Posted by
Jul 22, 2021

Nocturne JR Barnyard

From San Diego, CA, hails Nocturne, a family company that hand-builds pedals, amps and preamps led by a self-described “ol’ american rockabilly boy true to old school heritage .” The JR Barnyard is their take on the vintage 1930’s-40s octal tube amp circuit found in early Gibson and Dickerson amps (the company that then became Magnatone).

The tone produced by this pedal (and it’s amp cousin the company’s Moonshine 39) has that semi-nasal vintage quality that the builder describes as “punchy honky almost reedy/flutey” and that gets a more wooly character when cranked up. Those into pre-war rhythm and blues will hear references to the sound of the records from the Chicago Chess and Checker labelas well as Memphis Stax.

Two toggle switches allow the pedal to be tuned to a variety of guitars and basses, but this is a pedal that works great also on electrified mandolines, ukuleles, banjos, or any other instrument with a pickup.

V2 features a blend control between the normal and a (virtual and hotter) mic channel that allows to dial in some extra testure to taste.

Hear the tone of the Nocturne JR Barnyard in the official demo:

Pre-War Hot Preamp ( 1930’s-40s octal tube amp character pedal).

Version 2, a new single stomp version w a blend control between the normal and mic channel plus a smaller compact size!! Much more versatile to boot!

Some folks call this a vintage Octal Tube Amp in a box as you can pull off the classic 30s Gibson octal tube sound from most any amp or even straight to a PA system (assuming you have a decent soundman). It aims at giving you the texture and dynamics you hear and feel from that pre world war II era gibby ES150-185 amps. (if you want a full on replication of an actual tit for tat octal tube amp, I make the Moonshine’39 octal tube amp based on my vintage EH-185 amp built late in 1939 which literally has the EH-150 stamp on it still.)

The basic sound easily dialed in from this class A discreet preamp is that punchy honky almost reedy/flutey (no more eee’s pleeeze) late 30’s and 40s swing sound, like Oscar Moore, CHarlie Christian, and (contemporary) Whit Smith are found here. ..or crank it up for full on chess era wooly 50s chicago rhythm and blues.

This FET based preamp uses a hand selected/spec’d NOS Motorola transistor and a mix of imported Soviet germanium & Fairchild silicon diodes at its core with other sexy components like NOS Mial Caps, NOS Cornell Dublier & Mullard and/or Wima film caps, Switchcraft jacks and hand wired leads from the circuit board like a vintage american amplifier. This preamp was made to give your instrument and amp the character response of hot octal tubes and field coil type amplifiers of the 40s into the 50s. Think Chicago Chess and Checker label recordings as well as Memphis Stax recorded amps.

I’ve had players asking for a *junior barnard & *charlie christian type of “warm cook’n” preamp that will keep the transparency of the instrument intact and work w a variety of backline tube amps.. so thats what I ended up with here with this preamp.

It has a Body depth switch (deep & Flat) and Bright switch for a variety of guitars, mandos,ukes, banjos,dreadnaughts..it just flat out brings you into the front of mix with reedy vintage warmth and definition like you hear when the musicians of the *Texas Playboys were asked to floor it w/ a solo by ol’ *Bob Wills. I’ll even go so far to say it will help Gypsy Jazz players comp that snarly Django amplified tone.
I added a second channel that blends in the hotter mic channel of the EH185 to it so I could dial in more texture and finger tone for my vintage style big bobbin single coil guitars. (thats the stomp switch on the left) too boot! I want that Fatboy Rag kinda low down n dirty sound from my guitars that I can click on and off at will from the fairly clean tube amps I perform with.
This pedal is True bypass of course, powered by a standard *boss style 9V DC adaptor (no power supply adapter included, requires audio quality 9v DC power supply ONLY!! )