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Akai Drive3 Distortion review

  • £59
  • $279
The Drive3 is a lean, mean distortion pedal.

Our Verdict

A pretty versatile source of distortion but, if you don't mind the bigger footprint, the extra EQ options on the Deluxe look very tempting for just a tenner more.


  • Plenty of gain boost; three flavours of distortion.


  • Not much apart from misleading labelling of the drive3 switch (as with all three Drive3 pedals).

Like the Fuzz and Overdrive, Akai's Distortion also has a three-position switch supplying variations in gain, structure and tone. It's one of two distortions in the range - we reviewed the Deluxe Distortion (£69) last year.


What you get here is a harder-edged dirt box that will suit a variety of styles. Where the warm and boost settings offer more midrange presence, the misnamed fat setting actually sounded nicely scooped and similar to a Rat, albeit a bit less harmonically rich - perhaps it's a spelling mistake…