Smooth. Dynamic. Touch sensitive. Responsive…all words generally reserved for describing the attributes of a great tube amplifier. There's just something to be said for the way a great amp responds to your playing style, pick attack, and volume control. So why do we compromise that all-important union between guitar and amp by sticking an overdrive pedal in the way? Because tube amps just sound better cranked and often times, we just can't crank ‘em the way we would really like to. And as a result, there are about a million overdrive pedals out there to choose from - each with its own unique voice. So what makes the Pearl Drive different?
From the start, I wanted to build an overdrive pedal that would meet specific guidelines. It had to have certain characteristics that are, in my opinion, non-negotiable. First off, it had to be amp-like. In other words, it needed to push a little when you play lightly and really bark when you dig in. Secondly, it had to be versatile. Short of ultra high gain applications, guitarists of all styles would be able to find a place for it in their rigs. And finally, it had to be tweakable, but not too complicated. I wanted players to be able to stomp on it knowing that their sound was only a few knob turns away…and I'm proud to say that the Pearl Drive does all of this and more!
The Pearl Drive gets its big smooth tone and open harmonic complexity thanks to a series of cascading silicon transistors. It uses no IC's or clipping diodes. To my ears, there's no better way to get that sweet, warm, tube-like growl. From semi-clean soft clip blues, to thicker, D?mble-esque tones, the Pearl becomes a part of your guitar and amp's natural tone rather than just sitting on top of it.
In addition to the volume and drive controls, the Pearl Drive gives you the ability to tweak the upper midrange frequencies (MIDS), treble content (TREBLE), and bass response via the mini toggle switch in the middle of the pedal. In the down position, the bass is slightly increased when the pedal is on. Most humbucker users will find this position to be just about right. The up position fattens up the low end a bit more and really brings single coil pickups to life. And while we're talking tone stack, ever notice how some overdrive pedals thin out or thicken up as you increase or decrease the amount of distortion? I've worked hard on the tone section of the Pearl to give you minimal tone change throughout the full range of the drive pot.
The Pearl Drive was designed for the touring professional as well as the bedroom rock star. It is true bypass boutique overdrive tone at its best - with a mass production price tag. And it even changes color ever so slightly in the right light! I'm happy to offer the newest jewel of the OceanEFX line… but is it “just another overdrive?” There's only one way to find out…
Pearl Drive features include:
- Sturdy die cast metal enclosure
- Hand-wired true bypass circuitry
- Metal and carbon film resistors
- Metal film caps
- Switchcraft jacks
- Bright white status LED
- Level, mids, treble, and drive controls (mini-toggle bass boost/cut switch)
- Operates on 9v battery (supplied) or standard 2.1mm neg. tip DC adapter
- Actual size: 3.68"W x 4.6"L