That’s right! RogueGuitarShop is taking a good look at 5 of our most favorite pedals on the market. Everyone of these killer units are pedal power houses with unique features that set them apart from the rest of the pack. Been out of the pedal game for a bit? Looking at your board and think it’s time for a change? Maybe you just have knob tweaking fever and need to get your hands on something new. Don’t worry, by the end of this article you will have plenty to sink your teeth into.
One drive to rule them all. One valve rectifier to find the sound and one silicon rectifier to bring the tone together and rock it! Seriously though, this is the stuff of legends right here. Glassy, clean or dirty blues American tone. Crunchy, saturated, chime-y Brit goodness. Covering low-gain boost to full on singing amp distortion, the RevivalDrive handles it all with ease. There are two models; the Standard & the Custom. As if the standard unit needed anything on top of it, the Deluxe model offers even more tone sculpting ability, perfect for the knob tweaker or music producer who meticulously & intricately dials in their tone. The layout is very easy to understand and dive into. Because the Valve and Silicon rectifiers are so unique in their response, Origin has provided the GB (British drive) and US (American drive) settings to both sides of the unit for the ultimate in texture and response. Are you a traveling guitarist who doesn’t always have an amp or backline service to provide one? No Prob! the RevivalDRIVE can give more to a soundboard that most amps could dream of (and it can do it all without creating any extra stage volume, too). Also, go even further in a live situation with the RevivalDRIVE Footswitch. This is by far one of the most amazing drives we have come across. Performer, Producer, Sound Tech or Home Hobbiest, the RevivalDRIVE is your perfect go to for all your gain needs.
Anything and Everything delay. Seriously folks, you can’t add anything to the incredible amount of tailoring this dual engine delay workstation is capable of. Empress has a rich history in the delay market with their original echo unit, the Superdelay and also their partnership with PGS in 2010, the Vintage Modified Superdelay. Needless to say, Empress knows multifunction delay pedals. Whether is it singing David Gilmour leads, Rhythmic patterns like the Edge from U2 makes or even out of this world experimental tones, the Echo System has you covered. Up to 35 presets help you keep all of your programmed delays easily accessible and at your feet. There is even a whisky setting…. yeah you heard us right, a “whisky” setting. When it comes to features the Echo Systems boasts; 36+ different algorithms to play with, Tap, low noise signal path, Dual Delay engines, Output transformer for hum free stereo operation and more… For those of us relying on our amp’s reverb, the Echo System even has a Delay + Reverb Setting for those extra-spacey textures. Get those 2-4 echo and delay pedals taking up all that space on your board off and add the Echo System to your lineup, you will thank us later.
From the first look when you open the packaging to the tone trapped inside it, the Vemuram Jan Ray is a superb 1st stage/low gain overdrive. Elegance in sound and build. First off lets just point out the stunning copper look on these flat out gorgeous pedals. Super high head room and a low gain format help the Jan Ray blend well with almost any unit you pair it with. The space between your strings and the dynamic of your pick come through with a rich & fat presence that is second to none. The face of the Jan Ray gives you 4 knobs (Gain, Treble, Bass, Volume) that make is super easy to dial in the tone you so desire. However, the killer part about a Vemuram pedal is the proprietary adjustment provided at the top side of the pedal. With the included mini screwdriver it is possible to tame or excite the overall saturation of the pedal to match your amp’s output. Some say this pedal was based on the “Fender Magic 6” tone and some say it is based on the Paul Cochrane Timmy, either way, the Jan Ray is just as mythical & sought after when it comes to iconic guitar tone. Just ask Tomo Fujita or Mateus Asato, both monster players and each with their own signature Jan Ray model.
OK, to start we need to cover one key point on types of compression. Most of the compressor pedals out there for guitar are based on a “closed” circuit; when your signal hits the unit, the compression pedal “opens” and, depending on the knob settings, will give you the output you so desire. This is great for squashing/fattening up your overall sound in the way most of us are used to. The CRUSH is based on a VCA type compression though. VCA is an “open” compression circuit that is constantly reading the input signal and then tailors the output dynamics to your desired settings. What does that mean? Well, usually we put our compression pedals at the beginning of a signal chain to give that thick saturated tone to the front end our our gain section, to fatten up our modulation and to give a strong signal to our time based effects. When it comes to the CRUSH though, this is the perfect unit for placing AFTER all of your gain, modulation and maybe even your delay/reverb pedals. That’s right! The CRUSH, being a VCA style Compressor, can handle all the dynamics from your board and it will tighten up, fill-in and accentuate your tone without squashing it. What’s even better is Pettyjohn gives your the option to run the unit at 18volts for even higher headroom and dynamic definition. You may already have a ROSS style or Opto compressor you like but trust us, this unit will only add to your overall tone and texture.
What doesn’t this pedal do when it comes to modulation? One quick look into the Dr. Scientist lineup of tone tools and you will quickly come to understand that Ryan & Tanya have bigger minds than we could ever have. Serious genius goes into these units, people! Let’s talk options: Flange, Filter, Bit-crush, Reverb, Ring Mod, Glitch, Notch-filter, Pitch-bend… and on top of that there are a clean & fuzz setting to run all those modes through. Like we said, what doesn’t this pedal do??? Not many desert island units we can think of out there that would top the functionality of the BitQuest. If it came down to needing one unit for pretty much any situation it would be this one. The build quality on all Dr. Scientist pedals are top-notch. From the board’s layout to the cleanliness of the build, no details are spared. 16 unique tones in all if you count both clean & fuzz settings for each of the modes. Just a heads up, these units fly off the shelf when they are in the shop. So if you see a BitQuest in stock, snag it quickly and let your tone adventures begin!
As we mentioned before, all of these pedals are amazing on their own but just consider the sounds scapes one could create with all of them together. The combination all, or any, of these pedals could make would provide hours of endless creativity. We hope you enjoyed our look at these 5 amazing devices and hope you will take the opportunity to add one to your tone collection. Need a little more info on one of these units? Reach out to Michael or Tanner via chat or email the shop and we will answer all of your questions. Rock on & keep pursuing tone!