UK effects manufacturers produce a number of great pedals to offer the world, and one of them is the Blackstar HT Drive. This overdrive pedal features great vintage overdrive, creamy, warm, and rich saturation, and more. It uses dual cascaded ECC83 high voltage triode stages that allow it to move from the subtle boost to a valve saturation without adding any fizz to the sound. The lack of fizz is all thanks to the A-Class tone control. It produces only a nice, saturated tone that compliments your instrument.
This incredibly dynamic overdrive pedal will have you thinking of a great tube amp. The volume and tone knobs give you the flexibility to really zone in on the right blend, and the high integrity buffered bypass will give you all the overdrive you want without any of the coloring you don’t. For direct recordings, the Blackstar HT Drive features speaker emulated output that sounds amazing. (more...)
The Matchless Nighthawk is a 15 watt amp that really provides way more sound and tone than you’d expect from this low-powered boutique amp. The Nighthawk features two EL84 tubes and an EF86 channel. It uses a 1x12 Matchless celestion speaker to really provide some great sounds. The amp has one channel and two inputs. While the Nighthawk may lack many features that more modern amps have, this can be seen as one of its strengths—it really focuses on what’s important. The amp has a volume, tone, master, and reverb controls, and you can put the reverb control on your footswitch if you like. (more...)
Empress Effects is a pedal company that focuses on providing players with devices that are original, high-quality products for tone sculpting. The company produces reasonably priced pedals from their workshop in Ottawa, Canada. Their core group consists of four experts: Steve, Mike, Jason, and Dan.
Steve has been working with electronics for years, and he holds a degree in Electrical Engineering. He has over a dozen years of musical experience, and it was this experience that led him to forming Empress Effects. When the work picked up, he brought in Mike, a man with years of experience in assembly management. Jason was added to the team to help work on the Empress Superdelay and the Empress ParaEq. Finally, Dan handles much of the actually business, leaving the others free to work on making new pedals.
So far, there are four different pedals in the Empress Effects lineup. The first is the Empress Tap Tremolo, a pedal designed to provide many interesting oscillation features without losing any tone. It’s a completely original pedal.
The Empress Superdelay provides basic delay, as one might expect, but it also brings in much more. It gives you control over just about every aspect of your delay and sound, allowing you to create some of the most interesting textures ever.
If you want to really enhance and change up your tone, the Empress ParaEq brings in much more control that standard ep pedals. It really gives you the ability to control every aspect of your tone from a eq standpoint. (more...)
Guitarist Robin Trower has played with a number of bands, and over the years, he has searched for that perfect overdrive pedal. Finally, he sat down with Fulltone and helped create the Fulltone Robin Trower Signature Overdrive. This pedal can almost be described as having a full tube amp in a box, it’s so dynamic. However, it’s not just another version of the OCD pedal. Instead, it’s a huge overdrive pedal that really delivers amp-like response, clarity, and versatility. It really delivers Robin Trower’s signature tone, and if that’s what you’re looking for, your search has come to an end. (more...)
If you are looking for an overdrive effect pedal that allows you to switch between ranges, then you might want to consider the Big John Granny Puker. That’s because this pedal allows you use overdrive an octave down, or use a complete mixture of the two ranges at once. You can do this because of the way that they have their knobs set up on the system. For example, there are three knobs that control everything: the volume, the mixer, and the puke. The mixer is a knob that controls how you can blend the octave down effect, while the puke is the one that specifically works to control your overdrive increase. (more...)