Like all of the the new Tone Garage pedals from Vox, the Straight 6 Drive features all-analogue discrete circuitry with no integrated circuits whatsoever.
There's also a solidly built chassis with a prominent housing for a valve - taking advantage of the company's newly developed Hi-Volt technology, which allows the valve to operate at 200 volts and contribute to the tone and dynamics, even when battery-powered.
All of the pedals in the range also have a standby/on switch as you might find on a valve amp. While the thinking behind it is admirable and should extend valve life, it's yet another thing to check when setting up for a gig. When in standby, you won't get silence because the pedals have true bypass, but you won't get the effect, either.
"Vox obviously had its iconic AC30 in mind when designing the Straight 6"
Vox obviously had its iconic AC30 in mind when designing the Straight 6, which it describes as delivering its signature British-flavoured distortion. That distortion spreads across a wide range, from a mild raunch to something like a maxed-out valve combo, and it all cleans up progressively with your guitar volume knob.
The bass and tone controls offer sensible variations on the theme, adding body and presence respectively where needed, while the bright switch kicks in some top boost chime. There's plenty here to naturally turn your clean amp dirty and to add even more grit to an already dirty amp.