Mr Black brings back the Deuce Coupe, refreshed, upgraded, with up to +56dB of gain from “one of the most responsive and dynamic overdrive circuits ever created”

Mr Black Deuce Coupe
(Image credit: Mr Black)

By popular demand, Mr Black has reached into the archive to the before days, to when its guitar effects pedals went under the name of Jack Deville Electronics, and it has pulled out something special in the shape of the Deuce Coupe overdrive pedal. A blast from the past, only different.

Cast your mind back. It’s only what? Twelve years since the original. But the people remember, and they had apparently maintained steady pressure on the Portland, Oregon stompbox specialist to bring the cult classic back. This was one of the designs that didn’t get relaunched under the Mr Black name. At least not until now.

The Deuce Coupe MKII is one you could file under dynamic, amp-like, transparent, touch-sensitive, and all the sorts of buzz words that suggest a drive pedal that assumes a diplomatic posture between electric guitar and amp – a pedal that’s there to get the best out of both and strengthen that special relationship. 

Mr Black Deuce Coupe

(Image credit: Mr Black)

But it is designed to be diplomatic however you choose to use it, with Mr Black not only calling it “one of the most responsive and dynamic overdrive circuits ever created”, but promising an overdrive you can place pretty much anywhere in your signal chain and it’ll do its thing.

The Deuce Coupe 2023 has some intriguing new features too. It has Click-Less true-bypass switching, and most exciting of all it has an independent Ultra Boost feature, with its own dial and footswitch. The Ultra Boost is a pure clean boost that is only available once the Drive footswitch is engaged, but it all adds up to a lot of gain to hit the front end of your guitar amp with.

We love plenty of gain in a drive pedal. We especially love a note of caution in a drive pedal’s manual that reminds us that, altogether, this is packing up to 56dB of gain. And who doesn’t love a simple control setup? Here you Gain, Tone and Volume, with the Ultra Boost occupying its own side of the pedal for when you need it to go over the edge.

That’s certainly going to come in handy when you need to poke out of a mix but the Deuce Coupe’s USP lies in its touch-sensitivity, and how it will respond to your picking dynamics and rolling back the volume on your guitar. 

This dynamic response is brought to us by the “specially designed” internal split-rail power-supply and if that means nothing to you then that is perfectly fine. We just have to feed it 9V from a pedalboard power supply or a battery and adjust the dials to taste. Priced $199, the Deuce Coupe is available now. See Mr Black for more.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.