I’ve been lucky enough to have this formidable overdrive pedal since pretty much the start of May. However, like Thorpy’s Pulse Doppler had to be delayed because of parts supply issues - much the same happened with the production of the Angry Rhubarb. It’s great to finally be able to share this gem with everyone.
This is a Single Parametric EQ Overdrive with Pre Drive and Post Drive control over the gain stages. The first realisation here is to start with selecting the correct sort of default value gain level via the Pre Drive / Pre-EQ Gain Stage knob. I had the most success starting with the Post Drive / Post-EQ control dialled right back.
So you set your Main Gain first via Pre Drive, and then fine-tune that with the secondary Post Drive control - which will add more saturation and aggression clockwise and temper the gain in the other direction.
The EQ is a classic Single Band Parametric Overdrive where the Freq knob sets which Frequency you want to target, and the Freq Gain knob then either boost that cluster by up to +6dB, or else carves it out by down to -6dB.
One of the first exercises I tend to do is establish the full range of the pedal - meaning I try to find its softest low gain usable setting - and its most harmonically rich full-fat setting - which is what my own two PDX Presets cover below.
The Angry Rhubarb has an incredibly broad frequency sweep - from 80Hz all the way up to 4kHz - and will give you pretty much every frequency accent and nuance in the most elegant of fashions. Few Overdrives have anywhere near as much range - especially with just 2 Tone Stack controls.
The pedal’s versatility is best exemplified by the various official and PDX Presets - where I’ve tried to feature two of the extremes of the pedal, while the other presets target very specific celebrated tones :
Elegant Mellow Low Gain Preset
Settings : Volume at 12 o'c, Post Drive at 7 o'c / Min, Pre Drive at 10 o'c, Freq Gain at -6dB / Min, Freq at 1 o'c.
Fat Low-End Boosted Full Flavour producing the most Harmonically Rich Tones
Settings : Volume at 12 o'c, Post Drive at 12 o'c, Pre Drive at 12 o'c, Freq Gain at +3dB, Freq at 7 o'c / Min
Exactly as described - Upper Mids Accentuated Boost
Settings : Volume at 10 o'c, Post Drive at 7 o'c / Min, Pre Drive at 2 o'c, Freq Gain at +2dB, Freq at 2 o'c.
Another entirely descriptive label - somewhat more saturated than my Max Harmonix settings
Settings : Volume at 12 o'c, Post Drive at 9 o'c, Pre Drive at 5 o'c / Max, Freq Gain at +6dB, Freq at 7 o'c / Min.
Cocked Wah style setting with heavily accentuated Upper Mids
Settings : Volume at 12 o'c, Post Drive at 3 o'c, Pre Drive at 7 o'c / Min, Freq Gain at +6dB / Max, Freq at 3 o'c.
Obviously Classic Billy Gibbons Style Tones
Settings : Volume at 12 o'c, Post Drive at 9 o'c, Pre Drive at 5 o'c / Max, Freq Gain at -6dB, Freq at 3 o'c.
AC/DC tones presumably - very slightly Mid-scooped and highly saturated
Settings : Volume at 10 o'c, Post Drive at 4 o'c, Pre Drive at 3 o'c, Freq Gain at -1dB, Freq at c 2 o'c.
Suitably QOTSA / Josh Homme Tones
Settings : Volume at 5 o'c / Max, Post Drive at 7 o'c / Min, Pre drive at 5 o'c / Max, Freq Gain at -6dB, Freq at 5 o'c / Max.
The Angry Rhubarb was designed exactly for Mikey's needs - to be a full-range everyday overdrive that could achieve the broadest range of tones via the simplest of setups. It will be interesting to see if it replaces the ThorpyFX Peacekeeper on Mikey's pedalboard, or is a further addition.
Once you figure out to start with the Post Drive knocked back this is exceedingly easy to dial in - and you get to where you need to in the quickest possible time. The Combination of the Pre and Post Drive and Single Band Parametric EQ actually renders a lot more nuance than you would initially have though possible.
There are other overdrives with rather more complex Tone Stacks to them for even more nuance - while few if any are quite as wide ranging or quick to dial in as the Angry Rhubarb.
I have a lot of favourite overdrives so it will be interesting to see the longer-term impact of the Angry Rhubarb on my own pedal-chain.
The Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic Drive MKII is available right now on the Redbeard Effects Webstore for £185 plus shipping.