Customers like John Mayer and Mike Landau have helped put DryBell Musical Laboratory effects on some of the world’s biggest stages and in the best studios.
The Engine is DryBell’s take on non-Master-Volume British amps of the ’60s, stacking and massaging the crunchy brutality of a vintage Marshall head with the gritty spike of a Rangemaster. Two independent channels allow guitarists to control Level, Gain, Tone, and Shape on the left. On the right, Range, Level, Low, and High adjust the amount of gain and EQ. An Order button changes the sequence of the circuits.
Plugged into a Fender 2×12 combo, The Engine is a tone shaper’s dream with goo-gobs of gain yielding all varieties of upscale British splendor – smooth, compressed, articulate, and with complex overtones. It also works as a clean to dirty boost and yields British superiority regardless of which amp it’s plugged into.
The Engine nailed the sound of a wide-open JCM800 (coming through monitors) but was easier to manage. There’s a pronounced midrange that can be dimed, but the combination of Marshall and Rangemaster colors – and all their sonic variables – makes The Engine a guitar soloist’s dream.
This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.