Suhr Shiba Drive
Pedals. A very personal subject for guitarists so what follows is purely an opinion! For a long time I only used built in amp distortion (usually Marshalls) until slowly I began to realise that most of my favourite players all use the ‘loud clean Fender style amp with one or more pedals’ type of setup to get their sound. I had a nice but complex Mesa Boogie at the time so it was quite liberating to swap that for something simpler and start to look for that elusive pedal with my ‘ultimate’ overdrive sound..
The Suhr Shiba Drive was pretty much the first vaguely ’boutique’ (i.e. expensive!) pedal I bought and I loved the sound straight away. It’s so smooth and musical, with none of the fizz or grittiness I associate with pedals from my younger days. The dynamic response is superb, especially if you’re a player who uses the volume knob to move between rhythm and solo. With gain and volume on the pedal set to about 1 oclock and 6/7 on my Strat volume, you have a usable (if slightly hairy) funk clean sound. Dial it up to 10 and you have a lovely lead sound with just the right amount of sustain.
Built like a tank, with obviously high quality components (check out the switch action!), I can’t recommend the Shiba Drive enough. If you’re after a modern John Mayer / Matt Schofield style overdrive pedal to use with a Fender style amp, give one a try!
Here’s a gig video of me using just my Shiba Drive through an 80’s solid state Pro Amp amplifier.