june 2015

We see how far Way Huge, J. Rockett, Visual Sound, T-Rex, Sonic Fusion, and Svi Sound can push classic designs without losing their glorious, low-gain goodness.

To some players, overdrive is the most essential effect of all—a low-to-mid gain kick in the pants that can add pep to leads, juice up your jangle, and add that just-right dose of grit and crunch to power chords. Given their intrinsic utility, it's little surprise that there area lot of overdrives out there. So when it came to compile a sampler of new overdrives shouldering their way into the marketplace, we decided to explore the relative diversity of the overdrive ecosystem, rather than focus on a single type.

While such classics as the Ibanez TS series and the Klon Centaur remain benchmarks, milestones, and inspiration for many builders (the Archer in our roundup is a spot-on Klon klone), it's fascinating to see the ways designers have manipulated those circuits to deliver fresh sounding and sometimes more dynamic evolutions of those ancestral forms.

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Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

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Emily Wolfe lets loose, with an Epiphone Sheraton around her shoulders. Her signature Sheraton Stealth was released in 2021. "The guitar is the perfect frequency range for my soul," she says.

Photo by Brittany Durdin

The rising guitar star blends classic and stoner rock, Motown, and more influences with modern pop flourishes in songs replete with fat, fuzzy, fizzy tones from her new Epiphone Sheraton signature.

For so many artists, the return of live shows means the return of the thrill of performing, much-needed income, and, in a way, purpose. The third definitely goes for guitarist Emily Wolfe, who, when asked about her goals, immediately responds, "I just want to play arenas every night for the rest of my life. When I go up there, something could hit me at any point—an emotion that I felt 10 years ago could come out in a bend on the low E."

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