Vox Tone Garage Straight 6 Drive review

Stompbox built to go off-road

  • £155
  • €185
  • $210
There's a solidly built chassis with prominent housing for its 12AX7 valve

MusicRadar Verdict

A Brit-style distortion pedal that loads on the dirt.


  • +

    Valve-powered AC30-inspired overdrive. Rugged construction.


  • -

    Standby switch could cause headaches.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

Like all of the the new Tone Garage pedals from Vox, the Straight 6 Drive features all-analogue discrete circuitry with no integrated circuits whatsoever.

There's also a solidly built chassis with a prominent housing for a valve - taking advantage of the company's newly developed Hi-Volt technology, which allows the valve to operate at 200 volts and contribute to the tone and dynamics, even when battery-powered.

All of the pedals in the range also have a standby/on switch as you might find on a valve amp. While the thinking behind it is admirable and should extend valve life, it's yet another thing to check when setting up for a gig. When in standby, you won't get silence because the pedals have true bypass, but you won't get the effect, either.

"Vox obviously had its iconic AC30 in mind when designing the Straight 6"

Vox obviously had its iconic AC30 in mind when designing the Straight 6, which it describes as delivering its signature British-flavoured distortion. That distortion spreads across a wide range, from a mild raunch to something like a maxed-out valve combo, and it all cleans up progressively with your guitar volume knob.

The bass and tone controls offer sensible variations on the theme, adding body and presence respectively where needed, while the bright switch kicks in some top boost chime. There's plenty here to naturally turn your clean amp dirty and to add even more grit to an already dirty amp.

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.