GodBox FX C-Drive Review
GodBox FX has a killer deal out there where you can design your own Tube Screamer pedal called the C-Drive, and it would be almost completely custom. You pick parts from a list, fire off the request to the builder, Carl, who will message you back verifying your choices and letting you know in approximate descriptive terms how it will sound based on his knowledge of the circuit and your rig.
And it's all very affordable. The price of the C-Drive is $180 which still ranks SIGNIFICANTLY lower than most boutique pedals and those are just their stock ones. When you start talking custom jobs, the price skyrockets with most companies, but this pedal was made to be custom. It was made to be yours.
That is, of course, if you know what you're talking about.
I do not.
Since I don't know the difference between parts, I took a good hard look at some examples of popular setups that people may like (listed on the GodBox website), picked the one that said "most versatile" and clicked "order." I talked to Carl about it and he said it was going to be a good pedal. It would feature two knobs (volume and drive), the on/off switch, a 9V connector (obligatory, in my opinion), and a three-way switch transforming the pedal from a TS to an SD-1 and then to a boost that falls somewhat in the Rat category. I also convinced Carl to customize the pedal even more by painting horizontal stripes on the pedal's top and sides in four different colors (red, orange, blue and purple in dedication to my favorite heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and to use a font graphic that I designed, again using TMNT fonts. GodBox offers this to anyone (maybe not the stripes, but custom work) for an up-charge since almost all of the pedals made by GodBox are made to order, with very few sitting on a shelf waiting for someone to come along and buy them.
|Here's what one looks like stock.|
The pedal is housed in a solid-feeling case and even took a major spill across the workshop floor (which Carl was publicly upset about on the Godbox Facebook page) and it still works. Carl emailed me after sending it saying that it slipped his mind to test it post-shakeup, but if there's a problem to send it back and he would take care of it - a worry he didn't need to express as his pedals are built for the working musician (read: the rough musician) and there was zero functional damage.
The paint job looks fabulous, even with the ding from the mix-up, but I like my belongings to look like they actually belong to someone, so I wasn't too upset about it - especially considering how much these pedals actually cost consumers.
|Wraparound paint-job. Pure class.|
The tone in the up position (the TS) is good - it's basically a seriously upgraded TS, after all - but what really knocked me out was the down position (the SD-1). That drive felt most in line with what I was searching for in tone, which was a bit of hair, and serious balls on power chords, but not so dark and muddy that the high strings are drowned out. Basically, I am and always will be searching for Chris Cheney's tone coming from my hands. This pedals comes the closest that any pedal has ever come since my search began. I love it.
I immediately opened up a voice memo app on my phone and played a few chords and fired it off to Carl to let him hear, recorded through a tiny microphone, condensed via email, sent across the country and then played through a tiny speaker, the closest approximation to my sound right then. He suggested backing off the drive just a bit and BAM, there it was: happiness.
That's the C-Drive though. It's a tricky pedal because there's so much required work and knowledge required in the beginning while you figure out what you want, but if you get lost at any point at all, you should feel confident contacting Carl. He's a nice guy with trademark Southern Hospitality that only Georgia can provide and he's more than happy to talk to customers about what it is they have, that they want, and what their aims are. It's a scary process, ordering a pedal like this with so many variables, and you CAN go so, so wrong, but if you talk to Carl, you'll have a far better chance of coming out of this happy.
The C-Drive retails for $180 direct from GodBox FX and you can find out more about it HERE.
Alternatively, if you prefer to have your options limited to what sounds good to the builder, you can opt instead for the Alpha Wolf, which is the same circuitry as mine, just with small alterations (like the tone knob). Don't feel bad about not getting my (awesome) stripes as the Wolf has some pretty sweet graphics as well. It's a versatile pedal that any lover of overdrive would enjoy having in their arsenal, it is slightly cheaper than the C Drive (it retails for $160 instead of $180) and you get to be free of all those intimidating options.
|Let's just get a closer look on that awesome graphic...|