Best Marshall in a Box Pedal

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by aceycunes, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. aceycunes

    aceycunes Member

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    Hi All!

    I am new to the forum and just wanted to share that I experimented with some pedals to gig with and to get that heavy Marshall JCM 800-like sound that we all know and love. I've been gassing at the gearmanndude and Pro Guitar Shop demos on YouTube for a while now. My goal was to find "the one" pedal that I could put on my pedal board to settle down with and find my "tone companion" for the rest of my cover band gigging career, so to speak.

    I tried them in my home and at low volume they all sounded great. Once volume gets up over certain level it seems like "everything" changes so I rented some space at the local studio so I could crank up to gig level.

    I used a Dean Cadillac with DiMarzio humbuckers and a Fender style 6L6 clean tube amp.

    These are the pedals I tested:
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    * LovePedal Purple Plexi
    * Mad Professor Mighty Red Distortion
    * Devi Ever BIT fuzz
    * Joe Satriani Vox Satchurator
    * 80's ProCo Rat
    * Pete Cornish P-2 Fuzz
    * LovePedal ProValve Version 1
    * HomeBrew Electronics Big D Distortion
    ______________________________________________________________

    I was hoping the winner would be the LovePedal Purple Plexi or the Mad Professor Might Red Distortion since they are smaller and take up less real estate.

    Anyway the winner was the Love Pedal ProValve. I found it to be the warmest, heavy gain, amp-like sound without a lot of adjusting. It's found a place on my pedalboard. If anyone is curious about the pedals let me know and it's great to be on the forum!

    Acey Cunes
     
  2. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    cool!

    Are any of those BSIABII circuit? I have a CMATMODS Brownie which was specifically made for Fender amps. Sounds great!
     
  3. wck

    wck Member

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    The cornish, rat and BIT fuzz arent really marshalls in a box but thats not important..

    Have u tried to DLS btw? Might not be the best in the standalone OD/Dist list but it stacks damn well.

    Anw, mind giving us your top 5 from that list? im curious to know ;)
     
  4. Agreed

    Agreed Member

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    No offense intended, man, but that isn't really a list of Marshall-in-a-Box pedals to begin with, let alone a comprehensive one. I dig it if you had a bunch of pedals around and thought to see which of them had the most Marshall-like tone you could get behind, but half or more of those are not at all intended to be Marshall-in-a-Box pedals, and you didn't include many rightfully well-regarded pedals that are aimed specifically at the kind of sounds you're after.

    At the end of the day what matters is that you found a pedal that you like, which accomplishes the goal you're after... But I don't know if that comparison is really all that relevant to the topic? Or what to take home from it, from an outside perspective. Heck, none of the pedals on that list are really anything like each-other at all. A Devi Ever BIT? That's aimed at turning your guitar's sound into an Atari/NES chiptunes synthesizer kind of sound. The Satchurator is a recreation of the Japanese DS-1, made in Japan, with a neat additional feature to increase the voltage at the clipping stage so you can have rhythm & lead tones on tap, but it's not Marshall-in-a-Box territory at all (remember, he gigs it with either his signature or with Marshalls, just like he used his old DS-1 pedals into a Marshall amp). The Cornish Fuzz, the ProCo RAT... those aren't MIABs, they're dirt boxes to hit an amp with to make the amp do nice things.

    I'm being a downer here, and maybe it's inappropriate since I've got a pretty sizable Marshall-in-a-Box pedal collection and I'm adding more to it. I've reviewed several MIAB pedals for publication over at the web site in my signature. We did a roundup of some good and available MIABs last year. On that list of pedals, probably the only one which I would really consider missing from our MIAB roundup is the Purple Plexi. Maybe the Mighty Red, too. I don't own either and couldn't get my hands on them for the round-up, but I think they're fair game for that sound. The rest - even the one you settled on in the end - seem like they don't fit the basic criteria all that well. I see that it's a well-regarded pedal, the price is competitive with some of the other good Marshall-in-a-Box pedals I have reviewed, used, and/or own. That's great :) You found your sound.

    So I am glad for you that you've reached the end of your tone search, that's something that's awesome on a personal level and it's a really good feeling when you just "click" with a pedal in a cool way. I don't know, though, if the list of pedals you put together is a representation of things that could reasonably be asked to make a Marshall noise. Am I alone in thinking this? I hope this doesn't come off as especially negative, I am happy that Mr. Cunes got what he wanted ultimately, but it just doesn't seem at all like a cross-section of MIABs out there. Whole lotta good pedals missing from the list, and some picks that don't make sense at all for getting that sound.
     
  5. wck

    wck Member

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    agreed: thats what i meant with my post..although i dont have experience with practically all the pedals the fuzzes there definitely dont do marshall.
     
  6. andy888

    andy888 Member

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    Try the Zvex box of rock or the Xotic BB preamp
     
  7. Dangy1978

    Dangy1978 Member

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    I like the King of the Britians pedal with the boost for a nice MIAB, Box of Rock is good too, i also like the DMB Lexi peal. I have had all three of these and liked them all, and ended up with the Lexi.
     
  8. linjor

    linjor Member

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    Zvex Distortron (which is essentially just the drive side of the BOR)
     
  9. aceycunes

    aceycunes Member

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    Hi Polynitro,

    I'm not sure about the circuitry. Just buying pedals off of ebay and trying them out! Thank you!


    Acey
     
  10. aceycunes

    aceycunes Member

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    Hi WCK,

    I agree that the P-2 Cornish, Rat and BIT are not of the Marshall nature. I just wanted to get them all together in a room and get them to a loud gig level.

    I have never heard of DLS effects. I'll have to check them out.

    Below is the answer your question on the top 5 pedals for what I am trying to do:

    Please bear in mind that I’ve spent the last 7 years as a simple guitarist in a weekend cover rock band. In my test I was using an 80's Dean Cadillac with stock Dimarzios and a "Fender style amplifier," specifically a Blankenship Fatboy Supreme with 6L6's and 1x15 inch speaker.

    Another technical thing that I was keeping in mind while evaluating the pedals on was to do heavy rhythm work with the pedal and then hit a modded BOSS eq [GE sniper] after the pedal for volume boost for lead work.

    Here is how they ranked:

    #1. LovePedal ProValve Version 1 – Purchased on Ebay for $290 [they’ve come down quite a bit] - I was hoping this wouldn’t win because it’s a little large of a pedal and form the 2 gain knobs are kind of unnecessary for my pedal board set up. Regardless, due to the warmth and simplicity at high volume, it will be “wired” onto my board. I really liked that I didn't have to roll my guitars tone knob back to get the sound I wanted, too.


    #2. Homebrew Electronics Big D Distortion – Purchased at a boutique guitar store for $200 - This was my main "heavy Marshall style" sound on my pedal board. It's a larger pedal and I was only using it with the diode selector all the way to the right. I was hoping to replace this with the Purple Plexi since it’s a smaller pedal. The Homebrew Big D at high volume level was fairly easy to control. It lost a few points for “warmness” [I feel like I’m wine tasting when I say “warmness” – It’s the only word that comes to mind!] next to the Provalve.

    #3. Mad Professor Mighty Red Distortion - purchased on eBay for $271. - I saw gearmandude demo this pedal and I wanted to try it. I felt like it did more of a high gain overdrive and lacked the “saturation” I wanted.

    *4. LovePedal Purple Plexi - Purchased new for $200 - I liked the distortion and saturation at low volume levels, however when I turned it up in the studio, I had to roll the "intensity" way back to cut that "ice pick" in the ear sound and roll my tone knob back. I was tweaking knobs for a while to make it work, yet when I hit the LovePedal ProValve [these pedals are both made by the same guy, too] me ears just went “ahhh” and I was like, “I won’t have to worry about this at a gig…”

    Below is just commentary since these aren’t Marshalls in Boxes.
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    *Devi Ever BIT fuzz - bought on eBay for $70 -Yeah just a fuzz and I wanted to see what it did at high volumes
    * Joe Satriani Vox Satchurator - EBay for $100 - Fun to play at low volumes, didn't have the warmth I was looking for at high volume levels.

    * 80's ProCo Rat - purchased on EBay for $300 - I had heard that 80's models had the best amp-like sound so I tried one on my board for years. I thought I got that compressed 80's sound, though.
    * Pete Cornish P-2 Fuzz - Purchased on EBay $750 6 years ago - The power and sustain of this pedal is unbelievable. I would use this at gigs during our low volume set and play the lead to "every Rose has it's Thorn." When we'd turn up on later sets I just had a hard time controlling the gain levels at the gigs. I would hit it and my amp would feed back, or there’d be so much gain it was just unwieldy for me. I found it a challenge to use for heavy rhythm work too. Plus it takes up a lot of real estate on small pedal board on a small stage. I plan on trying to learn how to use this and saving this for another rig in the future.


    Thank you!


    Acey
     
  11. aceycunes

    aceycunes Member

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    Agreed,

    Wow, thank you for your insight. I appreciate your experience on this topic and yes. I did just kinda grab a "basket 'o pedals" and was evaluating them for that gig-worthy "highly sturated classic-rock-ish" type of sound which I describe as "Marshall" in laymans terms... LOL!

    I really wanted the winner to be the Purple Plexi, yet I was having trouble tweaking to get my sound. Could be a bunch of vairables with my guitar pickups and amp etc.

    I didn't think your post was negative at all!

    Which pedal won your MIAB pedal shootout?

    Thank you,


    Acey
     
  12. aceycunes

    aceycunes Member

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    I have that KoTB pedal with the boost switch. I will keep it on my pedalboard, too. I did not include it in my evaluation as I've believed it to be good for the "less saturated" gain and use it for Rolling Stones/Tom Petty/John Cougar Mellencamp type rock tone. The pedal I was looking for was for the " saturated higher gain" sound ala Journey/Boston/Van Halen.

    Any comments on that? Am I missing the point of the KoTB pedal?
     
  13. wck

    wck Member

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    sorry 4 the typo. its the catalinbread DLS, not DLS effects.

    Anw, thanks for the detail rundown of the top 5 pedals, your setup and their uses. If u want something that can do heavy rhythm and lead maybe u can try the skreddy SD deluxe, great pedal..not a marshall sounding one tho

    btw, good buy on the cornish..probably can flip it off for a big profit now haha :D
     
  14. Agreed

    Agreed Member

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    Thank you for taking my post in the spirit it was intended, I could see how it might upset you if you weren't a little bit generous with me :)

    It ended up being sort of a stalemate, or at least an impasse - different pedals are better at different things, so if you want a high-gain, modern shred kind of Marshall tone I can point you toward the Wampler Super Plextortion or maybe the Radial Tonebone Hot British, whereas if you want a really thick, classic kind of sound that can get hairy cranked check out the Wampler Plextortion. For a sound that's great for early '80s hard rock sounds and has a lot of definition without getting fuzzy or fizzy check out the ProTone Jason Becker Distortion. I was going to review the Barber Direct Drive as a MIAB, but ended up reviewing it on its own merits instead. It can get some great, amp-character distortion and it's highly responsive but it doesn't sound like a Marshall or a Mesa or whatever to me. Love the pedal, just didn't fit the "Marshall in a Box Roundup" even though before I got it in I thought it might from folks' descriptions of it. In the round-up, I reviewed half of them and my editor reviewed the other half, and I think in the end we differed in what we thought the best ones were, as you'd expect any two people to, right?

    Sort of like the question "what's the best amp?" I can't tell you that for you :) I can describe what different pedals or amps do, talk about pros and cons of each, give you their price information. I try to provide clips for all of my reviews, though at the time of the MIAB Roundup I was in a tough spot trying to record the later reviews especially since my wife and I had all our stuff packed before moving out here, and I was using headphones and her laptop to record :bonk I ended up re-recording some clips, but not all of them, as a result.

    In the end, hopefully I've given you some useful information to make an informed purchase, taking into account your own preferences. I've got my ears and no one else's, my budget and no one else's, my basic preferences and priorities when it comes to sound - and I understand that others have their own, it's as it should be, we'd have boring music if we all liked exactly the same sounds. Reviewing is a tricky enterprise because of all that, but I feel like I have to keep it in mind or else I don't serve the readers at all.

    I just had some trouble with the nature of "Best Marshall in a Box Pedal" thread title followed by a lot of pedals that weren't MIABs by design or usage. Anyway - the salient thing here is that you got something that works for you. That's the goal. :beer
     
  15. Ramblin390

    Ramblin390 Member

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    how about the crunch box mi audio
     
  16. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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  17. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    The OCD on HP mode.
     
  18. Grizz_Lee

    Grizz_Lee Supporting Member

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    The first thing that enters my mind when thinking Marshall in a box is either the jhs angry Charlie or the rothwell hellbender. Can find videos of both on you tube, I think they're the best when it comes to that sound. I think the jhs may be a little more versatile though.
     
  19. vorokha

    vorokha Member

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    How do you like here, this pedal?

     
  20. philrob1

    philrob1 Member

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    Cornish G-2 is more Marshall in a Box than any of Pete's other products
     

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