit gets a positive ten. The heavy is HEAVY, and the clean is pristine. If they where going for a "this-can-be anything- you-want" I think they came really damn close. The speaker emulation nails the thud of a 12" flawlesly. The EQ is incredibly useful, and tailored really well to what guitars need. The box itself is very quiet and discrete... something you can easily use ( if using through an amp ) with out yelling "Hey! I just plugged in a pedal..." Hell, the box will even help an amp out if it's not active ( inactive, it acts as a line driver ). If you are happy with your amp tone, and need just a DI box, this might be a bit much; but if you have an amp that needs a little life, a little help, or a little soul, this box is way better than just about any other pedal. In the "classic" gain mode, the box is pretty touch sensative, and in "rock" mode the box gets a good raunch to heavy. Anyway, the I think I've raved enough, the box sounds really good, and can get a butltload of tones; not just a lot of tones, but alot of GOOD tones...

Overall Rating: 10

Ease of Use: 10 The Morley JD-10 is a perfect emulator of my Acoustic tube guitar amp. It is actually manufactured by Award in England and endorsed by Jerry Donahue (of Hellecasters fame), an absolutely phenomenal guitarist. The controls are simple, drive, gain, and 3 tone controls. A couple of switches for lead/rythm and speaker emulator on/off. One of the real neat things is it has a balanced TRS output jack so you can run VERY quietly to a board.

Sound Quality: 10 The point of this pedal is to replace a miked amp. It can be used all alone or put at the end of an effects chain (right where the amp would normally go). The unit is very quiet. If you're looking for crunchy to all out metal tones, this is absolutely the pedal. To get the tube amp compressed clean sound, you do need to put a compressor ahead of it. All controls provide a very wide range of effects and I have always managed to get the sound I want. To give an idea of the flexibility of this unit, I run it through a keyboard amp (so I don't need to lug more than one amp to the gig) and it sounds identical to my combo amp.

Reliability: 10 Award has been building tube amp simulator circuits for over ten years now and their pedals are known for their reliability. The DC input jack will accept just about any adapter on earth, just give it something between 9 and 22 volts, positive and negative doesn't matter. More voltage equals more gain! I use it all the time on gigs without a backup.

Customer Support: N/A The company is in England (Award, not Morley), but I can;t imagine every having to deal with them.

Overall Rating: 10 I can;t imagine not having this pedal. In the studio, I run direct to the board. Playing out, I run my guitar rig through my keyboard amp. It doesn't have presets, but after using it for a while you just turn around and tweak the settings for the next song (I keep it on top of the amp, NOT on the floor).

Ease of Use: 10 Doesn't have nearly the variety of sounds that the manual purports, but the stock sound is quite tasty.

Sound Quality: 8 It has a selector switch for "Classic" and "Rock". The rock sound is basically distortion controlled by the depth knob. The real stand-out feature is the speaker simulator. This little circuit has done wonders for my home recordings.

Reliability: 10 Customer Support: N/A Overall Rating: 8 I am very pleased with the JD-10. The "JD" stands for Jerry Donohue, their endorser. Whoever he is, he sure knows how to pick 'em! I was disappointed that it didn't work too well as a headphone amp, but that is minor. I only use it for home recording and, for this application, it has been a delight.

DejaNews query: "Morley JD-10"

Messages 1-45 of exactly 45 matches for search "Morley JD-10":

        Date    Scr        Subject< /u>                     Newsgroup< /a>           Author

   1. 98/05/15 040 Re: I: Direct  to the Board   alt.guitar.effects    GtarGeorge     
   2. 98/09/28 036 Re: Direct  Boxes             alt.guitar            Chris Gieseke  
   3. 98/09/27 036 Re: Direct  Boxes             alt.guitar            Demian Norvell 
   4. 98/09/04 036 Re: Fender  Amp or Sansamp?   alt.guitar.amps       Kenneth La Barr
   5. 98/07/20 036 FS: amp,  speaker and stompbo alt.guitar.amps       Pete           
   6. 98/07/02 036 Re: DSP Amps?  You're just pl alt.guitar.amps       jvence         
   7. 98/05/15 036 Re: I:  Direct to the Boa#2/2 alt.guitar.effects    Chris Gieseke  
   8. 98/06/19 034 Pro Junior  owners: Tube / sp alt.guitar.amps       jvence         
   9. 98/06/19 034 Re: Pro  Junior owners: Tube  alt.guitar.amps       Koen Stalmans  
  10. 98/05/15 034 Re: I: Direct  to the Board   alt.guitar.effects    di             
  11. 98/05/15 034 Re: I:  Direct to the Board   alt.guitar.effects    di             
  12. 98/04/15 034 Re: Hooking  strat to compute alt.guitar            William Robert 
  13. 98/03/08 034 Looking for  schematics       alt.guitar.effects    phirebug       
  14. 98/02/06 034 FS:Experienc e Pedal/Morley J alt.guitar.amps       JFOG10         
  15. 98/02/06 034 FS:Experienc e Pedal/Morley J alt.guitar.effects    JFOG10         
  16. 98/02/06 034 FS:Experienc e Pedal/Morley J alt.guitar            JFOG10         
  17. 97/03/25 033 JD-10  Opinions               alt.guitar            F Yang         
  18. 98/03/09 032 Re: Looking  for schematics   alt.guitar.effects    Burgundy       
  19. 97/04/09 032 JD-10 owners  - amp recommend alt.guitar.amps       James Vence    
  20. 97/03/26 031 Re: JD-10  Opinions           alt.guitar            JB             
  21. 96/05/09 031 Re: Best  Pedals              alt.guitar            jonv318        
  22. 97/08/29 030 Re: Looking  for Best DI for  alt.guitar.amps       E Nicholson    
  23. 97/03/26 030 Re: JD-10  Opinions           alt.guitar            Howard Roberts 
  24. 97/03/24 030 Re: I Love  Solid State Amps! alt.guitar.amps       James Vence    
  25. 96/10/25 030 Re: Tube  Harmonics - Blues D alt.guitar.amps       Evan Blewett   
  26. 96/09/13 030 Re: Morley  JD-10             alt.guitar.amps       Jim Stith      
  27. 96/07/05 030 Re: Effects  for Transistor A alt.guitar            MIvanBerk      
  28. 97/01/07 029 Re: Best SS  Amp?             alt.guitar.amps       James Vence    
  29. 97/01/07 029 Re: Best SS  Amp?             alt.guitar.amps       Daddy-o        
  30. 97/09/30 028 Re: big  solid or little tube alt.guitar            James Vence    
  31. 97/05/10 028 Re: what all  tube amp to get alt.guitar.amps       Larry Seiler   
  32. 97/03/17 028 Re: Are Tube  Emulators Any G rec.music.makers.guit R Sadeck       
  33. 97/01/02 028 Re: Best way  to record guita alt.guitar            Evan Blewett   
  34. 96/03/14 028 Re: Tube Amp  Emulator DI Box rec.music.makers.guit pbradt         
  35. 95/10/23 028 Recording  Preamps            rec.music.makers.guit Roland Klemke  
  36. 96/12/31 027 Re: Best way  to record guita alt.guitar            James Vence    
  37. 96/12/31 027 Re: Best way  to record guita alt.guitar            lxh2           
  38. 96/07/18 026 Re: MY Rig,  what's yourz?    alt.guitar            Peter Bradt    
  39. 96/03/01 026 Tube Amp  Emulator DI Boxes-W rec.music.makers.guit Warren Neill   
  40. 95/10/23 026 Re:  Recording Preamps        rec.music.makers.guit Erik           
  41. 96/11/14 024 Re: Rvw of  Power Brake, #2/2 alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
  42. 96/11/14 024 Re: Rvw of  Power Brake, #2/2 alt.guitar            J.R. Elswick   
  43. 96/03/15 024 Tube Amp  Emulators-Which#2/2 rec.music.makers.guit Warren Neill   
  44. 96/03/12 024 Re: Tube Amp  Emulator DI Box rec.music.makers.guit Joseph Borrow  
  45. 96/03/03 024 Re: Tube Amp  Emulator DI Box rec.music.makers.guit Jeff Thomas    

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