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Review

LunaStone Blue Drive 1 & Boost 18

Issue #63

The Boost was simply enhancing the Blue Drive and driving in into more sustain and saturation without losing the character of the Blue Drive.
Sam Bell

LunaStone Blue Drive 1 & Boost 18

Sam Bell returns to the pages of Guitar Interactive Magazine to take a look at two new exciting pedals from Lunastone in the form of the Blue Drive 1 & Boost 18.

The Scandinavian Pedal company, Lunastone have been building their brand in the name of true transparent overdrive! Today I have the pleasure of checking out the Lunastone Blue Drive and the Boost 18. Two pedals by Lunastone which are awesome by themselves and make a sonic dynamic duo when used together! Let’s take a look at them individually.

Lunastone Blue Drive 1

MSRP £149

PROS:

Build quality

Fantastic transparent tones

CONS:

A little more gain would be nice.

SPECS:

True Bypass

9V battery or standard 9V center negative supply

Dimensions: 73 mm, 114,1 mm, 51 mm

Guitar Interactive star rating: 4.5 stars

The Blue Drive:

I don’t think I have ever played a pedal quite like this in my humble career as a Guitarist, the Blue Drive is a very crunchy bluesy style drive pedal. It’s almost clean when you pick lightly, but as soon as you dig in you get all the snarl and snap that you would expect. Even at the highest drive setting we can still lightly strum chords and get a super clean sound. It responds to your playing exactly, all the good (and bad!) details of your playing will come through light as day. And this makes it very exciting and inspiring to play through. The layout of the pedal is super simple, Volume, Tone and Drive. When set to 12 o’clock we can use the pedal like a clean boost that brings some harmonic richness to the sound, when the drive is dialled to higher settings we can get a broad satisfying crunch with a nice about of sustain and bloom to the notes. As a legato player myself, I find this pedal very satisfying, it lets the notes bubble out of the lines that I play rather than over compressing them. However, make one slight wrong movement and the pedal will tell you! I think that’s what makes it so great. I also love the fact that the LED light is so big!


LunaStone Boost 18

MSRP (UK) £89 

PROS:

Small footprint.

Excellent Build quality.

Does exactly what it's supposed to.

CONS:

None

SPECS:

True Bypass

Dimensions (37 mm x 91 mm x 33 mm)

Weight: 125 g

Guitar Interactive star rating: 5 stars

Boost 18:

This is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a boost. 18db of pure boost. When set to unity gain with our guitars signal, engaging the boost will add more harmonic overtones resulting in a clearer more sustaining sound that seems more pronounced. When the level of the boost is ‘boosted’ we can start to drive a valve amp into a nice crunch with plenty of sustain for bluesy rock lead playing. This pedal also has an awesome big LED light! The Boost 18 can be used as a simple clean boost, a signal enhancer, a volume boost or a pre-boost as I am about to discuss.


Blue Drive and Boost 18 together:

I put the Boost 18 in front of the Blue Drive. The boost pushed the Blue Drive into a smooth saturation with a bit of sag giving notes a lovely round sound. Bends higher up the neck sustained and the overtones rang straight through. The Boost was simply enhancing the Blue Drive and driving in into more sustain and saturation without losing the character of the Blue Drive.

Conclusion:

I love Lunastone’s philosophy and design. I enjoyed experimenting with the pedals. The Boost 18 is a fantastic boost pedal in its own right, if you’re looking for a clean boost that enhances the tone then look no further! The Blue Drive is like something I’ve never quite played before. I have played many low gain, crunchy blues drives in my time, but this really responded differently and uniquely. It’s really worth checking out if you are looking for that sound and feel.

For more information, please visit:

lunastonepedals.com

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Issue #64

Yngwie Malmsteen

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