Gear Review: Pigtronix FAT Drive

Pros: Simple; great tones; works with 9v or 18v power supplies

Cons: None

Price: $139

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A lot of pedals are just copies of another manufacturer’s product. Thankfully the folks at Pigtronix have brought some new life to a classic sound. The FAT Drive is quite small, about the size of an MXR Phase 90. With the usual Tone, Volume, and Gain controls, it sports a true bypass switch as well. Interestingly enough, it does not use 9v batteries. An 18v power supply comes with the unit, but it will run with a standard 9v unit as well.

There is plenty of gain and grit, from soft clipping to overdriven amp sounds. The tone knob is very flexible; maxing it out, the high end doesn’t tend to get real spiky, and when turned completely clockwise, the entire tone circuit is bypassed.

Rhythm wise it’s fantastic, plenty of chunk and grind while still maintaining note clarity. Leads have plenty of sustain and stick out clearly in the mix. It has a very “amp-like” feel to it; rolling back the guitar’s volume knob, it cleans up nicely without a lot of noise or loss of fullness. Engaging the More switch does just that. It doesn’t work like a boost would – the mix of the gain and volume is very even, and doesn’t jump out of the mix like a boost control does.

It’s very quiet, and when engaged there’s no hiss or extra noise, even at higher gain settings. However when used with a 9v power supply, there is a little background noise, and a little less headroom. But the ability to run with either voltage power supply is fantastic. No worries about not being able to use it without its proprietary power supply.

While it’s very simple to use, it also has a lot going for it in the tone and drive departments. For any player looking for a pedal that doesn’t “feel” like a pedal, this is WELL worth checking out.

100% Analog wide range overdrive
Multi-Stage Tube Emulated Clipping
Hi / Lo gain mode switch
Passive LPF Tone Control
True Bypass Switching

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