Straying from his usual hand-wired format of boutique pedals, Marc Alhfs of Skreddy Pedals offers up something fresh and more-cost effective to his followers with the introduction of three New Pedals. Of this series we are looking at the Major Overdrive.
Housed in a familiar sized box, the Major Overdrive has the (also familiar) arrangement of Gain, Tone and Output. The usual Input and Output Jacks adorn the enclosure along with a 9V power receptacle. A fantastic metallic blue paint job and bright LED indicator round out the package.
While it may look similar to their usual product, the inside tells a different story to what we are used to from Skreddy. It is not hardwired as the previous pedals he put out are. This recent series of pedals aims to put Skreddy pedals in use of a larger market: PCB construction keeps the cost of manufacture down and this turns to savings for you the consumer.
Touch sensitivity is a description thrown about very frequently these days, but what does it really mean to a player using a distortion? In a sense of the term it COULD mean that it responds to picking dynamics, and isn’t so compressed that every note comes out as if the distorted tone is just pasted on top of your original tone. With this pedal, however, you are playing an amp more than an effects pedal. It not only responds to pickup settings, tone knob tweaks and volume control manipulations but picking strength and attack so well you would think you are plugged into a vintage Marshall amp that is on the verge to explode.
With the usual three controls, how could this pedal offer much more than the usual round-up of Marshall emulators on the market? Truthfully, it is not so much that there are so many different tones available as it’s core tone is SO flexible. Pretty much every variation you can set the controls to brings up that familiar Marshall voice. Fro some reason, though, the tone signature comes across as that particular vintage Marshall head that every gear hound is trying to buy off some collector. In addition, this flexibility isn’t something you have to bend over and tweak to access. Flip from your Neck to your Bridge pick-up, wind up your volume knob and DIG in like you clutching a shovel and you are not only in a totally different tone town, you’re in a different state! From warm, smokey blues to grinding, buzzy 70’s metal this pedal is like a single switch multi-setting distortion.
Skreddy describes the Major’s tone as “a beefy low-mid and a buttery high end.”
This, like just about any healthy vintage Marshall, is an accurate description of the Major. No matter how much you crank the tone control, it has a sweet sounding high end, and like many classic pedals, there aren’t really any bad tones in here. There are just shades of a voicing, this one being a CRANKED Marshall. Notes leap forward and chords drop down like a sledgehammer…much like a cranked amp. If you have ever played a well maintained Marshall Major, this description is apropos for seldom seen tube head from the 70’s.
Consider the Skreddy Major an original attempt to offer what a Marshall Guv’nor offers: A modern rendition of the classic Marshall tone with a simplified control layout within a solid, compact build. All this at a price that is far more accessible than previous product Skreddy has offered for sale.