First Impressions: PC30 Lovepedal Englishman Clone Overdrive

The photo shows a rather dusty-looking pedal in a black enclosure.

There are two control knobs, labelled Level and Drive. Also shown is a toggle switch, which is (if you zoom in a lot) has settings labelled 'D' and 'S'.
The “PC30”, a one-off Lovepedal Englishman clone.

Back at the end of August, I bought a (I suspect) one-off clone of the Lovepedal Englishman overdrive pedal, called the PC30. It arrived in early September, and I promptly forgot about it 🙁

What is it like? Here are my First Impressions.

What Did You Buy?

I bought (what I believe is) a one-off clone of a Lovepedal Englishman overdrive pedal. It was made from a Fuzzdog PCB as a hobby project.

Pay no attention to how dusty the pedal looks in the photo. At the time of writing, we’re partway through having the kitchen replaced, and boy oh boy does plastering create one hell of a mess!

What Is It?

The Lovepedal Englishman overdrive pedal was a pedal originally marketed as the sound of a cranked Vox amp. I’ve never played the original pedal, and I don’t play Vox amps (cranked or otherwise), so I’ve no idea how accurate this clone is, nor how close it gets to the hallowed Vox sound.

For better or worse, this is just a cool overdrive pedal that just happened to be really cheap to buy.

What Is Your Signal Chain?

My signal chain today is a little different to normal.

  • The Squirrel (my Squire blackguard Esquire with the Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickup)
  • into the PC30
  • into a pair of Neunaber Slate pedals for delay and reverb
  • into the Marshall DSL20HR
  • into a pair of Victory 1×12 cabs, fitted with 16 ohm Celestion Blue and Celestion A-Type speakers

All the pedals are running through separate loops on a Gigrig G2, so that I can patch in any guest pedals (like a Klon klone) if I feel the urge.

Normally, I’d be using my Les Paul, but I’m just having so much fun with The Squirrel and its new pickup right now.

A Smooth Overdrive

Thanks to the toggle switch on the front, the pedal’s got three settings:

  • All the way to the left, the pedal produces a lovely smooth edge-of-breakup kind of tone.
  • In the middle, the clipping diodes seem to be out of the circuit, and you’re left with a tone-shaping clean pedal.
  • All the way to the right, the volume drops dramatically to give you a full-on overdriven / distorted kind of sound.

With The Squirrel, I found that I really dig the sound in the smooth overdrive setting. There’s plenty of clarity, no harshness whatsoever, and a nice weight to the overall tone. It makes the bridge pickup sound big and inspiring, without producing a muddy tone.

A Tone-Shaper For Your Klone

I don’t think this pedal klons, but that’s not to say that it can’t be used with a Klon or a klone.

Although the noise floor is low enough, the PC30 doesn’t stack all that well. Put (say) an Archer Ikon in front of it, and you can really hear how much bass the Archer Ikon is cutting out of the overall signal path. It doesn’t take much tweaking to get the Ikon > PC30 pairing to sound like the very worst characteristics of an old transistor radio.

While that’s a sound, it’s not one that I can use. It’s too harsh and lacking in fidelity for me. Maybe one for the folks who find bit crushers intriguing, but just a little too much, perhaps?

However … flick the pedal over into the middle position, dial in the DSL20HR to make your overdriving Archer Ikon sound great … and then switch on the PC30. It takes the smooth, well-behaved tone of the Archer Ikon and gives it a kick, by adding a bit of edge to the overall sound. To my ears, it sounds like it’s pushing the upper mids, adding a bit of welcome aggression to the tone.

Then, roll back the tone on the Telecaster, just to tame it a little.

That’s a rhythm tone I’m going to spend the rest of the day enjoying!

Final Thoughts

Some pedals, you can dial them in to suit your existing rig. Not this pedal. You’re either going adjust your rig to find a sound that does it for you, or you’re not.

As a result, I think this pedal’s a one-trick pony.

It works well for me with my Esquire, probably better than a lot of other pedals that I’ve tried. I guess that gives me an excuse to play The Squirrel a bit more 🙂

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