Monday, September 6, 2010

The Purest of Pure

Pure Drive

  • Volume: Controls overall output and loudness
  • Clipping Switch: Sets the compression & overdrive voicings
  • Gain: Sets the amount of drive, sustain, and harmonic content
  • Clean: Mixes in undistorted signal to give you a wet/dry blend
  • Bass: Sets the amount of roll-off for bass/low mid frequencies
  • Treble: Sets overall level of frequencies above 2kHz
  • Low (internal control): Cuts or boosts the bass below the guitar range
  • High (internal control): Sets the amount of high treble roll-off in highest frequencies


Now that there is a overdrive pedal, and overdrive isn't where this pedal stops. The Pure Drive sports a huge amount of control and range, and does it all in a small footprint package. Who could ask for more? The man behind this genius pedal and the NOC3 Effects outfit is the one and only Nick Colquitt. Nick's talent for putting together high quality great sounding pedals is one that I am absolutely envious of. NOC3 pedals are amongst some of the sweetest sounding pedals available today. The Pure Drive alone can take you anywhere from clean, semi-clean, light drive, overdrive, medium grit, and all out crunch. It's controls are all cleverly and skillfully laid out, all of them working fantastically with one another, and each one owning a huge range of selection. The features on the Pure Drive aren't for show or hype either. Once you begin blending and working knobs into one another you notice they all work as a single finely tuned unit, molding your signal into a powerhouse of grade A tone. The Pure Drive projects tube-like feel, rich sustain, smooth harmonic content, and can hit you with an unbelievable amount of output that will slam the front-end of any tube amp into a screaming drive. Another one of this pedal's positive's is it's ability to blend your clean signal in with it's dirty one. Then there's it's ability to run off of 18 volts, which gives an overall higher quality signal and gives you more headroom to play with. The Pure Drive can also run on a single 9V battery or standard 9V power supply, but for the best results I highly suggest you take it to it's fullest. The pedal sports a true bypass circuit for the least tone coloration and is housed in a rugged top notch enclosure. All in all this is a true beast of the overdrive world.


"Let's see what's she's made of..."

The vibe I got from this pedal once I started plugging it in and messing around with it's controls was "Tube amp in a little box". There's something about the features and how they all work together that gives this pedal a true-to-heart tube tone. I began using the Pure Drive to introduce some dirt into my clean signal. The amp was a Twin Reverb, and the guitar a semi-hollow body with humbuckers. The amp I set pretty much straight up the middle, with just a little verb, bright switch off, and no vibrato. The Pure Drive's eq I set up to match the amp's, same with the output, clipping toggle switch in it's up position, and gain I started at about 15%. The result was a semi-clean, slightly gritty tone with just a hint of attitude and bite. The nice thing was that I was able to get a feeling as if the amp had been pushed naturally into a mellow crunch, but without actually getting any louder. The pedal's tone was also quite transparent which let my root tone shine through. Very very nice stuff. The pedal's tone responded nicely to my pick attack and only let out it's grit'n'grime when provoked by my hand. Raising the gain on the pedal did more of the same and gave me more of the same feel, only with a bit more hair and attitude in the signal. The combo of the buckers and Twin were a really nice match. I got a sweet balance of warm smooth drive mixed with great articulation and definition. Next I set the clipping switch to it's middle setting and let her fly. Here the pedal dished out the most output, giving me lots of natural grit, aggression, and dynamic range. The grit in this setting also responded beautifully to my pick attack, giving me grit whenever I pleased, and turning my tubes into crunch producing powerhouses. I was surprised just how far my picking was able to take me too. With the gain up about half way I was able to produce a smooth and really crunchy overdrive. Then by backing off on the picking the tone would mellow out and lighten the grit output. Nice for accenting, cutting out rhythm tracks, and doubling guitars. This toggle switch setting really sounded equally as good with the neck as it did with the bridge pickup. With the bridge pup the dirt acted much warmer, chewier, and looser. The neck pickup made the drive more aggressive, skinnier, and gave it more midrange honk. I do dig me a pedal that brings out the tone of my pickups. Here I started experimenting with the clean control slowly introducing my root signal into the overall sound. Blending my clean tone with the pedal's grit created some of the best overdrive tones I've ever gotten from a stompbox. The kind of overdrive that just rumbles and rumbles but isn't exactly at the distortion level, that good good stuff. I will say right now that if even for this feature alone, go out and get this pedal!!! I am a huge sucker for blending my clean and dirty signals. If you've never tried it stop reading and go try it now! Usually to get these type of tones I have to plug into two different amps or plug a dirt box into a parallel fx looper. The Pure Drive makes achieving this trick a cinch and truly maintains the amp's root signal. In all dirt levels I was able to add a bit more life and sparkle by introducing the pedal's clean knob into the mix. To beef up my dirt tone I had the pedal's bass and treble controls. With the treb rolled back to about 25% and bass up to about 75% I was able to get a huge/warm sound. My guitar's pickups pushed a thick and powerful grit through my speakers leaving me with one badass rock and roll tone. To get the signal to break up more and give me more compression I went to the down position on the toggle switch. Here the pedal squashed my dirt tone into singing, howling sustain perfect for leads and much much more. I threw some delay on top of this and was in lead guitar heaven. The Pure Drive squashed my signal into an awesome wall of screaming sustain. Here I switched guitars and tried the Pure drive through Strat single coils, Tele single coils, P90's, and even mini-buckers. With all pickup models I was able to dial in great sounding mean lead tones. I also tried the pedal through an overdriven British style amp and found that it sounded just as good if not better through an already dirty tone. Stacking the Pure Drive up with another dirt pedal or clean booster also seemed to bring out more of it's animal characteristics. The Pure Drive wasn't loud even in it's highest gain settings and most importantly worked with my playing and not against it. I've played dirt boxes that sound great when playing single notes and 5 chords, but once you start t introduce anything a bit more complex the signal just falls apart. This was not the case here. This is a pedal built for on thing and one thing only.... To give you great sounding dirt tones, with the bonus being having the ability to maintain your clean tone. Nick and his NOC3 Effects outfit has a truly knocked out a winner in the Pure Drive. I highly suggest you cats go out and check this one out.


For more info on NOC3 Effects go to There you will find more cool info, pics, and news on Nick's pedals. We will definitely try to continue bringing you more from this killer company so stay tuned.

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