Gold Awards: Effects
3rd Jan 2010 | 12:08
Guitar players rejoice! Who else in the world of music gets to wield such practical tone-shaping power in such portable form, and with such crazy names to boot? Here's the full Guitarist review of the latest pedal to win our coveted Gold Award.
Originally appeared in: Guitarist 324, January 2010, p137
A severely good distortion from the Californian firm by Dave Durban
In issue 322, we awarded Tone Freak's Abunai 2 overdrive our Guitarist Choice award. So impressed were we that we had to have first dibs on its latest distortion, the Severe. The bronze-finished, hand-built pedal is Tone Freak's answer for heavy distortion, but actually offers a whole spectrum of gain tones.
The Severe has a three-way toggle switch that offers asymmetrical, symmetrical and no-clipping options. There's also a three-way 'brite' switch that dictates the level of brightness available from the tone control — especially useful for those with varying amp set-ups. Additionally there are level and gain controls, plus a bright blue on/off LED. Power is via a single 9V battery or a 2.1mm centre negative pin power adaptor (not included).
With the gain control creeping over halfway, the Severe delivers a tight, musical distortion that will set sparks flying for heavy rock and metal players alike. It possesses a sweet American overdrive core, and cuts like a muscular British amp on 11, which sets the scene for incredible metal rhythm versatility and brooding Van Halen-style soloing. There's no flubbing-out in the low end or definition loss with lower tunings. But attenuate the gain and we get one of the most musical American-indie overdrive tones around.
A distortion that offers players of a heavier persuasion an all-encompassing and musical option for their rhythm and lead styles. Try one!
The Bottom Line
We like: Build quality; incredible high-gain abilities; musical American-style crunch; price
We dislike: Nothing
0191 222 0466