Great insight and info...thanks for sharing! When I used my 'Big Board' the Kingsley's were, well...'King' and my top choice for OD pedals - over my Klon and KoT. I've owned every Kingsley OD pedal except the Page, which is more of a boost though anyway. I was, at that time, using the Juggler/Squire/Constable tube preamps, matching these with any Kingsley tube overdrive pedal was a great match. However and in my particular case the Jester didn't sound quite the same with the AX8 but...the LightSpeed (LS) sounded amazing and has become perfect compliment as an Low-Med OD choice as a front-end boost/OD pedal for the FAS amp models. The transparent nature of the LS allows each FAS amp model to retain its unique character but...will be either a great clean boost, extra grit/drive stage or a full overdrive pedal to the modelled FAS amp and depending its Gain settings. When using the Jester in this same manner, it wasn't nearly as 1.) transparent 2.) sounded a bit thick/thin...not quite right 3.) was just a standard sounding OD/Dis. pedal. This really surprised me as I have much experience with Kingsley pedals, owning 12 of them (some twice) and both v1/v2 on some models. I very much love Kingsley products but and for me they didn't really jive with the AX8 as I had hoped. Maybe and as stacking analog devices, works so well together...stacking digital ODs with digital devices is a better choice as well, the ODs I use from my H9 with the AX8 are some of the best I've ever been able to come up with!
Never owned a Klon – wasn’t scared of the price-tag – I just figured if I could get 90% of the way there with a Klone, it made more sense. I guess the closest I came was an ARC Klone V2 – which I loved.
I owned a KoT for about 5 minutes once. Lol !!! I was on the list for a year – just GLUED to the countdown – chomping at the bit for the day my KoT would show up – and when I got it ……. uh ……. When I got it ……uh …… I thought ……. “So what? That’s IT?” Tried to ‘get it’. Stepped away for a couple of hours – came back with fresh ears. Same reaction. Came back the next day – started from scratch ….. more “So what?” I sold it and made the profit – so it wasn’t a total loss but – other than the Mesa Mark V – it was the biggest gear disappointment I’ve experienced.
It’s funny how subjective tastes can be – because I thought that when I paired my Kingsley preamps with my Kingsley OD’s – it was very mushy. I liked stacking digital with tube drives. I thought the digital or analog drives – into tube drives – was a nice pairing. You get the tightness from the digital, but the ‘body’ from the tube drives.
I did like the Lightspeed when I owned it. I got it in a multi-pedal trade – so I didn’t plan on it sticking around. I knew before it arrived that I was turning it - but I would get one again.
I have never owned a big box V1 Kingsley – but I’ve owned every other one with the exception of the Jouster and the Bard. I’ve had two V2 Minstrels, 2 Jesters, Page, two V2 Pages, two Page DS’s, All the Squires, Constable V1 and V2, two Maiden D’s, a Maiden BF, Harlot, Harlot with Bass switch, your Juggler of course.
They are all varying degrees of awesome – but the Jester just ‘does it’ for me. The Page DS was my favorite of the Pages – for its headroom – but they all had a narrow sweet-spot – and were worthless to me above 1:00.
I hesitate to bring this up in a Fractal-centric environment – but what the hell …. Let’s stir the pot. Lol !! :
I’ve owned two Axe-Fx II’s, two AX8’s and the AIII. I haven’t found a drive in the units that feel and sound the same as individual drive pedals. Now …. Maybe I’m just not good at dialing it in. I completely accept that possibility. I would actually love to be proven wrong and have someone show me the error of my ways. But there is a boldness – a girth that I get out of pedals like the Jester, Xotic RC-V2, Vemuram Galea, JHS AT+ - that I’m not finding in the AX8. Is that what you were getting at with your comment above?
Don’t get me wrong – I love the AX8. It IS my rig now – and will be for the foreseeable future – but I don’t see ever giving up drive pedals. Thoughts?