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Origin Effects RevivalDrive

Guitar Overdrive Pedal
By David Greeves

Origin Effects RevivalDrive

This ambitious overdrive promises to recreate the entire signal path of a valve amp in solid-state electronics.

With their very first product, the Cali76, Origin Effects rewrote the rulebook for compressor pedals. The Cali's masterstroke was to take the UREI 1176 classic recording-studio compressor and recreate its circuit topology (the relationship between different components in the circuit) in a guitar pedal; using the same circuit layout or components as the 1176 would have been impossible in a 9V stompbox, but the Cali76 delivers remarkably similar characteristics.

Origin have now applied the same approach to overdrive. But rather than recreate a particular overdrive effect they've gone to the fountainhead of great guitar tone itself — the non-master‑volume guitar amps of the 1960s and '70s. Housing what's described as "an unabridged valve amp-style signal path recreated in analogue electronics", the RevivalDrive promises to serve up the sound of not just one amp but a whole host of British and American classics. Not content with this, the designers have also built in a range of controls to adapt the pedal's output to match the characteristics of the amp you're plugging into, with the aim of not only increasing the pedal's usefulness with different amps in the studio, but also allowing touring guitarists to get a consistent sound from night to night using whatever backline is available. With such an array of unique controls, the RevivalDrive is a serious proposition, with a serious price tag to match. Which begs the question, is it possible to OD on tonal options — or is this the last overdrive pedal you will ever need?

Channel Controls

The RevivalDrive's design is said to simulate the behaviour and interaction of every stage in a valve amp's signal path. This includes not just the usual suspects — the preamp, phase inverter, power amp and rectifier stages — but also a synthesized mains signal and a speaker-emulating reactive load. These last two are particularly important if the pedal is indeed going to capture the complex interplay between the power rectifier, the output stage and the speaker.

The pedal is entirely analogue, with discrete transistor-based circuitry standing in for the valve stages. The controls, which are identical across the Valve Rectifier and Silicon Rectifier channels, allow you to adjust key component values in the signal path, effectively redesigning the simulated valve amp inside the RevivalDrive as you go. For example, the Lows knob lets you adjust the amount of low end fed into the drive stage. At...

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Published May 2019