The Crunchtone ($139 retail/$99 street)—one of a series of new ToneCore modeling pedals from Line 6 (stay tuned for a review on the rest of them)—sports a heavy cast-metal enclosure that looks like it could have been lifted from a Star Wars All-Terrain Tactical Enforcer vehicle. Weighing in at over 2.25 lbs, the Chinese-made pedal is armed with Drive, Level, Bass, and Treble knobs, a Model switch with Blues, Pop, and Crunch settings, and a 2-position Gate switch.
Following the suggested settings in the handbook, I found the controls could be quickly configured for an aggressive tone reminiscent of an overdriven Fender Deluxe (Blues), a shimmering Vox-style grind (Pop), or a heavy, Marshall-flavored rock sound with loads of thick sustain (Crunch). The Blues setting is the Crunchtone’s most dynamic and uncompressed mode, while Crunch offers a nice punchy bounce while preserving the pick-click artifacts you get from a tube amp. Nice! This pedal has a lot of output, and its Gate function controls the noise that higher Drive settings can generate in a remarkably non-intrusive manner. The Crunchtone is accommodating to humbuckers and single-coils, and its clever interface provides excellent tone-shaping power while maintaining the user-friendliness of an analog pedal.
KUDOS Wide variety of distortion textures. Great price.
CONCERNS Heavy for compact pedal. Not true-bypass.
CONTACT (818) 575-3600; line6.com