Just before Christmas, I was able to pick up a Lovepedal Superlead distortion pedal. Is this going to be a great little present to myself? Read on to find out.
What Did You Buy?
I bought a second-hand Lovepedal Superlead distortion pedal.
It’s a pedal that Lovepedal made for the USA’s Guitar Center guitar stores around 2010. The aim was to recreate the sound of a Marshall stack – a model 1959 plexi head from the mid-60s.
So it’s yet another Marshall-in-a-Box (MIAB for short), to sit alongside Lovepedal’s Purple Plexi and Eternity pedals, the Wampler Plextortion or the legendary MI Audio Crunch Box.
Why Did You Buy It?
Mostly because I’ve really enjoyed every single Lovepedal pedal that I’ve tried so far.
I’ve already got the Lovepedal JTM and Silver Jubilee pedals. I like the idea of having the Superlead too to go with those pedals.
What Rig Are You Trying It Through?
Today, I’m using:
- Starfire – my modified Fender Player HSS Strat, fitted with Bare Knuckle Pickup Apaches and a Stormy Monday humbucker,
- into the Lovepedal Superlead,
- into a pair of Neunaber Slates for digital tape delay and digital spring reverb,
- into my Marshall DSL20HR,
- into a pair of 1×12 Victory open-backed cabs, fitted with 16 ohm Celestion Blue and A-Type speakers
All pedals are in separate loops on my Gigrig G2, so that I can completely remove them from the signal chain when they’re not in use.
I went with the HSS Strat partly because I’m really enjoying it, and partly because I grew up in the era of Marshall stacks and hot-modded super Strats. It seemed appropriate 😉
A One-Trick Pony, But One Hell Of A Trick
I have to agree with what many people have said on forums about this pedal: it only does one thing – but it does it really well.
It sounds like a cranked Marshall. If that’s not what you’re looking for, I’m not sure you’ll enjoy this pedal.
The (limited) controls on the pedal seem more suitable for dialling in the pedal to suit your guitar and amp. So far, I haven’t been able to coax other sounds out of this pedal.
Plexi, Or More Of A JCM 800 Vibe?
When the Line 6 Pod XT kidney bean modeller first came out, it shipped with an absolute killer JCM 800 model. It was my go-to sound at the time. I found it really inspiring, both for playing and for writing. And then they released new firmware which replaced it 🙁
To my ears, the Superlead gives me that sound back – with the super Strat.
There’s no shortage of great plexi MIAB pedals. It’s probably the largest category of pedals out there. There aren’t that many pedals that I know of that do the JCM 800 thing. That makes this a much more interesting pedal (to me) than I expected.
We Need To Talk About The Mids
There’s a toggle switch on the front of the pedal. Although it’s labelled ‘Mids’, I’ve read that it also switches between two different types of clipping diode. To the left, all the mids are gone (a sound that isn’t for me), and to the right, there’s quite a lot of mids.
Through my DSL20HR, the mids from this pedal are a little honky – even with a super Strat (which isn’t a mids-heavy guitar).
When I switch to my Les Paul, those extra mids translate into a thick, thick tone that’s perfect for single-note melodies. As much as I enjoyed it, I think it’s too thick for rhythm playing. There just isn’t the note separation in chords for anything much beyond basic power chords.
This pedal is a lot of fun. In many ways it’s the sound that I grew up with, and it’s also the kind of Marshall tone I wish I’d had for myself back then.
A nice option to have!