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Homebrew POWER SCREAMER OVERDRIVE (Tweed) Reviews
After owning a Boss ME-50 for a couple of years, I decided to buy some real distortion/overdrive pedals that did not have an annoying built in noise-suppressor. The Power Screamer was recommended to me by a local guitar shop, and I tried it out in store.
I have never tried an Ibanez Powerscreamer, but I have no desire to due to the quality of this pedal. It cost me around £100, but it is entirely worth spending the extra for this boutique pedal over a boss equivalent. The gain control covers all possible degrees of clipping you could want from an overdrive pedal - from a very soft crunch sound to an extremely saturated drive.
I play rhythm and lead guitar parts in an Indie Rock band, and prefer pedals with a lot of 'body' to them. Generally i avoid the Boss selection for various drives, due to their digital, tinny sounding distortions. I play a Mexican Fender Strat through a Peavey Classic 50 2x12 combo, and the accentuated mid tones of the pedal compliment the guitar's bite perfectly.
The pedal includes a 3-way diode switch, which at it's left-most position gives a more modern sounding overdrive with slightly less middle and more treble. The middle positon produces a very pleasing vintage style drive with a much fuller body, perfect for all types of blues, rock and country sounds when the gain is adjusted accordingly. The right-most switch position results in a reverse-attack style drive, as i have seen referred to in another review as 'exploding amp style overdrive'. It's just that, a very extreme sound where each note you play seems to be heavily compressing the previous note, as if a tube amp is being pushed to it's limit.
A tone knob is situated in the middle of the pedal, and is very useful (in my opinion) for adding a little treble to the sometimes overly saturated drive sound. The boost switch is especially useful for cranking the drive, for example in a chorus section.
The only issue I have with the pedal is that when the diode switch is altered, the overall volume being produced by the pedal can change drastically, which is very frustrating when switching between the pedal and a clean sound. However, I have solved this problem by adding small stickers to the pedal around the level control, which can be targeted accordingly when the diode is switched.
I am only 17, but have played many gigs including the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Academy of Music in London, with a variety of drive pedals. In accordance with my set-up, this is the best one I have ever used. If you are looking for a specifically modern sound, with emphasized high end and extreme drive, you would be better off looking at a pedal such as the Boss Metal Zone. If (as I do) you love the warm tube sounds of rich, extreme overdrives with heavy, crunching mids, this is probably the best pedal you are likely to find.
The pedal is extremely low noise, even with the gain cranked fully up, and just as durable as a Boss pedal due to its heavy metal casing. A video of the pedal in use can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2DuSzkJZV8. I am the stage left guitarist.