The Harley Benton Vintage Overdrive is not a complicated pedal. It doesn’t come with eight hundred modes or half a dozen switches, and it won’t take you weeks of experimentation to find the right sound. It’s a basic tube-inspired, affordable overdrive with three knobs: drive, tone, and volume.
But does this simplicity come at a cost?
There’s no doubt that this is a great pedal for beginners. When it comes to guitarists who are still working to develop their basic technique and understanding of music theory, this kind of pedal presents the opportunity for that classic rock sound without needing them to learn the finer points of tone-shaping right away. Furthermore, at around $30 in price, this will save a lot of money that can be spent elsewhere on getting a decent guitar or amp.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that most experienced players will have a use for this pedal.
That’s not to say it’s a bad sound. In fact, it’s great for what it is. The problem is that there are other, equally affordable overdrive pedals that offer a similar, if not better, sound with far more versatility. Really, the only major advantage this pedal has over something like the OD300 from Behringer is its simplicity.
With that in mind, it’s worth saying that simplicity can be a virtue. While experienced guitarists will get a better sound out of other pedals, the Vintage Overdrive is great for a quick setup. So if you’re looking to go busking with the minimum equipment, or you like being able to change sound at speed, then this pedal might be worth your time.
It’s a simple pedal, but an effective one nonetheless.
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|Ibanez TS-9, Ibanez TS-808
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