Premier Guitar (US) Feb. 2016
Though it may lack some fancy digital features, the MK3 is capable of a lot more than just switching pedals on and off. You can use it as a killer A/B switcher to route two guitars into two separate amps, with each pair attached to its own group of effects. Just bypass the standard in/out controls and patch everything through the loop jacks.
The mechanical simplicity of the Octa-Switch MK3 is a beautiful thing. The intuitive design means neophytes can get started fast without consulting a manual. And it’s simple enough to make troubleshooting a breeze in performance situations. In an era in which many switchers are as complex as some multi-effects units, the MK3’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get layout cuts through all the frivolities. This bad boy lets you just program the configurations you’ll actually need rather than bog you down with hypothetical possibilities you’ll never actually use.
Harmony Central (US) Nov. 2015
The Carl Martin Octa-Switch Mk3 can put an end to your tap-dancing days. For many players, this pedal is going to be a game-changer, allowing them to store and recall up to eight different combinations of the connected effects with just a single button. It’s very easy to set up, and those who don’t want to learn MIDI commands and deal with menus and complicated programming can now enjoy some of the same benefits that have largely been limited to more elaborate MIDI switching systems in the past.
The flexibility of this pedal is impressive, but so is the sound quality. Switching is dead silent, and the Octa-Switch Mk3 doesn’t add any appreciable noise to your sound. In fact, for many users, it’s going to make things sound better because it keeps everything you’re not using at any given moment completely out of the signal path – including the extra cabling. Build quality is what you’d expect from Carl Martin – in other words, excellent.
I’ve really been enjoying the Octa-Switch. It allows me to call up vastly different preset sounds comprised of multiple analog effects with just a single button push – something that would otherwise be impossible to pull off. While I do wish it had a stereo input / output loop, and maybe a few more loops in general (I have a LOT of pedals), there’s very little else about this incredible loop switcher that I could find fault with. If you loathe menus and MIDI but want to have the ability to create complex sounding multi-effects presets using the pedals you already own, then you owe it to yourself to check out a Carl Martin Octa-Switch.
Harmony Central (US) Nov. 2014
Boosts are the kind of pedals that are extremely useful, but they’re usually not overly complex or sexy so they don’t often generate a ton of excitement among guitarists on the various online forums. While there are other solid boost pedals on the market, and even some other dual boosts, the Carl Martin Dual Injection really does bring something new to the party with its innovative series / parallel operation and useful dual I/O configuration. It gives this pedal uncommon versatility and the ability to do more than any single boost pedal I am aware of. Having two independent boost levels in one pedal is useful, but being able to split the boosts and run them in parallel at different points in your effects chain (or with one boost at the front of your effects and the other wired into your amp’s effects loop) gives the Dual Injection even more utility and flexibility. Plus it sounds good too, and there’s a decent amount of boost available, and a huge amount when using them both simultaneously. All of this makes the Carl Martin Dual Injection an excellent choice for your boost pedal needs.
Premier Guitar (US) Oct. 2014
Carl Martin has absolutely nailed the Uni-vibe sound, delivering all the blubbery goodness you’d expect. The fuzz is fantastic. It’s crispy, with the correct quantity of sizzle—which is to say, ungodly amounts.
There is a lot of vibe control here, and when the fuzz is engaged the paint-peeling lysergia rating on this thing is a solid 10.
Harmony Central (US) July 2014
This is an ambitious, and challenging pedal for a manufacturer to have taken on since it packs so much – essentially two pedals – into one reasonably compact unit, and connects them in such an unconventional way. Unfortunately, it does suffer a bit because of that smaller footprint in terms of the slightly cramped controls and the lack of space for separate switches for the fuzz and vibe, but the ability to switch between two vibe speed settings is something that is extremely handy, and is a feature that not a lot of other vibe pedals offer. That, plus the excellent sound quality make the Purple Moon a worthwhile purchase as a dedicated vibe pedal – consider the fuzz a very cool bonus if you wish. For others, the combination of vibe and fuzz will give them exactly the kind of vintage flavored tones they seek. The silicon fuzz is also a winner, with its thick, saturated sustain, but the knob placement and type, along with the Purple Moon’s switching configuration make it much harder to use it independently of the vibe. Still, it’s the interaction between the two effects that offers the most promise for creative guitarists, and the top-rate tone quality and range of adjustability will no doubt keep many players happily entertained dialing up interesting sounds for hours on end. It’s a fun pedal, with a lot of cool tones and an unusual design approach that yields interesting results that sound fantastic. Give it a try if you have the opportunity!
AUSTRALIAN GUITAR MAGAZINE (AUS) June 2014
This isn’t a pedal for those who need the ultimate fuzz with the occasional vibrato effect. Rather it’s one for players who need the ultimate vibrato effect married to the perfect vibe-friendly fuzz. It’s really easy to use – in fact the only thing that’s difficult about this pedal is trying to get a bad sound out of it.
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, etc.—but suffice
to say that I was floored, and will be adding this little beauty to my collection.
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 HeadRoom
The HeadRoom’s wide-ranging Level controls are essentially linear, allowing you to dial in just the right amount of ’verb, from supersubtle
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.
Bassplayer (USA) March 2013 BassDrive
The 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.
Carl 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 among us.
Bass Guitar Magazine (UK) BassDrive Dec. 2012.
A 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.
At first glance, newcomers would be forgiven for thinking that the controls on this funky little pedal looks a little bit confusing. The reality is that each of the controls is reassuringly simple, distinct and interactive. All 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.
Verdict: A unit that deserves some serious consideration.
Premier Guitar (USA) May 2012 Classic Optical Envelope
Given the low price, solid build, and smooth, 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 duties. 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
Fuzz Magazine (Sweden) November 2011 Classic Chorus
The 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 faster pseudo-leslie-spins.
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 distortion.
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.
Fuzz 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.
Typically, compressors 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.
Fuzz 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.
Are 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
The 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.
VINTAGE GUITAR (USA) September 2010 DC-Drive
The 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 happy day!
TUNES Magazine (Norway) May 2009 DC-Drive
The 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.
Carl 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.
Tunes Music Magazine, Norway
Guitarist Magazine (UK) Feb. 2009. Hydra Boost
This 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 right now.
An excellent pedal that is perfect if you’re solos need an extra hike in volume.
Premier Guitar (USA) Nov. 2008. Octa-switch
Being 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.
It 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) Sept. 2008 EchoTone & TremO´vibe
The 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.
Regular 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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
This 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 too.
It 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.
VINTAGE GUITAR (USA) MAY 2006 Vintage Series
If 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 tested circuits.
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.
First 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.
Next 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. The 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.
The 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.
This 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.
GUITAR BUYER (UK) APRIL 2006 Quattro
The Quattro answers a need for a simple-yet-highly-versatile quality effects package for pro-minded players.
Besides being compact and rugged, the Quattro has a very impressive resistance to noise, and the effects all perform brilliantly.
No fuss, no worries. One box with some great effects. Boy, have we been waiting for this!
GUITAR BUYER (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 and great-sounding amplifier, that can cover a wealth of styles with ease.
It’s expensive, but in this case the sound and performance justifies the price
BASSGUITAR (USA) January 2006 BassChorus
Who need the shimmering beauty of a studio-quality chorus pedal like the Carl Martin Bass Chorus? Well, 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.
There 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 B-E-A-D-tuned 4-string.
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.
Those 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.
VINTAGE 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.
The Stratocaster sounded completely like it self, as did the Esquire, with tons of smooth clear gain you’d expect from a plexi Marshall
GUITARIST (UK) March 2005. Plexitone
An 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.
Far 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.
GUITARIST (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, meaning you can be a lot more liberal with the effect than you would with a digital unit.
GUITAR PLAYER (USA) April 2004. HDB MK3
In Drive mode, I was stoked with the range afforded by the Gain knob, which provided everything from subtle splashes of dirt to complete molten meltdown.
The sound remained smooth and musical no matter how much distortion was piled on, and dynamically sensitive to my picking attack and guitar’s volume.
AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN (Australia) November 2003. DeLayla & HDB MK3
I confess not 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 ‘eleven’.
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 you.
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
The 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.
Once 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 your amp.
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.
GITAAR PLUS (Netherlands) June 2003. DeLayla
“Never did a manufacturer of effect pedals succeed in building a small tape echo type of effect as efficient as Carl Martin did.” “Ventures 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
“The 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 Faze”.
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 pedals.”
“Once you bought these pedals, you’ll stick to them.”
GUITAR BUYER (UK) Feb 2003. Two Faze.
Like 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.
GUITAR BUYER (UK) Feb 2003. DeLayla
The ‘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 Shadows impressions.
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.
Following 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 supply.
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. 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. 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 want.
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
My 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. The Chorus XII overcomes this more than any chorus pedal 1’ve ever encountered.
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 things.
Australian Guitar Magazine (AU) May 2002. The Fuzz, TremO’vibe, Compressor Limiter, Chorus XII.
Put 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 innovations.
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.
And 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. Looking at each of the four pedals we received in turn, the tonal quality offered here is absolutely without equal.
GUITARIST (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 mixed in.
Guitar Magazine (UK) March 2000. The Fuzz
At 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. Noise Terminator
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. 3 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.
GUITARIST (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.
Recording Magazine (USA) February 1999. TremO’vibe
The 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 on keyboards.
Recording Magazine (USA) February 1999. Compressor/Limiter
We 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 tweak.
GUITARIST (UK) December 1998. TremO´vibe
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 Kick
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. Rock Drive
This is one of the best overdrive units I’ve heard and a pleasure to play.
Guitar Magazine (UK) Nov. 1998. THE FUZZ
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 money.
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 boost MKII
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.
Will Ray (Hellecasters) Compressor/limiter
Finally, compression without depression! I love the LED indicator and the wide dynamic range.
John Jorgenson (Hellecasters-Elton John) Compressor/Limiter
Sophisticated, versatile and sensitive enough to enhance my playing dynamics rather than detract from them.
Jerry Donahue (Hellecasters) Compressor/Limiter
A giant leap above all compressor pedals. I even use it in the studio. It has all the right ingredients.
Guitarist Magazine (France) April 1996. 3 Band Parametric Pre-Amp.
This pedal offers a wide range of applications for Electric Guitar, Electric Bass
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 general.
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.
MM Musikermagasinet (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 Drive’n Boost
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.