Origin Effects recreates classic modded amp tones with its RD Compact Hot Rod pedal

Even in the crowded market of overdrive pedals, Origin Effects' RevivalDrive is a benchmark for versatility with authentic vintage amp feel and tone. Now there's a new compact expansion of the series with the RD Compact Hot Rod and our sonic senses are tingling with excitement.

While the RevivalDrive Custom and Hot Rod Editions set controls for the heart of tweaking, the RD Compact Hot Rod is a much more streamlined affair like the standard RevivalDRIVE compact with six knobs. But the tonal proposition is expansive here.

Origin Effects

(Image credit: Origin Effects)

"The RD Compact Hot Rod recreates the entire signal path of a classic, modified valve amp using all analogue circuitry," says Origin. But there's no valves here. Transistors perform that role down to the output stage to recreate the character of an actual valve amp. Many claim this but we know how good Origin are at it from past drives.

The Post-Drive EQ circuit also allows you to shape your sound for whatever amp and effect you're using, the key concept here that the pedal compliments your treasured amp rather than the other way around. 

The RD Compact Hot Rod's Gain control is the pedal's version of the volume knob on a non-master volume amp so you can find the 'sweet spot' you need with relative ease. Then the More/Pres control adjusts negative feedback and presence which "dramatically changes the pedal’s simulated amp circuitry", in the way it will respond to the sensitivity of your playing and being pushed into higher gain.

The Highs and Lows controls dial in the character of your drive, and the Blend is a useful tool to dial in more of your clean guitar signal, rolling off the gain. 

Needless to say, Rabea Massad, Pete Thorn and Origin make it sound wonderful in the videos above. Thorn himself called the original the best Marshall in a box on the planet – high praise indeed. 

We're pretty sure you're getting another high quality and adaptable drive from Origin Effects for your £320 / $390 here. 

More info at origineffects.com

Origin Effects

(Image credit: Origin Effects)
Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.