New Arrivals: August 2020

Going into August, it was shaping up to be another quiet month for new (to me) gear.

While the second hand market on eBay UK has picked up (a bit) in the last couple of weeks, I’m just not willing to pay what’s being asked. There’s a growing trend of sellers listing second hand gear for more than it originally sold for brand new. I’m still seeing buyers piling onto the same items that I’m interested in, too.

Did I get anything at all? Read on to find out.

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First Impressions: Websmufer’s Champ Drive Pedal

Long-time readers might well remember me raving over a pedal I called the Little Pink Wonder (LPW for short) over on my personal Twitter feed. (As far as I know, it doesn’t have an official name). That’s a high-quality clone of a boutique boost pedal, and the clone is made by a local pedal builder and sold directly on eBay UK.

Ever since I bought the LPW, I’ve kept an eye out for his stuff on eBay, and tried to win as many of his pedals as possible. Well, except for the fuzz pedals, because fuzz isn’t my thing, and traditional fuzz pedals don’t go well with the dirty power supply we have here in the Welsh valleys.

The Champ Drive is the latest of his pedals that I picked up. From the name and control layout, I was expecting a Lovepedal Champ clone. How did I get on with it? Read on for my First Impressions.

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TIL: The Amber Drive And Golden Cello Are The Same Drive Pedal

When it comes to pedal manufacturers, I’m a huge fan of Mad Professor pedals. I’ve owned pretty much all of their older (pre-Simple) drive pedals over the years, and I’ve probably logged more hours playing these pedals than any other brands’.

So I was floored when I recently read that the Golden Cello is actually an Amber Drive with added delay (a la the Bluebird Overdrive). How did I miss that?!? But it’s true.

The reason I hadn’t noticed this before? I’ve always used my Golden Cello with the delay turned up a bit (it’s endless hours of fun with an ebow), and it’s an older delay design that doesn’t feature a dry signal blend. ie, the delay colours the sound quite a bit.

Turn the delay off, and hey presto: the two pedals are identical.

So if you’ve always been curious about the Amber Overdrive, but found the second hand prices too high, keep an eye out for a Golden Cello. In my experience, the Golden Cello often goes for rock-bottom prices.

I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t know about this!

Tone Stacking: Using Another Pedal To Shape The Fender MTG:LA’s Sound

In my opinion, Fender’s MTG:LA pedal is a bit of a conundrum. I think it’s got just the one sound, and if that sound doesn’t work for you or your rig, the pedal’s EQ controls can’t save the situation.

I love it with my Strat and my Tele. I don’t like it anywhere near as much with my Les Paul.

Thankfully, we’re not limited to what the MTG:LA can do on its own. We can give it some help, in the form of a second pedal to shape the tone a bit more. And I’m really liking the results.

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Side By Side: Fender MTG & Fender MTG:LA

In 2019, Fender released not one but two tube-based drive pedals: the MTG Tube Distortion Pedal, and the MTG:LA.

I’ve had both pedals for several months. During that time, I’ve also played quite a few other tweed-tone pedals from Boss, Mythos and Lovepedal, which has helped me with my understanding quite a bit.

How do they compare? What are the differences? I’m going to try and answer that in this blog post.

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