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Great Eastern Effects launches the Design-A-Drive, offering tone-tailored gain to suit your rig

Great Eastern Effects launched in 2021, and its first offering was the Fender Champ-aping Small Speaker Overdrive (opens in new tab). Now, GEE returns with a brand new overdrive offering in its Design-A-Drive, which features a proprietary tone circuit that aims to remove the hit-and-miss tonal compatibility between your overdrive pedal (opens in new tab) and amp.

Great Eastern Effects Design-A-Drive

(Image credit: Great Eastern Effects )

As you might expect from an overdrive pedal, you have three main areas of control. The pre-gain and output levels on the Design-A-Drive function in a fairly traditional fashion, offering everything from transparent boosting to harmonic overdrive.

But it’s the tone section where things start to become more detailed. Unlike your regular tone control, the Design-A-Drive features GEE’s Edge and hard-to-miss six-position rotary control.

Edge handles the top end of your tone, applying a dual-filter circuit which gently cuts treble while also filtering the high presence frequencies - which in turn interacts with how the pedal clips your signal. 

Meanwhile, the Width control deals in mid range, with each of the six positions taking you from ‘thin’ to progressively fatter responses. The idea being that you can beef-up single coils, or de-mud humbuckers at any gain setting, giving you a world of options when it comes to voicing your guitar’s pickups with your pedals and amp without the tonal mis-matches that sometimes exist among the three. Clever! 

“There are a bunch of design decisions that go into every overdrive circuit that dictate how compatible it will be with different guitars and amps,” Great Eastern FX Co. founder David Greeves explains. 

“We wanted to create a pedal that would let you tweak the parts of the circuit that really make a difference so you can make these decisions for yourself. At the same time, we wanted to condense these adjustments down into as few controls as possible so that the pedal could stay really simple and easy to use. We want you to be able to plug in, quickly find a sound that inspires you and then get on and play.”

The Great Eastern Effects Design-A-Drive is available now for £229/$265. For more information, or to find your nearest dealer, visit the Great Eastern Effects website (opens in new tab).

Stuart Williams
Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.