Quick Hit: Vick Audio V-2 Distortion

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 Champ

Fender Telecaster Custom and ‘60s Fender Bassman


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

Focused overdrive tones sometimes flirt with compressed boxiness.


Vick Audio V-2


Ease of Use:



Fender Hammertone Pedals Demo | First Look

John Bohlinger tests out a handful of the compact, budget-friendly gray tone boxes designed by effects guru Stan Cotey.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less

A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.

Read More Show less