One Overdrive Pedal Ain’t Enough

One Overdrive Pedal Ain’t Enough

VHT V-Drive, Joyo Ultimate Drive, Way Huge Saucy Box

Sometimes it’s hard to find a deal on an item you may be looking for, and sometimes the deals hit one after the other. Such is the case here. I was looking for a good overdrive since I hadn’t tried anything new for awhile and was eyeballing a Way Huge Saucy Box. But I was hoping for a deal when I cam up on a VHT V-Drive at a killer price. Waiting on a response from the seller I found a Joyo Ultimate Drive for uber cheap and bought it. A few hours later I heard from the VHT guy and bought it too. Then I realized I had a gift card from Guitar Center that I hadn’t used so I said “screw it” and got the Saucy Box too. It turned out to be a good thing because these three overdrives are each pretty unique. Of the three I couldn’t pick one over the others.

The V-Drive is pretty versatile as it has volume, tone, drive, depth, texture, and the diode select knob with multiple clipping diode types in 10 different configurations and one bypass/clean boost setting. The depth knob brings in the lows and the texture knob works with the tone knob for a dizzying number of tone shaping options. It can go from clean to saturated and chimey to heavy grind and everything in between with a fair amount of volume boost too. Another unique feature is the voltage control. It goes from approx 5v up to approx 15v. Lower gets you kind of a loose sagging tone and the higher voltages tighten everything up and add headroom. Very useable

3-overdrives
Next we have the Saucy Box. This one has just 3 knobs but it uses them in a different way. It reminds of a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive in the way it mixes the clean signal with the drive signal, but the two signals are hard set in a very pleasing way, so the tone knob does th mixing. Full counter clockwise it acts as a clean boost, and full clockwise your getting all the drive it can deliver (which is a lot). The magic happens between 10 and 2 where it’s giving you some of both circuits. And it’s a smooth overdrive even at the highest settings. It’s not as full sounding as the V-Drive but it’s a lot tighter in the bottom end and it puts out a slightly syrupy kind of tone which sounds great.

The Joyo Ultimate Drive was the biggest surprise out of all of them. This little dirt box sounds like a higher priced boutique overdrive. It has a lot of volume and drive on tap which can take you into distortion territory easily, and the tone knob has a huge affect through the entire sweep. Overall it’s a heavier tone than the other two pedals, but still smooth like the others. Highs are easily controlled too which is good but it will also pile them on if you want it to. All the controls seem to be interactive with each other but that may just be a perception on my part.

Keep in mind I was using my Hamer Studio with a 57 Classic + in the bridge position and a Burstbucker Pro in the neck position and these boxes seemed to play really nice with them. All in all it’s hard to pick a favorite because they’re all so different and useable for different things. So I’m going to pick….ALL OF THEM. Yep, I’d hate to have to decide to keep one and sell the others so to avoid anxiety and mental stress and confusion I’m gonna keep all 3. Much healthier that way.  As always YMMV.

Russ

Dean Leslie West Peace Sign Signature Soltero, Dean Leslie West Flame Maple Tobacco Burst Signature Soltero, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Hamer Studio,, Epiphone Les Paul (Korean), Ovation Celebrity, Laney Cub 12R, Blackstar, HT-1R, Jet City JCA20H, Jet City JCA22H, Orange OR15, and a lot of dirt pedals, some store bought some DIY.

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