Saturday, May 8, 2010

Love It or Love It

I think it's safe to say that when it comes to our guitar's root tone we can get a bit on the obsessive side. Tinkering and molding things until our heads are spinning, and always on the hunt to make things sounds better is something any "tone chaser" will always get stuck doing. But obsessive wouldn't exactly be the way I'd put it, I call it more of a passion and love for sound. Add that to a keen experience in pro audio engineering and you have a cat like Greg Williamson. Put that knowledge to work and you have the Greedtone Pedals. When I first came across this pedal I decided to do a bit of research on it, looking into who and how it was being used. Soon after this I came to discover that in the few years it's been around the Greedtone OD has already become a favorite of everyday players, professional musicians, and studio engineers. Becoming somewhat of an icon amongst the boutique pedal world. My dance with the Greedtone OD was able to provide me with some very very tasty blues and rock tones, mellow soulful country tones, and leaving my hands with the satisfaction of a solid well played session. It's easy to see why so many cats have fallen into the spell of this aluminum little beast. By ends day of my first meeting with the Greedtone OD I too was held firmly in it's clutches.


Greedtone OD

* True Bypass
* Built-in Noise Reduction Circuitry
* 3-Color Duel LED's
* Duel Stomp Switches
* 100% Lead-Free Silver Solder
* Silver Mica Caps
* Built-in 9V DC Battery Back-Up Connection
* Locking 9V/AC Power Jack (twist-lock)
* Heavy Duty Die-Cast Aluminum Enclosure
* High Quality Pots
* Solid Chromed-Brass Knurled Knobs
* Hand-Wired Using Mogami Wire


There is nothing more I love from a piece of gear than simplicity and good sound. This is why this little gem was an absolute blast to demo, and why it is definitely one of the most exciting overdrivers I have ever had the pleasure of rocking out to. The Greedtone OD not only sounds good, it also solves some of the key issues that come with many vintage and modern stompboxes. One being the hiss or white noise that comes from turning a unit up past a certain point. That noise can be a killer to your tone, ruin gigs, and make recording sessions a nightmare. I'll tell you from experience there is nothing worse than coming across an annoying amount of noise when trying to gig, practice, or lay down a track. Greg addressed this problem when designing the Greedtone OD by incorporating a built-in noise reduction circuit. An absolute killer idea, and one that has proven to work beautifully with the pedal's many luscious tones. The next issue is the most common problem all dirt pedals suffer from, that being the lack of low end character. What's the point of dialing in that mean thumping rock tone if it's only going to suffer once the drive pedal is engaged? Again the Greedtone OD comes through beautifully, handing over exactly what I put in, and keeping things right on the money. The best part of it all is that the Greedtone Overdrive is able to take care of these problems without any tone knobs, toggle switches, or any other extra controls. This puts less components between you and your signal keeping your root tone as fresh and crisp and possible. You get a Volume, Gain, an on/off switch, and a more/less switch. The pedal is hand built with high quality parts and components, with everything is housed in an enclosure that looks like it's ready for war.

For this pedal demo I took out two of my favorite amps, the 100 watt Super Lead, and mighty mighty Twin Reverb. Both of these are very very loud amps, and amps that can produce some extra noise when cranked and combined with the wrong gadgets. Right from the get-go the Greedtone OD proved to work beautifully and got along great with both of these amps. Along with these amps I also broke out my Junior copy, Les Paul, and 70's Strat build. I figured the Strat's single coils, Les Paul's buckers, and Junior's P90 pickup all made for a thorough spot-on pedal demo. I first set the Greedtone OD up with the Twin Reverb, through a spanking clean sound with lots of bass and shimmering highs. First guitar up to bat was the Junior. I matched the pedal's output to the amp's and set the gain very light. I slammed down on a handful of big rich chords and got a great boomy, thick'n'chunky P90 tone. Then I slapped down on the Greedtone OD and SLAM! A huge, organic, rich overdrive tone perfect for fat semi-clean greasy rock and rolling. The pedal was not only able to hand me a great sounding light/fluffy overdrive, it also held my tone together and kept things nice and tidy. The overall feel was tight and gritty, but with great note separation and definition. The combo of the clean and gritty tone created a tone perfect for riding your guitar's volume knob. I rolled up a bit more of the Greedtone's gain and held volume where it was. One thing I must point out is the smooth gain curve this pedal has. Some pedals you roll them from 4 to 8 and cannot tell any difference in the sound. With the Greedtone OD I was able to get exactly what I dialed in which made tuning things in a dream come true. The extra bit of gain I threw in added a hint more hair to the sound which worked great with my picking dynamics. I was able to dig in and get a rich grimy sound, then lay off and produce perfectly balanced clean notes. I wanted to see just how much output this pedal had on tap and how that would affect the sound of my amp. I cranked some of the volume and heard my amp's tubes cooking and roasting into a creamy, hard boiled overdrive. I was able to get even more grit flavors by blending in different settings from my guitar's tone and volume controls. The supreme quality components and intelligent build of this pedal kept the feel of my root's tone just where I had set it, and pushed into a great sounding, organic overdrive and distortion. Next guitar was the 70's Strat. I set the amp exactly the same and took the Greedtone OD back to a mellow semi-clean boost. The combination of the Strat's spanky tone and pedal's sweet'n'tasty dirt made for one splendid sounding blues tone. In fact I heard everything from country, classic rock, jazz, and soulfful R&B tones through that first setting. I was able to get a wide variety of sounds by switching into different pickup positions, with all of them sounding super duper fine. I dialed the pedal's gain up to about noon, slammed the volume to around 1'o'clock and let things fly. Again the jump in grit was solid, even, and natural sounding, with my picking attack adding to outcome of each dirt tone. Boy how I love any dirt pedal that works this great with single coil pickups! To get a more aggressive grit out of the pedal all I did was stomp the More switch. This took the existing tone to the next level by giving it more sting, more rumble, and more attitude. Using the More switch with high gain settings also worked great. I was still able to hear the character of my root tone coming through beautifully, with no unwanted noise or hiss. The More switch feature works wonders when wanting to hold down a simple rig setup with lots of variety. While plugged into the Strat I went ahead and switched into the Super Lead head and 4x12 cab. I left the setting where it was and hit some heavy blues licks. My lord what a mighty roar came screaming from the four 12's. Talk about classic rock heaven! Next I set the amp to a medium gritty overdrive and stacked the pedal's overdrive sound to it. The combination of both dirt tones blended to created a smooth, epic rock sound. I was able to sling about all my mellow rhythm playing then turn my guitar's volume up and hit lead guitar tones with no problem. Last but certainly not least I plugged in the Les Paul. All of the same clarity, definition, balance, dynamics, and epic feel I got from the single coils came out through the humbuckers only a lot thicker, creamier, and beefier. It didn't matter what I set the overdrive level to, the pedal was able to deliver a handful of amazing sounding dirt tones by rolling in and out on my volume control, and stepping in on the More switch. The amount of sustain I got from the humbuckers was insane! Even in the highest gain settings the Greedtone OD still held it's natural/organic vibe and never got sharp or square sounding. I stacked it up with clean boosters, modulation effects, and even other dirt pedals and never had a problem getting the sound I wanted. This is the ideal overdrive pedal for anyone wanting the most from a minimal amount of features. Cats who rely on their guitar's controls to dial in tones on the fly will love this pedal. Those of you looking for a secret weapon for your studio will have a blast dialing in and layering great sounding dirt tones. I give Greg two thumbs up for this little demon and pray he delivers unto us some more beasts. Make sure and check out his Myspace page, there are a bunch of cool devices you won't see on is website.


For more info on Greedtone Pedals go to or if ever there comes another creation from Greg's killer Greedtone line you can be sure we will run our paws through it. Stay tuned for more!



1 comment:

  1. Hey I know this pedal!!! We used one on our record. Great sound, and great review. Thanks.