“This will take your tone straight back to the days when Good Vibrations and Fun, Fun, Fun ruled the airwaves!”: Sweetwater teams up with JHS Pedals, Benson Amps and Keeley Electronics for The Beach Boys Studio Effects Collection

JHS Pedals Good Vibrations and Punchline Sweetwater Exclusives
(Image credit: JHS Pedals)

The surf is up at Sweetwater as the Indiana-based gear retailer has unveiled an epic collaboration with JHS Pedals, Benson Amps and Keeley Electronics to mark the upcoming release of the Disney+ Beach Boys documentary with a range of limited edition studio effects that give guitarists – and bassists – everything they need to nail the tones of Surfing USA, Pet Sounds and more.

The Beach Boys Studio Effects Collection was originally a two-hander with Sweetwater and JHS Pedals, with the Beach Boys approaching JHS in 2023 about a project. The JHS contribution to the range comprises the Good Vibrations chorus/vibrato and Punchline, an all-in-one bass guitar rig that is inspired by the classic sounds of the Wrecking Crew. 

But JHS Pedals supremo Josh Scott took the project wider, hitting up Chris Benson of Benson Amps, who designed the Surf’s Up tube-driven spring reverb and optical tremolo unit for the project, and Robert Keeley of Keeley Electronics, who built another couple of limited run stompboxes, the California Girls 12-string guitar simulator and I Get Around rotary speaker simulator.

These are all exclusive to Sweetwater and available in limited quantities. The JHS Pedals and Keeley Electronics units are limited to 1,000 units apiece. All are available to order now, which would mean you’d be all set for Beach Boys-inspired electric guitar tone adventures by the time The Beach Boys documentary debuts on the Disney+ platform on 24 May. 

JHS Pedals Good Vibrations Sweetwater Exclusive

JHS Pedals Good Vibrations Sweetwater Exclusive (Image credit: JHS Pedals)

Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimmy, it is described as “The definitive look at America’s band.” And by the same token, perhaps this collection of effects could be looked at in sum as the definitive rig for recreating the tones.

First off, the JHS Pedals Good Vibrations will give you the sort of deep, thick, psychedelic chorus sounds that you can only really get from an analogue circuit driven by a bulb. Choose the Chorus mode for the classic Beach Boys studio sounds, and adjust the Volume, Intensity and Speed dials to taste. 

Flip that red rocker switch to Vibrato mode and you will get that pitch-bending warble of vintage vibrato, which could be just as effective for arpeggios in the style of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun style as it is with recreating a Brian Wilson composition. 

Indeed, Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower fans might find this one in heavy pedalboard rotation. Equipped with a silent soft-touch footswitch and a buffered bypass, it is premium build, and retails at $299.

The Punchline, meanwhile, is an all-in-one bass rig with a three-band EQ, bass amp sim, drive and compression section, with both Drive and Compression modes footswitchable. 

With a balanced XLR output, it can be your rig for the gig or studio session. This channel strip also comes with a pair of two-way switches allowing you to toggle the amp sim on and off, and to place the compression pre or post. The Punchline is priced $499.

JHS Pedals Punchline Sweetwater Exclusive

JHS Pedals Punchline Sweetwater Exclusive (Image credit: JHS Pedals)

Keeley Electronics pedal pairing will give you that late ‘60s jangle and the disorientating throb of a Leslie effect. If you only have a six string but need 12 for a pinch-hitting moment of jangle – the California Girls 12-string simulator is the answer. 

It not only gives you that pseudo 12-string guitar sound but has slapback echo and chorus, with your control setup comprising Rate, Chorus and the all-important blend knob. A toggle switch turns the slapback on and off.

Keeley Electronics California Girls 12 String Simulator

Keeley Electronics California Girls 12 String Simulator (Image credit: Sweetwater)

You can use the X2 footswitch to run this as a standalone chorus, toggling the 12-string sim on and off. It can also be used for applying an octave-up sheen or  for adding more weight to a bass guitar sound, and has a pair of stereo connections, and switchable true and buffered bypass. The California Girls is priced $299.

The I Get Around Rotary sim provides “syrupy swirl and tube-style breakup in equal measure” and again is another of those Beach Boys-associated guitar effects pedals that captures the sound of an era, when players were pushing the envelope of guitar tones and expanding the horizons for the instrument.

Keeley Electronics I Get Around rotary speaker simulator

Keeley Electronics I Get Around rotary speaker simulator with overdrive (Image credit: Sweetwater)

This has a similar enclosure design to the California Girls, with its over-sized Speed knob controlling the rate of the effect, the Blend adjusting the wet/dry mix, and the Drive adjusting the overdrive. 

This, again, is a dual-footswitch design. One turns the pedal on and off, the other toggles between fast/slow speeds, which is very useful in a performance situation. We particularly like the jewel lamps on these Keeley designs, which glow in time to the speed of the effects.

I Get Around is another stereo design, and there are plenty of little tricks you can get it to perform. All the jacks are located on the top of the unit. The Brake feature lets you stop the rotary effect on command while the Mids Boost toggle switch can give your leads a little extra muscle to find space in a mix. This, too, is priced $299. 

Benson Amps Surf's Up Spring Reverb/Optical Tremolo

(Image credit: Benson Amps)

Finally, the Benson Amps Surf’s UP, one of the coolest pieces of outboard guitar gear we have seen in a while. It looks like a chip off the old block, sharing the same high-end guitar amp aesthetic of its siblings on the Benson line. And at $2199 it is for the serious spring reverb and tremolo aficionado. 

Both 1/4” input and outputs are positioned on the front panel, as is the footswitch input. Everything you need is on the front here. Everything you need for the surf rock tones in the Beach Boys catalogue – for surf rock tones period – is right there on the front.

Under the hood you'll find a  6V6 power tube, a 12AT7, and a trio of 12AX7s. Benson has used Soursound's golden-age inspired transformers in the build.

The reverb has controls for Dwell, Blend and Tone, with Depth and Speed controlling the optical tremolo. Pair this and a tube amp combo of your choice, your favourite electric guitar and, well, Sweetwater is quite correct here. This does look like a lot of fun, fun, fun. For Beach Boys fans. For any fan of '60s guitar and bass tones.

The Beach Boys Studio Effects Collection is available now. Head over to Sweetwater for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.