Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII: What is it?
Redbeard Effects is a collaboration between Skindred guitarist Mikey Demus and stompbox guru Adrian Thorpe of ThorpyFX fame, and its latest pedalboard offering is an overdrive pedal that approaches drive from an interesting angle.
Designed in acknowledgement that there is always a debate among tonehounds as to whether they like their drive positioned before or after the EQ, the Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII splits the difference, placing two overdrive circuits on either side of a powerful semi-parametric EQ.
These drives are independent of each other, with the low-to-medium overdrive circuit placed in front of the EQ, and the second described as “medium-to-more” and placed behind the EQ.
It’s a clever idea but, better still, the enclosure is easy to get to grips with. There are dials for output volume, Pre Drive and Post Drive, with the EQ section controlled by two hot pink knobs. These offer you control over a wide range of frequencies, from 80Hz to 4kHz, offering 6dB of boost or cut.
The circuit is 100 per cent analogue or your money back and there are top-mounted jacks to keep your pedalboard in check.
Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII: Performance and verdict
For many, perhaps most players with an electric guitar, overdrive makes the world go round, so perhaps it is only natural that we approach the Angry Rhubarb from that perspective. Indeed, that’s its prime directive, but the Angry Rhubarb’s design makes it a canny pick for the player who is looking for a bit more than just another dirt box.
Even before you bring the Pre Drive and Post Drive controls into play, that EQ can work some magic with your guitar amp. You can use it as a clean boost, to brightening up a dull amp or guitar. Dialling in some Pre Drive gives you a natural gritty breakup that jives nicely with the EQ.
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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.
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The boost section offers a gain increase, dialled in with a single knob. One position of the diode switch offers classic TS tone, although the ParaDrive has more up its sleeve than a standard Tube Screamer in terms of output level.
Again, we’ve not even approached the Post-Drive and there are a number of sweet spots and lots of potential for using this in collaboration with some of your favourite drive pedals. There’s more gain on tap with the Post-Drive; it’s a more effervescent drive voicing, but it is remarkable how the semi-parametric EQ shapes the Angry Rhubarb’s sounds. You’ll have little problem in finding a drive sound that’ll find the right frequencies to slice through a mix.
You’ll have little problem finding a sound. It might sound involved, having two drive circuits and a semi-parametric brain pulling the strings in terms of tone, but simplicity is the watchword here.
Thorpe and Demus have done the thinking so we don’t have to, and from a relatively compact format, we’ve got a surprisingly versatile overdrive pedal that offers something a little different.
MusicRadar verdict: With one circuit offering gentle heat and grit, the other opening the gain chute a little wider, and a muscular EQ section sitting square in the middle, the Angry Rhubarb is an intuitive and super-musical overdrive pedal that you’d serve up in all manner of situations.
Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII: The web says
“This isn’t just about flipping between honky stuck-wah tones and extreme nu-metal scoopage – there is a bit of that on offer but the essence of the Angry Rhubarb is more subtle, more musical. The lack of a Q control certainly isn’t a problem: you can cut or boost pretty much anywhere along the frequency spectrum and know you’ll end up with something rich, natural and – above all – genuinely useful”
Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII: Hands-on demos
The Guitar Geek
Demos In The Dark
Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII: Specifications
- ORIGIN: UK
- TYPE: Drive pedal
- FEATURES: True bypass
- CONTROLS: Volume, Post Drive, Pre Drive, Freq Gain, Freq, Bypass footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
- POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied)
- DIMENSIONS: 70 (w) x 125 (d) x 58mm (h)
- CONTACT: Redbeard Effects