The Soda Drive+ by Ray Gun FX is a sweet little overdrive pedal with a very low price tag and a very loud sound.
I must stipulate that I did not purchase this pedal, it was lent to me by My friend Marc over at Northern Stompboxes.
The Soda Drive is very simple, but at the same time very effective. It can easily go from dirty grungy gain through to creamy classic rock sounds right on up to a high treble filled gain verging on metal sound.
The gain modes are selected using the toggle switch in the centre of the pedal. This isn’t foot switchable, but with the size and price of it, that is perfectly understandable. There is to the best of my knowledge a dual foot switch version, however i’m only guessing that this switches the gain modes. If it does, and this is important to you then it may be worth paying a little extra for that option, however for the extra switch I imagine that it comes in a much larger enclosure. There is a trade off with all of these things, but whichever version of the Soda suits you best, I can guarantee one thing. It will not disappoint.
I digress, the Soda drive is £65, just a smidgen more than some of Boss’s cheapest overdrives, and it’s hand made in the UK! For £65 it blows a lot of the competition out of the water. Honestly, to me it sounds better than the Boss BD-2, as it has the three modes, it is a lot more versatile. I was very happy to notice that the tone knob doesnt scoop the mids and leave you with a high treble gain under most settings, but rather leaves some of the mids in the mix, making even the most over driven sound not too raspy. There were a multitude of lovely sounds I managed to get from this thing, and it took everything in my power not to buy one for myself. The only reason I didn’t is that I already have 3 drive pedals, and potentially a fourth one on the way, so don’t need another.
When I jotted down some notes to write this blog one of the only things I put was “Seriously impressed”. I’m under no impression that this probably won’t sound better to most than say a Klon KTR, or an Analogue Man King of Tone. But what it does offer is a fantastic pedal at a price that most will be able to afford. It is extremely well made although I can’t speak for its longevity as I only had it for a few days.
The only two gripes I have with the soda drive are the same gripes I had with the Aurora from Ray Gun FX. The location of the power socket and the sticker. For me the power socket location makes it a bit of a pain to put the Soda Drive on my board, as I am daisy chaining my power supply on the Boss BCB-60 the 9V adaptor doesn’t like to stretch down the side of the pedals. This is only a problem for me, if you have an isolated power supply with dedicated jacks you probably won’t find you have the same problem. And the problem I have with the stickers is that they make the pedals seem a bit cheaper than they should, I think most people would gladly pay £70+ for an overdrive of this quality with a powder coated exterior and they would still feel like they were getting a bargain. The sticker almost makes me presume that it is a cheaper pedal. But I can see how it would keep costs down, and I’m sure it would be something that Ray Gun FX will look at in the future.
All in all this is a fantastic little box of fun and I will urge you to give it a go.
In summary –
- Sounds fantastic
- Hand made, top quality construction
- UK based small builder
- Tons of tones
- Fantastic value for money
- Power socket placement
- Sticker cheapens it