First Impressions: Lovepedal 5e3 Deluxe

Recently, I picked up a second-hand Lovepedal 5e3 Deluxe.

What did I think of it? Read on for my First Impressions.

What Is It?

The Lovepedal 5e3 Deluxe is (at the time of writing) the latest in a long line of overdrive pedals from Lovepedal that chase the sound of Fender’s iconic amps from the 1950’s.

It’s the latest, and it just might be the greatest so far.

Why Did You Buy It?

I’ve been looking for one for a couple of reasons:

  • Even though I grew up on the Marshall sound, in the last few years I’ve discovered that these tweed-tone pedals just suit me more.
  • There’s something about the voicing of Lovepedal pedals that really works for me and my rig. All the Lovepedal pedals I’ve tried just sound fantastic with my Les Paul, and with many other guitars too.

What Does It Sound Like?

As usual, I’m playing my Les Paul, and running the pedal into my Blackstar Studio 10 6L6. From the very first note, I really like what I hear.

I’m immediately struck by how wide the sound is. This isn’t a pedal where the ends of the frequency range are being heavily filtered out. There’s plenty of low lows and high highs, all without sacrificing the mid-range focus.

If we talk about pedals sounding muffled, or sounding like a blanket has been thrown over the amp, this pedal is the exact opposite of that. It’s got a high-fidelity quality to it that instantly appeals to my ears.

And, so far at least, I haven’t found this fatiguing at all.

What’s The Overdrive Like?

For lack of a better description, more chewy than growly. Yeah, I’m not sure that helps much.

It’s got the tweed-tone characteristic of sounding more rounded and less aggressive than plexi-style pedals do. Honestly, given how high-fidelity this pedal sounds, I was surprised at just how nicely rounded each note can be.

I think that there’s just enough attack, just enough note definition, to stop this pedal from growling by itself. I can reach for my Les Paul’s tone control to get me there, but I’d say it isn’t voiced to go there by itself.

Be aware that this pedal doesn’t do the low-gain overdrive thing. Even with the drive knob turned all the way down, this pedal’s never clean. It cleans up a bit with the volume knob, but certainly with my Les Paul, I lose volume faster than I lose the overdrive.

There’s No EQ Controls?

That’s right. There’s just controls for volume, and drive. Oh, and a toggle switch that changes the character of the overdrive.

In most pedals, no EQ controls would be a bit of a problem. Lovepedal, though, just do a great job of voicing their pedals so that there’s no real need for traditional EQ controls. It might just be their standout feature.

That said, if your amp doesn’t have a bass EQ control, you might prefer to run the 5e3 Deluxe into something like a Boss GE-7, just to turn the bass down a little bit. Depending on which pickup position you’re in, and where you have the 5e3 Deluxe’s toggle switch, the bass can get borderline-boomy at times.

How Does It Compare To The High-Powered Tweed Twin?

Lovepedal’s High-Powered Tweed Twin (HPTT for short) is another tweed-tone pedal that I recently bought.

I’d say that the 5e3 Deluxe is the HPTT turned up to eleven or twelve. It’s a very similar sound, but the 5e3 just has a little bit more of everything. Everything except that slight honkiness, that is.

I could easily imagine putting both pedals onto the same board, and treating them as the equivalent of a two-channel amp. Right now, I’d go with the HPTT for rhythm work, and the 5e3 for lead work. That’s just a personal preference; both of these pedals can do both roles.

There are sounds in the 5e3 Deluxe that I haven’t yet found in the HPTT. With the toggle switch in the ‘up’ position, the 5e3 Deluxe changes character, and becomes more cutting and more heavily overdriven than I’ve managed to get the HPTT to do.

Does It Klon?

This is where that high-fidelity finally works against it. To my ears, it’s just too bright and too brittle, if I’m using my KTR in my preferred clean-boost setup. Even reaching for my guitar’s tone knob doesn’t sort it out this time. The best thing to do is to avoid boosting those highs in the first place.

I can turn down the Klon KTR’s treble to 11 o’clock (or a little lower), and get a really great sound of of the 5e3 Deluxe. That’s a very common thing to do when using a Klon to boost a real amp. Perhaps I should start using that more myself.

Final Thoughts

This is one great-sounding pedal. I haven’t tried recording with it yet, but in the room? Oh yes.

The big question is: is it the pedal that will finally force the Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive (SHOD for short) off my practice board, and maybe even off my desert island board?

I’ve had the SHOD in one form or another for many years now, and it’s always the pedal that I keep returning to. Fatten it up a bit with the MP Audio Brit Blue or the Mad Professor Forest Green Compressor, and that’s the rhythm tone I’ve been searching for for decades.

This is going to be the side-by-side comparison that I keep returning to all summer long. Maybe come the second wave, I’ll even have an answer.

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