In Focus: Jad Freer Audio

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In Focus: Jad Freer Audio

Jad Freer Audio
Words by Christopher Hockey

As the boutique equipment marketplace grows ever more saturated, certain manufacturers continue to rise above the noise to create a truly lasting impression.

Jad Freer Audio

Jad Freer Audio, an artisan brand based in Brescia, Italy, is one such manufacturer. Steeped in a fifteen year tradition of high quality craftsmanship and meticulous design, Jad Freer have been consistently devising remarkable products since 2008. 

From tube amplifiers and cabinets to pedals and MIDI systems, Jad Freer have a plethora of world class devices in their catalogue, each of them designed and crafted with the most discerning of customers in mind. In the words of Jad Freer themselves, ‘We are not a multinational company, we are only artisans who love their job and always try to give the best in what they do. Music is made up of emotions and our goal is to be able to reproduce them as faithfully as possible.’ 

Read more gear reviews here.

Included in Jad Freer’s high-end plethora of hand crafted products are such tools as the incredibly impressive CAPO bass preamp. Essentially four different preamps in a single device, the CAPO features seemingly limitless routing possibilities in a pedalboard-friendly sized box. Serving not only as a preamp but a DI, a Saturator and an FX loop, the CAPO provides everything from supremely lush clean sounds to heavy saturation. With endless textures of overdrive on tap, the CAPO retains its natural, amp-like dynamic range and complex harmonic content across a spectrum of sounds. With this product, bass players can now experience the sonic power of the studio in a compact stompbox format.

CAPO bass preamp pedal

The CAPO includes two footswitches, one for the ‘A Side’ and one for the corresponding ‘B Side’. These two channels can be used independently or in tandem, creating a vast array of tonal possibilities. The A Side of the CAPO functions as the core of the device’s sound, modelled on three disparate preamps. These include a clean, high impedance preamp with fixed gain and generous headroom, along with two saturators, ‘J’ and ‘F’. These saturators can be combined with the clean preamp using a Blend control and, for even more tonal possibilities, the mix ratio between J and F can also be altered using the Style control. 

The beauty of the CAPO’s A-Side is that it does not contain any clipping diodes, meaning that it retains a very organic sense of dynamics even when pushed to its limits. This makes the CAPO’s sound far more comparable to a tube amplifier than to a run of the mill overdrive pedal. On one hand, the J Saturator provides a hefty bottom end and fiery highs that serve to accentuate pick attack. On the other, the F Saturator brings a more vintage inspired sound to the table, featuring a warmer, more mid-focused tone. 

The ability to run these preamps in parallel allows for a multilayered, intricate harmonic texture that bassists will love, without ever sacrificing dynamic range. Furthermore, the CAPO’s three band EQ enables players to sculpt their sound even further, making its tonal possibilities virtually endless.

‘Side B’ of the CAPO is a linear response FET preamp with adjustable volume and gain. Designed to replicate the classic tube preamps of yesteryear, Side B of the CAPO has a huge dynamic range and multiple stages of saturation with a lively, organic response. Functioning either as a discrete preamp or in series with Side A, Side B works really well as either a gain boost or a simple volume boost, adding to the CAPO’s impressive range of uses and sounds.

SISMA Hybrid Bass Head

Another treat for bass players in the Jad Freer catalogue is the brand’s first official bass amp, the SISMA. Effortlessly combining the characteristics of an old school tube amp with the sonic heft of a transistor power section, the SISMA is not only immensely powerful, but surprisingly very portable.

Despite its compact size, the SISMA is perfectly capable of shaking some stages, coming in at 700 watts. Featuring a preamp based on the legendary Ampeg B15, the SISMA has that classic old school sound but with miles of additional headroom and a more detailed sound. 

The lovely, big open open tone of the SISMA is highly versatile thanks to a unique combination of a two band Baxandall tone stack and an active semi-parametric EQ section. In the style of a vintage Ampeg, the lows and highs of the SISMA are controlled by the classic tube-driven Baxandall circuit, providing a familiar feel that bass players love. 

The mids section of the SISMA however, is controlled via a highly tweakable active circuit based on a studio console channel. This addition really maximises the flexibility of this amp in a very unique way, combining the best of both the old world and the new to make this one of the most well rounded bass amps on the market. 

In addition to this unique EQ section, the ultra-compact SISMA also includes a low pass filter, carefully tweaked to soften the amplifier’s treble response, along with a Deep switch which serves as a powerful low-end boost. These features along with the SISMA’s impressive wattage make it one of the most versatile and powerful Class-G bass amps available today, with a superior level of craftsmanship that won’t fail to impress.

The revered artisan builders at Jad Freer have been making custom products for bass players for years now, so the addition of these products in their standard catalogue is an exciting new chapter for the business, as well as a great opportunity for bass players around the world to see what all the fuss is about.

It is undeniably evident in every detail of their products that Jad Freer take great pride in their work. Their intuitive, simple designs and the lush, detailed sounds that they create are evidence of not only a passion for musical equipment, but for music itself. 

So, for bass players who want their signal chain to be the purest possible path from their heart to the ears of their audience, Jad Freer may be the ultimate route.

For local enquiries, visit Jad Freer Audio.