[review] 6 Degrees FX Sally Drive (by Bieke)

6 Degrees Music

6 Degrees Music is a store operated by a bunch of local musicians in Vancouver B.C. Canada.

They started out about 5 years ago and entered the pedal business with a fuzz and an overdrive pedal ,both of which stayed under the radar. Or rather, there’s not much talk about these pedals, the 6 Degrees Music team is not really trying to create a pedal hype,  they’re all about making tools for other musicians to make music.

6 Degrees FX Sally DriveThe Looks

Well you have casing, powder coated in red, slap some racing stripes on it, add knobs and voilà, a pedal.  The Sally Drive has a Ford Mustang theme going, so it has a certain degree of styling, but it looks minimalistic, 3 large knobs, a footswitch, in- and output and 9V DC plug on the front, that’s it, an incognito pedal, no name, no labeling, controls are Volume, Tone, and Drive.

The casing is a bit higher and taller that your usual compact casing, very sturdy, no frills.

Not too exuberant on the outside.  The racing stripes are real though.

Beauty lies within. You want to unscrew the bottom lid of the pedal and take a look inside, and gasp at the superbly handwired point to point circuit, with exquisite components, Kamaya resistors, Mollary caps, metal can transistors, cloth and silver plated wiring, neutrik jacks, Bourns pots resistors, the obligatory true bypass switch. The stuff you’ d expect to find inside a super expensive boutique amp.

This looks promising.

The sounds

Sounds like an overdriven amp of course.  Mind you, you still need an amp, but the Sally Drive blends in with the amp in such a way, that you’ll soon forget there’s a pedal involved.

Also, my first impression was - if I may- I will only say it once, that the Sally Drive sounded a lot like a Klon. Which it is not, the Sally Drive is a clone of the 808. But it doesn’t have that, how shall I put it, nasally sounding overdrive and sleaziness that always prevented me from getting an 808. Never was a huge fan of the Tubescreamer. Then again, I often wonder how pro players get such a nice OD sound, only to find out it’s of those green Ibanez pedals. It never worked for me. As for the Sally Drive, it works like a charm.

Immediately struck by the smooth and rounded, breathy character of this OD pedal. All the classic phrases that are widely used to describe the tonal qualities of a good overdrive are fitting, it’s dynamic, transparent, warm, organic, articulate, harmonically rich, I cannot come up with the rest of them, but you know where I’m getting at. Well, the Sally Drive does all that. Has a real smooth attack and it also sounds great with a lower volume stetting on guitar, which is a nice bonus feature.6 Degrees FX Sally Drive

But  it’s one of those pedals that sound better when playing loud. The louder the better.

It covers a lot of ground, from clean overdrive all the way to classic rock, you can use it to play singing solos with great tone and sustain, but I preferred to use it for rhythm overdrive, loved the  dynamics, really sounded as if the pedal knows what to do.

The Verdict

I am not a huge Tubescreamer afficionado, I do like a good overdrive though and it took me many years  to find the one that worked for me, and the Sally Drive certainly sounds superb. It really worked great with my guitar and amp,  it is beautifully crafted, top notch quality. You can buy a tubescreamer of course, but if you are looking for a supercharged tubescreamer deluxe, you're much better off with a Sally Drive.

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