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Flattley Revolution and Silver Centurion review

Two boutique overdrives, two distinct flavours of drive for the connoisseur

Flattley Revolution and Silver Centurion overdrive pedals
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Our Verdict

With its selectable clipping options and no-fuss control set, the Revolution could well top your shopping list when looking for TS-style drive with more to it. The Centurion, meanwhile, is just so practical, the sort of drive you might always have on, or engage when you really want to make your tube amp hot under the collar.

Pros

  • The Centurion will flatter your rig.
  • It stacks well with other drives.
  • It's a lot cheaper than a Klon.
  • The Revolution nails the TS-style brief.
  • Switchable clipping options.

Cons

  • There are no shortage of alternative drives in these styles.
  • If you can make do with a less fancy enclosure, many are cheaper, too.

Flattley Revolution and Silver Centurion: What is it?

The hand-wired stompboxes coming out of Gloucestershire’s company Flattley Guitar Pedals are a family affair. Designed and built by Paul Flattley, these effects pedals also come with enclosure graphics hand-finished by his daughter, Phoebe.

Flattley Senior arrives in the effects pedal market after 30 years’ experience in aviation avionics and promises to bring that same exacting detail to a pedal lineup that includes boutique overdrive pedals, delays, a variety of fuzz pedals with boosters and octave effects, and modulation and wah pedals

The pedal circuits are designed, then sent to a Gloucestershire-based PCB manufacturer who specs up a blank PCB for Flattley to populate. 

These circuits will then be tone-tested and rolled out into their enclosures. The Platinum series pedals are finished in metallic holographic chrome flake, with more detailed designs and laser-etched aluminium control knobs. Both come with Flattely’s distinctive LEDO halo ring around the footswitch – a more retina-friendly way of letting you know the effect is engaged.

Revolution

Flattley Revolution

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

The Revolution is a dynamic overdrive pedal that is described as a TS-style pedal “on steroids”. It has a familiar array of controls for Volume, Tone and Drive, but a toggle switch to select three different clipping options. 

With the toggle in the centre position, the Revolution the overdrive circuit is using an op-amp integrated circuit. Flick it up and it uses silicon diodes, and flick it back the way for LED diodes. The Platinum series Revolution we have in for review is finished with a sort of Paisley Pattern adorned with Mexican sugar skulls and it’ll certainly jazz up your pedalboard.

Silver Centurion

The Centurion’s Silver series lineage foregoes a little of the visual pizazz but when all is said and done you might not be complaining; after all, its raison d’être is replicating the ever-feted and super-pricey Klon Centaur. 

The Centurion is designed to play nice with your guitar and amp, complementing it as opposed to overly colouring the tone. You can run it as a clean boost, as an overdrive that’ll push your amp harder, or stack it with some other overdrives and fuzzes to layer up your gain stage. 

Flattley Centurion

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Control-wise, it could not be much more simple. Once more, we have Gain, Volume and Treble, with the Centurion keeping the clever stuff under the hood, where your signal is split into several frequency bands and processed separately. 

Flattley says bass frequencies pass through untouched, as do treble frequencies – though you can boost the latter by turning the tone knob clockwise. The mids, meanwhile, pass through a soft-clipping circuit “to give them an amplitude-dependent boost to the harmonics.” Here, the gain control affects not only the amount of gain and volume but the mids sensitivity and width.

Flattley Revolution and Silver Centurion: Performance and verdict

The Revolution performs that neat trick of being versatile and tweakable without being complicated. At heart, and across all three of its clipping options, it remains remarkably touch-sensitive, and exactly the sort of drive that blues-rock players or those who like to jockey their volume control while playing will really appreciate.

In a blind taste test, it’d pass muster for TS-style drive. With the silicon diodes selected, you’ve got a nice, tight drive, with a well-tamed low end. The op-amp setting is a little more open, a little more raucous, while the LED diodes deliver a more compressed feel, with oodles of sustain to play with, and a little more teeth in the crunch than the other settings.

Also consider...

MRX Timmy overdrive

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

MXR Timmy
Smaller, more affordable, more available and just as musical as Paul Cochrane's originals, Timmy remains one of the first names that come to mind when you think of transparent overdrive.

Electro-Harmonix Soul Food
The Klon is beyond the means of most of us, but if you're looking for that type of touch-sensitive, transparent overdrive and boost that keeps your core sound intact, the Soul Food delivers it.

The Klon Centaur might inspire a lot of cork-sniffing eccentricity and fiscal largesse among overdrive aficionados but when you get past the hype, it's quite possible that its popularity can be understood in terms of its practicality. Okay, it is hard to make pragmatism sexy, but when you consider the many uses you will find for the Centurion it suddenly makes sense. 

Even just as the most subtle of boosts, the Centurion adds some musical heat to your signal. Roll it hard as a clean boost and your tube amp can really sing, with the option of a little high-end sparkle from the tone control should you need it. 

At no setting does it saturate your sound with gain but adding that extra bit of volume and breakup can really get the best out of your setup. Stack it with some other dirt pedals on your ‘board you’ve got options aplenty for cooking up a harmonically rich tone that’s hard to quit.

MusicRadar verdict: With its selectable clipping options and no-fuss control set, the Revolution could well top your shopping list when looking for TS-style drive with more to it. The Centurion, meanwhile, is just so practical, the sort of drive you might always have on or engage when you really want to make your tube amp hot under the collar.

Flattley Revolution and Silver Centurion: Hands-on demos

Guitarist 

Flattley

Flattley Revolution and Silver Centurion: Specifications

Flattley Silver Centurion

  • PRICE: £259
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Dynamic overdrive pedal 
  • FEATURES: True bypass
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Drive, Tone, Clipping Switch, Bypass footswitch 
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 
  • DIMENSIONS: 72 (w) x 120 (d) x 55mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Flattley Guitar Pedals

Flattley Revolution

  • PRICE: £185
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Transparent overdrive pedal
  • FEATURES: Buffered bypass
  • CONTROLS: Gain, Treble, Volume, Bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied)
  • DIMENSIONS: 120 (w) x 96 (d) x 51mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Flattley Guitar Pedals