Made in the UK, the Drive Thru can take you from a clean boost all the way to seriously crunchy overdrive. The Gain, Tone and Volume controls are wide ranging and interactive, so a bit of experimentation is needed to explore this pedal’s full range of tones. There are two operating modes – Ge (Germanium) and Si (Silicon) with a switch on top of the box.
The Ge (Germanium) side is sweeter and clearer than the Si side, but you won't get massive amounts of overdrive and sustain with quiet, clean amps. It works best if the amp is already overdriving and it just needs a bit more kick. Alternatively you can use this setting for a clean boost or just add a hint of extra drive.
- Clean Boost: This is the Drive Thru at its most transparent and at such low Gain there isn’t that much difference between the Ge and Si settings. If you need to push the front end of a valve amp a little harder, or you just want to compensate for treble losses in long cable runs, this is the way to do it.
- Blackface Breakup: The Volume hike pushes a valve front end into overdrive and you can help it along with a touch of Gain. The key to getting this sound is the extra sting you can get from ramping up the Tone control. This is a clear and transparent overdrive that works equally well with humbuckers and single coils.
- Tweed Overdrive: Adding a tad more Gain and reigning back the Volume while keeping the Tone low achieves that raunchy, midrangey bark associated with early 1970s Clapton, Neil Young or The Eagles. There’s a nice hint of compression and you can go from early ‘50s to late ‘50s tweediness by turning up the Tone control.
The Si (Silicon) setting is more gainy and crunchy and it’s particularly effective at low amp volume levels when you need the feel and sustain of a cranked valve amp. The Tone control behaves like the Presence control on tweed and Plexi type amps so don’t be surprised if you have it set low most of the time.
- SRV Drive: OK it’s a cliché, but nobody can deny that SRV achieved some of the greatest guitar sounds ever heard in electric blues. But this isn’t meant to sound like a ‘TS-Anything’. It has the transparent drive and uncompromised dynamics of a cranked classic amp. Try playing lightly or turn down the volume control on your guitar for a sparkling clean sound.
- Voxy Lady: With the Tone control backed off and the Volume and Gain controls finely poised, you’ll get close to the dark, harmonically rich overdrive of those cranked British classics. For the ‘Top Boost’ sound, simply turn up the Tone and the Drive Thru will deliver that trademark chime.
- Plexi Crunch: This is the Drive Thru at its most aggressive and distorted. With the Si setting, the sound naturally darkens as you turn up the Gain control. So you can wind the Tone control right up, which adds the trademark edgy crunch and bite of a dimed Plexi circuit along with an authentic hint of fizz in the overdrive.