WELL ESTABLISHED IN THE BASS ampliﬁcation ﬁeld, Italy’s Markbass started the DV Mark brand to explore guitar-oriented products, such as amps (which we reviewed in the November 2011 issue), and a line of pedals that includes the Guitar Tube Marker overdrive tested here ($169 street).
If you are thinking, “Not another over- drive,” a cursory glance at the Tube Marker’s typical Drive, Level, and Tone controls won’t change your mind—but plugging in might. I tested the pedal with a hum- bucker-equipped Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster and a 1965 Fender Stratocaster with hum-canceling single-coils, which I ran into an Egnater Rebel 30 and an Orange Tiny Terror. In all combinations the Tube Marker evidenced a remarkably amp-like sound and feel. With the Drive at nine o’clock or below and the guitar volume full up, the pedal easily handled that elusive, edge-of-breakup sound that’s so cool for gritty rhythm playing. Backing off the instrument’s level cleaned up the sound nicely too, which is great. At higher Drive settings, I was amazed at how the ’Marker managed to add compressor-like sustain without sacriﬁcing pick dynamics— great for soloing.
Until the Tone control reaches about three o’clock, the DV Mark pedal remains warm and dark. Between noon and three, Fender/ Dumble fans will revel in the fat overdrive tone this pedal delivers. Fans of more jangle and aggression will ﬁnd the treble coming on fast at three o’clock with slicing, but not offensive, highs.
The attractive, solidly built Guitar Tube Marker has a lush, dynamic musical voice that should appeal to fusion fans and classic rockers alike. This pedal has a sound all its own, and that deﬁnitely lifts the ’Marker out of the realm of “just another overdrive.”
KUDOS Realistic amp-like overdrive. Great dynamic response. Warm tone.
CONCERNS Tone jumps quite quickly from dark to bright.