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Finding a high gain distortion pedal that acts and sounds like an amp is difficult; most sit on what could be called juvenile, for the younger player who hasn’t figured out the balance between gain, volume and tone. Revv took their high gain Generator series amps, and figured out how to distill the red channel into a pedal, with some really wild results!
The controls are nothing too out of the ordinary; Bass, Middle & Treble EQ Section, along with Volume and Gain. The big twist is the 3-way Aggression mini toggle that offers the user a few interesting options, blue or red modes or off.
With all EQ’s at noon as a baseline, the off mode on the Aggression mini toggle is pretty cool; it’s kind of a flat response, and brings a lower gain mode, very cool for classic crunch rhythms. Think British-sound, with plenty of clarity still coming through, with a dosage of drive that reacts very nicely to picking response. Chords are nice and chunky, while leads are on the sweeter side of things. Going into the blue mode, it gets tighter, but yet not compressed. It feels like a bit extra gain is kicked in as well, with a bit more depth, but no squishiness that sucks out the mids. This mode is great for pretty much any high gain applications.
Want sizzle, but aren’t willing to sacrifice the steak? Yeah, it stays meaty with rhythm parts that are super huge — leads sustain VERY nicely. If that’s not enough, go into Red mode, and it gets super thick and the saturation really goes up a couple of notches. A lot of players could easily live with the gain at noon in all modes. It felt great, and when pushed further, it just got better.
It should be good to note the EQ is hyper flexible, and responds a lot like an amp, and even in the high gain modes, it doesn’t get buzzy, tinny, or spiky. There’s plenty of fat gainy thickness for any modern hard rock/metal player. We tried running it as a preamp into a DAW, running a clean amp sim, in front of a Supro Blues King, A Fender Blues Jr, and a ZT Lee Renaldo — the results were fantastic across the board. It’s not really like the typical distortion pedal; it truly acts like a high gain preamp.
Overall, this could be the new standard for high gain pedals.