I’ve just picked up a second-hand Brownface Deluxe Overdrive pedal off eBay. What do I think of it? Here’s my first impressions.Continue reading “First Impressions: Lovepedal 4-Knob Brownface Deluxe Overdrive Pedal”
New Arrivals For February
February has been a very strange month for gear.
The Winter NAMM announcements are over, and now we wait for actual stock to appear in the shops. Some items – like Marshall’s new Studio line of heads, combos and cabs – have arrived quickly (and largely sold out just as quickly). Other pieces – not so much.
eBay started slow, but in the middle of the month, there was a lot of great gear up for grabs at surprising prices. I was expecting most people to be waiting for the “free for private sellers” changes coming at the start of March. I was wrong.
Here’s a list of everything I’ve picked up in February, along with my initial impressions. I’ll write up a full article on each of them once I’ve had a bit of time with them.Continue reading “New Arrivals For February”
JHS Bonzai Pedal Demo
Fluff has posted a demo of the JHS Bonzai pedal. 9 Tubescreamers in one pedal!
If you like to get your dirt from your amp, the Tubescreamer is an essential pedal circuit to explore. The TS features a mid-range hump that can give your amp a boost and lift your guitar out of a mix.
There’s been many TS designs over the years, and that’s without counting all the third-party circuits! The JHS Bonzai puts 9 of these designs into a single pedal. And, by all accounts, each circuit is a faithful reproduction of the original.
Why would anyone need a pedal like this? Especially as the differences can be very hard to hear in a YouTube demo? Basically, it gives you flexibility – the ability to pick the TS circuit that best suits the guitar, amp, and music genre. If your rig and genre is static, maybe it’s overkill.
Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.
Marshall Origin And MIAB Drive Pedals
This week, we’ve been looking at the new Marshall Origin amp. It’s an affordable, vintage-voiced amp that can get close to a classic Plexi tone with a little bit of help from pedals. Today, we’re going to look at two pedals to do exactly that.
The two pedals I’m featuring today are both boutique pedals, with prices to match. You could buy all the Boss pedals I’ve featured so far, and all the TC Electronic pedals, for less than the cost of these two pedals. Will you hear the difference between them?
If you watch That Pedal Show, you’ve probably seen the Carpe Diem pedal by now. It’s a MIAB – Marshall-in-a-Box – and a firm favourite of Dan on the show.
I’ve had mine quite a while, and it’s spent most of its time on my pedal board acting as flavouring, rather than being a source of main drive tone. Origin prefers to act as the colour with any pedal, so will the Carpe Diem add enough texture to be a good choice?
I have a confession to make. I threw this pedal into the demo pile because I was getting frustrated with folks on forums complaining that the Origin wasn’t Plexi enough. I was hoping that this pedal would get the Origin closer to that hard-edged sound of the Super Lead amp.
Boy, did it deliver. Compare it to the sound of a Super Lead clone – my Metropoulos Metro Plex.
The Carpe Diem brings the harder clipping and saturation that the Origin can’t do on its own. There’s still a difference in the mids between the two, but to my cloth ears it’s close enough for government work.
It’s an expensive pedal that’s become very hard to get – 2nd hand via eBay seems to be your best bet at the time of writing. Both budget and availability make it a difficult recommendation. But if that’s the sound you want, this pedal will get you there.
What about something a little less unobtainium?
JHS Charlie Brown v3
I picked this pedal because I happen to have it in my pedal cupboard. I got it at the tail end of 2015, and I’ve been using it for the last few months as my main Marshall-in-a-Box sound.
How well did it do? Judge for yourself:
If the Carpe Diem gets you 90% of the way to a Plexi tone, I’d say that the Charlie Brown is a good 80% of the way there. There’s just a little less of everything – a little less crunch, a little less aggressiveness, a little less saturation.
With the Carpe Diem, you dial it back. Maybe with the Charlie Brown, I just didn’t quite dial in enough when I made the demo.
That said, the Charle Brown is aimed at reproducing the JTM 45 sound, which isn’t quite as in-your-face as the Super Lead sound commonly associated with the plexi tone. I think it’s a perfectly usable sound, especially if you’re the rhythm guitarist in a band or recording group.
Origin + MIAB = More
Both of these Marshall-in-a-Box pedals work great with the Marshall Origin. Instead of trying – and failing – to overpower the Origin, they fill in some of the characteristics needed to get it closer to being a Plexi amp.
They cost a lot more than the other pedals we’ve looked at this week, but if you’re chasing that classic Plexi tone, you’ll be happier with one of these than with the generic overdrives and distortions.
These two particular pedals may be hard to find, but the good news is that there’s a lot of alternatives out there to suit any budget.
I don’t have any other MIAB pedals to try right now. Based on how well these two have worked, I think there’s a good chance that other MIAB pedals will work also turn the Origin into a rock monster at reasonable home volumes.
Have you tried any MIAB pedals with the Origin? I’d love to hear how you got on, and what you recommend. Comments below!