Russ Pedersen and his crew at Arkansas-based Taurus Pedals build a wide variety of distortion, overdrive, chorus, fuzz, boost, and delay pedals for guitar and bass, using high-end components and offering both stock and custom graphics finishes. Taurus has expanded that already extensive line of boutique hand-made wares to include the new Devil Drive Overdrive and the Acid Reflux Digital Delay.
The Devil Drive is a germanium clipping diode overdrive featuring Tone, Volume, and Gain controls, as well as a buffered input. The Acid Reflux is digital delay featuring up to 600 ms of delay along with Mix, Feedback, and Delay controls. Both pedals feature 4 3/8" x 2 3/8" x 1 ¼" die-cast enclosures, hand-wired circuits, true-bypass foot switches, bright status LEDs, nine-volt DC power jacks (no battery option), Alpha pots, Switchcraft in/out ¼" jacks, one-percent tolerance resistors, and 10-percent tolerance capacitors.
We checked out both pedals with a Fender Blues Junior (EL84/12AX7) 1×12 combo, a Vox AC15 (EL84/12AX7) 1×12 combo, a Fender American Standard Strat loaded with a trio of 1950s reissue Custom Shop single-coils, and a Gibson Les Paul Standard outfitted with Burstbuckers.
The Devil Drive sports a very nice midrange tone boost that is punchy with a raw, very musical bark to it – without trashing out the high-end or adding a ton of scratchy noise and buzz. Strat or Les Paul, bridge or neck pickup, full chords and single notes both popped, producing a nice and crunchy moderate-gain overdrive/distortion. With lower gain settings the Devil Drive made a great boost, driving the front ends of the amps harder and adding some midrange color and personality to their tone.
The Acid Reflux has a very lush sound with thick, rich repeats bearing a lo-fi analog texture (without being too lo-fi). From short slap-back echo to long delays, the tone is an old-school/modern mix. One feature that is very modern is the pedal’s extremely quiet operation – it adds no unwanted noise to the signal chain.
Both the Devil Drive and the Acid Reflux deliver high-end boutique tone and build quality – with just enough personality to make them stand apart from the crowded pedal landscape.
This article originally appeared in VG October 2016 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.