Dr Scientist The Elements review

Boost, overdrive and distortion in one mad box

  • £199
  • $225
Despite its looks, you don't need to be a doctor or a scientist in order to operate The Elements

MusicRadar Verdict

We'd buy one in a heartbeat.


  • +

    Great quality tones and harmonics a-plenty. Versatile. Looks brilliant.


  • -

    Expensive. No dual-footswitch option.

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Like any good boutique drive pedal, The Elements is built like a tank, has a fabulously quirky paint job and enough controls to make an airline pilot pause for a moment.

The Elements is a clever blend of boost, overdrive and distortion with controls for nearly every aspect of your tone. Aside from the three-band EQ, gain and volume there's a mix control that enables a more gradual changeover between clean and dirty tones.

The real fun starts when you start playing with the four toggle switches, which include a low/high-gain selector along with a three different bass cuts, a mid frequency shift and a choice of three different clipping modes that each alter the character and harmonic overtones of the distortion.

In low-gain mode, you can start with a clean boost before making your way through to smouldering bluesy break-up tones and a generous rock crunch. High-gain mode takes things even further, and works very well with the clipping toggle, letting you choose a harsher or more open drive. And as for harmonics, The Elements is positively brimming with them, even with crushing gain levels.

At £199, this pedal is a serious investment, and it's not the easiest to go out and demo. While the sheer quality and versatility of the pedal arguably justifies it, we'd love to see a larger dual-footswitch version for easy switching between high- and low-gain modes. It's not a deal-breaker, though.