(Overdue) New Arrivals: March 2023

It was looking like a quiet run-up to Easter … then Marshall reissued those pedals …

Marshall Reissued Their Classic Overdrive Pedals

On 24th February 2023, Marshall reissued four of the most iconic guitar pedals ever made:

  • The Guv’nor overdrive pedal
  • Bluesbreaker overdrive pedal
  • Drivemaster overdrive pedal
  • Shredmaster overdrive pedal

It’s widely reported that these are faithful reproductions of the original pedals, with no changes or modifications at all to the circuit design or layout. And the early product demos have supported this: allowing for parts tolerances, these pedals sound just like the original units.

What we don’t yet know is how long they’ll be in production for. They’re not marketed as “Limited Edition”, so there’s hope that these will be around for years to come.

Marshall The Guv’nor Overdrive Pedal (2023 reissue)

This is the pedal that started the entire Marshall-in-a-box (MIAB) pedal industry. The original unit was one of the first-ever pedals designed specifically to make a clean amp sound just like a Marshall amp.

I’ve got a couple of Marshall amps, plus the Synergy modules that are inspired by Marshall amps, plus all the models in the Axe-FX 3 and FM-3 digital modellers. I’m looking forward to seeing how they compare.

I’m also very interested in putting this up against the Dry Martini and a couple other MIAB pedals, to see which one I prefer as my core rhythm tone when I want to play more classic rock-type tracks.

Marshall Bluesbreaker Overdrive Pedal (2023 reissue)

Speaking of pedals that started entire industries, this is one of the most-cloned / copied / adapted circuits in the guitar pedal business. From the Wampler Pantheon to the JHS Morning Glory to the VS Audio Royal Flush to the Analogman King of Tone, the bluesbreaker circuit has been the basis of some of the mainstays of the boutique pedal market.

I’m very curious to finally be able to sit down and do side-by-side comparisons between all of these pedals and the OG pedal itself.

Marshall Drivemaster Overdrive / Distortion Pedal (2023 reissue)

This pedal is basically The Guv’nor (minus the effects loop) in the same housing that was used for the Bluesbreaker and Shredmaster pedals. From the demos I’ve watched, it sounds almost identical to The Guv’nor.

I’ll admit it: I only got this one because I wanted the full set.

That said, I am intrigued by the convenience of having both this and The Guv’nor on the board at once, setup either for different guitars or for different roles – a bit like how I keep my Klon KTR setup as my favourite clean boost, and sub in the Ceriatone Centura whenever I want to try different settings.

Marshall Shredmaster Overdrive / Distortion Pedal (2023 reissue)

Although not as well known as the other pedals, this one must have one hell of a cult following. I’m looking at second-hand prices as I write this, and the asking price is far higher than equivalent Drivemaster pedals.

Everyone seems to look at this as the high gain / heavy metal pedal from the set. However, I’m looking forward to seeing what low-gain rhythm tones I can coax from it. Who knows? It might just prove to be the biggest surprise (to me) of the set.

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