In this JangleBox JBX review, I will talk about this compressor’s features and compare it to the older JangleBox JB3 model. After reading this article, you will have an excellent understanding of how a compressor works and what makes the JangleBox JBX a great choice for capturing that elusive Beatles-era sound.
Who Is JangleBox?
JangleBox, LLC is a company in Reston, Virginia, that manufactures compressors as well as an EQ Boost and a noise gate. All their units are hand-made in the USA. Their compressors have been used by bands like The Byrds (Roger McGuinn), The Beatles (George Harrison), R.E.M., Tom Petty, and The Pretenders.
Their compressor is apparently designed from the onboard compressor circuit in the Rickenbacker 360/12RM, which was the original 12 string Roger McGuinn model guitar.
JangleBox claims their compressors are unlike any other unit on the market because they have the original bright and clean-ringing chime that creates the jangly even tone that The Beatles and The Byrds popularized.
Their primary marketing strategy is to partner predominantly with high-end boutique stores like Chicago Music Exchange and Willcutt Guitars, but they also make their products available through reliable music chains like Sam Ash. They will also sell directly to the end-user.
JangleBox features a rather extensive list of artists on their website that use their products, including Roger McGuinn and Mike Campbell.
If you want to take a closer look at the Janglebox JBX compressor, you can click on the link below.
Click HERE To Check Reviews & Price On Amazon
What Is Audio Compression?
If you already know about audio compression, then you can skip to the next section entitled “What Is The JangleBox JBX” otherwise, keep reading for a basic explanation that will help you understand how compression works.
Ok, so here it is in a nutshell. Compression, also known as dynamic range compression (DNC), is a process during which an audio signal (a guitar sound, in our case) is electronically modified to reside in a certain dynamic range. This is achieved by increasing the volume level of notes that are too soft and decreasing the volume level of notes that are too loud.
The overall effect is to make your music very “even sounding” or “compressed.” The notes you play can also be made to sustain longer by making simple adjustments to the unit, which makes it a great effect to use when playing guitar solos!
For more info see What Is A Guitar Stomp Box – Attractive, Little, Tantalizing.
Types Of Compressors
This technology was originally only available for use in professional recording studios. Eventually, it became available as portable units that could be purchased by guitar players at an affordable price and plugged in between their guitar and amplifier.
Compressors are available either in a stand-alone stompbox configuration or as part of a multi-effects unit. You can also buy compressors as software “plugins” for digital recording studios.
Ways To Use A Compressor
Here is a video by Philip McNight that demonstrates how a compressor can be useful in your playing and shows you 5 basic ways to use a compressor.
A “Limiter” is different from a compressor in that it is used for a more specific application. It is a type of compressor that generally has a higher gain reduction ratio in a specific frequency range and produces a shorter attack time. This makes it useful for compression of a narrower frequency band. For example, it can be set to “limit” the volume and attack of notes above a certain pitch that might otherwise be too harsh-sounding.
What Is The JangleBox JBX, And How Is It Different From The JangleBox JB3?
The JangleBox JBX is JangleBox’s flagship compressor/sustainer. They basically did a re-design of their JB3 compressor to create a unit that is even more versatile and better sounding over a larger range of settings.
JangleBox wanted to reduce the overall noise level and switch-noise of their JB3. They addressed this by moving the EQ circuit after the compressor, which can make a noticeable difference even at high volume levels.
The JBX replaces the signal chain “mute” switch of the JB3 with a more useful treble boost, which helps reduce some of the dark overtones that compressors can add to the high register of the guitar. The treble boost makes a significant difference in your instrument’s lower end, especially when using semi-acoustic or acoustic guitars that tend to sound somewhat “dull” in the midrange and bass ranges when overly compressed.
The JBX also has more independently functioning attack and gain controls, which allows you to really dial down the compression level without losing output volume. This helps retain the JangleBox sound quality without sacrificing your playing dynamics.
Why Would You Buy The JangleBox JB3 Instead Of The JangleBox JBX?
You may be asking yourself, at a price difference of only 10 dollars more for the JangleBox JBX, why would you ever buy the JangleBox JB3? You might have your reasons, but I can assure you that I definitely would not!
With all that you get with the JBX, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would pass it up and buy the JB3 instead unless it is available at a price that can’t be beat and justifies the downgrade.
Some players may consider the JB3 over the JBX to utilize the signal chain mute for quickly isolating their sound output, but there are many easy workarounds for this, like using an A/B box.
Who Is The JangleBox JBX For?
The JangleBox JBX is for the guitar player that is looking for that special 60’s-era sparkly jangly sound that is most reminiscent of music that used 12 string electric guitars, especially Rickenbackers.
If you like this sound, it will work with any guitar and amplifier configuration, but It may take a bit of trial and error to find the right settings to suit your particular taste.
This compressor won’t necessarily replace your favorite unit if you play stuff like metal or country. It is definitely a bit of an “acquired taste,” so make sure you try before you buy.
Features And Benefits
Here are some of the things you should consider before buying a compressor. JangleBox offers several models to choose from but if you have the money then here’s what their top-shelf unit has to offer.
What Sets The JangleBox JBX Aside From Other Compressors
The JangleBox JBX, like the JB3, is essentially a two-sided compressor. It has separate bass, treble, and gain controls to contour the tone and volume (amplitude) of your guitar signal before and after the device compresses it. There is also a common “attack” knob that adjusts the level of aggressiveness of the unit’s output.
By having separate “T-Boost” and J-Boost” switches, you can use the unit as a dedicated compressor, treble booster, or both simultaneously. This is a convenient feature and is great for those “over-the-top” guitar solos that really cut through the mix!
Like the JangleBox JB3, the JBX has an updated IC chip that is quieter and more stable. It also has dual mono outputs, so it can run through to separate signal chains or amps simultaneously.
The JangleBox JBX Can Save You Money And Pedal Space
The JangleBox JBX is like two pedals in one because it has the EQ boost built right into it, so you don’t need their JangleBox J Boost EQ volume pedal. This can save you some money and space on your pedalboard. It really helps you run your compressor “full-throttle,” making the booster an indispensable addition to the pedal.
JangleBox JBX Specifications
Dimensions: 5.625” W x 4.625” H x 1.56” D (1432mm x 101.6mm x 40mm)
Recommended Power Adaptor (NOT included): Use a 9 Volt, 100mA, DC Adaptor with a 2.1mm x 5.5mm barrel, pin-negative
Note: Pin-negative polarity, which is the industry standard, is used on all JangleBox products except the original (red-lettered) JangleBox compressor that used a pin-positive polarity.
Warranty: One year from the date of purchase.
What I like About The JangleBox JBX
It’s not difficult to love the JangleBox JBX. It has a great uniquely voiced sound that fills a compressor niche that not many if-any other compressors can handle. This device has sonic goodness to spare with a beautiful “spacy” sound.
I always prefer products that are made right here in the good old U.S.A. The compressor’s internal components are very high quality, and each unit is hand-assembled, just like back in the old days! The JangleBox JBX features a sturdy case with a great purple sparkle finish that makes me feel like breaking out my tied-dyed shirt, headband, and bell-bottom pants.
True bypass helps keep your guitar signal strong and pure-sounding. I am usually reluctant to buy newer-generation stompboxes that don’t feature true bypass, although I will readily make an exception when it comes to vintage devices.
The company claims that their units sound “glorious” when using a 12 string guitar and specifically a Rickenbacker, which totally makes sense. They also mention that guitars with single-coil pickups have a better sound profile than those with humbucking pickups. In point of fact, I love the way the JangleBox JBX sounds with a Telecaster and Strats sound great as well, especially if you put the unit first in the signal chain (just after the guitar)!
I like that JangleBox always seems to be thinking ahead and updating their products, in this case, with a new IC chip and redesigned circuit path.
By all accounts, their user support is pretty good, although I have not had any experience with it personally.
What I Don’t Like About The JangleBox JBX
At a list cost of $325, the JangleBox JBX may be out of many guitarists’ price range. That doesn’t mean the product is not worth the money, but it is a limiting factor.
JangleBox claims that their pedals do go on sale, especially around the holidays, and they will send you a notification if you join their mailing list, which is very cool!
They will allow you to return a JangleBox pedal within five days of receipt but charge you a twenty-dollar “restocking fee,” which is not so cool.
JangleBox has significantly reduced its compressor’s noise by redesigning its circuitry and adding a new IC chip. Even so, the JBX still can be fairly noisy at certain settings, especially when running the compressor and treble boost together. They make a noise gate called the “J-Gate” that will go a long way to solving the problem, but that will set you back another $225.
The JangleBox JBX can run on a 9V battery or power adaptor and comes with a 9-volt battery pre-installed. The power adaptor is not included with the unit’s purchase, but to be fair, very few stompboxes actually include one. Still, for the price of this unit, it would be a nice addition.
Most people who have a big pedalboard these days use a single high-quality power supply to run all their units, improving performance and lowering the noise floor.
A comprehensive JangleBox manual that outlines specific settings for classic sounds would definitely be preferable to the scant documentation that comes in the box, especially on a device that has so much potential.
All in all, there’s really not much to dislike about the JangleBox JBX or any of their other products, for that matter.
Beware Of Poorly Designed And Cloned Substitutes!
There are several cheaper compressors with similar claims that don’t measure up to the JangleBox JBX or any of their products! There are also generic clones available on large independent-sales websites like eBay. Some of these units are homemade, and their poor design sounds awful!
Always remember that when purchasing musical equipment, as with pretty much everything else in life, you usually get what you pay for. Great sound can often be the inspiration you need to take you in a totally unexpected and new musical direction.
In the world of compressors, there many more choices for products than there are individual applications. One company that definitely stands out is JangleBox. They have essentially created a compressor with its own unique and identifiable voice, which comes in two flavors, their classic JangleBox and the JangleBox JBX.
The JangleBox is their standard “meat and potatoes” unit that will create that elusive 1960’s compressed “jangle” for guitarists on a budget, while their JangleBox JBX is their deluxe model that was upgraded from their JangleBox JB3.
If you are looking for a stompbox to add to your collection that will make your music stand out, then the “delightfully quirky and Beatle-Esque” sound of a JangleBox JBX might just be “your on-all-the-time pedal.” 12-string Rickenbacker optional but definitely recommended.
Tell Us What You Think
Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this JangleBox JBX review or want to leave your own personal review.
If you have any questions about this JangleBox product, I will be happy to help you.
- Do you use a compressor in your playing?
- Have you used a JangleBox compressor, and did you like it?
- Would you buy a JangleBox product after reading this JangleBox compressor review?
16 thoughts on “JangleBox JBX Compressor Review – Is It Better Than The JB3?”
My friend is a guitar guy (or likes to think he is) he has three guitars (that he never plays) a boom box, some cables I don’t know what they’re for and a compressor I have only seen him use once.
I like the idea of playing guitar and playing it well, maybe one day I will take it up myself (just borrow his kit) and I love the idea of 60’s-era sparkly jangly sounds so this would be the way to go for me. There’s nothing sad about those sounds, they are happy, upbeat, make you want to spend your day in a state of joyfulness and, who knows, I may reignite my friend’s love for his guitars and he might start playing again.
Thank You for your comments!
You really sound like someone who would enjoy playing the guitar so I strongly suggest you give it a try! Playing a musical instrument can be a tremendously rewarding and fun experience. After you begin to get the hang of it then you can start buying fun little toys like compressors and distortion boxes. As a beginner, don’t let equipment distract you and take time away from actually learning the instrument.
Thanks for this great JangleBox JBX Compressor Review. In this article, you can really find all the necessary information when you are wondering about the difference between JangleBox JBX and JangleBox JB3.
According to your review, the company turned out great with the upgrade of a newer model, so it is definitely worth the investment in JangleBox JBX, which is, as you wrote, even more versatile and better sounding over a larger range of settings. It was really interesting to read this review.
Thanks for your comments!
If you play electric guitar and want to really get the 1960’s “jangly” compressed sound then this is the stompbox for you. If you don’t want to spend that kind of money on a pedal then the Standard JangleBox unit will also do a great job. If you like playing Beatles songs then you’ll wonder how you ever did without it!
Thank you for the detailed review. I grew up in the 60’s and still have my AC 30 and 360/12. But something was missing. I do believe you have helped me solve the issue. I listened to a JBX and agree totally with your assessment. Your explanation was spot on. Thanks again, I’m off to find a JBX .
I really appreciate your comments!
I’m thrilled that you found my article helpful.
Wow, a vintage AC 30 and 360/12! They must have some excellent memories attached, not to mention the money they’re worth. You have a dream setup for a JBX! I think the two of you will be very happy together. Let me know how you make out. ?
I still have a ’60s Strat and Bandmaster that I would never part with. I really tend to get attached to musical equipment.
Please come back to revisit my site. It’s pretty new, but I’ll keep loading it up with lots of cool stuff.
Have Fun and keep on playing!
Just bought the JBX.
It is Truly, for The Byrds!
Hi, Mr. H
I’m glad you like your JangleBox JBX!
It does have the coveted sound.
Now, get a Rickenbacker 12-string, and you’ll be all set!??
I appreciate you checking out my site! Please come back often.
Keep on playing!
I decided to make a smaller pedal board for my 12 string guitars. I and Rickenbacker 360/12c63 and an Ibanez Artist 2618/12. My main amp is a AC30 but sometimes I use a Carvin Belair.
I really appreciate the work you did with this review. Super helpful. I think the JBX will soon be part of my set up. While I grew up hearing all the goodness that was Ricky to Vox, I’m actually excited about seeing how this does with the Carvin amp and the Ibanez.
I’m super thrilled that you enjoyed the article and found it valuable!
The JBX will give your Ricky that Yardbirds “Jangle” you have been looking for.
I have a Vox AC15 and a Carvin Vintage 16. The Belair amps are super nice!
Best of luck with your new pedalboard.
Please come back to visit my website again. It’s players like you that make the work I put into it worthwhile! ? ?
Great review, very helpful. I have the JB nano and play it through a Rick 12 and Vox. Sound is perfectly dialed, but the noise is crazy. I have the J-Gate noise gate, but sometimes the noise is too loud for that. It’s sometimes noisy even with just battery power.
Does the JBX really improve upon this? That might be worth it for me.
Thank You for your comments and question!
The JBX combines the compressor and treble booster all in one box and JangleBox reduced the overall noise level of their JB3 by moving the JBX’s EQ circuit after the compressor. Therefore, the JBX should help the noise, especially in line with the J-Gate, but it’s hard to say how much.
I would grab a JBX at your local music store or online. You can always return the unit if it doesn’t make a big difference.
Also, if your Rick and Vox are noisy without any pedals then that is definitely part of your problem.
If you give it a try, let me know how you make out.
Keep on playing!
Sorry I am late to the conversation but am a big fan of the JangleBox JBX. I finally bought a Ric 1993Plus (fireglo) and cannot keep my hands off it. I plug into a Roland JC-77 with a bit of reverb and slight chorus. Beautiful. But it just did not get me to the chime I wanted. Got the JBX, plugged that in and BINGO – am now able to channel my inner Roger. I use the BOOST on “Feel A Whole Lot Better” solo for that incredible sound.
Thank You for commenting!
I’m thrilled that you took the plunge and closed the circle by giving your Ric a JBX! Other setups can come close, but you need the JangleBox if you really want to nail the sound!
Keep on playing, having fun, & please re-visit my website again!
Hi Frank. Just took the plunge and got me my first Rick, a 350V63, and since I had an old Vox AC15 sitting around unused, gave it a whirl, and almost got the sound, but it might be because of the guitar coming un-set up. Searched for what might be the best gauge strings for that guitar to make it sound better, and that’s when I accidentally discovered your post. However, I already have 2 Wampler compressors, a Keeley, and an MXR. Would I still need a JBX, especially since I only have a 6-string, and 4 compressors already? Was wondering if the JBX could get the 12-string sound, out of a 6 string. If so, does Musician’s Friend carry your product, and, if not, do you ever have Veteran’s discounts? Anyway, let me know whenever you have the time…if I really need another compressor. Thanks in advance, sincerely, Joe Morris
Thank You for your question.
Congratulations on buying the Rick guitar! That’s a really nice axe, and it must sound awesome through that AC-15!
I’ll answer your question by saying it depends on how close you want to come to the sound that Roger McGuinn got with the Byrds. The JBX will get you closer than using the compressors you already have, but you’re not going to really nail it with only six strings.
I wouldn’t spend the money if you don’t play a lot of Byrds stuff, but if you do, you’ll be happier with it than without it. Of course, you can always send it back if it doesn’t measure up.
I checked it out for you, and Musician’s Friend does not currently have the JangleBox JBX.
You can buy it at Amazon, but I don’t know if they have a veteran’s discount. You can call and ask them about it.
You can get the JangleBox JBX at Amazon by clicking on the link in my article.
Thank You For Your Service, Joe! 🇺🇸