Free The Tone Heat Blaster
Forget mid-scooped fizz or too much compression because here we have a JRC072D op-amp in conjunction with clipping LEDs (most pedals use diodes) to return high-headroom, rocking bite and crunch.
Hi- and low-cut switches attenuate presence and rein in resonance respectively, meaning you can go from rifftastically riotous biting cut through to fat and swampy thump. A proper distortion that will appeal to overdrive lovers.
4.5 out of 5
Lovepedal Hermida Audio Dover Drive
Do you like the way Billy Gibbons, Eric Johnson and David Gilmour’s thick distortion sounds are a bit fuzzy, too?
Then you’ll like this because it’s designed loosely around the sound of a fuzz and a BK Butler/Chandler Tube Driver into a cranked amp, with a handy internal bias control to affect the ‘spittyness’ of the fuzz. Not overdrive, not fuzz, not distortion: all of them!
BUY: Lovepedal Hermida Audio Dover Drive currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music
Wampler Triple Wreck
This unashamedly high-gain distortion has a tremendous amount of gain and low-end response, not to mention an extremely powerful EQ section to take you from dark and thuddy to the most mean-sounding, aggressive slam.
There’s a vintage/ modern switch for more classic hard rock or modern metal responses respectively, plus an additional boost with its own contour control. Plug in and wail.
Mesa/Boogie Throttle Box EQ
Like the non-EQ version, this draws on Mesa’s genre-changing knowledge of gain and distortion, but with footswitchable control over the hi/lo modes, additional boost, mid cut and the trademark five-band graphic EQ.
It’s superb for metal, but also highly adept with all kinds of rock and high- octane blues, turning your humdrum amp into something much more exciting. Massive riffs and singing solos are all here.
5 out of 5
Woo! ‘Adaptive distortion’ means the response of this pedal’s gain changes with your playing dynamics, opening up a whole extra range of textures.
The general sound of the DS-1X is in the hard rock and metal camp (try the OD-1X if you’re more into rocky blues), and with a very solid low-end response it suits down-tuned guitars particularly well. A world away from old-school.
4 out of 5
MXR Super Badass Distortion
This distortion box is worth it for the name alone. The Super Badass can deliver edgy, mid-rich 70s-type breakup right through to smoother, more modern saturation and sustain.
No fancy switches, no alternative modes, just a straight-up, affordable rock machine from one of the top names in the business. It has masses of level, masses of gain and a super- powerful EQ to boot. Bites or sings: your choice.
5 out of 5