I’ve had the pleasure of trying out some of the most talked about pedals on the net, – Skreddy Pedals. They’ve caught the Gilmour enthusiast’s attention with nicknames like “Pinkmour”, claiming to catch the very essence of Gilmour’s tone. I just had to check this out…
To test these pedals I’ve used my 50’s Strat with CS ’54 pickups and a Sound City 50 Plus tube amp. The pedals has been tested both alone in the chain and with my pedal board. – read more about my setup here. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to make any soundclips but please check out the Skreddy site for clips and user reviews.
What first caught my attention was the cool graphics and the rugged construction of these pedals (similar in size to the MXRs). The pedals run on a 9v battery or a standard 9v DC adapter. One of the best features is the blue led… I’ve never understood why all pedals have yellow leds as it’s often hard to see on a stage.
Perhaps best described as a cross between a Cornish SS-2 and a BK Tube Driver, the Top Fuel has an amazingly lush and open sound. Where most distortions tend to sound a bit to narrow and “in your face”, this one has a very balanced and soft presence cutting effortlessly through the mix. It could be a little stronger in the lower ends tho.
The tone control is designed to act more like an EQ (much like the RAT), rather than the traditional tone filter. I like it all the way down for a fat, creamy sound. Past 12 o’clock the tone gets a little thin and loose some character.
The Top Fuel definitely sound modern and I wouldn’t recommend it for the 70’s tone but it’s ideal for David’s Delicate and PULSE tones… those super smooth distortions. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to some of Cornish’ high gain effects then give the Top Fuel a try!
According to Marc Ahlfs at Skreddy, the Screw Driver is their most underrated pedal and can definitely see why. It’s based on the old treble boosters (with a mosfet treble boost input stage), with the character of the Colorsound PowerBoost and the power of the BK Tube Driver. Amazing combination that makes this pedal unique in the booster family.
The Screw Driver has three controls, – volume, gain and sharpness. The “sharpness” controls the amount of bass going into the distortion. It’s quite effective with a wide range, but I prefer a rather dark setting as it can get a little too ear pinching if it’s turned all the way up… a matter of taste I guess and depending on how dark your amp is. There’s also a trim pot on the side of the pedal, – a brilliant solution as it’s often a hassle to reach the trim pot inside a pedal (like AnalogMan). This allows you to adjust the gain from very smooth and clean to dirty and glassy. Default setting is around 66%. Another bonus is that this pedal is very quiet!
If I were to point my finger on one thing, I would like it a little cleaner at the lower settings. There’s always a hint of crunch and even if you turn down the trim pot, there’s a slight colouring of the tone… It’s not a big issue at all but I have yet to hear a pedal that can produce the same clean powerful tone as the Colorsound PowerBoost. On the other hand, the Colorsound doesn’t sound as dynamic as the Screw Driver when you use it as an overdrive.
The Screw Driver is a versatile pedal but foremost a 70’s effect ideal for those Animals and Wall tones and stuff like Time and Money rhythms. It’s also a nice boost for the Big Muff (or any other distortion or fuzz). I highly recommend this one as one of the most sophisticated boosters I’ve ever tried.
Based on its name alone I was perhaps most interested in the Pink Flesh. Sticking this label on a pedal is like begging for trouble… I have always wanted to go into a store and in frustration bang my fist on the counter and say, “give me THE Gilmour pedal!” The Pink Flesh is perhaps not Gilmour in a box but I instantly fell in love with this gem.
The Pink Flesh is based on the 1973 “ram’s head” Muff and tweaked with Gilmour’s Animals and Wall tones in mind (Muff + Colorsound PB combo). Having enough attack is often a problem with Muff clones and they tend to get sloppy and muddy but the Pink Flesh has a smooth and creamy tone with a distinct attack and presence.
In addition to the three main knobs there’s a tiny toggle switch with two settings, – “flat” and “juicy”. The “flat” setting provides a flat EQ curve with no scooped mids at 12:00 o’clock. This is where most Muffs tend to loose much of the mids and gets slightly more aggressive. The “juicy” setting is where it all gets magical. It adds extra mids, creating a very smooth and incredibly dynamic tone. This is especially appreciated when you turn the tone past 12 o’clock.
The Pink Flesh is very loud and you really don’t need to have the volume control above 11 o’clock. Any higher and the pedal gets very noisy…
I recommend this as the best sounding 70’s Muff I’ve ever tried. It’s ideal for David’s Animals and Wall tones and it easily fits into his newer setups as well (like PULSE or On an Island). It earned its place on my pedal board!
The Skreddy Pedals are not clones as most “boutique” pedals but rather a better take on the classics like Colorsound Power Boost and the “ram’s head” Big Muff… without sounding too modern. In the jungle of clones and avarage pedals, the Skreddys sticks out as quite affordable gems with a distinct “hi-end” flavour. It is also a delight dealing with Skreddy who provides excellent customer service and support.
Check out the Skreddy site for more info on the pedals and how to order.