Massive amounts of gain available.
Would be nice to get a little cleaner with the gain off.
Ease of Use:
Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada, Revv is best known for high gain amplifiers. But that didn’t stop president and designer Dan Trudeau from spending a year distilling the high gain channel of Revv’s popular Generator 120 amp into a small-format pedal.
Potently Purple Prose
Housed in a clean, modern-looking purple enclosure, the G3 is a pretty straight-ahead device. It features the controls you expect to see on a distortion: bass, middle, treble, gain, and volume. But there’s also an “aggression” switch to select for tapping into the G3’s more beastly sides.
The G3 has high gain in its blood, and even with the gain all the way off, the aggression switch disengaged, and tone knobs at noon, I got a gnarly crunch sound that’s perfect for Aerosmith-type boogie-metal and low-E-string riffs. Bumping the aggression switch to blue with the gain at minimum gave me perfect singing lead tones. Switching to red on the aggression switch, I started to generate the dirt a typical distortion pedal might give you with gain at noon. The big difference is that the G3 generates this level of distortion without sacrificing note clarity, which is excellent. Guitarists often set dirt pedals as a boost by turning the gain off and cranking the volume, but, in the red aggression mode, the G3 is a a little too dirty for that purpose. And that seems to be the point of the G3 pedal. It was definitely born to rock.
The G3 isn’t all savagery. When I turned off the aggression switch and moved the gain knob up to noon, the G3 generated the kind of biting, clear, and dynamic lead tone that heavy blues players would kill for—particularly with single-coils. But it doesn’t take much to make the G3 a fire-breathing dragon. When I went back to a humbucker-equipped guitar, I scooped the mids on the pedal and flicked over to red mode on the aggression switch. The resulting massive low end made thrash riffs a blast. Pick attack in palm-muted, chugging passages was articulate, tight, and immediate. And even though the distortion was pedal-generated and I played at a conservative volume, it truly felt like I was playing through a huge stack. Revv’s amp expertise clearly pays dividends at high gain levels.
Cranking the gain all the way up made the sustain feel infinite, though I had to take care to control squealing feedback. That said, you don’t have to max the gain to make the G3 sing. And with this much muscle on tap, a gain setting between noon and 2 o’clock proved optimal.
Revv definitely took care in designing the G3’s tone-shaping tools. When I maxed the bass knob, the tone got darker but never sounded tubby or failed to cut in a mix. All of the EQ controls have impact throughout their range, and turning any individual EQ control from noon to max induces a huge kick in volume through that frequency band.
The Revv G3 is one of the best sounding high-gain pedals I can remember. Even if your style isn’t strictly hard rock, the G3 has enough versatility that it can find a place on almost any pedalboard where distortion rears its head.