Quick review- Suhr Shiba Drive

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mattmccloskey, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    I have had my new Suhr shiba drive a few days now, and used it on a gig last night. I thought some of you might be interested in a review, as it is a new product.

    The first thing that sets it apart from most pedals is the construction. This is not a 'boutique-built-in-the-basement' pedal. I don't mean that as a dig against more 'home brew' type builders like BJFE, etc. It's just neat to see a pedal like this. The box and finish remind me of a perfectly machined high end racing bike frame or similar product. This isn't a pre-made hammond box. The finish and labeling look really high-end and very polished.

    The other mechanical thing that is interesting is the footswitch. From a distance it looks like the usual fulltone type switch, but it isn't. It has a soft, smooth operation, no click. It is also completely silent in the audio path. The other completely new features are the battery level indicator on power-up, and the jack to remotely switch it on and off with Suhr's switching system, which I honestly know nothing about yet!

    Ok, the sound: Extremely, I mean really, really quiet. In addition to the silent footswitch, the S/N ratio is exceptional. With the drive decked the white noise is lower than any pedal I have owned so far. The tone knob has a pretty drastic range. Much more than a standard TS, a fulldrive 2, or most similar pedals.
    It has a 3-way 'smooth' switch that adjusts the 'harmonic content'. Basically it seems to adjust the top-end a little. The differences at lower gain levels are very very subtle. The higher the drive levels the more you hear a difference. They are not drastic, just a fine-tuning of the highs.

    The sound of the unit is very good. It has a very soft clipping feel to it. It is a very smooth overdrive, the attack has a fair amount of sag to it. A little mid range push (which I like) and it retains a full low-end.

    I find it to sound the best with strats. The soft clipping, smooth attack, and solid low-mids seem to compliment a single coil pickup nicely. It really likes to get into Eric johnson territory, with the smooth switch to the left and the gain cranked.

    This wouldn't be a pedal I would look to for super crunchy high gain with lots of bite, but for natural smooth singing tones with a nice feel it is pretty special. The build-quality, low-noise, and small size are very cool.
  2. Lucidology

    Lucidology Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Monterey, CA
    Thanks for the excellent review ... Pedals sound Xtremely promising ... :)
  3. willyboy

    willyboy Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Good to hear. I'm excited as mine should be shipped out this next week. I have high hopes for this one knowing Suhr's attention to quality and getting things right.
  4. koa

    koa Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    N.E. Ohio
    I just picked one up and I'm really digging it so far.:aok

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