Vick Audio’s take on an elusive and pricey Pete Cornish classic churns up buttery, delicious overdrive and low- to mid-gain distortion.
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 ChampFender Telecaster Custom and ‘60s Fender Bassman