If uncompressed mids, strong attack and plenty of versatility is what you’re looking for when getting a distortion pedal, check out Soul Food from Electro Harmonix. Crafted as a much, much less expensive copy of the iconic Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive pedal, this fella has a lot to offer, and just might be your cup of tea. Let’s see what we have in store here!
The device operates as a transparent overdrive that also works as a fuzz or distortion pedal. It is very responsive and utilizes boosted power rails, securing plenty of tonal versatility and making every single adjustment on those knobs – no matter how minute they are – significant relevant.
Soul Food features true bypass and buffered bypass modes, along with a single In and on Out jack, a LED status indicator, and an on/off foot-switch. The device can be powered via standard adapter – which is included in the price – or through a 9V battery. The casing is elegant and sturdy. It’s not as plain as Boss pedals, but it’s not flashy either; nice and vintage, just how we like ’em!
The controls are pretty basic, but rest assured that each of the knobs we are about to discuss is very sensitive and highly responsive. So, here goes:
Volume – This one is the equivalent of Level knob some pedals have. Basically, it determines the amount of overdrive effect that is injected into the audio output. The more you increase it, the more OD and less clean guitar tone will be included in the final mix.
Drive – Used to control the level of gain, the crucial ingredient for distortion. The more you add it, the heavier, crunchier and fuzzier your sound will be. Lower values deliver a fuzz pedal-like sound, while cranking it up reels in a genuine distortion pedal vide.
Treble – Also known as Tone or Brightness knob, this one adjusts the brightness of the overdrive tone. The more you add it, the more treble you will get.
So can this pedal match the iconic device it’s attempting to clone? No, of course not, it’s way, way less expensive, it was basically impossible from the get-go. But on the other hand, the sound you’ll be getting here is great, and reminiscent of the Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive.
In terms of tone, we are looking at a set of quite thick mids and generally a pretty strong sound. If we were to compare this one to say, Ibanez Tube Screamer, we’d say it’s a bit wilder and more out of control, so if that’s your thing, just go for it!
When all is said and summed up, this pedal does manage to actually bring something fresh to the very much saturated world of distortion pedals. It comes with a distinctive attack and a memorable vibe, and that’s no mean feat these days. On top of it, the price is very affordable and we have to say we’re impressed by how the manufacturer managed to pack this quality with that price tag. Test it out, is just might turn out to be the exact thing you’ve been looking for!