Browne Amplification Protein Dual Overdrive and T4 Fuzz: What is it?
Browne Amplification is a US gear company based out of Kansas City, Missouri, and you might have heard the name ahead of the gear by virtue of a highly recommended podcast that covers all things guitar.
We’re here for the pedals today – the Protein Dual Overdrive and the T4 Fuzz – with each offering a contemporary take on classic dirt and fuzz pedal circuits.
As the name suggests, the Protein has two types of drive. LEDs on either side of the two footswitches let you know which mode is active.
Activated by the left-hand footswitch, the ‘blue mode’ is inspired by a ‘90s Marshall Bluesbreaker with a couple of tricks of its own by way of an extra-juicy output and revised tone control. The ‘green mode’, meanwhile, is inspired by the Nobels ODR-1, albeit with a different gain sweep, a tighter low end, and a bit more midrange saucing the pot.
Both sides of the pedal deploy identical controls. There are two amp-style metal knobs on each side for Level and Drive, with a smaller tone control positioned underneath. You can order the Protein direct from Brown Amplification, with the choice of a green, pink, black or white enclosure, shipping in two to four weeks, or hit up one of their dealers.
As for the T4, well, as the name suggests, this is a four-transistor circuit delivering a Big Muff-style fuzz, and it features controls for Level, Sustain and Tone, with a red LED beside the footswitch to let you know when it’s engaged. It promises a BM-style sound with a little more presence in the midrange.
Browne Amplification Protein Dual Overdrive and T4 Fuzz: Performance and verdict
Once you start expanding your pedalboard, it doesn’t take too long before you find yourself doubling up on the overdrive pedals, so when you when a decent twofer presents itself it’s always worth investigating.
The Protein Dual Overdrive might not make a cheap addition to your ‘board but its drive pairing makes gives you an abundance of options, and even if we’re making a decision on the basis of economic rationality, when you bear in mind that an original MkI Bluesbreaker pedal will set you back circa £600 on Reverb.com, Browne’s asking price is more than reasonable.
• Strymon Sunset
When compared side by side with a real tube high-gain amplifier, it’s hard to tell which is real and which is the pedal - there’s certainly not even a whisker of dreaded digital ‘fizz’.
• EarthQuaker Devices Palisades
What this pedal is all about is options: options in dialling exactly the overdrive sound you want, and then options in using that sound live with different degrees of footswitchable gain.
The ‘blue mode’ is musical and addictive, with an amp-like drive that compresses as you crank it up, while the ‘green mode’ is the consummate low-gain overdrive, ideal for subtly adding heat to your signal, or a little more texture.
Best of all, you can combine these modes, with the green feeding into the blue for a more saturated lead guitar tone. A loop switcher would let you turn both of these on with a single switch.
As for the T4, well, think Ram’s Head Big Muff with a flatter frequency response. There’s plenty of clarity in the low end, and the travel on the Tone knob is very impressive, taking your sound from sustaining woodwind to piercing brightness.
It’s a lovely dynamic fuzz, and it’ll clean up nicely when adjusting your guitar’s volume control. Some fuzz pedals are too ornery to be used for a variety of styles but the T4 knows how to work the room. You can dial in some stately tone for Floyd-esque guitar solos or, y’know, work that Sustain and Tone control until something more feral comes out of the speaker.
MusicRadar verdict: The Protein Dual Overdrive is a very impressive dual overdrive that we could see being an evergreen pedalboard choice for the discerning drive connoisseur, while the T4 Fuzz offers a range of Muff-style sounds from the sophisticated to the unruly.
Browne Amplification Protein Dual Overdrive and T4 Fuzz: The web says
“The Protein is a great all-round drive with something a little different to offer, with a fantastic utility overdrive on the green side and a cleverly refined take on the Bluesbreaker on the other. It also works well with whatever combination of guitar and amplifier you throw at it. Golden Browne indeed.”
Browne Amplification Protein Dual Overdrive and T4 Fuzz: Hands-on demos
Amp Top Demos
That Pedal Show
Browne Amplification Protein Dual Overdrive and T4 Fuzz: specifications
Browne Amplification Protein Dual Overdrive
- PRICE: £319 / $319
- ORIGIN: USA
- TYPE: Dual overdrive pedal
- FEATURES: True bypass, green and blue LEDs
- CONTROLS: (Blue side) Level, Gain, Tone, Bypass footswitch; (Green side) Level, Drive, Tone, Bypass footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output (TRS sockets facilitate independent loop switcher connection for each side)
- POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied)
- DIMENSIONS: 124 (w) x 97 (d) x 50mm (h)
Browne Amplification Protein T4 Fuzz
- PRICE: £179 / $179
- ORIGIN: USA
- TYPE: Fuzz pedal
- FEATURES: True bypass
- CONTROLS: Level, Sustain, Tone, Bypass footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
- POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied)
- DIMENSIONS: 71 (w) x 126 (d) x 55mm (h)
- CONTACT: Browne Amplification