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First thoughts on the Empress Multidrive


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It arrived today and despite having more knobs and switches that I've ever seem crammed on a pedal it was remarkably easy to dial in EXACTLY the OD and lead distortion tones I've long wanted but not been able to attain using a TS-9 and Tube Driver side by side.


For those of you wondering, it's basically 3 pedals in one...a fuzz, an OD, and a distortion. The Distortion has three distinct modes (kinda like having three distortion boxes) they are basically what I'd call ranges or flavors of distortion. The crunch setting was an immediate favorite. There are some little DIP switches on the inside of the pedal so you can set what preset a and b are on the pedal and toggle between the two. I decided to go for a OD channel and an "all three" channel".


First I dialed in the perfect OD... just enough to dirty up when you dig in on solos or really hit a chord... a very subtle OD and boost. The TS-9 did this but I didn't like the tone of the OD compared to the Empress.


Then I sought out a lead tone... all I can say is that if you can't find a lead tone on this pedal you like you may never find one. With the fuzz, distortion, and OD all "on" on preset b, you basically just dial out whatever you don't want but I found a recipe of all three to be quite to my liking. I was able to leave the OD setting alone, crank the gain and lower the volume of the distortion, and add just a hint of fuzz which colors the overall tone... simply perfect.


For having this many knobs and switches you might think it impossible to dial in a good tome and get the levels straight... not so. I had exactly what I was looking for in about 20 minutes or so... knob fiddler beware, you could easily get sucked into a dark abyss with this pedal and do more fiddling with knobs than actually playing.


I'd rate it as follows:


Sound:10+/10 With this many tones at your disposal it's unlikely you wont find two that are perfect for boost and lead unless your looking for uber-crunchy metal tones. Classic rockers have no fear!

Features: 10/10

Design: 8/10 (things are a little close and tapping the on/off and channel switch knobs requires a careful tap as they're very close to some knobs... one of them being the output.

Build Quality 8/10 (one knob feels a little loose... perhaps the nut on the pot just needs tightening, I haven't looked yet)

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Love to see some close-ups when you do a video!




I'll try and get after here in the next day or so... I'll be sure to get some close ups of the settings I'm using. I think a lot of people will appreciate the flexible nature and huge range of OD/Dist the pedal offers. I like it because it's super flexible within a narrow range of much lower OD settings. It will go full bore too if you're looking for that sort of thing. Anyhow, I'll try to get a vid up soon. Cheers.

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not a demo by any means and not the close up video of the settings I'm hoping to make soon but a little jam I captured this afternoon using the pedal (and a bunch of other effects too... envelope filter, phaser, delay) Anyhow, enjoy and I'll try to get a more demo-esqu video up tomorrow. Cheers.



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