[review] Keeler Designs Pull - Low Gain Overdrive (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

Keeler Designs

Well, there isn’t much I can tell you about Keeler Designs. I had never heard of them before getting their pedals for testing. Their range has ODs, distortion, fuzz and a wah pedal. The drive pedals share their look and have a nice sparkle finish. They are handbuild in the USA. Do NOT mistake them with that other pedal builder/modder!


Looking at the design and look of these pedals, 1 word immediately pops into my head: “simple”. Simple in a good way though! Clear looks, clear layout, simple name. The pedal has 3 controls and only “Texture” needs an explanation. It is your gain control. The pedal has true bypass switching and the build feels solid. I really dig the sparkle finish. I felt the 9v DC input is not in the easiest position being just next to the input.

The pedal in use

Although the Pull is simple in layout, it’s no one-trick-pony. It’s a low gain overdrive and boost pedal so don’t expect massive amounts of gain. The upshot is a gain range that can be finely tweaked. Same for the output, not massive but plenty to boost your amp. The Tone control also does not have the biggest EQ range but it works really well to tweak the overall tone of the pedal. This is not a bad thing at all, with the huge amount of pedals available, you can choose the pedal that is closest to what you want. Usually this means something that has its own sonic footprint. So if you find THE ONE that gets closest to your tone, a tone control that lets you fine tune the pedal is pretty much perfect for getting it just right.

So back to the pedal and some testing, I went for my standard test config and found myself scratching my head. Whatever I tried, the Pull sounded pretty dark, even turning the tone up to about 3:00 didn’t help. I wasn’t expecting this from a Tele and a Marshall so I tweaked some more and with the volume up I got better results. I tried a couple of different amps and the Pull worked REALLY well with all of them. I was able to dial in some really good low gain tones that worked equally well with single coils and humbuckers. With the gain low, it can even add some sparkle and spank to your clean(ish) tones. The 1st test remains a mystery because I went back to this amp and the Pull sounded mighty fine with it…

Next up was a test with the Pull stacked with some other pedals or running it into an overdriven amp. As usually, there will be some combinations that do not work out well but I would say that the Pull worked together really well with most pedals I tried it with. What’s more, it worked both as a booster in front of another pedal and as a tone-shaper after a pedal. Running the Pull into an overdriven amp is pure fun. It really blends in nicely with your tone even though it does have its own sonic footprint. It doesn’t get mushy and the bottom end stays tight. It’s like getting an extra channel on your amp.

The Keeler Designs Pull pedal isn’t the most flamboyant pedal, its looks are straightforward and it doesn’t have a gazillion tricks on its sleeve. However, the tone is right on the money, it does a lot of things very well. I love its low gain tones and it just works wonderfully for boosting other pedals and overdriven amps. And yes, the blue sparkle looks fantastic!

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