I’ve spent nearly all of June away in Scotland, enjoying a much-needed break from work out on Orkney. Just before I left, I picked up a few items to enjoy when I got back.
These are my initial impressions of the gear I’ve bought this month. I’ll delve into them in a lot more detail when I’ve had more time with them.
Vox Mini Superbeetle Amp
My friends Andrew and Adam are both massive fans of the Vox AC30 sound. Andrew loves getting all his tones by going straight in, and Adam loves driving his with his growing pedal collection. I tried one, and it wasn’t for me. Too big, too loud.
I’m hoping that Vox’s Mini Superbeetle is the compromise … something that’ll be the perfect AC30 substitute for someone who’ll only use it occasionally. It’s not a sound that I need a lot; I’m mostly going to be testing pedals with it to educate myself.
It’s a nice-enough amp, but I honestly don’t know what I’m doing with it yet. The whole Vox tone is completely new to me, and I’ve no idea how to get the best out of it as a pedal platform. I guess I’ll be watching That Pedal Show videos to learn a bit more 🙂
Boss Katana 100 Head
When my local guitar store announced it wasn’t going to be a Roland / Boss dealer any longer (it’s no longer profitable for small, independent outlets like them), I decided it was time to pickup a Katana before they ran out of stock. Good job too, as I snagged the very last one they had.
Why a Katana? Not everyone in the #HomeTone community can afford a real valve amp, and not everyone wants one. The Katana’s become a mainstay of amateur home musicians – and I’m not comfortable answering questions about them when I don’t have one of my own.
In the shop, I ran this into a Marshall SV112 1×12 fitted with a V-Type speaker. As a reference, I put Fender’s Santa Ana Overdrive in front of it. It’s one of my favourite drive pedals. I loved the results: big and fat and warm, three words I’d normally never associate with a V-Type speaker!
Expect to see a bit more of this later in the year when I finally get my #CoffeeAndKemper series off the ground.
JRAD Blue Note (Tour Edition) Overdrive Pedal
Rewind to 2012. YouTube is just starting to become the place to go to learn about the vast world of boutique pedals. And the JRAD Blue Note Overdrive pedal (in its original form factor) feels like a regular guest star in many of those videos.
Since then, this is a pedal that’s largely dropped off the radar. Good for me – I was able to snag one at a great second hand price. Maybe you can too?
In person, I was surprised at just how low-gain this pedal is. Even gunned with a big fat Les Paul running into it, there’s barely enough gain to use for rhythm work. This is a pedal that needs a helping hand – or needs to be used as a helping hand itself.
As a quick test, I threw the MP Audio Brit Blue in front of it (I need to compare thees two pedals, I suspect they’re quite similar), and got a lovely fat tone out of the pair. Roll on some free time, when I can explore this pedal a lot more!
SviSound Overzoid od1 Overdrive Pedal
This is my second Overzoid. My first one died a year or so ago, and thanks to the #CoffeeAndKlon series I write on the weekend, I’ve been missing this pedal more and more. It’s such an affordable pedal, I don’t know why I waited as long as I did to buy a replacement.
I feel like I’m approaching this pedal from a better perspective than I did the first time I bought one. I think the only pedal I’ve owned for longer than this is the Forest Green Compressor. Back then, I definitely didn’t have a clue about what I wanted or stacking pedals together. You can be the judge of whether that’s changed or not over the years … 🙂
I love how I can use it to add a bit more drive to my lower-gain pedals like the Sweet Honey Overdrive, all without drastically changing the tone or slamming the front-end of the pedal with a hotter signal. Although it is a very bright pedal, it doesn’t have the ear-fatiguing top-end sparkle of something like the TC Electronic Spark.
I’m looking forward to comparing this with the legendary Timmy pedal into a cranked amp in the near future …