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Great Eastern FX Co

GREAT EASTERN FX CO Design-a-Drive


 

Design-a-drive pedal invites you to design your ideal overdrive 

“Which overdrive works best with amp X or guitar Y?” It’s a familiar question seen online, heard in guitar stores and argued over wherever two or more guitarists meet, but why is this the case? The fact is that, though they might feature basic EQ controls or a ‘Tone’ knob that shaves off a bit of treble, most overdrives have a frequency response that is essentially fixed and consequently will work for some styles of amp and pickup and not for others.

The Design-a-drive, the latest pedal from Great Eastern FX Co., is different. Equipped with a pair of unique tone-shaping controls, this is an OD that you can “redesign” on the fly to work with your guitar and amp of choice. 

“There are a bunch of design decisions that go into every overdrive circuit that dictate how compatible it will be with different guitars and amps,” Great Eastern FX Co. founder David Greeves explains. “We wanted to create a pedal that would let you tweak the parts of the circuit that really make a difference so you can make these decisions for yourself. At the same time, we wanted to condense these adjustments down into as few controls as possible so that the pedal could stay really simple and easy to use. We want you to be able to plug in, quickly find a sound that inspires you and then get on and play.”

To this end, Great Eastern FX have come up with a pair of original, proprietary EQ controls, dubbed ‘Width’ and ‘Edge’. The Edge knob controls the top end of the frequency spectrum, simultaneously adjusting two separate filters – a gentle treble roll-off and a more intense cut in the high presence region – as well as subtly affecting the aggressiveness of the circuit’s hard-clipping diodes, letting you dial in precisely the desired amount of bite, grit and presence. 

Like Edge, the Width control does exactly what the name suggests. Ranging from ‘Thin’ to ‘Fat’, this six-position rotary switch reshapes the pedal’s mid-range response – probably the biggest single factor in dictating how well your guitar, amp and OD pedal will get along. Via this simple control, the Design-a-drive lets you dictate where across the frequency spectrum your amp gets pushed and by how much.

Finally, wide-ranging Gain and Level controls mean that, with the gain turned down, the pedal can be used as a powerful tone shaper and clean boost, on its own or stacked with other drives and fuzzes. According to Great Eastern FX, you can set the pedal to be as transparent and true to your original tone as possible, or configure it to do exactly the opposite, making single-coils sound thick and meaty or rendering humbuckers lean and incisive.

About Great Eastern FX Co.: 

Based near Cambridge in the East of England, Great Eastern FX Co. is the brainchild of veteran guitar journalist David Greeves. Formerly editor of Guitar Buyer magazine and a contributor to various UK-based guitar and studio recording publications, David launched the company in 2021 with the aim of delivering original effects that are equal parts functional, fun and inspiring. This approach is summed up in the company motto: ‘Serious.Fun.’ 

The company’s pedals are made by hand in the UK. They feature high-quality components throughout, including low-noise, 1% tolerance metal film resistors, PET film capacitors, Alpha pots and Neutrik jack sockets. 

The Design-a-drive’s unique tone-shaping controls are quick and intuitive to set, yet powerful enough to reshape the character of the overdrive to suit any scenario.

EDGE controls the top end of the frequency spectrum, simultaneously adjusting two separate filters – a gentle treble roll-off and a more intense cut in the high presence region – as well affecting the aggressiveness of the circuit’s hard-clipping diodes. These three functions combine to do exactly what the name suggests, letting you dial in precisely the desired amount of bite, grit and brightness.

Like Edge, theWIDTH control does exactly what the name suggests. This six-position rotary switch reshapes the pedal’s mid-range response, progressively introducing a lower mid-range peak and adding more bass as you go from ‘Thin’ to ‘Fat’. This control lets you instantly sculpt your tone while also dictating where across the frequency spectrum your amp gets pushed. 

We’ve designed theGAIN andLEVEL controls to be equally useful and wide-ranging. With the gain turned down, there’s still plenty of level on tap, allowing the pedal to act as a powerful tone shaper and clean boost, on its own or stacked with other drives and fuzzes.

 

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