“This is your drive section”: Mythos unveils the heroic Herculean Deluxe Overdrive, offering Dumble-style and modded Blues Breaker drive sounds in one pedal

Mythos Herculean Deluxe
(Image credit: Mythos Pedals)

Mythos Pedals has unveiled the Herculean Deluxe Overdrive, a twofer overdrive pedal that does everything in its power to earn the ‘deluxe’ in its designation.

“This is your drive section,” says Mythos, a statement ripe with a sense of the definitive, and maybe one that’s a little presumptions in an era of abundant pedalboard options. But you have to hand it to the Nashville, TN, guitar effects specialist; they’ve thrown the kitchen sink at this, offering not one but two drive styles that could be described as “boutique” and given players plenty of control over them.

On the lefthand side of the pedal we have the Herculean section, which is a circuit described as a D-style drive, which means its channeling that Dumble amp super-premium mojo for those chewy, dynamic tones associated with Robben Ford et al. On the right you’ll find the Runestone side, which is a modded take on the classic Blues Breaker circuit. Both of these circuits have existed in some form before. 

The Herculean comes from the Herculean V2, while the Runestone has become something of a cult classic, though Mythos’s Zach Broyles promises that it has been giving a wider range of gain and has a revoiced tone circuit “to be a little more centred”, taking out some of that top end and giving it more beef in the bass.

“What I believe that does is make this thing even more neutral,” he says. “I know a lot of people love that style of circuit for that sort of out-of-the-way transparency, quote/unquote, that a lot of the Blues Breaker-style circuits have.”

Each of these drives has its own footswitch. There is a toggle switch for changing the order of the effects to taste. And the setup couldn’t be much more simple, with each channel of the pedal served by dials for Level and Drive, with a few mini-dials for fine-tuning the sound.

The Runestone BB-style drive has a Voice control, which shapes the top end of the drive. The Herculean circuit, meanwhile, has mini-dials for Clarity and Bass. Bass offers a boost and cut of the low-end, and interacts with the Drive control. Clarity adjusts the treble. And if you pare both of them back you’ll bring the mids forward for a tone that Broyles describes as “smoky”.

And for the more adventurous tone seeker there are further options under the hood. The Runestone side of the pedal has an internal trim that acts as a presence control. And there is a quartet of dip switches to let you change the clipping – this, allied to the effect order toggle switch, presents players with plenty of options.

The Runestone side has soft and hard clipping settings while the Herculean offers you silicon clipping or a “Zen” mode – presumably inspired by the stompbox classic Hermida Zendrive – that leans on MOSFET/ NOS germanium diodes for its secret sauce.

The Herculean Deluxe Overdrive takes 9V DC from a pedalboard power supply, it has a really nice metallic cola-coloured enclosure, and its available now, priced $/£299. See Mythos Pedals for more details.

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.