Source Audio’s original Soundblox pedals
offer a plethora of cool sounds, and among
other added features, the new Pro series
brings programmability to the table, which
is particularly useful for live performance.
The Soundblox Pro Multiwave Distortion
and Pro Classic Distortion allow customized
tones to be saved in six user
locations, recallable via three footswitches
and a Bank button. An optional expression
pedal lets you morph from the preset on,
say, Switch 1 Bank A, to its counterpart on
Bank B. Alternately, you can use the expression
pedal to access all six user programs
without having to push the Bank button.
A MIDI input permits external control of
presets and parameters (though there are
no MIDI Out or Thru jacks), and, as with all Soundblox pedals, the Pros are Hot Hand
controllable. The optional Hot Hand ring
only controls the Drive functions on these
two pedals, so the most I could muster was
a subtle tremolo effect. The onboard 7-band
graphic equalizer also provides a massive
amount of tone shaping power on both units.
With their controller rings and high tech
design, Source Audio has typically been more
interested in the future of stompboxes than
their past. Surprising, then, that the new
Soundblox Classic Distortion Pro ($299
retail/$219 street) offers 11 traditional
flavors of distortion and fuzz, as well as a
clean boost. While they have not attempted
to exactly copy the Tube Screamer, Big Muff,
Rat, Fuzz Face, etc., the resulting tones do
capture the flavor of these and other referenced
The Boogie-based Smooth Tube setting
unleashed my inner Santana, while the Marshall-
inspired Tube Drive recalled that amp’s
classic British character. What was missing
was the response to the instrument volume
associated with some of these pedals. The
“Big Pi” cleaned up more than a typical Big
Muff, the “Fuzz Façade” less than a Fuzz
Face. I also noticed some treble loss when
backing off the guitar volume. Regardless of
historical accuracy, every distortion sound
was delightfully musical, while the abundant
clean boost was totally transparent if
desired, or could be shaped to taste with the
EQ and Mid knobs.
Bottom line: The Soundblox Pro Classic
Distortion provides a smorgasbord of great
grit that would otherwise cost thousands in
individual amps and pedals.
KUDOS A wealth of sweet-sounding drive
from boost to fuzz.
CONCERNS Doesn’t respond consistently to
guitar volume manipulation.
CONTACT Soundblox, (781) 932-8080;
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