The new Xotic Effects Soul Driven overdrive pedal, is based upon the limited edition signature Allen Hinds Soul Driver AH pedal from last year. Xotic describe their new pedal as a “transparent, harmonically rich overdrive”. But what exactly does this mean?
In my opinion, Xotic Effects make some damn fine pedals, with my favourite from their line-up probably being the BB Preamp, which I have got a lot of use out of. Often imitated but never bettered, that little orange box is great!
So what’s this overdrive pedal all about? Xotic say that the Soul Driven tone circuit can be used to tighten up low end or get your highs cutting through (they actually say ‘in your face’, but then they are American…). This looks like it has just enough of everything you’d want from a good quality boutique overdrive pedal. There’s the simple layout, for one thing, which to me is a good sign straight away. With four control knobs labelled Gain, Tone, Volume and Mid-Boost, it really is simple to see what you are doing.
The pedal runs internally at 18 volts, so you get more headroom in the circuit which should translate into a better signal. It’s evidently based upon the “Allen Hinds” limited run of 1500 units from 2016. Yet Xotic have not yet made any clear distinction between that model and this new one. So have Xotic merely dropped “AH” from the name? Or has the circuit itself been tweaked for this 2017 release? We will have to wait and see, as the Xotic Effects site doesn’t mention any clear differences between the two pedals.
Xotic also claim that the pedal has tonal ‘sweet spots’. I read that as being the result of the tone stack and mid boost controls. I hope they have designed those controls to interact with each other. I can’t imagine they would have cut any corners on the circuit design.
Personally, I have always found Xotic Effects to be top notch and so can see this new overdrive pedal being very popular indeed. The promo official video below gives a glimpse of what to expect, but I would have liked to have seen and heard a bit more. But I think these should be great and, I’d imagine, popular, especially as they have an introductory price offer on to launch them via the Xotic Effects web site.
RRP $189 Introductory price, then after this offer expires $210
Xotic Effects Soul Driven product page