World Music Supply | Visual Sounds Guitar Pedals

Hey guys, Brian here again with World Music Supply, back to bring you another dose of Guitar and gear reviews. Today starts off a lot like last week ended, simply because today we are again reviewing some amazing stomp boxes, but this time around from our friends over at Visual Sounds.  I have been a big fan of Visual Sounds pedals ever since I got to play with a Jekyll and Hyde overdrive that a friend of mine owned, it was big and red, and it sounded amazing, also my friend said you could back a truck over the housing and it wouldn’t break. We never tested that last part, but I’ve seen Youtube videos that prove its true. However that is enough reminiscing, its on to the reviews!

Visual Sound GTDRIVE Garage Tone Drivetrain Overdrive Pedal

Visual Sound GTDRIVE Garage Tone Drivetrain Overdrive Pedal

First up is the Garage Tone Drivetrain Overdrive. The Drivetone was originally designed as the Reverend Drivetrain for Reverend Guitars, which has now grown overtime into this current model. For today’s reviews, I used a Bugera V22, and a Washburn RX12FRMB, both of which are quickly becoming two of my favorite pieces of gear. Setting the V22 to a pretty clean setting, that only started to show a bit of teeth when I really hit the guitar, I started the pedal on a pretty mild drive setting, with the treble and bass pretty close to 12 o’clock. The pedal reacted nicely to my pick attack, getting more subtle as I picked lighter, and becoming far crunchier as I dug into the strings, with a tone halfway between a Digitech Bad Monkey, and a Boss Blues Driver.

The Drivetrain kept this cool retro sounding distortion as I cranked up the gain, it just got a lot more raw sounding, and added a plethora of fun harmonics to my sound. Chords rung out with a big, arena rock style fullness, and single lines sung out with a throaty, late 70s style rock sound. I could go on and on about this pedal, but the truth of it is, it’s a trooper. Its got a tough metal housing, with sounds that could be useful for everyone from a country guitarist needing to liven up their solos a bit, a rock guitarist looking to get a fuller sound, or even a punk guitarist who just needs something a little less ragged sounding, this pedal can do it all. For all of that and more the Visual Sound Garage Tone Drivetrain earns itself a solid 9 out of 10, and the only reason it doesn’t score a 10 is because people wanting something a little more high gain might not find what they want with this guy.

Visual Sound V2SOH Son of Hyde Distortion

Visual Sound V2SOH Son of Hyde Distortion

Next up is the solution for those people whose lust for gain couldn’t be satiated by the Drivetrain. I’m talking about the V2 Son of Hyde. Basically the Son of Hyde is the amazing Distortion channel that I loved so much from the Jekyll & Hyde and puts it in a stand alone stomp box. The Son of Hyde is just as straight ahead as the Drivetrain, just Drive, Treble, Mid and Volume, as well as a bright switch. Yes there isn’t a bass knob, which struck me as odd, but the bass is controlled easily enough with the bright switch, which shifts the whole sound around and gives it a brighter overall feeling.

On lower gain settings, this pedal was fairly tame, it gave me a nice, smooth, almost violin like sustain, with lots of rich harmonics and none of that typical distortion edginess. Turning up the drive a bit, gave me a huge sound, with tons of raw power. The low end was massive and playing huge chunky power chords resulted in an amazing wall of fury. Solos soared out with heavily compressed sizzle, and chords sustained almost indefinitely. Big metal saturation was always on tap, and shred head approved leads were fluid and amazingly easy to achieve. The Son of Hyde might be only half of the standard package, but this pedal to the metal style stomp box does its job, and it does it well, earning it an easy 10 out of 10.

Visual Sound Route 66 American Overdrive

Visual Sound Route 66 American Overdrive

Next up is easily one of the smartest double pedal designs I’ve seen in years, the Visual Sounds Route 66 All American Overdrive. There is no better way to describe this pedal than all American, the tones locked inside of this pedal go from Detroit, to Boston, to Tennessee to Texas, and they cover all of the biggest, boldest rock and roll and raunchy country tones of the past fifty years. The amazing simplicity that this pedal brings to a rig, with its amazing sounding overdrive paired with an equally amazing sounding compressor. The overdrive side starts with the three standard Tube Screamer style control knobs, Gain, Tone and Volume but also an added bass boost to help thicken up the grind.  The compressor side, has the standard comp and gain controls, sort of like an MXR but paired with that, is a tone control which can be turned on and off as need be to help shape and control the overall sound.

While this seems simple enough, this pedal has some amazing sounds hidden away in it. From twangy Brad Paisley style cluck, to Journey style soaring leads, this pedal has it all, crammed neatly into one nearly indestructible aluminum housing. Most guitarists could be perfectly happy with either side of this double pedal, but put together, this little double pedal is just amazing, heck I’m pretty sure most country players could live the rest of their musical lives with just this pedal, a Fender 65 Deluxe and a fat Telecaster. Chords had a bold semi clean, semi dirty tone to them with the gain down low, and when you cranked the gain up, they had a very Marshally crunch to them that kept the clarity of the note but added the beefy power of an overdrive. Single notes lasted forever with an intensity that just can’t be matched. Playing complex chords was simple, and no matter the setting, the notes very rarely lost their clarity or their character.

I honestly think myself, and hundreds of other guitarists could easily replace a good number of pedals with this one double box, and our sounds would benefit immensely from it, this reason alone earns the Route 66 a solid 10 out of 10.

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World Music Supply | Boss Distortion Pedals

Hi guys, Brian from World Music Supply here to talk to you guys about some cool, classic pedals from our friends over at Boss. I picked to do a basic run through of their Distortion pedals, as their line is possibly the most iconic in the industry, as many of us started our pedal boards with one of their little fuzz boxes. For the better part of thirty five years, Boss has been building and designing inexpensive, great sounding stomp boxes, that have shaped the sounds of millions of guitarists world wide. It could be argued that their most iconic was the DS1, our first pedal in today’s review.

The Boss DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal

The Boss DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal

The Boss DS1 came along at a time when effect pedals just didn’t play as great a role as they do today, sure people could buy a few little boxes, but these were often bulky, battery powered, and often broke down. This in large part was due to the lesser availability of compact circuitry, electrical know how, and quality of components that were available over all. My favorite example of this haphazard approach to guitar effects, is by far the DeArmond Trem-Trol, which used a small canister of mercury that would swish back and forth while the canister rotated, to create a very primitive tremolo effect. Sure it got the job done, but by todays standards, this sounds down right barbaric. In comes Boss, with their simple straight forward design, tiny little pedals, and amazing sounds.

The DS-1 has a very distinctive sound, with a lot of cut, grind, and a slight fizziness to it that helps lift it up and out of the mix. This pedal can do everything from classic rock grunt, with an almost KISS like edge to them, backing the controls back a bit, you would not be surprised at all that Joe Satriani used to use one of these as his primary means of distortion. The cool little yellow pedal doesn’t have a ton of versatility, it really was designed to take the place of the overdrive channel on an amp, taking a single channel amp, and allowing it to overdrive at much lower volumes. But that doesn’t matter, the DS-1 is Iconic, with a sound that has shaped literally millions of guitarists world wide, and you can’t allow this pedals lack of versatility to stand in the way of its massive, iconic sound. The DS-1 gets a solid 10 out of 10, because without it, who knows what modern rock would sound like.

The Boss SD1B Super Overdrive Guitar Pedal

The Boss SD1B Super Overdrive Guitar Pedal

Next up is the SD-1B the Super Overdrive, which is a warmer, more realistic sounding alternative to the DS-1 which more accurately emulates the sound of an overdriven tube amp. The tone is smooth and warm, with a slight graininess to it that really makes it feel like you really are playing an amp that is just grinding apart at the seams. The SD-1B, while not as iconic as the DS-1, certainly has its own place in the guitar pedal history books, listening to its classic rock style tones, with its simple, but far more versatile controls when compared to the DS-1. The tone of the SD-1B has a very blues rock sound, with a tone that sounds as close to Joe Satriani’s Ice 9 tone as you can get without buying his Ice 9 overdrive pedal. This pedal can go from that glassy, smooth blues drive, to very big, Marshall style crunch. While not as important to the history of the electric guitar as the DS-1, the SD-1B certainly earned itself a place in the history books, as well as a solid 9 out of 10.

The Boss MD2 Mega Distortion Guitar Pedal

The Boss MD2 Mega Distortion Guitar Pedal

Third up on today’s list is a pedal that is very near and dear to me, the MD2 which was my very first distortion pedal, and my second pedal over all, next to a cheap no name chorus pedal. These two little boxes helped me figure out who I wanted to be as a guitarist. I bought the little red distortion pedal, mainly because it said “MEGA” on it, and I thought it looked, and sounded cooler than its yellow and orange brethren. The big, 80’s distortion tones that this little pedal generates were perfect for the junky early 90’s metal and grunge that I cut my teeth on in those early days. This pedal emulates the sound of a heavily distorted amplifier quite well, with all of the hard square wave style clipping that you tend to get from a rectifier equipped amplifier, but with a lot more lower end than you would expect.

The pedal can do some “lower” gain settings, that could easily cover some Zepplin or ZZ top tunes, but what it really does best, is straight ahead thrash metal, and grungy rock. Now, this pedal is by no means a game changer, and by now it might just seem like another little buzz box, but this pedal made me feel like my little knock off Stratocaster, and my tiny solid state amp were really capable of being a rock star, and when you’re fourteen years old, you just can’t beat that. While it doesn’t cover as much sonic ground as the last two pedals, the MD2 does score itself a respectable 8 out of 10.

The Boss ML2 Metal Core Guitar Distortion Pedal

The Boss ML2 Metal Core Guitar Distortion Pedal

Second to last on today’s list, is the ML2, which is designed for people who tune down, and dig in deep. This pedal has virtually no versatility, no matter what this is going to sound heavy and distorted, this pedal is designed to play metal, it doesn’t matter if its thrash, hard core, speed, you need to sound as distorted as possible, this is the pedal for you. With all of the low end this pedal has on tap, you might end up competing with your bass player in that territory, so you will want to fine tune this once you take it back to the band to practice, I’ve known plenty of guys who find the “right” sound, and then get just eaten alive at practice because their sound just cant pull itself up and out of everyone else’s frequencies.

The ML2 might need a noise suppressor before it, just so you aren’t annoyed by all of the hum that a pedal with this much gain on tap can create, but at the end of the day, this pedal alone does its job of being aggressive, angry, and brutal. The ML2 might not be very versatile, but for people who need this much gain on tap, it will be more than versatile enough. If you don’t play metal, this probably won’t be your go to guy, but if you tune down, and want to be as heavy as possible, this is probably the pedal for you. A solid 9 out of 10.

The Boss FZ5 Fuzz Pedal

The Boss FZ5 Fuzz Pedal

Last up for today’s giant run down of fuzz boxes, is a box designed to recreate the pedals that gave the term “Fuzz” to them in the first place, is the Boss FZ5. Designed to recreate the very first commercially available guitar pedal, the Maestro FZ-1A, the big gritty smily face pedal, the Fuzz Face, and lastly the pedal that one Jimi Hendrix made world famous, the Roger Mayer Octavia.
The Maestro is probably most well known for making the almost trumpet like sounds at the beginning of the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction”, the pedal worked a lot like much later Fuzz pedals, by driving the signal all the way into a near perfect square wave, and was almost monophonic as a result of how it actually clipped the signal. This setting was cool, and very retro sounding, but like its name sake a little annoying, as it was pretty much monophonic.

Next up was the Fuzz face setting, which was a lot more friendly to modern playing styles, as it still can play full chords, and clean up quite a bit when you roll your volume back. It’s very clear why so many guitarists have one of these pedals on their board, they just do a great job at sounding great. Lastly is the Octavia, which takes one of the artifacts of the Fuzz circuitry and boosts it, making it very noticeable, which is the fact that this pedal kicks an octave tone up into the same volume range of your unaffected guitar tone. This results in a very cool effect, that really does remind you of Jimi at Woodstock. This pedal is a must for anyone who covers any band that was big before the mid 70s, and for anyone who wants to emulate the sound of those early rockstars. The FZ5 scores a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | VOX Joe Satriani Pedals

Hey guys, Brian from World Music Supply here again for another healthy dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I get to talk to you guys about a cool series of Signature pedals designed by VOX and Joe Satriani. I’ve been a fan of Joe Satriani for years now, I own most of his Albums and DVDs from his solo stuff to his work on the G3 tours, and the idea of being able to have his tone in a few simple stomp boxes, well what could be better than that? In today’s review, I’m going to cover the Ice 9 Overdrive, and the Satchurator Distortion.

The Vox Joe Satriani Ice 9 Overdrive Pedal

The Vox Joe Satriani Ice 9 Overdrive Pedal

First up is the Ice 9 Overdrive, which is modeled on some of Joes Favorite vintage and modern overdrive pedals he’s collected over the years, and has been designed from the ground up to stand up to the tests of touring with the likes of Joe Satriani. The controls are designed to give this pedal the most versatile response possible, with the minimal amount of knobs and switches, a simple Volume, bass, tone, and gain control, as well as a Modern/ Vintage switch and a More button.

The Ice 9 is clearly designed after the more mellow textures in Joes work, where instead of his typical over the top lead tone, he requires a mellower classic 70s style overdriven tube amp sound. This pedal delivers that in spades, with more than enough versatility to cover almost any overdrive texture you could dream of. Plugged into a tube amp, I was able to get classic crunchy AC/DC style punch to funky Red Hot Chili Pepper style strat lines. Tweaking the Vintage/Modern switch quickly took me from classic tube sizzle, to modern country style lead tones. The ease of tweakability with this pedal, and the Satchurator for that matter, is just amazing, you can easily slide between two very radically different sounds, with next to no effort. The More Switch is probably my favorite part about this pedal, as it quickly jumps you up, like placing a clean boost after the pedal, letting you basically have a separate setting for solos, and a main rhythm tone, all in one pedal.

Overall, the Ice 9 fills out every role that a typical overdrive would need to fill, from searing Texas rock, to light break up, the Ice 9 has you covered. Because of this, the Ice 9 gets an easy 10 out of 10.

The Vox Satchurator Joe Satriani Signature Distortion Pedal

The Vox Satchurator Joe Satriani Signature Distortion Pedal

Next up on today’s chopping block, is the Satchurator, which was designed to emulate the signature tone of the man himself in one easy to use pedal, which it does quite well. Plugging this pedal straight into our resident test amp, the Randall RT503H, you are greeted by exactly what you would hope for, a tone that is as close to Joes as you could ever hope for. With its wide harmonic response, warm deep distortion with just enough treble teeth to cut through the mix without biting too much, and more than enough sustain for any lead line, this pedal really does exactly what it’s designed for.

The pedal features a pad switch to help match it volume wise to pedals before and after it, and the inclusion of the more switch allows you to increase both the midrange and gain, while retaining the tone and power of the pedal. This pedal does exactly what you want it to, giving you the same sonic texture, and power as Joe Satriani himself, with enough versatility to be useful in almost any guitarists rig, the VOX Satchurator earns itself a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Smash Pedals

Hey guys, its Brian here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about some of the Smash pedals we carry here at World Music Supply. We went to great lengths and bought out all of Smash pedals entire inventory and now have them all at well below wholesale prices. So don’t let the low price fool you, these pedals can go head to head with pedals costing four or five times as much. We currently offer the Pedal to the Metal distortion, the Sixth Gear Overdrive, the Full Moon Phaser and the WW-100 Wah.

Pedal to the Metal Distortion

Pedal to the Metal Distortion

first up to bat is the Pedal to the Metal Distortion, if you want a full on gain drenched monster, this pedal has it and at a great price. The pedal is plastic, but it isn’t soft or easily damaged, and I was able to stomp on it again and again without compromising its structural integrity. It has about as much gain on tap as a Boss metal zone, its tone shaping controls are different in that it features just a level, a filter control, and a gain knob, so while it might have the same gain as a Metal Zone, it is voice differently. The Filter control took some getting used to as it works sort of like the tone knob on a tube screamer, but with a larger range from bass to treble, meaning it can get sort of touchy, and it takes a steady hand to really dial in your desired tone, but when you do its worth it. Overall I was pleased with the pedal, it gave out some very saturated tones without ever getting fizzy or tinny, I give the Pedal to the Metal a 9 out of 10, simply because I know some people just don’t trust plastic pedals.

Next up is the Sixth Gear Overdrive.This is the classic pedal overdriver sound in a cheap and

Sixth Gear Overdrive

Sixth Gear Overdrive

surprisingly impressive little box. Sounding like a cross between a Digitech Bad Monkey and the classic yellow Boss Overdrive, this pedal honestly did more then I thought it would. Featuring just three controls, level, tone and gain, this pedal may be simplistic, but it certainly does its job. Gain wise, this pedal is nice and balanced, not too much, not too little, just smooth lightly compressed overdrive with just enough sonic teeth to get your leads through even the most cluttered mix. When I used the overdrive in conjunction with a clean-ish tube amp, it gave me the classic sound of a tube amp on the edge, with the added warmth of the tube amp, the pedal sounded just perfect. The Sixth Gear does its job, and does it well, and if you’re looking for an inexpensive new addition to your pedal board I highly recommend the Sixth Gear. I personally give it a 10, its just too good of a deal not to love this pedal, even if it is made of plastic.

Full Moon Phaser

Full Moon Phaser

Now its time for the Full Moon Phaser, which I found to be an unexpectedly amazing pedal. It wasn’t too over the top sonically, and did everything a phaser should do, from quick Leslie style swirls; to slow Van Halen approved sweeps, to crazy sci-fi movie ray gun sounds. It features three knobs, Rate Resonance and Depth which means it has two more knobs then I am used to having on a phaser, so this pedal is certainly versatile. I typically don’t use phasers for much, but with this little guy on my board I didn’t turn it off, I just moved around the controls, with three knobs there is a setting for every situation, from the dirtiest distortion tones, to the cleanest cleans, this pedal added just the right amount of movement to my playing to keep it sounding fresh and interesting. While I know most people are happy having a phaser with only one knob, the versatility afforded by having three was certainly something I could get used to. The Full Moon Phaser easily gets a 9 out of 10, because its definitely a lot more then most people need, but like they always say, its better to have too much, then to have too little.

WW-100 Wah

WW-100 Wah

Last on the list is the WW-100 Wah, a personal favorite of mine, why you ask? Simple, because every guitarist has a wah on their board, and every guitarist is always looking for a way to sound just a little bit different then the next, what better way to do this, then just switching out the wah. I found the WW-100 to sound a lot quack-ier then your average Dunlop but not as much as your average Vox, meaning if you want to sound a little different this might just be the wah for you. The throw felt comfortable, not stiff, but not loose, and even though its made of plastic I never once found it to feel fragile or easily damaged, it always felt sturdy and stoic, just like a wah should. It held a lot of classic funky sounds, with the wah never sounding too dark or too bright, and even though it’s the most expensive smash pedal we carry, at such a low price its still one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest wahs we carry at World Music Supply.

Over all I know a lot of people will have their doubts about buying a bunch of plastic pedals, but these are great sounding pedals, plastic aside, and at the end of the day, you buy pedals to make you sound better, and it doesn’t matter to the listener if the gear you’re playing through cost you 100 dollars, or 100,000 dollars, as long as you sound good. So why don’t you give these pedals a chance, and snatch up one of these gems up while we still have them at these great prices, just head on over to Worldmusicsupply.com, and pick up one of these awesome pedals today!

World Music Supply | Digitech iPB-10

World Music Supply iPB-10 pedal board open

Digitech iPB-10

Digitech iPB-10

 

Digitech’s new iPb-10 may be the company’s masterstroke of creativity. The concept is to take the whole preset culture of the signal processor world and apply it to a pedal board. And the thing really works.

Here’s the deal. Buy the iPb-10 and use it in conjunction with your iPad to easily and effectively arrange as many as 10 different pedals per board with a nearly infinite number of combos to choose from. You can save 100 of your favorite pedal boards and recall them at any time with the stomp of a footswitch. There are 54 amp and 26 cabinet models that you can use as well. And it’s all drag and drop via the iPad touch screen. By the way, the iPB-10 is compatible with both the iPad and iPad2. How’s that for slick?

Now, here’s how it works. The first step is to acquire Digitech’s iPad app called, appropriately enough, iPad Nexus. The app is free to download from the Apple iTunes App Store. Once you’ve nabbed the app, you can then physically dock your iPad with the iPB-10 and begin using all of the units’ killer functionality. We’re not going to cover every last switch, knob and feature here today. Instead we’ll take kind of a high level view and briefly discuss the main features and some of the sounds within the unit.

Digitech iPB-10

iPB-10 with Apple iPod Docked

First of all, as a docking station for the iPad, the iPB-10 is very sturdy and secure. You won’t feel like your expensive iPad is in a precarious position. Once docked and with the Nexus app running you can now arrange up to 10 different pedals in any order you like. With 87 pedals, 54 amps and 26 different cabinet models to choose from you will never run out of options.

Using the iPads’ touch screen, guitarists can rearrange the signal chain, turn individual pedals on and off or simply adjust settings. As for saving your favorite configs, it’s done with the touch of a button. Recalling a favorite pedal board requires no more than stomping a footswitch.

As for the iPB-10’s sounds, there are many cool tones that can be dialed in. We all have our favorites and odds are that the majority of your favorite pedals are included in the Nexus app (pretty much all of mine are). While I can’t say that I am in love with every single model included here, I can say that to my ear the sounds are quite accurate, as true to the originals as a digital model can be.

For instance, when comparing my original Vox Wah to the included model I cannot distinguish any appreciable difference between the two. The Boss DS-1 Distortion model sounds completely true to my original Boss pedal. The Tube Screamer model sounds exactly like my TS-808. While I don’t own every pedal modeled here, for comparison purposes I’ll have to say that of the sounds I can make direct comparisons to, the models are all quite good, though no modeler gets every sound perfect.

Digitech iPB-10 Nexus App Screenshot

Nexus App for Apple's iPod

Using the clean channel on my Marshall DSL100 and the iPB-10 for my basic sound, I can nail my favorite rock rhythm tone using the units’ Boss DS-1, Lexicon Ambience verb and Boss DM-2 analog delay. The sound is every bit as cool as using the original pedals. And the greatest thing about it is that I can assign that sound to a switch and call it back up at will. I mentioned it earlier but it bears repeating. You can save up to 100 pedal board configurations. Surely, enough for any playing situation.

There are many other examples of great tones inside this slick setup but it’s not really necessary to go through them all here. I’d have to write enough to fill an encyclopedia to accomplish it and none of us have time for that.

Suffice to say that with just a little bit of experimentation any player can be up and running with the iPB-10 in no time at all. And, Digitech promises many updates and upgrades down the line that will no doubt make the Nexus app even more comprehensive.

I’ll close out by saying that I give the iPB-10 high marks across the board.

See below for my personal ratings…

Concept………………………….*****

Design…………………………….*****

Build Quality…………………….*****

Ease of Use……………………..*****

Sound Quality………………….*****

Cost………………………………. ****