The Vertex T Drive is a new Californian boutique pedal that claims to be a recreation of the legendary Trainwreck Express boutique guitar amp. If so, then it is a hell of a lot cheaper than an original amp, plus it’ll be easier to lug around as well!
It is always a bold claim when a pedal builder claims that an effect can recreate the complex tones and feel of a valve amp and so this new overdrive pedal has a lot to prove.
An original Trainwreck Express was based on a sound that you would associate with British amps from the ’60s and ’70s, so think Vox meets Marshall and you’ll be in the ballpark with what the T Drive is aiming for.
Its makers claim that the T Drive can match the complexity and dynamics of the original amps, and that they managed this by measuring the Trainwreck Express amps to achieve this result. Now, this sounds all well and good, but it all sounds like a lot of marketing talk to me.
Of course, the proof will be in the playing and so we will have to wait and see what players think about this one, in the real world. The official demo video does sound good though and so I am hopeful that it will live up to its claims, as for under USD $200 this would be a real steal.
Vertex has gone with a lovely simple user interface and for someone like myself, this is a real joy to behold, as I am a Luddite and love simple controls. So when I saw it only had two controls labelled Volume and Gain it put a smile on my face, as I have always found that ‘less is more’ with getting a good guitar tone.
So for me, this really does appeal, as I like to just get on and play, and not have to study manuals before I get my riff on!
Designed and built in Oakland, California the Vertex T Drive is completely analogue and powers from an external 9-18VDC power supply, but you need to get your own as it doesn’t ship with one. It is also True Bypass and so shouldn’t mess with your tone when not engaged. The pedal, Vertex says, was designed to complement your amp’s EQ, resulting in that simple interface. I think this could be its strength, so I’m intrigued to hear what they sound like now.
RRP – USD 199.99