It has been a big year for transparent overdrive pedals, with the MXR reissue of the Paul Cochrane's cult classic Timmy Overdrive ensuring a little pocket of blue on pedalboards the world over. It is an effect we can't get enough of.
Having already dipped its transistors into the boutique overdrive market with the low-gain Crunch Transparent Overdrive, McGregor Pedals has taken the concept further with the Crunch Plus Overdrive.
The Crunch Plus Overdrive comes in a light blue enclosure with controls for Volume, Gain and Tone. It is voiced for clean amplifiers, adding a second clipping stage to its predecessor's circuit so to add a little more sparkle and hot crunch – mother's milk to blues-rock players.
This is very much a continuation on the same drive spectrum as the Crunch Transparent Overdrive. Even with the Gain control set to zero, you have a little background heat in the signal, like the Crunch Transparent at two o'clock on the Gain dial. The Tone control adjusts your mids while the Volume control lets you set how much of that amplified and clipped signal leaves the pedal.
The pedals are designed and built by Garth Heslop, are hand-soldered throughout, true bypass and have a soft-click switch. Top-mounted jacks and power inputs help keep the footprint small and your 'board nice and tidy. (There is bound to be a correlation between transparent overdrive appreciation and meticulous pedalboard layout – it's just a theory so far, but there's definitely something in it.)
You can also set the brightness of the LED via a trimpot, should that be, y'know, a concern.
The Crunch Plus Overdrive takes a 9V DC power supply and is available to order direct from McGregor Pedals at a sale price of $210 (RRP $245).