Aural Magic Procyon Meteor RX3

A pedal of this size that sports a single 12AX7—as well as its own fuse—best be battering my amp’s front end with extreme prejudice. Thankfully, the hand-built, 12-volt-powered Procyon Meteor RX3 ($439 direct) grants my sadistic wish. With two Drive controls, as well as true-bypass circuitry, the Meteor absolutely pummels an amp’s preamp section, yielding everything from a gentle thickening of a weenie clean tone to sustain-for-days ridiculousness.

The RX3 has so much output, it kind of freaked me out—like it might just blow up my amp. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. But running it in the front of a Reverend Goblin 5/15 (set to the five-watt mode) produced some of the most over-the-top molten distortion I’ve ever heard. By experimenting with different combinations of the Drive controls, you can dial up some subtle tweaks to your tone as well. The Meteor RX3 isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a front-of-amp gooser, it may just be your cup of tea.

Massive amounts of tube-powered output.

Very expensive. Huge enclosure is a real-estate hog.

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