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KHDK Ghoul Screamer Kirk Hammett Overdrive review

Do tread on me

  • £199
  • €239

MusicRadar Verdict

When it comes to boosting and tightening up metal tones, the Ghoul Screamer is among the best TS-alikes we've used.

Pros

  • +

    Fantastic performance and build.

Cons

  • -

    None.

We spoke to Kirk Hammett and his KHDK partner David Karon recently, and the first pedal we're getting to grips with is fittingly the Metallica man's signature overdrive, the Ghoul Screamer.

The GS is designed to be a more versatile take on the Tube Screamer, and with all switches up, it delivers a classic TS-808 tone - cutting bass and boosting mids.

Hitting the bass switch engages a full bottom-end, and flicking high brightens dark humbuckers, but without getting muffled or shrill. Meanwhile the body switch gives the upper mids a boost and fattens your overall tone.

The compression switches open up further versatility still: one is your standard TS compression, two is a glassier voicing, while three kicks in a tight, biting rock tone - crank up the drive for instant AC/DC and Blackmore thrills.

But the Ghoul Screamer is designed to boost a distorted valve amp, and here it really wails.
Set the pedal to low drive and maximum volume, and the body switch adds definition, while compression mode three provides an aggressive attack that's a quick fix for helping gained-up palm muting and leads to cut through.

It's rare to come across a pedal quite so instantly gratifying.

Michael Astley-Brown
Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com (opens in new tab), in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).