settings, it’s kind of a pain to do it quickly
on the fly—you have to cycle through all
of the parameters before you get to the one
that you want to alter.
Screaming for Vengeance
The ModestScream is a vintage overdrive
lover’s dream. With a PRS SE30 amp and
a G&L Tribute S-500, I plugged in the
ModestScream, selected the first diode and
opamp (the RC4558D), and found the
tone smooth and luscious. The first diode
setting was for two silicon diodes, resulting in symmetrical overdrive—this is what
a lot of popular overdrive pedals use in
their stock configurations to produce their
gain tones. Moving through each of the
diode settings really made it apparent just
how vast the tonal possibilities were with
the pedal, with some of the combinations
having more bite on the top end, less or
more mids, a raspier response, and so forth.
I was particularly taken with the silicon/
MOSFET combo, which has a great, tubey
tone—perfect for classic rock rhythm work
at mid-gain settings.
And this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Changing the Freq setting was great for
dialing in a smooth midrange hump such
as setting 3 for the FAT mod circuit. Using
a different chip seemed to have the most
effect on the tone overall, especially when I
switched from the classic RC4558D chip to
the TL072—the tone not only got louder,
but stronger and clearer, though it shed
some of the sweet sag that made the tone so
great in the first place.
Essentially, this is the ModestScream’s
strongest asset, which is complete freedom
to tune the overdrive to the tastes of the
player. The company claims that there are
576 different combinations at your fingertips, which means there are some great
tones and some more iffy ones (certain
diode combos sounded a bit harsh).
The beauty of this pedal is that the Tone
God knew that tastes in overdrive are wildly
varied. And the ModestScream goes beyond
the call of duty to offer up as much versatility as possible. It’s well-built and easy
REVIEW > THE TONE GOD
to use, though it can take a little longer to
change settings on the fly. For the picky
player who’s tired of playing the overdrive
buy-and-sell game, this pedal was designed
for you—all you really need is a good set
of ears to mold it into what you want it to
The Tone God
Tons of tonal options. Thoughtful interface.
Expanded tweakability might be too much
for most players to handle.
“Like” Premier Guitar on Facebook to enter for your chance to WIN!
*Prize package replicas may not be exact pedalboard depicted in the photographs.