With the most recent addition of the Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic Overdrive MKII, Redbeard Effects now has you superbly covered for all the main gain pedal food groups! You will note from my monthly pedal-chain updates that I myself have been rocking said Trifecta since the introduction of the Angry Rhubarb back in June. Actually I was privileged to receive mine near the start of May - so I’ve had nearly 4 months of experience of this Trifecta - and it really does stand up to all challengers.
Obviously the Red Mist MKIV is based on Mikey Demus’s signature Orange RockerVerb 100 MKIII Amp - which is always part of his rig - so he doesn’t need the Red Mist to be part of his signal chain unless performing through some sort of PA system. Mikey’s latest pedalboard setup features two of his signature pedals, and it’s cool to see that he’s held onto the ThorpyFX Peackeeper too - meaning that he deploys two core overdrives as part of this board :
Mikey Demus recent 2021 Pedalboard
June 2021 GPX Pedalboard Snapshot
My June 8th feature explains in detail just how formidable this overdrive is - which has Dual Gain-Stage controls, alongside a Single-Band Parametric Tone Stack. I recommend starting off with the Post-EQ Drive control dialled right down, and the Main Pre-EQ Pre Drive Control set to noon. For me the Pre Drive is the main gain control, and Post Drive is more of a Gain refinement knob where you can progressively add more saturation. Lots of players like to start with both Gain controls at noon and work them subtractively - while for me it make more logical sense to build up the gain additively.
The Two EQ controls are the killer part of the pedal as the frequency range goes from 80Hz to 4kHz which is an immense range. And via the Frequency Gain knob you can boost or cut each selected frequency cluster by ±6dB. I've called this an Everyday Overdrive as it is supreme in its wide coverage and so quick to dial in. Thorpy has precision calibrated all the dials - so you have the perfect taper for effortless and intuitive on-the-fly tweaking. It really is the maximum impact via the least amount of knobs, and is a really cool control topology and overall drive pedal execution - which has you pretty much covered for every eventuality. The Angry Rhubarb has pretty much taken up permanent residence on my #10 pedal-chain slot.
As is well documented, this is a brilliant take on Mikey Demus's favourite and signature Orange RockerVerb 100 MKIII amp. Its prowess is best defined by its huge gain range - from a near enough Clean Boost - all the way up to pretty Grinding and Crunchy Metal Distortion Tones. It has a wonderful naturally crunchy breakup character which is just perfect for the Signature Gigantic Riffs / Riff-Rock that Mike Demus specialises in.
On top of an enormous gain range with exceptional breakup character you then get Thorpy's beautifully calibrated 3-Band EQ - which Mikey sets with all dials at 2 o'c for his signature sound - while I typically prefer a little more oomph with all dials one higher! - at 3 o'c. This is very much one of my all-time favourite High Gain pedals - and you will find it the main resident of slot #27 in my pedal-chain.
We have established that the Red Mist MKIV is largely based on Mikey's signature RockerVerb amp - actually with quite a bit extra over and above that. While the Angry Rhubarb and Honey Badger are entirely unique and distinct propositions which Thorpy and Mikey collaborated on really from a blank canvas perspective. Each of those pedals had a desired functional range - where the desired tones, breakup character etc. were engineered from carte blanche principles pretty much - prototyped and refined over an extensive collaborative development process.
The Honey Badger is a 2-Band EQ Octave Fuzz - where you can set the octave component between -1 and -2 octaves down. That is to say the 'Divide' control dial ranges from -2 to -1 Octaves - and you can set the dial for a little of each at noon - or rather more accentuated in either direction. You then have a separate Octave Control which sets the balance / level for the Octave Effect - which can be Engaged and Disabled by the right-hand footswitch. This is a fantastically richly textured fuzz - very much a High Gain Fuzz with amazing breakup character which goes even more impressively textured and nuanced when the Octave mode is engaged. The Honey Badger is the principal resident on slot #24 - while I have so many great gain pedals in the collection that all 3 are very occasionally out of rotation. While they do tend to be my preferred choices and always end up going back in on active duty once I've trialled any new pedal on those slots.
It's rare that you get such a potent and complementary trio / Trifecta of gain pedals - where each is a category leader in its own right and has the same kind of characteristics of enormous range via the least amount of controls - with some clever and distinct engineering innovations.
I'm obviously an enormous fan of everything Thorpy does - while Mike deserves equal credit here in honing the perfect breakup output character on each of these pedals. These all sound magnificent really and so complement each other - there is no overlap really in coverage - each of those pedals really owns its own space.
Another key aspect here is how intuitive and perfectly tapered and calibrated these effects are as you instantly pick up on how each pedal delivers its output and are able to effect very rapid and accurate changes - with the absolute minimum of setup time.
Interestingly I often talk about Thorpy's own ThorpyFX Trifecta of Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz - i.e. Gunshot, Warthog and Fallout Cloud which are an equally formidable combination which cover quite different ground. In fact some will prefer to arrange the Thorpy Trifecta as Peacekeeper, Warthog and Fallout Cloud, while others prefer Peacekeeper, Gunshot / The Bunker, Fallout Cloud - certainly no shortage of potent options and alternatives from within that range.
I feel that what the Redbeard Effects Trifecta has over most other similar combinations is that huge extended range and versatility - anchored to supreme ease of use and rapid dial-in ability. All three are available right now from the Redbeard Effects Webstore and quality Dealers world-wide.
Which combination of Trifecta are you rocking yourself on your pedalboard?