Xvive Tube Squasher review

Valve-like overdrive squashed into a tiny pedal

  • £49
  • €55

MusicRadar Verdict

A reasonably-priced low-gain drive pedal with a fat sound and the option of something leaner.


  • +

    Good value.


  • -

    Very little.

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Where the Golden Brownie does the high-gain-amp-in-a-box thing, the Tube Squasher falls squarely into the low- to medium-gain overdrive category.

What you are getting here is a smooth valve-like overdrive that responds organically to your playing dynamics, as well as plenty of extra gain to drive your amp while you are at it.

The sound is delivered via a familiar array of drive, level and tone knobs, but there's also a toggle switch for two quite different modes.

One setting offers the sound with 'nowt taken out' - full and fat in the bottom end - while the other filters out some bass for a tauter low end that lends itself nicely to chordal rhythm playing.

The Tone control's range has been wisely chosen to focus on the upper mid presence so you can dial in a tone to best suit your amp's voicing. There are no extremes of bright or dull here, just an emphasis on mellowing or sweetening your tone to enhance the music.

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.