Mesa/Boogie Throttle Box EQ review

  • £249
  • €329
  • $299

Distortion gets the five-band treatment

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Our Verdict

£250 is a lot for an overdrive pedal, but when it captures the magic of the world's finest amps, it's worth the money.

For

  • Responsive distortion. Harmonically rich overdrive. Pro quality build and operation.

Against

  • Not much.
Buying options

Mesa is famed primarily for two things: gain and five-band EQ, usually in a metal-approved V shape. Back in 2012, four stompboxes brought the dirt; but three new pedals add the EQ from amps such as the Mark Five, and the Throttle Box EQ is the gainiest and most flexible of the lot.

"With a saturated, yet responsive chunk, the hi mode puts Foo Fighters, Metallica and Dream Theater at your feet"

Aside from the extra five-band, the core circuit of the Throttle Box EQ is the same as its predecessor, but with more flexibility: the hi/lo footswitch toggles between more and less gain, with volume knobs for each mode; the boost switch - for extra low-end and dirt - is easily accessible, and you can also deactivate the EQ on the hi or lo modes.

With a saturated, yet responsive chunk, the hi mode puts Foo Fighters, Metallica and Dream Theater at your feet, thanks to the extra EQ, which sparkles and scoops without any harshness. But while you won't find transparent break-up tones on the lo mode, its harmonically rich overdrive cleans up beautifully with the guitar's volume knob.

From bomb-proof construction to awe-inspiring distortion, the Throttle Box EQ is a pro-quality pedal. If we're picky, the shared gain and mid-cut controls can make finding your ideal tone tricky, and £250 is a lot for an overdrive pedal, but when it captures the magic of the world's finest amps, it's worth the money.

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Tech Specs

Battery/Adaptor Type9V Battery Nine-volt mains adaptor
FeaturesTrue bypass; five-band EQ