Second Bite: Fender MTG:LA Overdrive Pedal, Through The Marshall DSL20HR

The photo shows Fender's MTG:LA pedal sat on my pedal board, next to an MXR Sugar Drive pedal.

This photo really brings out the brushed copper look of the MTG:LA, as well as the LED pipes that light up each of the adjustable control knobs.

The settings shown in the photo are the ones that I ended up settling on by the end of this blog post.

Top row: Tone at max, Treble at max, Bass at 12 o'clock, Tight at just after 3 o'clock.
Bottom row: Level just under 9 o'clock, Boost Level 12 o'clock, Boost Boost 12 o'clock, and Gain at 9 o'clock.
Fender’s MTG:LA pedal, sat on my board at home

I’ve had Fender’s MTG:LA overdrive pedal for coming up on two years now, and it’s fair to say that it’s largely spent most of that time sat in its box on the pedal shelf. It’s a pedal for Strats and Teles, but I play my Les Paul most of the time.

Last July, I had a go at using additional pedals to shape the tone of the MTG:LA, to try and make it work better with my Les Paul. While I liked the results, nothing really stuck, so the pedal went back onto the shelf.

Let’s give the MTG:LA another go, this time by trying my new secret weapon: the Marshall DSL20HR.

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Second Bite: NABLA Custom Black Tweed Overdrive Pedal

This photo shows my Marshall DSL20HR amp head on a shelf, and my pedal board on a second shelf below.

The Marshall DSL20HR is on the clean channel, and the controls can be seen as follows:

* reverb: off
* resonance: about 8 o'clock
* presence: about 12 noon
* bass: just below 10 o'clock
* mids: about 10:30
* treble: about 1:30
* volume: about 10 o'clock
* gain: about 11 o'clock

On the pedal board, we can see three pedals: the NABLA Custom Black Tweed, the MXR Sugar Drive, and the JRAD Archer Ikon.
My rig for exploring the Black Tweed, second time around.

First time around, the NABLA Custom Black Tweed overdrive pedal just fell a little bit short of what I was hoping for. While I loved the feel of playing the pedal (honestly, it’s like playing an amp), I struggled with the EQ controls and the lack of top-end presence in the overall tone.

That was last year. Six months or so later, do I still feel the same?

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Second Bite: Fender’s Tre-Verb Pedal

I bought one of these last year, and first time around, I didn’t get on with it at all. Although I planned to, I never actually sold it on. With the country in lockdown thanks to the 2020 pandemic, I’m not going to be selling it any time soon.

So, I dug it out and put it back on the board for a bit. Am I going to be just as disappointed second time around, or am I going to actually like it this time?

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