Presenting the Jackson Audio PRISM Comprehensive Preamp Pedal.
Designed as the ultimate tone shaping tool for a player’s pedalboard, the Jackson Audio PRISM is a buffer, boost, preamp, EQ and overdrive all in one beautiful and compact stainless steel enclosure.
“I love it! It’s like Photoshop for guitar!” – Mateus Asato
Much like an optical prism, which takes white light and breaks it apart into the different colors, the Jackson Audio PRISM takes your guitar’s natural tone and allows you to boost it, shape it and transform it into a new tone that is uniquely you. Use it shape your tone, slam the front of your amp or add new dimension to your existing pedals. Any way you use it, we believe the PRISM can be the cornerstone of your rig for many years to come.
The PRISM was designed using a systems approach to tone shaping. While the PRISM contains many features and circuits, those circuits are precisely crafted to work in harmony with each other to create a unique tone shaping tool with unrivaled flexibility and performance.
The PRISM was conceived between Brad Jackson and Nigel Hendroff as a tool that players could use to unify their rigs regardless of the guitar being used. Since many guitarists will swap guitars but keep the same pedalboard and amp, they wanted to create a tool that would allow the players to re-voice their rigs for the guitar chosen and the +/-15dB active EQ in the PRISM accomplishes this with ease. This active EQ gives an incredible amount of tonal control and range and has ZERO interaction between the BODY and TONE controls. Having ZERO interaction means as the player adjusts the TONE it will only adjust the high frequency response and not cause the low frequencies to shift and the same is true for the BODY control.
Perhaps the most useful feature of the active EQ in the PRISM is that when placed at the front of the players rig and used as a master EQ, the PRISM will allow the player to dial in their tone using ONE pedal and will prevent them from having to adjust the EQ of every pedal in their rig when changing guitars, amps or venues.
As a boost/preamp the PRISM contains three of the most distinct voices of boosts available:
- A transparent clean boost with no tonal coloring (TRANS)
- A boost that emulates a vacuum tube amp (AMP)
- The boost circuit that started it all, the silicon treble booster (COLOR)
These three circuits represent over 50 years of guitar effects from the earliest guitar pedal ever made to the more modern transparent voiced circuits. Each boost/preamp circuit in the PRISM is totally discrete and shares ZERO circuitry with the other boost circuits. Jackson did this so that each circuit would be completely true to its own voice and not have to compromise its sound for the sake of cost cutting or space economy. In fact every circuit is contained in its own true bypass loop so there is never any additional circuitry in the signal path.
Traditionally most players will use a boost/preamp pedal to drive the front end of a tube amp into overdrive and the PRISM does this very well given its huge amount of output however we encourage players to experiment by placing the PRISM at the front of their pedalboards and enjoy the host of new tones available as the PRISM boosts their existing pedals.
Note: To take full advantage of the PRISM Jackson recommends placing it first in the signal chain as its active EQ will be most effective in that position and the treble booster circuit (COLOR) works best when connected directly to the guitars output. Treble booster circuits in general are known for cleaning up very dramatically when rolling back the volume control on the guitar and the PRISM is no different. For these reasons we recommend that the PRISM be placed first in the signal chain.
The PRISM is a true bypass pedal featuring our own silent switching circuitry and uses relays with a soft touch momentary contact footswitch to accomplish the bypass. Jackson chose relay bypass because it is far more reliable than traditional mechanical true bypass methodologies and the relays themselves boast a lifespan of over 100,000 cycles! At the very end of the PRISM they included a high current buffer that is used to strengthen your signal and preserve your tone regardless of how complex your pedalboard is or how long the cable run is back to your amp.
Here is a rundown of all of the controls on the PRISM:
TONE CONTROL: An extremely powerful active EQ, the TONE control adjusts the high frequencies by giving a +/-15dB boost/cut to those frequencies.
PRE GAIN SWITCH: Selects between 3 varying levels of gain for each boost circuit.
- HIGH – Voiced for heavy breakup/lead tones
- MED – Voiced for mild breakup/rhythm tones
- LOW – Voiced for maximum clean headroom.
BYPASS SWITCH: The BYPASS SWITCH is used to turn the PRISM ON/OFF and is also used to enter programming mode.
To enter programming mode, press and hold the BYPASS SWITCH for five seconds. While in programming mode, rotate the BOOST control to set INDICATOR LIGHT brightness. Press the BYPASS SWITCH three times to toggle the active state of the pedal between boot up ON (green) and boot up OFF (yellow). Press and hold the BYPASS SWITCH for five seconds to save settings.
BODY CONTROL: An extremely powerful active EQ, the BODY control adjusts the low frequencies by giving a +/-15dB boost/cut to those frequencies.
BOOST CONTROL: The BOOST control sets the overall level of boost available from the PRISM. Think of the BOOST control as a master volume that works in tandem with the PRE GAIN switch to dial in the ratio of gain to boost level.
CIRCUIT SELECT: Selects between the 3 boosts circuits available in the PRISM.
- COLOR – Vintage Silicon Treble Booster Style boost. Perfect for Brian May (Queen) style rhythm and lead tones
- AMP – A very musical sounding MOSFET boost that emulates the tonal response of an overdriven vacuum tube amp
- TRANS – An ultra transparent 18V powered JFET boost circuit. Sounds like you only LOUDER!
INDICATOR LIGHT: The INDICATOR LIGHT indicates the ON/OFF status of the PRISM and changes colors to give a visual indication of the level of boost selected.