Greedtone Overdrive Pedal by asenna
Boutique effects pedal maker Greg Williamson has created a now almost legendary overdrive pedal with the Greedtone Overdrive Pedal. It is his flagship product and has served to build a reputation that attracted the likes of Jeff McCready, Billy Gibbons and John Paul Jones.
The pedal itself is a simple straightforward unit. The chassis is rock solid and its construction harkens back to a day when stomp boxes were truly made to be indestructible on tour and to withstand the caprices of the most violent and rambunctious of players. It is true bypass has two switches and two burly pots for volume and gain. The striking blue LED lights when the unit is powered and when overdrive is engaged, the second LED lights up green. If you need some serious boost (and I mean serious, this thing gets loud with noiseless switching) the once green LED lights up red indicating the boost (cannily called "More").
Increasing the volume does just that, introducing nearly zero low level hiss as there is a built-in noise reduction circuit in the pedal. In fact, on low wattage tube amps using the volume knob alone will drive your tubes hard. In my use, I have gotten seriously destructive tones using the volume alone into my 53 Fender Princeton and my 64 Gibson Falcon amps. The gain pot is where it really gets fun. When the effect is engaged you can tune a smooth, super pleasant overdrive into the cleanest and purest of strat tones. I can only describe the tone of the gain knob as even and broad. But those pots are sensitive. With just a little crank this thing puts out a ridiculous amount of overdriven tone slab.
One feature this pedal has is its ability to make awful solid state amps sound like they are real tube amps being driven off the end of a cliff. It breathed new life into old Peavey Bandit 112 - an amp that I barely use any longer. It also a popular choice for bass, possibly or maybe in spite of, the fact that it doesn't just sound like an emulation but real tube overdrive... but with balls. The definition of bass frequencies in this pedal is truly something special. Even a guitar with the gain cranked still has beautiful definition in open chords. Something that most pedals simply obliterate (and not in a good way).
At $299 retail it is on the pricey side. I would suggest looking for one used as they can be a more reasonable $200 or so. I live in Seattle so having a local boutique pedal of this quality was a no brainer. There are rumors that Mr. Williamson is quite the accessible fellow and I have been told that he will personally inspect and fix pedals he makes and repair them. Now, I don't know if this is true but it is truly a special notion that the man who wired this thing can service it in my area. It is somewhat limited in features but this isn't a bad thing really. Where other stompbox makers try to cram in weird tone, bite or other vague controls (not knocking them per se, just not all that jived about trying to squeeze tons of stuff into a single box simply for marketing purposes and compromising the main thrust of the effect itself) the Greedtone Overdrive pedal does one thing and does it extremely well: it gives you miles and miles of gain and smooth harmonically coherent overdrive. I wouldn't think twice about adding this thing to your setup.