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The creative folks at JAM have a knack for taking inspiration from classic designs and booting them up to the next level and beyond. They've attracted a lot well-deserved attention and their artist roster includes players like John Scofield, Julian Lage, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Kirk Fletcher, Steve Lukathor, Greg Koch, Al Di Meola, Dweezil Zappa, Jim Campilongo, Andy Timmons and many more. Now let's get down to Dreaming.
According to JAM, the Lucy Dreamer drive circuit is their most transparent offering to date. However the word transparent is a buzzword that is used so often it's become hyperbole. So in this case we think natural is much more appropriate. The Lucy was designed to be the perfect "tube-style" overdrive, and depending on your taste in amplifiers the Lucy Dreamer acquits itself well, with a few happy surprises. It's got a strong mid-range presence a la the venerable TubeDreamer but less compression, fatter low end bloom, and the same stunning harmonic content in the high register. Compared to cranking a small-to-medium amp, the Dreamer holds together well on the low end and does not lose definition. And unlike using an attenuator, you don't lose any attack or touch sensitivity. The grind factor is all there -- in a linear fashion across the spectrum -- that's both sparkling and saturated. The familiar controls are laid out up top: Level, Tone , Blend and Gain. Once you dial in your general direction, the real fun begins.
Blend Control - This is a wet/dry signal mix for the drive circuit that opens up a universe of tonal options. All the way left is pure clean signal with gain seeping in as you turn the knob clockwise. It's almost like playing in stereo through two identical amps: one dialed in for beautiful cleans and one turned up to searing levels. Our personal favorite is just under halfway on the blend with the gain cranked. You get a defined clean tone bathed in a flaming hot signal that adds both sustain and depth to the sound. It's just downright fun and only one of a million ways to use this control. And for the super tweakers they even added an expression pedal out so you can control the blend with a flick of the foot.
Low/High Gain Footswitch - Similar to the toggle switch found on the Tube Dreamer 88, the second footswitch adds a gain jump in the overdrive. It's geared more towards saturation and harmonic content rather than volume, so if you generally like it hot, this could easily be an "always on" switch.It'll scream right out of the box but they also included an internal trimmer inside the housing so you can adjust the level of your high gain stage.
We often tout JAM's ability to capitalize on the technology of the past, but the Lucy Dreamer is proof that they don't need any NOS components to break barriers. The Boost/Overdrive category is nothing new, but the Lucy Dreamer is a clear winner in both quality and functionality. It is the ideal pedal for players who need a world class overdrive that can morph itself to fit the mold of their artistic expression.