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Marshall Guvnor question

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I was browsing around listening to distortion pedal clips and liked what I heard from the Marshall Guvnor pedal. However, I'm not sure if this is an overdrive or distortion pedal. On Musician's friend it calls it a distortion pedal, but some reviews refer to it as an overdrive. It's my understanding that overdrives should be played with a tube amp or they won't sound right. Anyone know exacltly what this pedal is? I'm thinking it may just be the nice overdrive of a tube amp I'm hearing and if I try this on my hybrid amp it'll sound completly different, if it's an overdrive pedal.
"When learned men begin to use their reason, then I generally discover that they haven't got any." -GK Chesterton
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I'd call it an overdrive. In the late '80s, I tried out a Guvnor and a Tube Screamer. I took both home from the same store, as I had and still have a good relationship with that store. I A-B'd both through my rig and ended up choosing the TS, as it was roughly half the price, and I already had a Boss DS1 that matched up better in conjunction with the TS than with the Guvnor. If I hadn't already owned the DS1, I may have been won over by the Guvnor, but I felt the TS gave me what I was after, again, at a much lower price. I think the Guvnor is a good pedal, but ya see a lot more TS's out there.
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If you turn the gain right down and the volume right up, it won't give you much overdrive (leastways, mine doesn't).


I put mine first in the line then into a rack-mount setup, so I use it as a distortion pedal.


I like the sound I get from it better than any of the other distortion effects I have at my disposal. I think the 4 band EQ helps with this.



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I have an early Guv'nor and have been able to use it as a distortion and as an overdrive. Tweaking the knobs, especially the gain, you can get a pretty good overdrive out of it. It definitely won't take the place of a Tube Screamer as an overdrive, but it does the job. I own both, so my advice would be to get both!! Have fun!

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966



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Th guv was such a great unit, that I believe Marshall included the chip on their 30th or 25th anniversary heads which was footswitchable should you have needed more "octane".


This concept has given me a killer idea regarding an amp design a friend of mine and i have been discussing.


If I saw a guv floating around, I myself would grab it and dismantle it and take the chip out for research


We are chasing that "fender meets marshall" ghost.

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by YzeCounsel:

We are chasing that "fender meets marshall" ghost.

I thought that was called "Vox"? ;):wave:
I believe that the VOX is it's own thing. The class A just doesn't punch you in the nose like a Marshall. It is more of an ambient "spread-out" type tone. I love it


I believe that Matchless has taken the Vox concept and exploded it

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Jsut so it's said...not so much here but on another forum I read regularly, there are an awful lot of folks that have been convinced that all butique pedals are always better than any mass produced major pedal makers.


While this can be the case (i.e. some very special pedals like MI Audios' Blues Pro, Hermida Zendrive, reportedly (widely) the Tim and Timmy) they lose out on some of the really well made pedals that are from companies like Marshall and even Digitech.


Personally, I fell into the butique trap a little, for a short time...I got better. I bought quite a few, some good, some really undeserving of praise...anyway, I started realizing how impressed I was with Marshall pedals (EXCEPT the damned silver knobs you can't see in the dark OR in light...you can't see them, and the knobs are so tall they are easy to accidentally bend them...I did just that..but the pedals themselves..) I know the VT-1 is one of the best trems, I liked it way better than Fulltone supa-trem, tremulator, etc. same thing with the ED-1 compressor. Liked it better than the famous Barber Tone Press.


I definitely am going to check out the Guvn'r AND the Bluesbreaker.


Main thing I wanted to mention also, Digitech...I was recently in the music store and played by chance on of their (gold or yellow colored) X-series OD-Tone Driver pedals, and MAN was I impressed. With their "Morph" knob you can get all kinds of voicings with it, and it really has some beautiful sounds in it.


Another one I tried briefly which is being raved about even by pedal snobs and cork sniffers, and which costs about the same as a good set of strings is Digitechs "Bad Monkey" pedal. People that are experienced all say it just beats the hell out of a TS-9.


Just thought I'd mention it.


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"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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