With Providence's SOV-2 Stampede Overdrive gaining rave reviews (including from GT and Guitarist magazines last year), we're happy to say the company has plenty of other pedals to wow fans of outstanding tone.
In many respects a more raucous companion to the SOV-2, the Heat Blaster HBL-2 is a modern voiced distortion pedal that has a fast attack and thick drive typically found on hard rock and metal recordings. While it's great for chunky rock riffing with tone and drive around 11 o'clock (volume to taste), we feel it excels at lead when both dials are positioned around 2 o'clock. Screaming harmonics are easy to perform as well strong sustaining notes high up the fretboard. For further appeal, the pedal offers true bypass operation (signal passes through a single switch contact – not common in pedals but better for tone) and a low cut switch that can prove ideal if low notes are too prominent, a particular concern when using a seven string. For modern rock and metal tones, this should be a pedal high up your 'to try out' list.
Next we turn to Providence's Velvet Comp VLC-1 pedal. Sadly, compression is often overlooked with many guitarists seeing it as a niche and subtle consideration. But while it doesn't offer the prominent results of, say, delay or distortion it nevertheless is a popular type of pedal on countless pro pedalboards. Recently used live by Steve Lukather during a far east tour (he had it on the whole gig), the Velvet Comp VLC-1 is one of the best high end stomp boxed compressors we've come across. It's very quiet when on and offers various typical use scenarios; have the sustain and attack dials at 9 o'clock and volume on maximum for a signal boost (great for a thicker and louder clean sound) or have all dials set to 12 o'clock for even dynamics. This latter option is perfect for clean funk rhythms or pedal steel type bending licks that will cut through the band. Like all other Providence pedals, true bypass is offered and when battery power goes below 7 volts the bright LED situated at the top will become dimmer signalling it's time to change. If your tone lacks body and sustain, the VLC-1 is a pedal we can heartily recommend!
The HBL-2 and VLC-1 retail at 210€ each.
See Steve Lukather trying out the VLC-1 (as well as the Anadime chorus ADC-3) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s_SMiqtyXU
For more info visit http://www.providence-effects.fr/crbst_26.html