Like most if not all pedal designs by the Kansas City builder, the Artificial Blonde sticks to tone, quality components, and a streamlined set of bread-and-butter controls, although this pedal has something most JHS pedals don’t have: a two-preset system, although of the analog kind.
The two knobs for Speed and Depth set the presets’ modulation settings, while the Volume and EQ ones are shared among them. The right footswitch will alternate between presets. Each preset has the same speed and depth range.
The pedal has a mono input and stereo output, but can be used in mono by plugging in just the left output.
JHS Artificial Blonde, Builder’s Notes
When Madison recorded her second full-length album, Who You Are Now, her producer Tyler Chester was already in contact with us about getting a few modulation pedals to develop her new foundational sound. Madison ended up heavily using the JHS Emperor Chorus / Vibrato as her foundational and always on signature sound throughout those sessions.
Over the next few years, Madison and Josh became good friends after Josh featured her on the JHS Show episode “Who Is Madison Cunningham?” Josh would often stop by her concerts as an unofficial guitar tech, building her boards and helping find solutions for sounds she wanted. During a sound check in Lawrence, KS, Josh noticed that even though her Emperor was always on and in vibrato mode, Madison kept reaching down to switch the settings to create another faster and deeper vibrato tone for a particular song. Sensing an opportunity to make it easier to use during live shows, Josh developed the idea for an entirely new stompbox that suited Madison’s needs, and soon she was touring with that first prototype.
Madison traveled doing live shows and sessions for her new album with the prototype for a full year (you may recognize it as the black nondescript stompbox labeled “Blonde”), but we’re releasing it officially as the newest member of the JHS lineup and as Madison Cunningham’s signature pedal: the Artificial Blonde.
At its core, the Artificial Blonde is a very simplistic approach to Madison’s signature sound: a never off, always on, slightly 3D pitch vibrato sound. The secondary footswitch switches between the two speed/depth preset sections. It’s a true pitch vibrato modulation pedal with two easy-to-access modes for live use. Simply put, this is Madison Cunningham in a box: just add a clean Fender-style amp and tune your guitar strings down!
VOLUME – Controls the overall volume of the pedal. Left is less, right is more.
EQ – The EQ control is an active tilt EQ. Noon is flat. Turning to the left boosts lows and cuts highs, while turning to the right boosts highs and cuts lows.
SPEED – Controls the rate of the vibrato. Left is slower, right is faster.
DEPTH – Controls the depth of the vibrato. Left is less, right is more.
INPUT – 1/4” jack on the top right receives your instrument’s signal.
OUTPUT MONO/STEREO – 1/4” jack outputs. Use the MONO output for a mono signal path or use both the MONO and STEREO output jacks for a 3D stereo soundscape.
POWER – Uses 9V DC Negative Center. Do not use more than 9V DC. Damage may occur and your warranty will be voided.
BYPASS – Left footswitch turns the effect on and off. When off, the pedal is buffered bypass and both outputs pass the normal dry signal.
PRESET – Right footswitch changes the preset to A or B. On power up the default is preset B. Each preset has the same speed and depth range and allows you to create two different switchable settings.