Carl Martin DC Drive 2018 review

Digging up the discontinued DC

  • £99
  • €99

MusicRadar Verdict

A workmanlike drive pedal with two voices, which would lend itself to many styles.


  • +

    Two highly usable voices.

  • +

    Amp-style drive.


  • -

    Not much to argue with at this price.

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The original DC Drive (now discontinued) was a double footswitch pedal that packed a boost alongside its overdrive.

This new single-footswitch version loses the boost but still offers the overdrive, delivered via level, tone and drive knobs and a Regular/Fat toggle switch that effectively gives the pedal two distinct voices.

Regular is quite lean, rolling off some of your bottom-end, but Fat puts that back in and adds in lower mids for more girth and a smidge more gain - it’s fuller and smoother. There’s quite a range of drive available here from clean boost through all shades in-between to a driven-amp saturation that brings out harmonics, but cleans up very well with the volume knob.

With a tone knob that focuses on top-end presence, there’s a host of crisp drive sounds to be had with plenty of string definition. It makes a great dirt channel for a clean amp but can also push driven sounds further.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.