Ramble FX Marvel Drive (MIAB)

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edited April 2016 in FX Reviews

Work In Progress....

Pedal Spec and Version options

Made by: Ramble FX
Pedal Model: Marvel Drive
Version: I have 2x Version 2 with version 3 on the way.

Version 1 has Master Volume, Normal Volume and High Treble Volume controls.
Version 2 adds a global Presence control.
Version 3 adds the option to run the pedal at 9v or 18v without a voltage doubler.

Background

So the search for my preferred Marshall in a Box has ended up here. Previous pedals have included: MI Audio Crunchbox, Several ZVEX Box of Rocks, Rothwell Hellbender and Switchblade, Fulltone OCD's, Suhr Riots, Bearfoot SYOD / Model H and Dyna Red, Carl Martin Plexitone big box and single, All of the Catalinbread DLS range, Lovepedal Amp 11, Menatone KOB, Rockett Flex Drive, Visual Sound Jekyll and Hyde both versions, Wampler Plexi Drive and Pinnacles, XTS Atomic, All the Rockbox efforts, a few of the Weehbo JMP, JTM ones.... There are a lot more but that should cover the fact that I have tried a fair few :)

The Marvel Drive is for me the best of the bunch as it covers low, mid and high gain sounds equally well. from Just breaking up JTM up to flat out 800. I currently have 2 of them on my board one set up for lower gain crunch the other set for medium gain, for my lead sound I use a Lovepedal Hi Volt as it has a more saturated, less Marshally full blown lead sound plus a 3 band EQ so I can dial it for the lead tones in my head :)

I have been gigging for the last 10 or so years and pretty much always use a clean pedal platform with pedals for drive sounds. Amps have been Early Vertical input JCM800, Fender Quadreverb, 70's Pro Reverb, Tube Tone Supervibe (Super Reverb Clone) but I have set my current board up to be amp agnostic, I can sound pretty much the same through my Blackstar HT100, Victory V40, Marshall PA20 or a Fender Twin, not as cool as having a boutique amp but much easier than relying on the amp to do the business!

Switching and Power Options

The pedal has one the fancy soft / momentary type switches so it doesn't clunk when you step on it. This is great however if you use a programmable true bypass switcher like me then each time you power up the pedal it defaults to off meaning I have to remember to switch it on or I risk stepping on my switcher expecting a lovely Marshall snarl and actually getting a clean signal (yuck!). I emailed Ramble FX about this and the posted me a replacement chip which defaults the pedal to on. They charged me 1$ including shipping. That is what I call good customer service!

I originally ran the pedal on normal 9v and was really happy. When I got a second one I tried it using a voltage doubler up to 18v and it makes a really noticable difference; less gain, more body and a touch more open sounding. V3 of the pedal has this option switchable without the need to purchase a seperate voltage doubler and I think that is a really useful option to have. I still like my other one to run at 9v as it sounds a bit more saggy / gainy.

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