The new DRVA high-gain overdrive pedal by SoundBrut seeks to make it easier to get good higher gain tones by combining two circuits, one new and one with some guitar tone heritage.
The pedal is made up of two circuits. DR is for a hard-clipping overdrive based on an NE5534 op-amp, which is popular on the DIY and modder scene. The other is VA, a MOSFET booster with an added modern varitone component, similar to the one used by Gibson in their Varitone pots fitted to guitars like the 335. The idea is to use preset tone stacks that you can switch between easily. This is a neat idea to incorporate into a drive pedal, as it will theoretically make it easier to access your tone presets.
The DR circuit has multiple settings via the six-way selector switch and three-way toggle switch. These combine to give up to 18 different preset tone stacks, all of which can be used to filter the hard-clipping NE5534 OP amp. All this makes for a pretty versatile drive pedal on paper, and one that might also be easy to dial in.
Each side of the circuit is also foot-switchable, which is a nice touch for live use. Of course, it is also true-bypass, so it won’t mess with your tone when not engaged. The pedal runs off a centre-negative 9V power supply only and therefore has no battery compartment. But that’s better for the planet anyway, so not a major issue.
I personally really like the sounds this pedal is achieving in the official demo video. Head over there to have a listen, as it sounds good to my ear. I also love the Varitone idea, as I feel it would let you get at your ‘sweet spots’ straight away, making for a useful pedal when you just want to get on and make some music. For a boutique drive pedal, the pricing is more than fair and I like that it isn’t just following the herd and trying to do something different for once.
There has been some great gear coming out of Sweden recently, and I think that this company should be one to watch out for, as I feel they are making some intriguing products for reasonable money.
SoundBrut DRVA product page
RRP €187,50 plus shipping