New Arrivals: May 2021

Regular readers are probably bored with me talking about the state of the second hand market here, so I’ll keep that brief. Anecdotally, there still isn’t a lot of second hand gear turning up, and (again anecdotally) it’s becoming more and more common for sellers to list second-hand guitars at above-retail prices. eBay has really cut back on its offers this month too, which probably isn’t helping the situation.

This month, though, there has been a number of interesting (to me) items crop up. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to even think about bidding on them because I’ve been into hospital for an operation, and it’ll be July before I’m fully recovered and able to lift amps and guitars again.

I was able to pick up a couple of pedals off my wish list, thankfully. And this month saw the release of a new guitar that’s completely blown me away. Read on to learn more!

MI Audio Crunch Box v3 Overdrive Pedal

When it comes to Marshall-in-a-box (MIAB for short) pedals, MI Audio’s Crunch Box is often considered a legendary-tier pedal.

I’ve been after one of these for years, to find out. MI Audio isn’t distributed over here, so I’ve had to wait until I could find (and then win) a second-hand unit on eBay. It’s taken me so long partly because of how rare these are, and partly because I’m not really a Marshall-tone guy these days, and that limited how much I was willing to pay just to indulge my curiosity.

It’s definitely early days, but so far, the answer is yes: the Crunch Box definitely lives up to the hype. Look out for a longer First Impressions article soon.

Tone City Sweet Cream Overdrive Pedal

Regular readers will know that my favourite drive pedal is Mad Professor’s Sweet Honey Overdrive (SHOD) for short. In the whole time I’ve been running this blog, the only pedal that’s been able to knock the SHOD off my board … has been another SHOD. There’s a good reason why the SHOD has been the only tweed-tone pedal (that I know of) to have stayed in production over the last decade.

But what are you to do if you can’t find an SHOD (they’ve become very rare on the 2nd hand market since Brexit), or you simply can’t afford one? Well, the SHOD is probably the most-cloned pedal of all time, behind only the Tubescreamer and (maybe) the Klon.

I’ve had a couple of Tone City pedals before, and I was impressed with what you got for the money. Is the Sweet Cream really an SHOD clone, and is it an option? Find out in my First Impressions.

Squier FSR Classic Vibe 60’s Custom Esquire

Although I’m not a Telecaster fan, I’ve had a lot of fun with my Squier 50’s Esquire. It’s a great guitar for the money, and a solid foundation if you want to mod the heck out of it. Now, I love pairing guitars together, so when Squier’s next Esquire model landed, I had to go and try one for myself.

I’m not going to beat about the bush here. Holy fuzzy cats, these guitars are insane value for money. The one that I’ve bought can happily keep up with my 2015 Fender American Deluxe Telecaster, and that guitar’s been upgraded with Fender Custom Shop pickups.

Biggest bonus? I snagged a really light one, making it the lightest electric guitar that I own. While I’m recovering from surgery, it’s going to be my go-to guitar (I’m still a few weeks away from being able to enjoy full-fat Gibsons again!)

Look out for the First Impressions blog post coming soon!

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