The new Blue Monarch overdrive pedal is UK pedal company Frederic Effects’s take on the much sought after Blues Breaker circuit. Almost every boutique pedal builder has already had a crack at, so why choose the Blue Monarch overdrive for your board?
Blues Breakers & KOTs
These days, the Analogman King Of Tone is possibly the most sought after and hyped Marshall Blues Breaker based boutique overdrive pedal. This low-gain overdrive pedal is often talked about on guitar forums and all over the internet, and cited as a must-have overdrive for your pedalboard.
I honestly believe half the hype of the current KOTv4 pedal is because of its wait time of somewhere between 24-36 months. It is a very good pedal and I have owned one, along with the original Marshall BB, but I have to say I wasn’t quite as hyped up over it as some players appear to be.
That being said, if you need a low-gain overdrive pedal that complements a good valve amp, then it is a pretty safe bet and super easy to dial in. The circuit design also lets your original guitar tone shine through, without compressing the hell out of it and squashing all your playing dynamics, so it feels more like an extension of the amp in my opinion.
Frederic Effects Blue Monarch
Thankfully, the new Frederic Effects Blue Monarch pedal has no ridiculous waiting list, and it also costs a pretty reasonable £125, which for a hand-made pedal is not bad. It has controls for Gain, Volume, Tone, and Treble boost, along with a toggle switch that chooses the clipping mode. I prefer this over the annoying ‘set and forget’ DIP switches inside the KOT pedals, as this meant I had to dig out a screwdriver to adjust it each time I used a different amp setup.
The company states on its website that it has also slightly increased the maximum gain available, which should make this pedal a little more versatile for many players. The demo video below gives you a great idea of what the Blue Monarch is capable of, and if you like what you hear, you can clink the link below to order yourself one.
RRP- GBP 125
- Frederic Effects Blue Monarch, with super neat circuit layout: Frederic Effects