If you haven’t seen, heard or used a Carl Martin pedal in the last year or two, you must have been living under a rock. You should get down to your local guitar store and try a few of them, because they are some great sounding pedals at very smart price points. I’ve played with most of the pedals in their range, and today I got to try a new addition. One that is going to get a lot of tone nuts jumping up and down for a go. With that, I would like to introduce you to Greg Howe’s Signature Lick Box, the latest in a range of pedals that has been designed by the team in Denmark. Now, if someone’s tone is worth trying to capture, Greg Howe is going to be right up there on the list. Carl Martin has done just that for you.
THREE PIECE SUIT
This is not just a simple turn it on and turn it up magic box. There are too many variables in everyone’s equipment and what they want from a pedal, so Carl Martin has included three different stages in this pedal, with each one voiced for that sound. I’m listening to Introspection as I write this, and it is easy to hear similarities between the pedal and the album (but not in my playing). The first stage is a clean boost that will push the tubes in your amp just enough for a little extra breakup, but really gives you more clean volume that anything, which is a good thing as there is plenty of gain to come. This sits nicely on its own, or layered over the top of the other two ‘channels’.
The next section is a Crunch channel that has a rather Marshall vibe to it, with a crisp dive that pushes the mid-range a little when run by itself. Kicking in the clean boost over this steps up the volume and also adds a little more shimmer in the higher frequencies. The High Gain channel, gives you even more grunt with added bottom-end and high frequency brightness, whilst scooping out the mid-range slightly, so it stands apart from the character of the Crunch channel.
But really, these aren’t serial channels that can be switched between, they all act as separate stages that can be turned on or off individually. That means you can run any combination of the three for a variety of tones. The Boost can be layered over either the Crunch or the High Gain, but even better still, you can turn on the Crunch and then layer the High Gain over the top of that, for a real meaty tone that pulls back on the high frequencies slightly and is loaded with character. Then you can drop the Boost on top again for that little extra push to have it jump out in the mix. Essentially, this is like having three great pedals crammed into one box, without the need for patch cables in between. What’s not to like about that?
For more details, head to innovativemusic.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Simple layout with control over three voices
Not at all over-engineered
Plenty of variety in tone, grunt and drive
It didn’t help me play like Greg Howe