Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive

A super-sweet stompbox that's generating a real buzz

You may remember that we've previously had a look at a couple of Mad Professor effects pedals: the Mellow Yellow Tremelo and the Fire Red Fuzz."The sheer dynamics of the Sweet Honey make it one of those pedals you have to own before you die."

Suitably impressed, we raved about the features and, but choked a little at price tags that started from. They were hand-wired, but still…

Well aware that the only grumbles is has received regarding its pedals were sparked by the prices, the Finnish company is now offering a number of its stompboxes in a PCB (printed circuit board) format, with the pots, switch and jack sockets mounted on the board.

The use of PCBs has brought the price of the pedals down by a fair margin. That's great, but has tweaking the spec impacted on the brand's hard-earned reputation for great tone?

Build

Few modern pedals have created the type of buzz (in a good way) that surrounds the Sweet Honey Overdrive. This highly regarded pedal is designed to offer valve amp- style overdrive that reacts to the dynamics of your playing.

The pedal has three controls, in this case we have volume, drive and focus. The functions of the first two controls are easily deciphered. The focus control is an overall EQ that also affects the amount of overdrive.

Turned all the way down, the control offers a bassier tone while cutting the overdrive level a bit. Cranked up, the focus control acts as a slight treble booster while enhancing the overdrive.

Sounds

The sheer dynamics of the Sweet Honey Overdrive make it one of those pedals you have to own before you die. Like a great valve amp, it cleans up when you ease off your attack on your guitar's strings and then unleashes glorious harmonically rich overdrive when you dig in.

The pedal sounds tight in all settings and the integrity of your guitar's tone is never compromised.

When it comes to application, the Sweet Honey is best suited to classic blues and rock sounds although it will go heavier when combined with an overdriven amp channel.

It works equally as well with humbuckers and single-coils, although we particularly enjoyed thumping out huge-sounding bottom end riffs on our humbucker-loaded Strat.

Mad Professor will still make you a hand-wired version of all these pedals if you wish. The thing is, based on the quality of the sounds on offer from these lower-cost factory models, we don't think you need to splash out all that extra lolly.

We'd be surprised if many people could really hear the difference between the hand-wired and circuit board jobs anyway. Utilising a PCB construction hasn't diluted any of the wow factor that you equate with Mad Professor pedals.

The Sweet Honey is likely to become a classic - the way it reacts so well to the dynamics of your playing makes it a real keeper. Our pedalboard is missing it already.

Now hear the Sweet Honey in action...

MusicRadar Rating

4.5 / 5 stars
Pros

Old-school simplicity. Killer tones.

Cons

Still a little pricey for some?

Verdict

This isn't just another stompbox. Mad Professor has put a lot of thought into its function and tone. Thanks to its more affordable price, even more of us can feel the love.

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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