Do we need another overdrive pedal that offers a sound inspired by the Ibanez Tube Screamer, one of the most popular pedals of all time, and absolutely one of the most copied? Yes, we do, and there’s another one – it’s called the Gritador, it’s made by Browne Amplification, designed by Dave Brown himself, and is described as the perfect Tube Screamer variant.
We have heard all this before but then there are lots of perfect pedals on the market and always room for more. Given how the Tube Screamer operates, it won’t surprise you to lear that the Gritador – which BTW translates as “screamer” in Portuguese – does its magic in the midrange, and that’s where Brown did much of the fine-tuning to get the sound just right.
Famously, the Tube Screamer will give your mids a bit more beef, just the thing when you’re playing a spanky Stratocaster through a Fender tube amp. But to some players, the sound of a TS can have be a nasal quality that’s not altogether desirable. Here, Browne Amplification claims to have tuned this out out of the circuit, and while we are at it the low end has been given a bit more fullness to round it out.
The controls are classic TS: Volume, Drive and Tone. The enclosure design is what we have come to expect from the Kansas City guitar effects pedal specialist, i.e., very impressive, rugged, with the same heavy duty amp-style knobs we have seen on its superb Protein Dual Overdrive and T4 units. There’s an old-school industrial look to Browne Amplification pedals and the Gritador is no different.
“This is Dave's favorite version of his favorite overdrive,” says Browne Amplification, who say Brown (yes, confusingly there is no E in his name) also changed the clipping so it is a little more symmetrical than on your typical TS variant.
Browne Amplification has some good form for taking on a pedalboard classic and making it its own.
Its Protein Dual Overdrive drew its inspiration from a ‘90s Marshall Bluesbreaker and a Nobels ODR-1, pairing them both on one unit so you have a John Mayer-favourite on one side and a Nashville session player’s staple drive on the other.
Browne Amplification lowered the drive output on the ODR-1-style circuit and adjusted the power section to make it behave a little more like a tube amp.
The T4 Fuzz, meanwhile, housed a four-transistor Big Muff-style fuzz pedal circuit. Common to all of these designs is how Brown has tweaked the midrange. The electric guitar is after all a midrange instrument; sort out what you want to do with the mids and you are halfway towards finding your tone.
The Gritador is available now, priced $219. See Browne Amplification for more details.