Hype will only get you so far. Here is what some
expert musicians and reviewers have written about Carl Martin pedals.
Bassplayer (USA) March 2013 BassDrive
Martin set out to recreate the sounds of classic rock bass gods like
John Enstwistle and Jack Bruce. With the Bass Drive, it has delivered a
distinguished tone tool capable of empowering the would-be bass deities
Bass Drive earns every inch of its oversized footprint; three bands of
EQ voiced for bass offer a colorful palette of tones, and the grit
imparted by the GAIN control ranges from ornery grunt to aggressive
grind. With the GAIN, MIDDLE, and HIGH rolled back, the Bass Drive wraps
an otherwise raw sterile bass 4-string in Snuggie-like fleece, softening
the edges while allowing the bass to breathe. For prog-approved tones,
the bumping up the MIDDLE and GAIN fetches a clang close to the edge.
Player (USA) February 2013 HeadRoom
The HeadRoom’s wide-ranging Level controls are essentially linear,
allowing you to dial in just the right amount of ’verb, from
to dripping wet, and the Tone controls are similarly versatile,
modifying the response of the reverb in addition to attenuating high
frequencies. The sound is a “short-pan”-type for obvious reasons,
but nonetheless quite vibey and musical.
THE COMPLETE REVIEW HERE
Guitar Player (USA) February 2013 Single Channel AC-Tone
In exactly the same way that the Single-Channel PlexiTone is a
condensed version of the larger and more
elaborate PlexiTone, this pedal embodies the heart of the AC-Tone,
which aims to channel the Vox vibration.
It boasts the same DC-DC circuitry, and most of what is true of
one pedal is also true of the other. Soundwise,
however, there’s a dramatic difference. Since clean tones
aren’t the focus, there’s not a lot of “chime,” but
there is plenty of smooth Vox-y overdrive and gobs of glorious
gain, which makes for one fab tone machine.
Guitar Player (USA) February 2013 Single Channel PlexiTone
I could go on about how quiet it is, its dynamic response,
how it cleans up like an amp when you roll back the guitar volume,
to say that I was floored, and will be adding this little beauty
to my collection.
THE COMPLETE REVIEW HERE
Guitar Magazine (UK) BassDrive Dec. 2012.
Danish product, it glows encouragingly when you switch it on, rather
like the same country’s famous bacon exports under a hot grill, thanks
to the 12AX7 tube under the bonnet. As you’d expect from a tube-driven
unit, the overdrive you get out of this pedal is warm, smooth and
sustained, retaining the bottom end you need while offering convincing
mid and high options. This little baby restates a convincing case for
tube drives. It’s a solid, conservative, utterly lovely pedal that we
want for our very own.
MusicRader (UK) Classic Optical Envelope May 2012.
first glance, newcomers would be forgiven for thinking that the controls
on this funky little pedal looks a little bit confusing.
reality is that each of the controls is reassuringly simple, distinct
the tones on offer really are very good, with rich low-end snarls and
crisp, funky highs covering a lot of different applications.
At £99, you may think you'd be better off with an actual wah pedal. A
valid argument, but an optical filter can react more quickly (and
accurately) to your playing technique than rocking your foot back and
forth; if that appeals to you, then quality becomes important.
A unit that deserves some serious consideration.
Guitar (USA) May 2012 Classic Optical Envelope
the low price, solid build,
versatile sounds, anyone on a budget that’s looking for the
distinctive sounds of an envelope filter will want to have a look at
this pedal. Ditching the filter select footswitch in favor of an
envelope kill switch would make the pedal a double threat. But that
omission aside, it’s super intuitive and fun. The Optical Envelope
will certainly brings the funk. And while it may not achieve the
musicality of a vintage Mutron III, you’ll be thankful to not have to
pay the vintage price.
GUITARIST (UK) Dec.. 2011 HeadRoom
HeadRoom, the latest from
Carl Martin, is not excessively large, being about the size of two Big
Muffs side-by-side. What's more, it can run off a PP3 or a standard 9V
adaptor, saving even further on pedalboard space.
A single input and output unit, the HeadRoom helpfully offers two reverb
depths (A and B), each with their own chickenhead knobs controlling tone
and level. Two nicely spaced footswitches take care of all the action -
one to bypass the unit and the other to switch between sounds A and B.
Alternatively, if you want to put the pedal somewhere safe, you also get
the facility to add remote footswitches to take over the switching
The level knob takes you from a totally dry sound through to a deep surf
twang and all points in between, while turning the tone knob clockwise
adds in top end for more brash, splash or trash, depending on your
perspective. This is quality reverb that functions as an organic part of
the overall guitar sound rather than something just tacked on, and with
two 'presets' always on tap you can swiftly transition from an ambient
aura to something that's a deliberate 'effect'.
Sound-wise it's the real deal, and if you don't mind it taking up the
space of two or three conventionally sized pedals on your 'board then
the HeadRoom is an ideal way to add real spring reverb to your rig
here to view the complete review!
Magazine (Sweden) November 2011 Classic Chorus
is something that many overdosed
in the 80s but I have always
kept my excitement
for the opportunities a
good chorus gives.
Both for the slow settings
for the beautiful chords, and
Classic Chorus is a
mono effect so if
you want stereo, you
must look somewhere else. But
since most of the different
reasons play mono it’s probably
a minor issue. The first
thing I noticed when I
activate the effect is
that some highs disappear.
According to CM, this
is fully intentional for
it to work well even with
I begin with a clean
sound and quickly finds a
slow and beautiful chorus
that warm and
honey-smooth flow into
the ears. Faster chorus
sounds good too but
I miss some of
the push of "spinning"
as some other chorus pedals
have. It may
be that in my opinion
there is a bit too
little treble for that
type of sound.
A really clever
feature is the rate knob.
Many chorus pedals
let you switch between
either chorus and vibrato.
Once you have activated the
Vibrato switch you can on the Rate knob blend from chorus
to vibrato. Here
I found a wealth of
cool sounds that were very
musical. Why CM
decided to call the knob
rate, I have no idea.
Magazine (Sweden) November 2011 Classic Opto-Comp
I've always liked
compressors, but often encounter compressor
pedals that are not versatile
enough. One may
work and sound great
to singlecoil but
not at all with humbuckers. One
might have a perfect attack,
but is a bit too
dark in tone. There
are more compressors I
do not like, than the
ones I do like to use.
are not equipped with
more controls than sustain
/ compression and
level. Here are
four knobs which is
more than most compressors
and this requires that you
have to understand a little more
about what compression is to
set it correct.
However, it is not that
difficult and well
worth it. I started
out setting all knobs at
12 o'clock. Then I
turned on the
knobs according to
taste and to my great
joy that gave
these four knobs a
flexibility that is rare in
the pedals. With
different combinations of Gain
and Attack, I got it
to work for both
single coil and humbuckers.
The gain is valuable because
I can tune it so
humbuckers don’t get too thick
and woolly in
the sound, but I can
also "fat" a thinner
single coil and give it
a really funky
attack. Level has quite
a lot of output so it
can be used as a combination of compressor
and booster. The CM Opto-Comp
is a great and
unusual flexible compressor
pedal that works both
to creatively transform
your sound and to
adjust the level of the
guitar as is often
done in the studio.
Magazine (Sweden) November 2011 Blue Ranger
Blue Ranger is a fantastic dynamic overdrive with rather a lot of
gain and a character of it’s own.
I have not tried a lot of drive pedals, that keeps the character and
substance when you back of the volume knob on the guitar, on the Blue
Ranger it’s a real pleasure to have a lot of gain on the pedal, and
control the amount of drive on the guitars volume knob.
you just the least into a medium to high gain overdrive we suggest you
to give the Blue Ranger a test drive.
Premier Guitar (USA) November 2011 Blue Ranger
Although ostensibly an overdrive pedal, the Blue Ranger’s
character is often more akin to a distortion pedal. It’s nowhere near
as reserved as Ibanez’s famous green pedal and can roar like a beast
if you need it to. But for having a more aggressive voice, it’s a much
more individual pedal. If you’re looking for yet another Tube Screamer
clone, the Blue Ranger might be too in-your-face. But if you are looking
for an overdrive pedal that isn’t quite as subdued, the Blue Ranger
may be the trigger-happy Lone Ranger you’re looking for too.
VINTAGE GUITAR (USA) September 2010 Classic Opto-Compressor
Carl Martin Classic Opto-Compressor is designed specifically to give
guitarists the type of optical compression used in studios and on
bass-guitar tracks for years.
Like the DC-Drive, the Classic Opto-Compressor is impressively musical.
And it’s capable of being very subtle - it easily dials in very slight
compression to even out the overall sounds, which is great for players
who want to clean up notes without squashing them. If you’re going for
spanking, vintage compression, fear not. It does that, too. Just keep
honking on that Attack knob. Chicken-pickers and surf guys, in
particular, should sit down with this box and take notice - the Classic
Opto-Compressor sounds as good as some top-dollar studio components.
the complete review here!
VINTAGE GUITAR (USA) September 2010 DC-Drive
uber-versatile DC Drive is easy to use, with separate Level, Tone, and
drive controls and a footswitchable Clean boost wired after the drive
circuit that allows the user to use it as an over-the-top boost for
leads, or as a separate clean boost. Can we say “cool” boys and
girls? The DC Drive being two in one is great, but even better is an
unassuming mini-toggle that takes it from “cool” to super hip.
There’s also a switch-labelled “fat/reg”-that takes the circuit to
a whole new realm of higher gain and massive low-end. Fat, indeed! Of
the complete review here!
TUNES Magazine (Norway) May 2009 DC-Drive
Carl Martin DC Drive is four stompboxes into one stompbox: - crystal
Clean sound from your amplifier (the stompbox doesn`t add an extra
colour/a factory sound to the original signal), Clean sound plus Boost,
Drive and Drive plus Boost.
Martin DC Drive IS THE BEST overdrive I`ve ever played, and when I count
all the stompboxes I`ve owned since 1977, it`s also THE BEST IN HISTORY!
Even if you`re a guitarist who doesn`t necessarily need a lot of
overdrive to your tone, but just a really good boost (0-15db extra
output) that doesn`t alter the original sound from your guitar, Carl
Martin DC Drive is still the answer.
Music Magazine, Norway
Fuzz Magazine (Sweden) April 2009. Rock Bug
use a lot of digital simulation unit’s for recording, but I must say
the Rock Bug in combination with a good set of pedals, beats most
digital units by far.
I cannot say exactly what it is and why, but the Rock Bug simply feels
very “right” to play with.
The Rock Bug is a very pleasant surprise, and work better than I
expected, and would be the solution for many people wanting direct
recording or PA use.
you not happy with what on the market of digital solutions, I suggest to
check out the Rock Bug.
See the complete review
Guitarist Magazine (UK) Feb. 2009. Hydra Boost
is the most efficient clean boost we’ve ever tried and, with a cool
boutique livery and backed up by Carl Martin’s consistent quality of
construction, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go and get one
excellent pedal that is perfect if you’re solos need an extra hike in
Premier Guitar (USA) Nov. 2008. Octa-switch
an effects junkie myself, I’ve always dreamed of a device like this,
something that’s easy to use, sounds good and is affordable.
After a certain amount of conservative experimenting, I realized that I
had a very versatile tool in front of me, capable of mixing and matching
effects in ways that I’ve always been hesitant to try because it would
be such a huge pain to duplicate live.
was really a great feeling to be able to command such a unique,
surprising tone with the stomp of a single switch. I can say with
certainty that the Octaswitch could completely change the way that you
think about your effects.
Guitar & Bass (UK)
Wonderfully warm, organic delay with some way-out stuff if you
twiddle the knobs while playing.
The Echotone chosen as
products of the year 2008. See more here!
Guitar & Bass (UK)
Sept. 2008 EchoTone & TremO´vibe
TremO’vibe’s vibrato is natural and musical, while the tremolo has a
pleasing shimmer with an almost singing quality.
The Echotone sounds deep, rich and musical, and will provide instant
gratiﬁcation for analogue delay fans
the complete review here!
GUITARIST (UK) Summer 2008. EchoTone
readers will be well aware that Carl Martin makes some of the best
sounding effects you can buy; they are always designed with the gigging
musician in mind. The pedals are always seriously roadworthy.
new EchoTone is no different, although it’s the only Carl Martin unit
that comes in this natty and retro cream colour with red legends. The
EchoTone has some tricks up in its sleeve.
Firstly, there’s a loop that allows you to add some modulation to the
delay repeats-chorus, flange, phase or overdrive for example, whatever
takes you fancy. And fun you’ll have. We call it the smile factor. You
set up the pedal, kick in the delay and suddenly you find yourself
grinning like a Cheshire cat.
A great product is one that takes you somewhere new and engages and
encourages your creativity.
If you’re a delay junkie, we suggest you score one immediately.
complete review here!
GuitarBuyer (UK) May 2008. Classic Chorus
The Classic Chorus is well-designed, well-built and offers some truly
authentic analogue chorus sounds, but with the added convenience of a
level control and relatively low background noise. If lush,
vintage-style chorus is your thing, you’d be hard pushed to find a
better contender at this price. In other words, it’s a classic.
the complete review here!
GUITAR PLAYER (USA) May 2008. Classic Chorus
This thing sounds good.
Not only because its milkshake-thick modulation sounds as if it could be
spooned out of the speakers, but also because a severe
volume boost is available if you need it.
The Classic Chorus is no joke. With a ton of rich, high-quality, utterly
musical sounds, it may even make a non-chorus dude a believer.
complete review here!
Guitar & Bass magazine (UK) July 2007 Compressor-Limiter
Carl Martin wins an pedal round up for compressor's as The Best
Overall in Guitar & Bass magazine (UK) July 2007 issue.
The Carl Martin is the most complex unit in this test, and will suit
those who have experience with studio compressors. This a studio quality
unit that can deliver everything from subtle squash to brick-wall
limiting, the Carl Martin is a do-it-all compressor.
Australian Musician Magazine (Australia)
June 2007 PlexiTone
This pedal has loads of gain and bottom end, and it all sounds so
'Marshall' like. On top of that, there is the boost channel which can
add a further 20db of boost on top of that, more than enough to kick any
sluggish valve amp into action.
What I really liked is how the tone stays true Marshall, even by adding
loads of gain; you can dial back the tone a touch without losing and
clarity at all.
In general, I loved playing with this pedal and could easily see one
working its way into my arsenal of effects. Just the simplicity of
getting a great tone without any stress and the solidness of the whole
thing make this pedal very attractive to any guitar player. It would be
one of those pedals you could have in your gig bag for many years.
Experience the new standard and let the PlexiTone take you to the
stratosphere of high gain. Check one out now!
GUITAR WORLD (USA) MAY 2007 AC-Tone
Many manufacturers claim
that their pedals sound like an amp in a box, but only a select few
products truly earn this distinction. Carl Martin goes one better with
its new AC-Tone, which delivers tonal character and response similar to
a classic Vox AC Series amp.
It takes a while to get used to how the three footswitches operate, but
once you’ve got it down, it’s easy to pull three or four gorgeous
Vox-like tones from the AC-Tone with a few quick foot taps. Don’t
devalue your amp with mods: just get an AC-Tone, plug it to the amp’s
input, and enjoy a whole new palette of sounds
GUITARIST (UK) AUG. 2006 Hot Drive´n Boost MK3
has to be amongst the very best overdrive pedals we’ve tried and,
though either a wholly clean, slightly crunchy or cooking amp, it
authenticity replicates the tone and, most importantly, feel of a
driving valve amp. Soulful blues, rock and all points between react
beautifully to the pedal, and the boost option gives you huge headroom
doesn’t really do extreme metal or rock tones – use your amp drive
to really wind up the wick – but for everyone else, this is a
versatile overdrive/boost you have to try.
TUNES Magazine (Norway) Dec. 2006 Crush Zone
Zone is a cheap/inexpensive stomp box, but it´s bang for the bucks! It´s
been made to shake the very foundation you´re standing up on.
almost played by itself. In order to bring the house down, I turned both
the Tone knob and the Distortion knob to 11. Heavy Metal Overdrive to
blow your hair way behind your ears (distortion + 70db). Boys, this
stomp box was meant to rock! World dominion is within reach!
Crush Zone parked the other stomp boxes with similar price tags (none
GUITAR & BASS (UK) OCT. 2006 Red Repeat
Carl Martin Red Repeat (£69) is red, and hurrah, it repeats. This
Danish-made pedal really nails it with a diecast housing straight out of
the 1950s and creamy chickenhead knobs. It’s a straight-in and
straight-out pedal with a regular 9V supply slot and a metal footswitch.
Switching on is silent and the pedal it self produces little or no noise
– but, boy what a sound. The straight guitar sound remains completely
intact and there’s no diminution of transients or dynamics. Plenty of
the delays in this group have a lo-fi or low-pass filter setting but the
amount is preset: the Tone control (LPF) on the Red Repeat allows you to
set it anywhere you like. What’s more, the decay is spookily
tape-like, and even with full treble you will hear echoes becoming
grainier and more overdriven as they tail away. With delays ranging from
short slapback to about 600mS you can get everything from retro to Edge
territory – but the thing that really sets this one apart is that it
never seems to interfere with what you’re playing.
go out and buy one before they realize it’s a `boutique´ pedal, stick
a blue LED in it and double the price
(USA) MAY 2006 Vintage Series
you have checked out any pro players pedal boards lately, you would see
that a fair amount of the real-estate on those pedal boards is taken up
by Carl Martin pedals (i.e. Plexitone, Delayla, Compressor, ect.). Their high-end pro quality pedals (both in sound and build)
are in high demand, but that high quality comes at a somewhat hefty
price, until now that is. Carl
Martin has just released a new series of budget friendly pedals named
the “Vintage Series” and includes the Crush Zone (high gain
overdrive), Surf Trem (tremolo) and the Red Repeat (analog delay), rest
assured these pedals are not you typical low quality cookie cutter
overseas affair, they feature 100% Carl Martin designed and extensively
In general we couldn’t find any deviations or short cuts from a design
or component stand point from Carl Martins regular pedals, except for
the maybe the absence of an internal power supply.
up we tried the Surf Trem and with excellent results, it proved to have
a lush 50s Fenderish style tremolo effect with an un-choppy deep swish
and smooth wave form that sounded great.
Switching the pedal in and out several times revealed that it did
not color the tone at all and did not add any noise, clean and
transparent, just adding the an outstanding tremolo effect. We
compared the Surf Trem to the tremolo circuit in the Fender Bandmaster,
and could get them to sound nearly exactly the same, in fact we almost
preferred the Surf Trem because of its ability to produce a deeper
effect and its wider range of speed settings.
up was the Red Repeater analog delay, which also proved to offer a
quality effect without any noticeable added noise or coloration of the
natural tone, just that classic analog delay/echo sound with those
slightly dirty “not so sterol” repeats.
The time control offered anything from a super short slap back
all the way up to a 600 milliseconds of long delay.
tone control (or high cut control in this case) rolled off high-end on
the repeats, allowing us to soften the repeats so they did not get in
the way of the dry signal, somewhat like the low fidelity repeats you
would get from a tape echo.
Crush Zone distortion pedal was last up and was more of a full blown
high gain distortion pedal than an overdrive, with a definite midrange
boost and aggressive overdrive. But
it definitely excelled in the high gain category with plenty of
available gain and a pleasantly crunchy distortion that wasn’t thin or
brittle even with the Tele bridge pickup, just nice and crunchy.
The tone control was well voice allowing for several different flavored
sounds from bright and spitty to dark and creamy smooth.
trio of pedals definitely lived up to the Carl Martin name, with pro
quality components, very quite operation and killer vintage tones at a
killer low price.
(UK) APRIL 2006 Quattro
Quattro answers a need for a simple-yet-highly-versatile quality effects
package for pro-minded players.
being compact and rugged, the Quattro has a very impressive resistance
to noise, and the
all perform brilliantly.
fuss, no worries. One box with some great effects. Boy, have we been
waiting for this!
sound and performance
(UK) APRIL 2006 Custom Shop 50
A powerful, sympathetic amp, delivering both high volume and a liquid tone
This is simply an extremely well-made
great-sounding amplifier, that
cover a wealth of styles with ease.
It's expensive, but in this case
January 2006 BassChorus
need the shimmering beauty of a studio-quality chorus pedal like the
Carl Martin Bass Chorus?
as it turned out, I did-for one 8-bar, 14th fret bass intro
to a ballad, I though it was wonderful, delicate and warm.
are two choruses! I marvelled at the way the effect ramped up and down
when I switched from one chorus and back again. I grinned when I
realized that I hadn’t lost any of the Beyoncé booty of my
Besides slow ballads, upper-register chords sound great through the Carl
Martin; tappers, soloists, and chord-proficient jazzers will love it’s
soulful, Hammond B3-like organ tones.
of you who play with picks and don’t shy away from lead bass might
find this makes your lines stand out in a whole new way. And everybody
knows that Eighties musical aesthetics are making a comeback, so next
time you’re ready to pull off a Peter Hook Bassline, plug in this
pedal and give it a whirl. You will not be disappointed.
GUITAR (USA) June 2005 DeLayla XL
with a delay echo, it had that punchy, slightly distorted attack for
which old Echoplex machines are known.
Its decay sounded identical, with tape deterioration tone you simply
cannot get from a digital unit – pure warm and nasty.
This pedal acts just like the real thing, but without the hassle of
tapes and unreliable electronics. We could easily tap out our tempo with
our foot with the tempo switch.
You’ll not find a more accurate-sounding tape delay unit than the
DeLayla, which is one of the most accurate representations we’ve heard.
GUITAR (USA) June 2005 Plexitone
We were greeted by nice high gain that was very clear and natural
with plenty of low end. We were also able to dial back the gain to a
slight, natural break-up. Dialing back the tone tame the highs, the
pedal never lost clarity – note separation was always incredible, like
plugging straight into an old Marshall plexi.
As we pushed the crunch, we got more gain without loosing the pedals
natural tone. We then hit the select switch to get even more gain, and
the tone always stuck with us – low-end does not go away.
Switching on the boost gave a dramatic bump up in headroom.
Stratocaster sounded completely like it self, as did the Esquire, with
tons of smooth clear gain you’d expect from a plexi Marshall
(UK) March 2005. Plexitone
overdrive pedal with five levels of drive is quite a luxury in itself,
but it’s a real delight when all the sounds are so rich and meaty.
We’re not sure whether Carl Martin intended to create a direct
Marshall tribute here (apart from the name, of course) but there’s
definitely a Marchall’esque quality to many of the sounds. Combined
with a generous twist of the tone knob, high settings on the crunch
channel can sound quite like a JCM 800.
less subtlety and tonal range is available from the high gain channel,
but that’s not a problem. This is where you can find that wonderfully
spongy distortion typical of a valve amp set to near-meltdown level. The
response is very smooth, with the natural compression or “sag”
typical of real valve amps.
(UK) March 2005. DeLayla XL
The DeLayla XL is warm, dirty and thoroughly charming. After playing
with this pedal for a couple of hours, you you’ll properly start to
wonder whether you’ll ever be able to stand the sound of crisp,
perfect digital delays ever again. Like real well-worn tape, the DeLayla
XL does a good job of filtering out higher frequencies in the echo tone,
can be a lot more liberal with the effect than you would with a
GUITAR WORLD (USA) December 2004. Combinator 2
The Construction is rugged, the layout clean and, most importantly, the
sound is absolutely pristine. For the dedicated stomp box user, the
Combinator 2 is a revelation.
GUITAR PLAYER (USA) April 2004. HDB MK3
Drive mode, I was stoked with the range afforded by the Gain knob, which
provided everything from subtle splashes of dirt to complete molten
sound remained smooth and musical no matter how much distortion was
piled on, and dynamically sensitive to my picking attack and guitar’s
AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN (Australia) November 2003. DeLayla & HDB MK3
I confess no really knowing much about Carl Martin guitar pedals
before I took delivery of the two review models. The first thing I
noticed was how much the boxes weighed. Carl Martin Pedals are Big, look
stunning and appear to be indestructible. Love at first sight.
AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN (Australia) November 2003. HDB MK3
What makes the Hot Drive'n Boost MK3 so good is it's versatility and
the ability to incorporate the pedal into you're existing set-up. The
pedal has been designed with the amp in mind, it does not change your
existing tone, it compliment it. The distortion is beautifully transparent
and the different variations achieved through using the MK3 can really
add new dimensions to you're tone.
Basically, the Hot Drive'n Boost gives you the opportunity to go to
For a distortion pedal, this unit is one of the quietest I have heard. A
full spectrum of distortion tones is achieved from slightly dirty blues
tones to full on screaming sustained metal tones.
This is perhaps one of the better distortion pedals money can buy. The
pedal even worked a treat when coupled with an acoustic guitar, and if
it is milky, clear distortion that you require this is the pedal for
AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN (Australia) November 2003. DeLayla
Let me say straight off the bat that the Carl Martin DeLayla is the
best stomp box I have ever had the pleasure of using.
After plugging in my guitar and hitting the on switch my jaw hit the
ground, this is the holy grail of guitar delay. The DeLayla sounds so
much like a tape delay, I tell you, the smile on my face started to hurt
after a while.
The main delay is sweet and musical; think classic Jimmy Page or
early U2. The DeLayla sounded awesome when used as part of an effect
loop. This unit worked great on stage with absolutely no noise at all
and was masterful in the recording studio. I bussed this unit across a
vocal with no apparent problems, the low signal to noise ratio makes
using the DeLayla in the studio a piece of cake and I feel this unit is
usable for far more than just guitar tracks.
GUITAR PLAYER (USA) November 2003. Two Faze
The Two Faze does indeed sound an awful lot like the vintage Maestro
pedal, producing thick and vibey phase textures that range from very slow
and swishy to gurgling to ultra-fast. Like all Carl Martin pedals, the
Two Faze is handwired in Denmark using very high-quality components, so
its operation is super-quiet, and there are no pops or clicks when
switching. You don’t get much control over the sound, but you do get
two speeds to choose from, and the sound quality is excellent. Think of
it this way: The Two Faze gives you two classic phasers for less than
you’d pay for a single original PS-1. Groovy.
Pros: Two phasers in one pedal. Cool vintage sound.
GUITARIST (UK) November 2003. Hot Drive'n Boost MK3
company says that it will enhance any tube amp, and it sure looks like a
survivor- it's built like a small armoured car and has an integral power
supply with captive mains lead.
I'd lived with it for an hour or so I really started enjoying using this
Carl Martin, and it definitely seems to give you additional channels on
I was able to go from clean to rock mayhem or dirty to all-out warfare
without any trouble at all. Drive always added subtle upper midrange
body to the sound in a way I liked, while the Wave control contributed
gentle upper end boost to give my sound a bit more edge and cut.
GUITARIST (UK) July 2003. Two Faze
Two Faze combines the relatively gentle sounds of early phase shifter
pedals with improved sonic fidelity offered by modern technology.
Like all Carl Martin pedals, the Two Faze is well built, with an
The drawback with units from the sixties and seventies, of course, is
their unreliability, but Carl Martin has shown once again how the
addition of carefully sourced and matched components to a classic pedal
design can provide the best of both worlds.
Dual phaser is a great feature, and the overall quality, in terms of
design and sound, is worth paying extra for.
GITAAR PLUS (Netherlands) June 2003. DeLayla
did a manufacturer of effect pedals succeed in building a small tape
echo type of effect as efficient as Carl Martin did."
and Shadows fans won't be disappointed as the sound quality is at a much
higher level than we are used to with pedals."
GITAAR PLUS (Netherlands) June 2003. Two Faze
Two Faze is not just a Phaser, as I assumed. By the combination of the
two effects you get closer to a chorus, a tremolo or a vibrato. But
these effects are much more convincing with this combination in the Two
GITAAR PLUS (Netherlands) June 2003. CM pedals in general
"One of the most important benefits of Carl Martin pedals is the
built-in power supply...not very often did I hear such noiseless
"Once you bought these pedals, you'll stick to them."
(UK) Feb 2003. Big John
you're looking to build up your own pedalboard, the Big John is one of
the best-made units out there at around this price range. Compared to
the expense of having a custom-made power-supply, investing in the
bulletproof Big John will power your pedals quietly and reliably,
resisting the onslaught of your size 11 s with ease.
(UK) Feb 2003. Two Faze.
the DeLayla, the Two Faze presents all of the preferred analogue warmth
and breadth without the extraneous noise common to same older vintage
phasers. Also, we particularly like how the preset level of the effected
signal balances against the original guitar tone - even with the phase
rate wound up to a psychedelic burble, the primary tone remains true.
Again, a totally clean bypass tone and extremely low signal-to-noise
ratio rounds up the Two Faze into every bit the professional unit.
Silky smooth performance and superlative construction are two
main factors that elevate the Two Faze to the professional league.
(UK) Feb 2003. DeLayla
'tap' facility certainly feels right on the money in terms of
replicating the trickling sound of a genuine multihead tape echo - minus
the annoying mechanical noises or humming as the tape begins to degrade.
Setting up very authentic-sounding vintage echo tones is very easy - we
had bags of fun wielding a Strat and the DeLayla to conjure up same cool
Overall, the main delay has a very warm and musical quality that endears
itself quickly. Hooked into the FX loops an a pair of good quality
solid-state and tube guitar amps, the DeLayla performs well, adding a
subtle ambient halo to the guitar sounds, and unlike same other analogue
delay pedals, the DeLayla's low signal-to-noise ratio doesn't present
any problems when recording with the unit.
The DeLayla's appeal lies mainly in the extremely high build-quality and
simple, yet effective design. Hard working retro rockers disenchanted by
the high prices demanded for vintage tape echo devices will find this
hard to beat.
GUITAR BUYER (UK) Feb 2003. CM pedals in general.
their initial release way back in 1993 (is it really that long ago?),
Carl Martin pedals quickly earned a strong reputation for producing
studio-quality analogue effects within the confines of just a humble
stompbox. Alongside the impressive build quality, another of the pedals'
more interesting features was that they were among the first to offer
two-in-one functionality along with a high-quality built-in power
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. Compressor/Limiter.
The Carl Martin on the other
hand almost lives up to its boast of studio quality compression. Awesome
clarity of sound, and very smooth threshold, compression, response and
gain Controls combine to create the sort of useable, sensitive sound
shaping any fussy player dreams of.
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. TremO'vibe.
The tremolo (volume
variation) is nice and smooth and very sensitive to tweaking, and the
vibrato (pitch modulation) has enough range to make even the straightest
guitar line sound like a serious acid victim.
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. The Fuzz.
Forget Fuzz, this is the works.
As the name suggests, the Fuzz is here, from a Fuzz Face veil to a Big
Muff growl, you'll pull any classic psychedelic feel you like. But say
you just want a nice warm overdrive, or perhaps a hair metal solo tone,
or even a dirty punk rock buzz. They're all here, and not just in
approximate form, but as close to the real deal as almost anybody could
For studio applications this pedal is amazing, and on stage you'll get
more tones that you could ever use in one show, even if you can only use
one per song.
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. Chorus XII
biggest gripe with chorus pedals in general is that they all too often
sound completely synthetic, with no hint of an organic guitar sound
behind the wash of effect.
Chorus XII overcomes this more than any chorus pedal 1've ever
This is a chorus pedal that is
worthy of a place between an AC30 and Gibson 335, a complement to great
tone and great playing, rather than a mask for the opposite of those
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. The Fuzz, TremO'vibe,
Compressor Limiter, Chorus XII.
simply, think of these as the Rolls Royce’s of stomp boxes -
constructed in Denmark to the highest standards, the Carl Martin range
not only offer unrivalled workmanship, but also deliver some stunning
The most striking feature about
the entire range of Carl Martin pedals is the fact that they are silent
not just very quiet, but silent. Recording with these pedals into a Pro
Tools system proved simply stunning - no hum, even with three pedals in
sequence. While this silence is probably less crucial on stage, in the
studio environment it is a godsend, and has prompted many of the top
guitarists in the world to take these pedals into recording sessions
with increasing regularity.
while silence is golden, mains power is wonderful and bulletproof
construction highly desirable, it is really the sound we are interested
in, and fortunately the Carl Martin range is as good at making a noise
as they are at everything else.
at each of the four pedals we received in turn, the tonal quality
offered here is absolutely without equal.
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. Combinator.
all know the frustration that can be associated with effects - there's
not just the problem of finding the right sound, you've then also got to
be able to summon that sound on a dimly lit stage after the best part of
a six pack.
effects has in the past always come with some degree of compromise -
either you compromise your tone and use a cheap multi effects unit,
compromise your bank balance and use a good multi effects unit or
compromise your sanity and learn to tap dance on your stomp boxes.
So, it is good news for guitarists everywhere that a few companies are
attempting to find a solution to these problems, and Carl Martin are
leading the way with their Combinator.
Lag time between patch changes is extremely short, and like all
Carl Martin equipment, the Combinator is very, very quiet.
Combinator is beautiful in its simplicity, with both programming and
operation almost fool proof.
fact that the Combinator allows you to set up patches, rather than just
queuing pedals as you need them makes it a dream. This is very much like
having a programmable multi effects unit but with the tonal superiority
of dedicated analogue stomp boxes rather than those often nasty digital
effects in the all-in-one units.
Delugg Music Production Supervisor
LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN Sept. 2001. 2R IM164L Mini Mic.
When I first received some CARL MARTIN 2Rs to listen to,
I was concerned that such a small microphone would not be able to
"deliver." After using the microphones for several
months I'm quite pleased. I've used them on acoustic pianos, congas,
bongoes, some drums... even guitar amps. In all applications, the mic
has produced a nice transparency that is remarkable for its size and
price. If you need a small "general purpose" microphone, you
should give this one a listen.
(UK) Nov. 2001. DeLayla.
The quality of sound is excellent with a beautifully
rich and organic tone, and there's plenty of delay time for the majority
of classic repeat effects.
The Delayla produces a stunning slap-back echo that sounds really
vintage-authentic, made bigger and richer with some of the tap effects
ONSTAGE Magazine (USA) Sept. 2001. 2R IM164L Mini Mic.
Every cook knows you can't make a good meal without good ingredients, and similarly
you can't make a good recording without microphones that deliver the
full range of frequencies. This microphone won't necessarily hand you a
good sound on a silver platter, but it gives you the potential to get a
good sound when used on nearly any source.
The Microphone can deliver the full range of frequencies, and if used
carefully and intelligently it can be made to sound really good on a
wide variety of sources.
Guitar Player (USA) July 2001.
Programming the Combinations is a snap. Simply press the large button next
to each effect you want in the preset, hit store, and you're done. Then
with the touch of one footswitch, you can get pedal combinations that
would have taken numerous foot-tapping moves and saddled you with shin
splints or a high-ankle sprain.
(UK) Spring 2001. The Combinator
The Combinator offers enough flexibility for even the most
demanding stompboxer in typical Carl Martin style, the Combinator is
very well made.
Everything about the Combinator proves to be of high quality. Operation
is almost entirely noiseless; any extraneous sound is likely to be down
to the effects units you use.
If you've ever tried to make a MIDI-controller agree with a range of
MIDI-compatible devices, you'll appreciate the simplicity of this device
- it really is a case of `plug and play'.
For a player who needs to combine the individuality of seperate
stompboxes with a sophisticated palette of sounds, the Combinator
would make a worthwhile investment and a loyal friend for many years.
RECORDING MAGAZINE (USA) November 2000. 2R IM164L Mini Mic.
Unusual capsule, unusual wiring, unusually good sound.
The mic is surprisingly less beamy on the top end than a few other inexpensive
omnis, and in a live recording/stage situation that can translate to better gain
before feedback than you'd normally get from an omni.
Guitar Magazine (UK) March 2000. The
the top end comes Carl Martin and, for once, the extra money is fully justified.
The added dimension offered by its massive EQ allowance means this isn’t the
most straightforward of units to get accustomed to, but it’s surely the most
flexible, all-encompassing fuzz unit available today.
GUITAR WORLD (USA) January 2000. Crunch Drive
- Rock Drive
Heavy Drive & Noise Terminator
The problem with many distortion pedals is their attitude. Most expect to
be used as the main source of your gain-enhanced tone and show little respect
for the characteristics of your amp. These Carl Martin pedals don't assume you
want to transform your beloved, saggy AC30 into a spandex-ripping Triple
Rectifier. Instead, they simply give you another slice of what you already like.
GUITAR WORLD (USA) January 2000. Noise
The Noise Terminator worked extremely well, and without altering the
original tone characteristic of your setup.
Electronic Musician (USA) Dec. 1999. Compressor/Limiter
The Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter has more features than most dynamic
pedals and sounds better than many rack-mount processors.
Although the Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter is not exactly inexpensive, you
definitely get what you pay for. I've tried lots of dynamic pedals (including
the TC Parametric EQ/Sustainer), and nothing rivals this sound and versatility.
This box rocks!
Guitar Player (USA) August 1999.
band parametric pre-amp
I could imagine a studio player running almost everything through this
pedal, sweetening or sharpening tones to suit the situation. And, with its
transparent gain, this box is a great choice for anyone seeking a powerful,
clean toned solo boost.
Guitar Player (USA) August 1999.
The CM Compressor/Limiter may be the best sounding stomp box compressor
I've heard, and it gets an Editor's Pick Award.
(UK) May 1999. Crunch
Drive-Rock Drive & Heavy Drive
There's hardly anything to complain about with these pedals. The Danish
designer these are created by Holm Malmquist - certainly knows a thing or two
about tone and how to cram it into a little black boxes, so anyone looking to
augment or upgrade their pedalboard would do well to take a look.
Magazine (USA) February 1999. TremO'vibe
TremO'vibe ducked so close to silence at its lowest level that it sounded like
the effect you'd get from an old Würlitzer electric piano it sounded dynamite
Magazine (USA) February 1999. Compressor/Limiter
had a chance to compare the Carl Martin to a couple of similar priced, and more
expensive rack mount compressors, including a popular rack tube/optocompressor.
The CM was brighter, had a snappier response and offered more range of tone and
GUITARIST (UK) December 1998.
I'd expected the pedal to sound good, but not quite this good! The warmth
and smoothness of both effects is simply second to none, while the bypass
function is quiet as a church mouse who's just spotted Tiddles The Pulpit Killer
on the prowl.
Guitar Magazine (UK) Nov. 1998. Boost
If getting your solos to cut through the cacophony of the band is a bit
of a problem, it would be worth checking out this little cracker.with a
potential 12dB boost and Carl Martin´s fab EQ, hitting the right sound at the
right level is a breeze. In front of a loud overdriven Marshall, the leap is one
of the finest - if not very best - I've encountered.
Guitar Magazine (UK) Nov. 1998.
This is one of the best overdrive units I've heard and a pleasure to
Guitar Magazine (UK) Nov. 1998.
Weighing in a considerable £145, this unit really needs to deliver the
goods to justify the bottom line - and thankfully it does! From hard barks with
little sustain to fat saturated tones that last forever, this baby has got the
lot. This pedal is truly excellent - and suddenly the price tag spells value for
GUITARIST (UK) July 1997. Chorus XII
This is another example of how Carl Martin is coming up with ingenious ways of
improving on basic effect pedals.
Within its range of extremely usable sounds, it works incredibly well.
Do you want to know what impressed me most? Well, it's just so quiet.
GuitarPlayer (USA) July 1997. Chorus XII
Make me remember what I used to like about stereo chorus.
GuitarPlayer (USA) June 1997. Hot Drive'n
One of the most natural sounding and usable distortion pedals we have tried.
GUITARIST (UK) July 1997. Hot Drive'n Boost
An Excellent sounding and incredibly useful pedal, offering wide scope and
usability, along with high-class construction and components.
Finally, compression without depression! I love the LED indicator and the wide
(Hellecasters-Elton John) Compressor/Limiter
Sophisticated, versatile and sensitive enough to enhance my playing dynamics
rather than detract from them.
A giant leap above all compressor pedals. I even use it in the studio. It has
all the right ingredients.
David Williams & Michael Jackson
David Williams (Michael Jackson/Madonna etc.) Compressor/limiter
I tried it I liked it! And now I can not imagine playing without it.
Guitarist Magazine (France) April 1996. 3 Band
This pedal offers a wide range of applications for Electric Guitar, Electric
And Electro Acoustic Guitar. And even as an active DI box with it's XLR output.
In any case the result is excellent.
Bassist (UK) August 1995. CM pedals in
High performance, low-noise pedals which can be used live or in the studio are
rare beasts, but that's the case here. Pedals which work at this level of
efficiency and are this well made, with this level of pedigree aren't cheap, but
in the same breath aren't expensive either. If you appreciate paying for
quality, the Carl Martins wont be found wanting.
(Sweden) April 1995. Compressor/Limiter
I have no reservations; it's simply the best compressor pedal I have tried.
FACHBLATT Musik Magazin April 1993. Hot
Contrary to other actual distortion pedals, the Carl Martin pedal does not alter
your basic sound characteristics of your instrument and amplifier, quite on the
contrary, it offers additional sound nuances.