The overall topography of classic British rock tones follows a somewhat predictable formula, but splinters off into a bunch of different flavors. The ’70s Distortion by newcomer Nexi Industries is a modern take on those Les Paul-meets-Marshall tones that have baffled and inspired guitarists for decades. The distinctly modern design offers a standard three-knob control and a comfortably oversized footswitch that would be difficult to miss even on the darkest of stages. (Although the pedal can function on its own, it does have extra features designed specifically for Nexi’s proprietary pedalboard, the Solution.)

There’s nothing particularly subtle—and rightly so—about the ’70s Distortion. With the knobs at noon, I found a somewhat narrow “sweet spot” that offered plenty of grit and gain, but not a wealth of tonal variety. The tone knob went from overly muddy to thin and nasally at the extreme settings, but offered a beefy clarity with settings somewhere in the middle. (Think Humble Pie’s live album.) And don’t even think this could somehow double as a clean boost. Besides, what evokes the era of classic rock more than thick, wooly gain?

Test gear: Gibson Les Paul Standard, Fender Telecaster, Fender Deville ML212

Ratings

Pros:
Hip modern design. Some righteous classic-rock tones.

Cons:
Could use a more effective tone control.

Street:
€99.95 (approx. USD $105)

Nexi Industries ’70s Distortion
nexi.eu

Tones:

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value: