When it comes to guitar pedals, there’s one effect that reigns supreme above them all. Put simply, overdrive is the sound of rock music and you’d be hard pushed to find any guitarist who can make do without it. As time has gone on, however, overdrive has grown from one effect to an entire sub-category of pedals. Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz are the three main effects, but even within those categories, there’s huge room for variation. Just take a listen to the difference between a ProCo RAT and a Marshall Bluesbreaker, and you’ll hear just how much variation these effects can have.
The Single Channel AC Tone from Carl Martin falls squarely within the camp of classic overdrive. With its beautifully simple layout, and classic ’70s look, this brown stompbox couldn’t be easier to use, but the real question is, how does it sound?
The Single Channel AC-Tone is a smaller, single-channel, more pedal-board-friendly, version of the original Pro-Series AC-Tone. In terms of layout, you’re looking at a basic, three-knob design with a true bypass switch. The gain has been slightly beefed-up, but for the most part, this pedal shares a lot, tone-wise, with its big brother.
To take a more modern comparison, the Single Channel AC Tone is a nice counterpoint to the PlexiTone Lo Gain. The Lo Gain is great because it gives you a natural, saturated sound, but if you’re looking for more power, the AC-Tone has got you covered. Between these two pedals, you’ll see both ends of the gain spectrum, so be sure to check out both here on TonePedia to hear the difference.
The AC Tone is undoubtedly a great pedal, but is it worth the price?
This pedal generally retails for around $140 which is only a little bit more than the PlexiTone. Although second-hand prices tend to vary, that’s also about the same amount you’d have to pay to get a used Pro Series.
Now, as we mentioned earlier, the Single Channel does have two major advantages over the Pro Series – it’s new, and it’s smaller – but the Pro Series is a more versatile pedal overall. At the end of the day, both are great pedals, but which you chose is entirely up to you.
|Jacks mounted on
|Weight (in kg)
|Based on famous model?
|Carl Martin AC Tone
|Pete Thorn, Joash Gooch, Johnny Marr, Rick Graham
|Active Buffered Bypass
|Width (in cm)
|Height (in cm)
|Depth (in cm)