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Rating and Reviews: Friedman Motor City Drive

Dial in a range of tones, from the edge of breakup to tasty high gain overdrive. The Motor City Drive's 12AX7 tube perfectly captures the feel of a tube amp.

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"The Missing Link" submitted May 21, 2019

By Steven M. in kansas City, MO
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Musical Background: Guitarist for 45 years. Pretty much done it all from amateur to professional
Music Style: Pretty much play all styles of music. Emphasis on Blues, classic and hard rock, jam band, jazz. But honestly just about everythi
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Overall: Finally, I took the plunge into a 2 based Overdrive. This is like one of the coolest pedals I have ever owned. For years I have been searching for that elusive tone that allows me to dial in gain with my guitar volume control. Without having to blast my amp. I tried lots of different things and basically settled on Lower wattage tube amps. But even lower wattage tube amps can become insanely loud. This thing gives you all the spongy compression of a full-blown hundred-watt stack without having to blow the eardrums off your bandmates or your audience. It basically behaves like an old THD flexi 50 or one of the old non master volume tube amps like an old Trainwreck. I can literally dial it all the way clean with my guitar. And then when I need it I can just thin the knob and I'm at Max gain. The addition of a mid-range control on the pedal makes it extremely versatile when dialing in your desired tone not to mention the fact that you have the ability to change out different types of tubes to alter the gains characteristics. Also on a side note. I had a question about the power supply for this pedal. If you're going to use a 9 volt power brick make sure you're using 500 milliamps minimum. Otherwise you won't get the response out of this pedal that you need to get. Or just use the supplied adapter at 12 volts.. I initially sent this question to Friedman customer support. And lo and behold I got an email from Dave Friedman personally telling me what I could and couldn't do in regards to power. I thought that was an awful nice touch. I am totally impressed with this product
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"Tasty Tube Tone" submitted January 6, 2019

By Rockin R. in New Orleans, LA
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Musical Background: Exprienced. A rocking pre-senior that started playing in my pre-teen years.
Music Style: Rock, folk, jazz, blues, Christian worship
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Overall: I just purchased the Motor City Overdrive in December 2018. It does exactly what I expected it to do. It produces wonderful tube overdrive that can easily be dialed in to your taste. The range of overdrive is very wide. At low settings and at the maximum settings, the 12AX7 tube works to produce thick, complex, tight grained, overdrive. The tone controls are also useful for shaping the charter of the drive that you select. After the initial check out of the pedal, I pulled the stock Chinese 12AX7 tube and began using lower gain tubes in place of the 12AX7. This changed the character of the overdrive. I tried a JJ 12AX7 (100% gain) and found the sound better than the stock tube. I then tried an Sylvania 5751 black plate (70% gain), and a 12AT7 Sylvania (60% gain). I settled on the 5751 due to the sound of the overdrive range that it provided. The low end was usable and the maxed out high end of the knob range was also usable for the styles of music that I play. The stock 12AX7 is fine, it just creates much more drive than I will ever use when the drive knob is maxed out. The beauty of this pedal is that you can easily tweak the tone using the knobs and by swapping tubes with different gain factors. This pedal sounds most like my Fulltone OCD Pedal (Obsesisve Complusive Drive). It is that good. It just has that added touch of tone that I love in tube gear. The Friedman Motor City Tube Overdrive pedal is a fantastic tool. It has edged out my favorite OCD pedal for now. I will keep them both. You can't have enough overdrive pedals. It is good to have at least two on the board for a high and low gain option.Fantastic pedal. Solid build and design. The tube can be replaced in seconds once you unplug the power supply at the pedal. The tube is adequately protected for most users. I scratch my head and wonder why there are not more of these tube based pedals out there. It is basically a tube pre-amp, like you might find on some Master volume amplifiers. I love the pedal. The price is a bit high, but you are getting tube driven over drive and the quality is there to justify a slightly more expensive product. Get one.
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"One more distortion pedal!" submitted May 23, 2017

By Javier R. in San Francisco , CA
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Overall: I can only say in few words that this is a high quality amp in a pedal, it's tonality range is wide, excellent in every respect from low gain to an aggressive beast, it's creator has a clear vision on what is a professional updated concept acccirding to what is going on in the pedal Golden Years!
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"Friedman Motor city overdrive" submitted March 4, 2019

By Kenny L. in Canton, TX
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Musical Background: Experienced
Music Style: Classic rock and blues
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Overall: This is more a distortion pedal than an overdrive.If you need overdrive look elsewhere this isn’t it.Overpriced I overpayed for itTotally unusable for my application I even changed out the tube for a less powerful signal Didn’t help meExpensive mistakeIt’s already traded off and gone
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