“It’s dynamic and it’s versatile, and thanks no doubt to its enclosed tube it is very ‘amp-y’”: ThorpyFX and Chris Buck apply real valve heat to overdrive and boost with signature Electric Lightning pedal

ThorpyFX Electric Lightning Chris Buck signature overdrive
(Image credit: ThorpyFX)

ThorpyFX and Chris Buck have teamed up to cook up something hot for your pedalboard. It’s called the Electric Lightning, and it is a dual-sided signature overdrive pedal that runs a footswitchable boost into a drive section and runs an actual tube under the hood to impart warmth, heat and that amp-like feel that Buck wanted from his drive.

This is a guitar effects pedal that many people will be familiar with, at least sonically, even if they are not on first name terms just yet, because Buck has been using this pedal for his YouTube clips and live with Cardinal Black for some time now. 

Buck acknowledges the diligence of internet sleuths in sniffing out detail of this pedal ahead of its launch, but says most people have no idea that Adrian Thorpe had placed an actual preamp tube under the hood.

“From the very first discussions that I had with Adrian in regard to collaborating on a pedal, it became abundantly clear that both of us wanted to do something a little bit different,” says Buck. “Not only to differentiate it from his previous work, or his current line of pedals, but also something a little bit different from most of the pedals currently available.”

The resulting design is very much like a guitar amp, effectively presenting these sounds across two footswitchable channels. 

The Boost side has its own footswitch, plus a Boost knob for dialing in the gain and a Lows knob for fattening up your tone. The overdrive has a powerful three-band EQ for shaping your electric guitar tone – “a little goes a long way,” says ThorpyFX – plus Volume and Gain dials, and altogether there a generous range of the latter to be had. 

This twofer is effectively a boost and a tube-driven drive pedal stacked together in one super-tough enclosure. If you are familiar with ThorpyFX you will know exactly what we are talking about. These enclosures are tough, and this one has been well tested before its launch.

“I’ve been road-testing this pedal for the better part of 18 months, through various iterations and prototypes, and suffice to say I am immeasurably happy with the final result,” says Buck. “It’s dynamic and it’s versatile, and thanks no doubt to its enclosed tube it is very ‘amp-y.’ 

“And of course that is the ultimate cliché when it comes to overdrive pedals but honestly, maintaining that visceral, slightly aggressive feeling and touch responsiveness of a real amp, and not simply rounding off the edges of all those tones we have come to admire over the years, really was at the heart of its design and I am incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved.” 

The Electric Lightning is available now, priced £429. And if you want to hear how it sounds, Chris Buck will show you in the demos above. For more details, head on over to ThorpyFX.

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.