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Jackson Audio El Guapo Mateus Asato Signature Overdrive & Distortion Pedal

A Comprehensive "Marshall-in-a-Box" Pedal Featuring 2 Channels, 4 Clipping Modes & MIDI

Written by

Elliot Stent

The Jackson Audio El Guapo is an all-encompassing gain pedal, featuring overdrive and distortion channels that capture the essence of Marshall's iconic Plexi and JCM800 amplifiers.

Developed with Brazilian-born virtuoso Mateus Asato, the Jackson Audio El Guapo pedal sounds truly magical - with every detail painstakingly refined to ensure that both of its channels work together harmoniously. Other modern-day features include a 3-band active EQ and the ability to change clipping styles for additional tone-sculpting indulgence!

Mateus Asato - El Guapo - Demo #1

Versatile 2-in-1 Design

Jackson Audio's El Guapo is essentially a "Marshall-in-a-box" pedal that can cover all of your gain needs. With two footswitches that allow you to engage its overdrive and distortion channels independently or simultaneously, this powerful pedal gives you complete tonal authority - so you can recreate the soulful overdrive and liquid high-gain textures that Mateus Asato is known for!

Overdrive 'Plexi' Circuit

El Guapo’s 'overdrive' channel features a soft-clipping circuit that was designed to capture the smooth overdrive and touch responsiveness of a vintage Marshall Plexi. This circuit can be used independently from the distortion channel, but can be employed to boost the front-end of that circuit in order to achieve even more gain.

'JCM800' Distortion Channel

The Distortion channel of the El Guapo is a high-gain, hard-clipping circuit that is based on the Marshall JCM800. You can therefore expect open yet tight high-octane tones - perfect for '80s rock or even modern metal.

For tweaking the ideal sound, you can rely on the distortion circuit's active 3-band EQ. Based on the legendary "Baxandall" EQ, this control-set provides you with tremendous tone-shaping potential - akin to the dials you'd find on a contemporary amp channel. You can also make use of internal trim pots to alter the frequency and Q of each band (bass, middle, treble) - making the the El Guapo's EQ fully parametric and highly-adjustable.

4 Clipping Modes

With four different styles of clipping, each can drastically alter the tone of the distortion and overdrive channels. 'Vintage Marshall’, ‘Classic Screamer’, ‘Asymmetric’ and ‘Symmetrical’ clipping modes offer plenty of variety, making the El Guapo the only gain pedal you should ever need on your board!

'Gain-Cycle' Feature

One of the El Guapo's most noteworthy features is its 'Gain-Cycle'. This takes the gain knob setting and divides it into four equal parts, making them instantly accessible as steps to cycle through by simply pressing both footswitches simultaneously.

As with all of Jackson’s multi-option drive pedals, a unique circuit matches the output level of the pedal in its various clipping diode styles. So, no matter which of the four clipping options you choose, on either distortion or overdrive sides, your volume level will remain constant. This helps you to alter how the pedal interacts with your amp or any other pedal(s) you may have in your rig - completely on-the-fly!

MIDI Control

Another modern appointment found on the El Guapo is its MIDI input. Offering MIDI control over clipping styles, 'Gain-Cycle' options, drive EQ options as well as on/off of the overdrive and drive circuits; the Jackson Audio El Guapo is arguably one of the most comprehensive analogue drive pedals ever created.


  • Analog Overdrive and Distortion pedal
  • Distortion circuit based on the JCM800 high-gain sound
  • Overdrive circuit based on the smooth Plexi tone
  • Active 3-band Parametric-EQ - for optimal tone shaping
  • MIDI control
  • 4 Clipping-Diode Styles for both Distortion and Overdrive circuits, with drastically different sound characteristics
  • Output level matching circuitry - counteracts output level differences of various Clipping-Diode options
  • 'Gain Cycle' circuit - for instant gain adjustment in 4 steps
  • Small footprint and top-mounted jacks - for ease of pedalboard mounting
  • Powered by 9V DC PSU (centre -, 2.1mm, ~ 160 mA current draw)
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