New Arrivals: April 2021

The big news this month (here in the UK) is that non-essential retail has been allowed to re-open. We’re coming out of lockdown, and guitar shops can open their doors to visitors once again. It’s too soon to travel the length and breadth of the country to hunt for hidden gems gathering dust on a wall somewhere, but we’re getting closer to that day.

In the meantime … this month, I’ve managed to pick up a couple of curious pieces to try. They’re a bit left-field, and (he says, having not tried them at the time of writing) probably not for everyone.

Tech 21 SansAmp Blonde Character Series V1 Pedal

This is a long-discontinued tweed-tone pedal that wasn’t really on my radar, until several of them popped up on the second-hand market at the same time. That made it a lot easier to snag one at a great price.

Tech 21 have built their business around refining the whole direct-to-PA solution: your pedal board, into their product, straight into the venue’s PA. It’s an all-analogue emulation, and in the days before great digital modelling, it was highly regarded.

I’ve bought the V1, which means there’s no way to disable the built-in speaker simulator. How is it going to sound into my regular practice amp? Or is this going to be something that doesn’t fit into today’s home setup?

I’ll add a link to a First Impressions post soon.

Boss FDR-1 Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Overdrive Pedal

Last summer, I bought the Boss FBM-1 Fender 59 Bassman overdrive pedal. Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye out for its blackface sibling … and now I finally found one at a price that was worth a punt.

There are two clean tones that I enjoy in my own playing: the solid-state sound of the Roland Jazz JC-120 (as found in the Boss Katana), and the pristine cleans of the legendary Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue (known as the DRRI for short).

I don’t have space for a real DRRI … will the FDR-1 be a viable alternative for us home players, and how does it compare to other blackface pedals? Here are my First Impressions.

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