Xotic SL Drive

Gspspinone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
966
just bought one today to try to salvage a decent tone from my Blackstar HT5....WOW!!

What a great sounding little pedal! Sounded great with my Strat, better with my SG and heavenly with my Les Paul...then the wife came home so I didn't get to crank the LP with P90's...I'll do that tomorrow.
 

Dig ?

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,198
Big big sound. I send mine into a jhs banana boost for really cool splattery sounds. My other drives dont do it im not sure why
 

JimHalinda

Member
Messages
970
I just got one last week - covers all my Marshall tone needs (which for me is early 70s to early 80s tones).

Just tried it at 18 volts yesterday, I like it even better! More headroom, tighter and less fizzy. Feels even more amp-like.

Now I just have to try it at a rehearsal, but with all those mids I'm sure I'll be heard in the mix!
 

theHafe

Member
Messages
31
I've had one for a couple years. I use it for low/mid gain with the tone knob rolled back around 1 to 2 o'clock. Smooth, warm drive. A definite keeper!
 

Gspspinone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
966
I'm going to throw my Soul Food in front of it tomorrow, think that'll be a winner
 

jrw32

Member
Messages
742
Good to hear. I just picked up a One Control Anodized Brown & am finding it too muddy/woofy, even at 18v, so may exchange it for the SL.
 

Boomstick

Member
Messages
313
I haven't got any hands on experience with the SL drive, but the demos I've heard have been very good. I run a Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret myself, but would not hesitate to buy a SL drive if I didn't have the DLS, which is a very similar pedal overall with just better tone controls.
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,095
just bought one today to try to salvage a decent tone from my Blackstar HT5....WOW!!

What a great sounding little pedal! Sounded great with my Strat, better with my SG and heavenly with my Les Paul...then the wife came home so I didn't get to crank the LP with P90's...I'll do that tomorrow.

Fantastic pedal! I actually have three of them on my board, all set up differently. Two are set up with the high mid cut for fat, smooth, singing lead tones - one for bridge HB and one for neck SC. One is set up in Super Bass mode and dialed in for a chunky Keith Richards type rhythm tone. VERY organic sounding pedal with a huge gain range and a huge variety of sounds on tap with the dip switches and the front panel knobs.

I tried them with the voltage doubler in different settings and ended up back with a straight 9V from my Pedal Power.
 

Buzzard Luck

Member
Messages
2,686
Good to hear. I just picked up a One Control Anodized Brown & am finding it too muddy/woofy, even at 18v, so may exchange it for the SL.

If that's too dark, then the SL will seem much more darker still. How's your amp/dry set up tone? Is it bright and clear? Perhaps you need more 'sparkle' before adding dirt~~
 

GMGM

Member
Messages
1,490
I grabbed one when they came first came out. Great little box. I intended to use it for just a little crunchiness, but ended up stuck on the higher gain settings. My only complaint is that I wish the DIP switches were accessible without opening the box. There are a couple of different settings that I'd like to toggle between. Maybe Xotic will make a big box version someday, lol.
 

jrw32

Member
Messages
742
If that's too dark, then the SL will seem much more darker still. How's your amp/dry set up tone? Is it bright and clear? Perhaps you need more 'sparkle' before adding dirt~~

That's surprising/concerning to hear as most of the vids I've heard of the SL sound pretty open. I'm using the Anodized Brown through both a Fender and Vox, with a very clean/chimey base tone on each. Sounds better through the Vox, but still a bit darker than I'd like.
 
Messages
905
Love my SL Drive. Requires a lot of tweaking and experimenting before you find "the sound" though. First I tried messing with the dip switches. Started off with the 6 dB boost, now trying out the Marshall Major "Blackmore" recommended settings.

For the best sound, I think it should be paired with an EL-84 amp and run with the gain very low, maybe at 9 o'clock. Haven't really paid attention to running it at 18 vs. 9 volts, but I run it at 18 anyway. Also stacks with other pedals quite well. Kicking it with a Keeley BD-2 gives it a fuzzier, heavy sound and running a fuzz in front of it works better than most of my other drive pedals. I run a Lovepedal Bonetender in front and it's the closest to a Mick Ronson sound as I've ever achieved.

All in all, a fantastic pedal for the price and size. I'm sure a Bogner LaGrange or something fancy like that might be even better, but I'm happy enough with my SL Drive to not seek out any more Super Lead pedals for awhile.
 
Messages
905
That's surprising/concerning to hear as most of the vids I've heard of the SL sound pretty open. I'm using the Anodized Brown through both a Fender and Vox, with a very clean/chimey base tone on each. Sounds better through the Vox, but still a bit darker than I'd like.

The SL Drive can sound dark in the Super Bass, the Hi/Mid Cut setting or the "Blackmore" setting I use but you can always crank the tone knob. To be honest, I thought it was one of the few pedals that still sounded usable and no too shrill when I set the tone at an extreme. The default SL setting and the 6 dB boost setting however are very bright and I usually work the tone knob in the opposite direction when I use them.
 

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
I grabbed one when they came first came out. Great little box. I intended to use it for just a little crunchiness, but ended up stuck on the higher gain settings. My only complaint is that I wish the DIP switches were accessible without opening the box. There are a couple of different settings that I'd like to toggle between. Maybe Xotic will make a big box version someday, lol.


There's someone who will mod it for $40 add move the dips to the outside of the box on the side as 4 small toggle switches...

BUT - I just HAD TO COME IN A THREAD AND SAY HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS PEDAL....

Got it on the cheap at our local guitar shop (like 70 or 80 buckaroos) and it's just a BEAST MAN....so good, so much fun.

I could DEFINITELY see where having multiples would absolutely be reasonable like @Dave_C
 

Buzzard Luck

Member
Messages
2,686
Do you find the gain does not appear to do much after one o'clock?
Dude, this is nearly three years old~. It’s super easy to start a new thread...
No, I find that the gain keeps on going- up and up!
that’s with the output level set at just slightly over unity.
This pedal, like most high end pro gear type distortions, is very amp and speaker dependent.
If you have the pedal output set too high for your amps input, then any tonal pursuits will be in vain.
 




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