As the gear industry seeks to reach new segments, Robert Keeley has turned his attention from making products for road warriors who perform onstage to tone freaks who obsess about gear online. His D&M Drive is a collaboration with Daniel Steinhardt and Mick Taylor, who host an online video program focused on effects.
The D&M is a sturdy 9-volt double-duty dirt pedal with two circuits designed to work independently or together. Drive and Boost functions can be stacked in either direction with the flick of a toggle switch. With separate Level, Gain, and Tone knobs, and the ability to change the order of the circuit, the D&M offers all kinds of boosted dirty goodness.
The Boost side’s clean midrange nudge allows the user to add degrees of modded grittiness to the signal. The high operating voltage yields lustrous clean headroom and works great as a stand-alone boost for other overdrive pedals.
The D&M’s Drive side elicits clear but substantive overdrive with sustain and harmonics with variable tonal settings. It also has lots of headroom to maintain tube-like warmth and smooth, fuzz-free saturation. The inputs give loop-based switching users the option of using TRS cables to separate each side of the pedal into separate loops. Putting the Drive first yields a louder boost and mid-heavy saturation, while the Boost going into the Drive results in a louder, thicker, scooped gainy sound with guts. Many useful combinations are available – everything from stage-friendly clean volume boost to myriad overdrive tones combining both circuits with a buffet of gain settings.
Using higher gain settings from the Boost side along with lower gain settings from the Drive side produces a big, sweet low-end that adds chunkilicious flavor to an amp’s signal. It’s pretty hard to beat.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.