JHS Hard Drive Distortion - Tan


Regular price $199.00

The JHS Hard Drive is the first attempt in our company’s fifteen-year history at a full-blown and respectable modern distortion pedal that is not based on a previous circuit or classic topology. In 2016, Josh had the idea to develop a circuit that covered the best high-gain distortion tones of the ’90s and 2000s, a sound that embodied the post-grunge alternative rock movement. We started by looking at pedals, then amps, and after exploring the typical paths of circuitry, we took a sharp turn and started from scratch. Eight years later, the pedal is finished and ready to take you to the next level. The Hard Drive goes harder and further than any gain or distortion we’ve released so far.

A fresh approach to achieving high gain distortion in a pedal format, the Hard Drive includes cascaded gain stages and a hard limiting circuit, followed by a class AB amplifier section that drives a “sweepable midrange” EQ and Baxandall bass and treble controls. With its generous external controls, the Hard Drive lets you dial in everything from grinding tube amp crunch to a bona fide wall of distortion that can easily cut through any stage or studio mix.

The Hard Drive holds a special place in JHS history as the final design work of our former head engineer, Cliff Smith. The prototype and design had been finalized just weeks before he passed away in 2021.

“I don't know that there's ever been a JHS circuit where we experimented more. It was always a loose and casual approach to getting this right. I knew something great would come of it, so we just let it simmer…Cliff would call the Hard Drive circuit a mutt, and I agree– meaning this circuit is not a clone of anything in particular but rather an original iteration of tons of different inspirations and ideas, kind of like the Colour Box that he and I developed years earlier. I have vivid memories of Cliff spending entire weekends and nights tinkering and experimenting with this circuit. He would message me notes on the weekend when he got excited about something he stumbled into. This pedal was his hobby for a long time. He truly loved big, complicated gain staging and the challenge of making solid state circuitry respond like a valve amp. As a passion project that became a real product through Cliff’s consistent work, I can’t think of a more fitting last release from us as a design team than the Hard Drive. Cliff loved learning and this was his last masterclass. It’s an honor to finally put it out and let people enjoy the idea he brought to life.” - Josh Scott


  • Volume - Controls the overall volume of the pedal. Left is less, right is more.
  • Mid Freq - Controls which mid frequencies are boosted or scooped by the Mid control.
  • Drive (Distortion) - Controls the amount of drive (distortion). Left is less, right is more.
  • Bass - Controls the bass frequencies level. Noon is flat, left is cut, right is boosted.
  • Middle - Controls the mid frequencies level. Noon is flat, left is scooped, right is boosted. The frequency range is set by the Mid Freq control.
  • Treble - Controls the treble frequencies level. Noon is flat, left is cut, right is boosted.
  • Silent soft touch switching with a buffered bypass.


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