Marshall has listened, and they have brought back some of their much loved and now legendary drive pedals from the '80s/early '90s: The DriveMaster and ShredMaster. Sam Bell Tells us more.
In this review, I'll be looking at the Drive Master and the Shred Master pedal. I've also taken a look at The Guv'nor and the Bluesbreaker pedals, so be sure to check those reviews as well to get the full story and as always, check out the video section of this review to hear these pedals in action!
The story of these reissues all starts with 'The Guv'nor'. This is a drive pedal that Marshall released in 1988 and named after Jim Marshall himself. This changed the definition of a distortion pedal could be. This became a sought-after pedal from weekend warriors to ground-breaking pro guitarists. It was the first time that the public could get a 'Marshall' in a box sound all in the stomp of a foot. Fast forward 50 years, and we're here today celebrating the reissues of this pedal and its siblings. All of these have been re-created faithfully from the aesthetics of the unit itself all the way through to the circuit. This is as authentic as it can get, plus the price isn't too shabby!
The Drive Master:
This pedal was Marshall's response to the success of The Guv'nor. I think of this pedal as a hot-rodded version of The Guv'nor in terms of sound and flexibility. It's a little bit more modern and hard rock than The Guv'nor. Whilst the Guv'nor gets us into classic rock territory, the Drive Master gets us into slightly more edgy and heavy tones whilst retaining the full range of versatile sounds available from its Father.
The pedal is laid out the same as the Guv'nor but, of course, has a slightly different design. We have gain, which again takes us from a crunchy break-up to quite an aggressive distortion sound. The bass, middle and treble seem to be notched a little bit more extreme, allowing greater control over the low and high end in particular. Everything is as the original of this pedal in terms of design and sound. This unit features 1x ¼ inch jack input and output and can be powered by 9V battery or power supply (not included!)
The Shred Master:
This does what it says on the tin, quite literally. This pedal was originally released in 1991 and was designed to bestow large amounts of distortion on the guitar player's sound, which can be tailored with the contour knob, which has replaced the middle control from its older family members. This can do everything from scooped thrash rhythms through to power ballad '80s style leads with tons of sustain. The contour control really helps shape the sound and feel of this pedal, giving you access to a wide range of higher gain tones.
I'm seriously impressed with both of these pedals and the other ones in this reissue series. I can't make up my mind about which one I like best, they all do their job perfectly. If you're looking for authentic 80s Rock and Metal, the Shred Master has you covered…, but at the same time, the Drive Master could cover your needs from Classic Rock all the way to 90's alternative rock. The only way to find out which one is for you is to try them out! Coming in at a very reasonable RRP of around £179, this is a much more affordable and reliable way of getting your hands on these classic pedals and creating your own story with them. Go check them out!
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