The Paisley Drive was designed for Brad Paisley to give him that great tube saturation like he would get from his Trainwreck amps, but at manageable volumes. Trainwrecks are known for being extremely touch responsive with loads of smooth, liquid sustain. These amps are very rare, so it took a bit of time and several prototypes before we landed on a design. However, despite it being created as a signature for him, it’s capable of a lot more. It works really well for most any type of country, rock, and blues for a bit of breakup to full on fat saturation..
One of my absolute favorite parts about this pedal is the response it has to pick attack and volume control. Set the gain and volume for a slight boost, then just roll back the guitars volume knob and it cleans up, and then roll the volume back up for boosts for solos. It works great with single-coil guitars, giving them an extra depth and punch that single-coils can often lack. It also works really well with humbucker-equipped guitars. On the humbucker guitars, the drive is a bit fatter, and the saturation has more *chunk* to it, for lack of a better word.
- Level: There’s a good amount of volume on tap. This control interacts directly with the gain knob. As the gain goes down, the volume has to come up. For instance, if the gain is up around 2pm, the volume is near unity at 11am, if the gain is at 9am, the volume will reach unity around 1pm. (approximate settings).
- Tone: The tone knob helps dictate how much high end you’re introducing to the signal. When it’s lower, say 9-10am, it will be around unity and the drive is really fat and warm. As you increase it, the highs and the higher-mids begin to pop out and it gets punchy and cuts through the mix.
- Gain: This pedal was designed more for using with gain more so than as a clean boost. As mentioned above, when the gain is down, the volume has to be up to achieve unity. 9am will add a touch of grit and fatness to the note, like a tube amp just starting to breakup…great for country chickin’ pickin’ and some cool blues lead work. Above 2pm gets into a heavily saturated overdrive, bordering on distortion. This is great for some modern rock and pop songs, and it covers 90’s alt-rock like you wouldn’t believe. 3pm and above and playing on the neck pickup will make you think you’re using a fuzz. As the gain increases, the fuzziness and thickness also increases because it’s like blasting a tube amp to the max.
- Up: This position is the middle ground between the other two switch positions. It’s very open and clear, but with some mids to accentuate cutting through the mix. This is switch doesn't jump the volume up or down at all...it stays very neutral.
- Middle: This is the position with the least amount of mids. It’s a bit more neutral and reserved sounding compared to the other two options. This is great for a basic rhythm tone no matter where the gain knob is set. Switching to this position will drop the volume a little bit compared to the others, so it's good to boost the volume back up to unity.
- Down: This position is for the mid lovers. Think of it as a highly modified popular mid-range boosting OD, but on major steroids. This is honestly not for the faint of heart. The mids in this position cut through the mix like a knife. This also happens to be Brad Paisley’s favorite switch position. This position will give a slight volume boost compared to the other selections.
- Down: This disengages the presence switch. The tone is a bit fatter and warmer like this. Great for smokey blues and rock tones. Amps that are inherently brighter will likely sound a bit better on this setting due to already having that frequency on the output. The pedal is extremely fat and beefy in this setting.
- Up: This helps add some clarity and accentuates the higher frequencies more. We suggest setting the tone know where it’s sounds good to the player, then cut this on to brighten the frequency to cut more in the mix. Another good thing that helps is if you have an extremely bass-y and dark amp (think Peavey Classic 30 or Fender Bassman), this will help accommodate and not get muddy when the gain goes up. The effect of this switch is varies depending on your tone setting, along with how much gain you're using.
The technical stuff:
- 5” x 4.5” x 1.5″ inches (63.5mm x 114.3mm x 38.1mm) (Height excludes knobs and switches)
- The Paisley Drive can run from 9v-18v and anywhere in between. That being said, it has to be a Negative Center Tip plug, and not over 18v. If a different plug is run into it, the pedal will smoke out and cease to work. So don’t do that! :-)
- The only difference between the earlier version and the current version is aesthetics. The new graphics feature Brad’s signature on the bottom left corner. Nothing related to the internal circuitry was changed at all.