while higher-level settings on the second
gain gave me a similar feel with an added
aggressive nature—excellent for driving lines.
Along with control knobs for tone and
master volume, the B-Peg’s pair of 2-position
toggle switches for fat and cut allow for some
additional tonal variety. While the fat switch
is onboard to add low end, I found it to be
unnecessary for the most part. The pedal provided such depth and a definitive thud to my
sound that the fat switch seemed to be just a
step too far. However, I imagine it would be a
great asset for someone with cheaper pickups
or in need of a huge boost. Because the pedal
already adds so much roundness and phatness
to the tone, it would be easy to imagine that
the higher frequencies would have difficulty
cutting through. That said, I was impressed
with the way the highs performed before I
even touched the cut switch. But with the cut
switch flipped on, the tones evened out and
the highs rang out loud and clear, giving my
fills and arpeggios more life and vibrancy.
Though I kept the pedal’s master vol-
ume dialed back at smaller club gigs, the
festival environment allowed me the flex-
ibility to crank up the master and really
hear what the pedal could do. With each
note, walking line, or driving line, the tone
cut through everything else going on. I
was going through a Trace, but my huge
sound was reminiscent of a mid-’70s SVT.
The thud of the drummer’s kick with my
bass tone was enough to make us both look
at each other and smile right when I first
plugged in. Always conscious of the job
the sound engineer has to do, I asked the
engineer at the first gig if I was too loud.
“Nope,” he said, “you sound better than
I’ve ever heard you.”
Am I going to be playing at a baseball stadium filled with fans dying to hear my greatest hits? It’s not likely for me or the other
99. 99 percent of people that pick up an
instrument. With the Swell B-Peg V3, I felt
like I could get some of that tone that’s fit
for an arena with its unrefined, dreamlike
warmth—the SVT tone of my adolescent
dreams, but without breaking my back.
And that was awesome. So if you are looking for a simpler way to get to that classic
overdriven sound, with plenty of control on
tap, Swell’s B-Peg V3 pedal just find a home
on your pedalboard.
Pros: Great tone with plenty of control. Easy to use and
SWELL Pedals B-Peg V3, $349, swellpedals.com
Cons: No 9V battery option. Priced for the professional player.
Ease of Use
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