Hudson Electronics Sidecar

As often is the case this pedal was loaned to me by the fantastic Northern Stompboxes. It is like all of the pedals that Northern Stomps stocks hand-made in the UK.

If you have read any of my other reviews of Hudson Electronics effects pedals you might know that I really like them. I may be a little bit biased as I own a Broadcast but I will try to be as impartial as possible.

Firstly I will start of by saying that the Sidecar is a bit of an unknown, the Broadcast seems to draw a lot of attention in the media, and for good reason, it is a fantastic boost/overdrive. The Sidecar is I would say the refined older brother to the Broadcast. It has a little bit more sophistication and I think it is a little bit more transparent and cleaner than the broadcast even when pushed to its limits. I think the Sidecar has a fair bit more clean headroom over the Broadcast. The Broadcast has a lot more bass and a fuzzy growl at lower settings when compared to the Sidecar. The Sidecar is a little simpler in what It can do, but don’t let that put you off. If you want a top quality overdrive, look no further.

The Sidecar has a two band EQ which gives a good amount of tweakability especially when compared to the Broadcasts single low-cut pot. And as with most if not all Hudson pedals it can be run at voltages between 9v-24v giving you even more clean headroom at higher voltages.

As I have come to expect with Hudson Electronics, the built quality of the Sidecar is second to none. The neatness of the internals is almost pornographic, and all of this done on vero board. The finish to the Sidecar is textured, which makes it stand out from the other Hudson pedals and although it doesn’t  affect anything about the operation of the pedal it is a point of difference. I don’t believe that anyone would buy the Sidecar just because of the finish but it is nice and I would imagine it would be extremley hard-wearing. I think that the finish is supposed to mimic the finish of a Studer recording console, as that is what it draws some inspiration from.

That it feels so well-built, gives a sense of satisfaction and makes it more worthy of the slightly hefty price tag. It not bank breaking money for most at £155 and could easily be the only overdrive you need. But it also wouldn’t be a whim purchase. If I didn’t have a Golden eagle to boost the Broadcast, and I had the choice of this or the Broadcast i’m not quite sure how that decision would fall. As it stands I am more than happy with my board, and if the Broadcast is a little too muddy, I have an EQ pedal and the boost to sculpt it a little more. If I was to start my board again I would possibly opt for the Sidecar over the Broadcast and in a world where money was no object I would have both. They both sound fantastic with my amp. I fell in love with the sound of the Broadcast as soon as I played it, but I equally did the same with this. It is classic rock tone in a box. I’m sure it is a lot more versatile than classic rock riffs, but I found myself playing some Sabbath whenever the Sidecar was on.

I had to keep reminding myself that I don’t need another dirt pedal. I have enough… honest. And this was one of the more difficult pedals to give back. I think the Sidecar deserves a little more recognition. Yes the Broadcast is fantastic, and is touted as the overdrive for people who don’t like overdrives. Equally I would say the Sidecar is the overdrive for people who love overdriven amps and it deserves as much recognition as the Broadcast. It’s an always on kind of deal, once you’ve stomped on that switch you won’t want to turn it off.

In Conclusion:

Pros –

  • Built like a tank, could probably survive the apocalypse
  • Classic rock tones in a box
  • Has old school cool looks

Cons –

  • On the pricey side
  • Prefer the graphics on the other Hudson Electronics pedals

 

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