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Soul Food Overdrive Pedal – $89
PROS: Ultra cheap price point, flexible as a boost or an overdrive pedal.
In the guitar world there are some legends, borne out of rarity and cost. In some cases its rep is over-inflated or exaggerated. Electro-Harmonix’s Soul food brings some of that sonic rarity, and delivers the goods tonally.
The idea behind this pedal was to deliver the same character of the legendary Klon Centaur at a price, and make it available to the masses. Like most overdrive/boost pedals it’s dead simple. Volume, treble, and drive controls, as well as a true bypass footswitch.
Now while we didn’t have a Klon on hand to compare it to, the Soul Food (on its own merit) delivers perfectly. It’s not a super saturated, hyper-gain monster, but the drive can be run clean to hot in a ‘Tube Screamer’ type of way, while still maintaining clarity throughout. Turning down the guitar’s volume control cleans things up nicely, as well.
For most players, this would work as a great dirty tone, for rhythm or lead on its own. Turn down the drive knob, and up the volume, and it’s a clean boost that interacts with an amp really well. Even with other drive pedals it plays nicely. Overall, it has plenty of clarity and definition, across its entire set of drive controls. This pedal with a single channel amp is a monster. With a 2-channel amp, it can really change its color when used as a boost.
Does it out-Klon the original? That’s a tough one – originally Centaurs went for $300, and now they are very rare, sometimes commanding four-figures on the Internet. There are several companies making copies, and they can run $200 and up. Klon themselves now have a KTR pedal that runs about $400. With that in mind, EHX has put out a pedal that seems to do all that the legend did at a $69 street price. How can you go wrong?
-Boosted power rails for extended headroom and definition
-Compact, rugged design
-Selectable true bypass or buffered bypass modes