Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
A bargain klone delivers expensive OD tones.
Nice clarity and detail. Well made for the money. Effective extra midrange seasoning.
Not quite as euphonic as some of the best replicas or original Klon.
Mythical, magical, mysterious … overrated? Whatever praises or criticisms you slather on the original Klon Centaur overdrive, there's no denying the way it captured the imagination of thousands of guitarists—and inspired underwhelmed observers to question why originals are worth several thousand dollars.
While exploring the intricacies and now-numerous variations of the famously transparent and dynamic Klon, Aric Bandy of Minneapolis stumbled on a circuit from China that he found particularly accurate. He decided to market it for sale in the U.S. as the 76Owl Owldrive. And it captures many of the most essential sonic qualities that define the Klon mystique, while delivering a little more midrange punch in the process.
While not as big as the original, the 4 ½" x 3 ½" x 1 3/8" Owldrive honors the inarguable style of the original Klon, with a metallic-copper finish, three retro radio pointer knobs, and an off-center footswitch. The controls are the same as the Klon, too, right down to the nomenclature: gain, treble, and output. The input, output, and 9V jacks are top mounted, and there is no battery option.
Bandy makes no secret of the fact that the pedal is an import from China, which enables the low $129 price. But while affordably priced, the Owldrive feels robust and is entirely hand-wired using through-hole construction. True-bypass switching is a slight tweak on the original formula.
Our review pedal is No. 9 from an initial run of 100. A second run is already in the works, which will be the same electronically, but feature a few cosmetic updates. And in a very cool gesture of environmental stewardship, 76Owl has partnered with Woodchuck USA to plant a tree for every pedal sold. Each Owldrive will also include a card to geo-locate the planting. Nice!
It exhibits a clarity that shines no matter how much overdrive you ladle on your signal.
So, is the Owldrive a Klon-worthy klone, or klunker? Klon comparisons and puns aside, it is a super-usable and worthy overdrive. Compared to both affordable and higher-price klones, the Owldrive acquits itself very well. For starters, it exhibits a clarity that shines no matter how much overdrive you ladle on your signal. But it also has a away of enlivening your overall tone at lower gain settings. The latter quality has long made this circuit a favorite always-on tool for goosing an otherwise dull amp, and the Owldrive does this trick exceptionally well. Not surprisingly, it also excels as a near-clean boost—another Klon hallmark.
These low-gain applications made the Klon famous. But it's easy to forget how juicy and thick a good klone can sound in medium-gain overdrive settings. For the most part, the Owldrive nails these tones, too—especially when you crank the gain knob up to 1 o'clock or beyond. But the Owldrive's slightly accentuated midrange adds a little more grunt at these settings than an original or more accurately scooped klone might. Some of the extra oomph comes at the expense of the sonic lushness and sparkle dust that lives in the more pronounced, detailed high-end output of an original. To many ears, however, the extra muscularity will be an advantage in a hard-rocking environment.
The 76Owl Owldrive is a fine homage to a classic. And at just $129, it's certainly one of the best values in the klone category. Klon purists may quibble about the extra midrange punch and how it can obscure some high-end detail. But for any player who ever wanted to bridge the gap between a Klon's sweetness and a TS9's midrange heft, the Owldrive is an enticing option.
The 4-knob drive includes transparent and character drive voices (changing the order of drive & EQ circuits) that cover boost, drive, and fuzz tones.
Overdrive versatility with its own voice Hamstead Soundworks are proud to introduce Comet: a meticulously voiced overdrive pedal that opens up a whole world of tones from a simple control set.
Representing our pursuit to take analogue drive circuitry to new heights, it can be moulded from boutique sounding overdrive with a vocal midrange, right through to a rich and creamy fuzz. Both transparent and character drive tones are accessed via a deceptively simple, but incredibly powerful switch. Furthermore, your tone can be shaped via an intuitive two-band EQ, for additional tone sculpting.
- Incredibly versatile tone shaping from a simple control set
- From tone-enhancing 'always on' preamp gain, to boutique overdrive and all the way to rich, creamy fuzz
- Transparent and Character drive voices
- Multifunction EQ/Drive switch:
- Changes the order of the Drive & EQ circuits
- Switches between two distinct clipping circuits
- Adjusts the gain structure for a wide range of drive sounds
- Active EQ with +/-15dB of clean Treble & Bass boost & cut Up to 30dB of Level boost
- High Gain mode (via an internal switch)
- Global Hi Cut adjustment (via an internal pot)
- Silent optical switching and TheGigRig's OptoKick footswitch, for excellent reliability
Drive, EQ & Gain Structure
The EQ/Drive switch sits right at the heart of Comet, providing two distinct tonal paths. While on the surface it may appear to be just a simple physical switch, it's much more than that. By selecting DRV>EQ or EQ>DRV, you not only change the order of the Drive and EQ circuits, but also the type of clipping and gain structure circuitry. The design uses complex analogue engineering on the inside, to be simple and instinctive to use on the outside.
- DRV>EQ mode gives you a very dynamic and transparent clipping circuit and places the EQ after the Drive Circuit, for studio style EQ sculpting.
- EQ>DRV mode moves the EQ in front of a more raw, yet organic clipping style that boosts the input gain into the drive circuit. Doing this provides a wide range of character drive tones that can be pushed all the way to into super saturated fuzz tones.
Global Gain & Tone Control
From pre-amp boost and right through to fuzz, Comet has a very wide range of gain available onboard. However, to push the circuit even harder into high gain territory, we've also added an extra gear. Selectable via an internal switch, Hi Gain Mode can open up heavy crunch and distortion or even highly saturated fuzz tones.
While Comet is voiced to work excellently with any guitar or bass set-ups straight out of the box, we wanted to add a little extra flexibility for those players who really want to fine tune their sound. With the internal Hi-Cut pot, you can tailor the high frequencies to suit any rig or tonal preference.
- All-analogue design
- Dimensions: 70 w x 130 d x 65 h mm
- Weight: 525 g / 1.16 lbs
- Power Requirement: 9-12 V DC ONLY, 65 mA (Centre Negative) Input Impedance: 500 kΩ
- Output Impedance: < 300 Ω
- Warranty: 5 Year Limited Warranty
Comet has been extensively tested with a large range of familiar guitars and amplifiers to ensure that it will work superbly with any setup.
An all-analogue circuit designed by Peter Hamstead. Built at the Hamstead labs in Cambridgeshire, Great Britain.
Hamstead Soundworks COMET: Interstellar Driver
Hamstead Soundworks Comet Interstellar Driver : RRP £199 // €235 // $259