Outwardly, Vick Audio’s pedals look subdued and functional. The effects themselves are typically anything but, however—and the fuzzes (Muff clones in particular) are renowned combinations of killer performance and fair price. That goes for the company’s twist on the much-coveted Cornish G-2, the Vick V-2.

Like the G-2, the V-2 isn’t easy to classify, which speaks to its versatility more than anything else. At its heart, it’s a Big Muff circuit. But while it shares many characteristics of that effect family—smooth, singing, sustained lead tones and a knack for harmonically rich, grinding power chord sounds—the V-2 is a much lower-gain affair. And though it’s neither as loud nor searing as a Muff, its strengths as an overdrive and as a mid-gain distortion are copious indeed.

There are a few critical differences between the G-2 and the V-2. The Vick uses silicon clipping diodes, while the Cornish uses germanium, and some softer contours in the distortion are likely lost as a consequence. But the end result is still a cool synthesis of Muffish distortion and purring overdrive that can add a silky edge to any lead and an addictive, sculpted, and civilized toughness to chords.

Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Rickenbacker 330, Fender silverface Bassman, Fender Champ

Fender Telecaster Custom and ‘60s Fender Bassman

Ratings

Pros:
Rich and slightly civilized distortion tones. Easy to record and forgiving in the studio. Silky lead tones with great sustain. Fair price.

Cons:
Focused overdrive tones sometimes flirt with compressed boxiness.

Street:
$139

Vick Audio V-2
vickaudio.com

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