• DryBell Unit67 review

    DryBell’s Vibe Machine has been one of my favourite UniVibes since its release a few years back so when they launched the new Unit67 I though “this looks very interesting!”. Here’s my review.

    The Unit67 is surprisingly refreshing offering something new based on old and classic circuits. I’ve never seen anything like it anyway. It’s a compressor, EQ and booster in one pedal and I have to say, it sounds damn good! 

    In fact it’s probably one of my favourite pedals, which is a huge kudos I guess as it’s been out for only a couple of months. It’s really one of those pedals you just want to leave on all the time and as  much as I’ve said that before about other pedals, this is really one you want to leave on all the time! 

    So, the Unit67 is based on that classic 1176 studio compressor. Super smooth and transparent compression, controlled by a two mode input toggle (Low +4dB gain, lower compression and High +10dB gain, long sustained notes) and a master control for the compression controlling the amount dry/wet.

    The big volume control controls the amount of clean boost, which is quite considerable. This feature alone is capable of driving the front end of your tube amp into smooth overdrive. 

    The third feature is the EQ section. Unlike most EQs or tone controls, this is based on the old Range Master treble boost. 

    Range adds more mids based on the Rangemaster, lows more lows and high adds a bit of sparkle. Unlike your typical EQ, the Unit67 ads more grit and presence, much like those old treble boosters. It’s always hard to describe how an EQ actually sound but the high control in particular, opens up the tone and adds a lot of presence that makes your guitar cut through effortlessly. 

    I’ve pretty much stuck with the first setting I tried. Volume at noon, EQ on with all the controls slightly above noon and the compressor in Low mode, with the sustain slightly above noon. 

    This adds a slight boost to your tone and everything else sounds better, without actually doing much. It’s subtle but you can feel how the sustain is improved and how the guitar seem to pop out of the mix, without sounding overwhelming. 

    Like any other compressor, I’ve placed it first in my chain allowing it to interact with the pickups and  driving both the front end of my dirt pedals and amp. But really, you can place this anywhere depending on what tones you want and where that tone sculpting is needed. 

    For me it’s a leave on all the time pedal although I often use it to boost a solo or a certain part of a song. It adds character and sparkle to a tube amp, adds a bit of boost and presence to an overdrive and tightens up a Big Muff adding a bit of mids and compression. 

    It seems that most of the reviews I’ve seen are pretty unanimous. The Unit67 is a huge surprise and a much welcomed tool or tone enhancer. Definitely one that will be on my board for a very long time! 

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34 Responsesso far.

  1. Daniel says:

    Hey Bjorn.
    Now that you Uber had some time running the 67 at the start of your chain, I must ask have you experienced any issues with a subsequent Fuzz Face or making the Seagull sound? I ask because of the buffer that is used in the 67. From what it says on their site, it is a very high quality buffer. I just wonder how it might interfere with either of these notoriously buffer-unfriendly effects?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the seagull sound while having the 67 so I can’t tell. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a high quality buffer or not. Buffers will affect some pedals regardless.

  2. Nathan says:

    This thing really shines as a pre-Muff booster. I use mine with the volume at noon (moderate boost from unity), compressor on high gain and a slight mids boost. It pushes the Muff into the thickest saturation and smoothest sustain I’ve ever heard. Clean tube driver after the Muff and you have perfection!

  3. Louis says:

    Hi Bjorn, do you think it could be considered as a preamp? Thanks!

  4. matt rubenstein says:

    Hi Bjorn. Thanks for a fun and informative site. I know you are a fan of the Effectrode Fire Bottle, as am I as I currently use one. My question is whether you have tried running the Fire Bottle, at unity gain, into the Unit67. The Fire bottle, for my needs, works best as an always on enhancer running at unity gain located first in chain. I would think that the FB tube in front of the Unit67 might take the Unit67 even further. Your thoughts? Thanks Bjorn.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried that. Interesting thought! They are somewhat overlapping but I mainly use the 67 as an EQ and compressor combined while the FB is more of a passive tone enhancer.

  5. Luca Pontarolo says:

    What an amazing website full of reviews you are running! I just discovered it, congrats!

    What do you think of the Unit67 compared to the Fire Bottle, in terms of boost? Is the Fire Bottle more dynamic and alive under the fingers because of the tube?

    I have the Unit67 first in the chain, to boost my low gain drive, and it works very well, but I was wondering if the Fire Bottle would bring anything extra over it.


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Luca! I guess that depends on your pickups and amp and how they respond to your playing and pedals. The Fire Bottle is perhaps a bit more dynamic, with the tube but the 67 also has the EQ and compression controls, which to me at least, makes it a much more versatile pedal.

  6. Joseph P Streppone says:

    Doing my best to get one. As Soon As Possible!

  7. Lindsay Stirton says:

    Hi Bjorn, yet another great review that caused me to splash my cash on on of your recommendations. This now includes a FireBottle, Evolution distortion along with Unit 67. I would like to ask your opinion on pedal order for these three pedals. I guess conventional wisdom is to put the compressor first, but I think I like the sound of the FireBottle going into the Unit67 rather than the other way round (also allows me to use the Vari-Z if I want). I also think FireBottle goes well after the Evolution, giving it a sort of glassy, flutey edge. On its own the Evolution sounds a little too compressed for my ears. In the demo, I think you are placing the Green Russian behind the Unit 67, right? I guess there is no really right answer, but I’d be happy to hear your views. I’m playing into a Laney L5 head and 1 x 12, another Gilmourish recommendation, and also because I play in a Church band and they will shout at me if I show up with more than 5W.

    • Bjorn says:

      I guess the conventional way of setting them up would be guitar > Fire Bottle > 67 > Evo > amp. The FB and 67 are somewhat overlapping but the Fire Bottle was designed to sort of interact with the pickups and to my ears it both sound and responds better if it’s placed next to the pickups. But, experiment with the order and create sounds of your own :)

  8. GarpaMike says:

    Greetings Bjorn! Thanks for another great review. I have an Effectrode PC-2A Compressor that I really like, but how does the Unit 67 compare? I’m happy with the PC-2A but always looking for that next improvement to my board. Would the Unit 67 give me anything I’m not really getting now? If so, would it be significant? I’m not concerned about the cost if it’s worth it but also don’t want to spend unnecessarily. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      The 67 replaced the PC-2A on my board. The PC is more of a dedicated compressor but the 67 does compression very well with that subtle studio quality optical compression. The 67 has volume boost and a very cool EQ section as well, which allow you to tweak your tone with a more vintage flavour. I would definitely say that it’s well worth checking out even if you still want to keep the PC.

      • GarpaMike says:

        Thanks for the reply Bjørn. I was thinking about the boost and EQ after I wrote. Looks like I’m getting the 67. I can then move my PC to my backup board replacing the Boss. Thanks again.

  9. Brian Deren says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was considering selling my Demeter Comp, which is fantastic, for an Optivalve, now after hearing this I am torn…can you give me your two cents on comparing the two sound wise? Your demo sounds fantastic! Thanks for all you do…

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, the Demeter has more controls and in that sense a more dedicated compressor. Having said that, the Unit 67 replaced the Effectrode PC-2A on my board. I never though it would and obviously it’s a matter of taste, but the 67 is just doing the job perfectly.

  10. You know what would be swell, Bjorn? If it had two footswitches on it: one for the boost section, and one for the compressor.

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, yes I guess so but I like to have a bit of compression going all the time. It’s very subtle so to me it just sounds better with it on.

      • Yeah, but with two separate footswitches – one for the compression and one for the boost, you could keep the compression all the time and just switch the boost on or off. From what I’ve understood, as it is, it switches the compression and the boost on or off simultaneously.

  11. Edmund Taylor says:

    How does it compare to the Electronic Orange MoonVibe?

  12. KEITH says:

    Been waiting a very long time since I bought my DryBell vibe machine, which I got one of the first that could use just about any expression pedal to change the speed, and included all of the first set of improvements Zvonch added after the first 700 or so. Obviously he takes his time perfecting a pedal before he starts designing another. I can’t wait to get my hands on his newest creation, but I’m torn! Should I get the first run, or wait until he has perfected it, or get one now, and when he figures out all the mods he wants to do, get another one? LOL, What do you think my Jedi Master?
    Peace be with you, your family, and all you Love,
    Keith ? ?

    • Bjorn says:

      I have no idea if he’ll be doing an upgraded version. It took some time before the VM MKII came out. I would rather see him do other pedals but I’m sure he has several projects going. I’m extremely happy with this one and as I said it the review it’s become one of my fav pedals. Really versatile and great sounding :)

  13. Fernando says:

    Hey Bjorn, off toppic:

    what about Christie’s “Spring Sale” of DG’s most iconics guitars (including the Black Strat)?


    I’m really surprised!!

  14. Dusko Isakovic says:

    Geat peadl, great review…


  15. Disko Isakovic says:

    Great pedal, great review…


  16. It’s a good sign when the first settings you try sound great. That means it’s a quality pedal and won’t require constant tweaking.

    • KEITH says:

      ThatsT my Stu Castledine V2 Violet RamsR head clone in a nutshell. It came to my eagerly waiting hands via UPS, or Fed EX? I took it inside, plugged it in, turned everything to 12:00, and IINSTANT DOGS, DRY SOLO, and I mean every nuance!!! I got the prototype, which I’m not sure, but believe he either used less expensive components, or raised the price on subsewysub units, as he mentioned that he lost money on the first one, which is the one I got. But regardless of the awful videos of the pedal, done by players who dontd understand the Big Muff, I’d put my V2 side by by side by DG’s #1, and truly believe anyone would have a hard time finding any difference between them. Guess that’s why I’ve seen them on eBay for over $700.00!!!
      Cheers all, Keith

      • KEITH says:

        Bjorn, as this expensive POS phone only changes the words once I post, is there any kind of editing function in this program? I’m a very proficient speller, and hate seeing what I type turned into some garbled mess ?

        • Bjorn says:

          No, there’s nothing as far as i know. I don’t see your end but, no there isn’t. A tip would be to write in word or text kind of doc on your phone and copy paste :) But, who cares? As long as you’re around and post once in awhile I’m happy!

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