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Hao Rust Driver

Grimace

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
678
Don't see much about this one, so a mini review

I got one a while back, but did not do much with it until last week. Very interesting pedal, fixed gain, only controls are a three way tone switch and volume.

The fixed gain was puzzling at first, but then I realized that your guitar volume knob effectively acts as the gain knob. If you were to introduce a gain knob to the pedal, it would be very similary to the knob you already have on your guitar, so what is the point? So the designer left it off, makes sense to me. Tone switch sounds like it introduces one of two different caps as high end roll offs, or no roll off at all. I used the medium setting, which was a little roll off at the top.

Rolling the volume up and down gives a bunch of sounds, all useful. I was at about 3 or 4 for a low gain rhythm sound, and rolled up for more riffy crunchy stuff. All the way up is more gain that I usually use, but it sounds nice. The volume jump is not significant, just about right actually, as I find higher gain sounds need a little bit more volume to fit in the mix.

Then I stuck a Soul Food after it for lead boost.

A bunch of sounds with two pedals, clean with both off, Soul Food alone for a clean lead, Rust on for mid to high gain rhythm, then both on for mid to high gain leads.

BTW, playing either a Hamer Talladega or a Line 6/Tyler JT69 USA model with a Dimarzio 36th in the bridge. Sounds great with either, but it did not like the JTV69 modeled sounds as much, I assume due to the impedance issues and how the pedal likes to be hooked up to an old fashioned volume pot shunted to ground. In keeping with this observation, this pedal likes to be first, or at least only after true bypass pedals.

Most fun I've had with just two pedals in a long time, the limitations actually end up freeing you, as you focus on playing and the little things you can do with your guitar to get different sounds/feels.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Agree, totally under radar pedal. Volume knob and pickup selector is all you need with this pedal. Postman brought both these on same fri. Was a fun weekend. HAO weighs almost twice as much as Lemon Drop, one sturdy pedal.
 

johntoste

Member
Messages
1,545
The Rust Driver has remained on my board longer than any other pedal. I really like the way it's voiced. With my Strat it's thick and cutting at the same time. Very handy. I've chimed in to posts about it here before. It may or may not have a "plexi" sound, I wouldn't know. For me it's got one sound but it's a good 'un.
 

Grimace

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
678
This review captures what I hear pretty well, especially with the tele as he starts rolling the volume down and up
 

mysterious1s

Member
Messages
1,693
I tried one once and liked the drive tones on the normal channel I think it was. Good AC/DC type hard rock OD. But I did find the other two setting to be useless, bright was WAY too bright and warm was WAY too dark for me.
 

Grimace

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
678
I know what you mean, my guess is that it is tuneable to a bunch of different rigs, a bright clean twin to a Marshall through greenbacks to a Tweed Deluxe, and that takes a lot of range in that tone switch. I think you are meant to only use one position, which is dependent on the rig, and not so much on getting different sounds out of a single rig.

I was thinking about getting in there and trying some different caps, as i agree that with a single rig, the variation is too much. But then I thought that one day I might like the ability to use the pedal with any backline, from bright to dark. So, I think I am going to leave it alone, and be happy with the single setting that works for me with my current amp.
 

Snare227

Member
Messages
649
Yep it's a one trick pony.. but it's a good trick as they say. I don't have mine anymore, but it even sounded pretty decent on some of my cheaper SS amps. I found it very open sounding. The only thing I didn't care for was the caps on the toggle, I felt they rolled off too much high end or not enough but then again that's a taste/rig thing. I made a modded one back in the day with a gain knob to adjust the breakup and some altered caps for the toggle and I liked it even more. It's the only HAO pedal I've tried, but I wouldn't be afraid to pick up another one.
 






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