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.
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.
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.