Tag: Overdrive pedals

First Look: J. Rockett El Hombre

Billy Gibbons tones are just the beginning in this drive with bite.


An overdrive offering amp-like feel and unique “Bite” control.

“This isn’t a copy of another circuit and it isn’t an amp in a box, but it may be our most versatile amp like feeling overdrive to date” says owner Chris Van Tassel. El Hombre is based off the legendary touch and tone of a certain long bearded Texan. “We set out to create a pedal that could capture amp-like sensitivity and really blend into your chain”. Chris continues “don’t be fooled by the simple controls.”

When you bring the bite control up it becomes more aggressive, turn it down making it smoother and more reminiscent of Dumble tones. Push the gain and drop the volume for the smooth Carlton/Ford sounds. Bring the “Bite” control up and get a wide open “Plexi” feel”.

Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive Review

Overdrive pedals don’t often set my world alight—even great ones. But I’ve spent a month with the England-built Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive, and it remains attached to the other end of my coil-y cable. Ostensibly, the Small Speaker is meant to be a variation on the tweed-Fender-Champ-in-a-box theme. However, both the pedal’s name and the Champ associations fail to do justice to how large and alive it sounds and feels tethered to a bigger amp.


For one thing, the Small Speaker has more headroom and low-end ballast than a hot, wide-open tweed Champ. You can certainly summon the focus and midrange-y punch that makes that amp a star in front of a microphone. But thanks to the Small Speaker’s excellent EQ, you can also conjure a substantial measure of tuneful low end that is a perfect counterweight to its open, aerated highs and mids, and makes this little pedal a wrecking ball.

Small Speaker Overdrive with Rickenbacker 330, black-panel Fender Tremolux, Universal Audio OX with black-panel Fender Deluxe speaker emulation. Various combinations of EQ and gain with level between 1 and 2 o’clock. Guitar volume attenuation occurs at approximately 2:00 and 2:40.

The Small Speaker is also super dynamic. If you set the pedal up for a crunchy, high-gain setting, it gets much cleaner at attenuated guitar volumes—not sort of clean and thin, or slightly crunchy, but full-bodied and sparklingly clean. This characteristic, among many others, makes it a dream pairing for a black-panel Fender. I’ve had the black-panel Tremolux used for this review for decades. It’s flat-out my favorite amp. But in all that time, I don’t ever remember it sounding quite as sweetly crunchy as it does when hooked up to the Small Speaker Overdrive. What an impressive little pedal.