I’ve been hooked on REVV Pedals since the very start - pre-ordering both the G3 and then G4 direct from Canada. And they both went straight into my pedal-chain and have mostly stayed there since bar some fairly minor short-term rotations. Having settled on the Menatone The King for my main Crunch / Plexi tones I thought I wouldn’t likely need the very recently announced G2 Crunchy Drive.
Yet as is often the case - and after experiencing the That Pedal Show TGU19 episode on the pedal (as below) - I have come to the conclusion - that this will likely be joining its other two siblings already established in my chain. When you acquire a pedal - you do it not necessarily because it’s universally agreed to be the very best ever of that type, but more because you like its specific voicing, timbre and playback feel - and something about it really connects with you and draws you in.
What all the REVV pedals have to their advantage is a wonderful amp-like feel. This does not mean that these pedals are quite the replacement for valve amp tones as such (or the original G120 for that matter) - but with some clever tricks and carefully tweaking and pivoting - you can get as near as darnit with your home / studio setup - and without encouraging regular visits from the the neighbourhood noise patrol.
All 3 REVV pedals are in fact quite different in tonality and some who profess to love the G3 don’t love the G4 as much or at all even - but then these are totally different pedals. The first-born G3 is the epitome of tight, focused, mid-range-pushed modern metal tones - great for leads and cutting through the mix with a punchy percussive edge. While the G4 is thick and fat and brutal - with more gain and saturation on tap and possibly more of a pedgiree towards rhythm tones. Although I equate the G4 to my much-loved Diezel VH4-2 which just took up a lot of space, and I’ve been able to reduce that footprint significantly with the G4. Both the G3 and G4 are very much high gain metal pedals as such - although their 3-way Aggression switches along with 3-band EQ yield a wide range of tonal possibilities.
The G2 is right at the other end of the spectrum - billed rather as a Drive than a Distortion - but with an obvious bluesy crunchy character that covers a lot of the same territory as my incumbent Menatone King. What swings it for me towards the REVV side of the tonal spectrum is the lively bright-edged tonality which typifies each of these pedals - they have that same lively dynamic edge which really appeals to my own sensibilities. As mentioned previously here - you are buying into the engineers ’Ears’ as such - and into the character and feel that they build into the circuit. No two Plexi pedals are the same - each will have a different core character and texture - a different inner voicing and breakup profile - some of which you will like more than others. It’s really just the Goldilocks effect in tonal terms - whether for you it’s not too dark, nor too bright, or sufficiently articulate without being too staccato or strident - and understandably not everyone has the same taste - and our ears are all different - possibly my many years as a DJ impacted on the frequencies that I discern and how those resonate with me.
REVV definitely has a formula of sorts therefore, and to me it’s the very Classic Coke version of the spectrum that I seem to like - so 2 will definitely become 3 here - I just need to factor the G2 into my acquisitions schedule - it’s due to ship sometime in July!
The latest of the REVV Generator Pedaliterations is the No. 2 Green Crunch Channel - which is supposed to cover all bases of British-style Bark and Breakup. For this pedal, the default setting is with the toggle switch set up or the Blue option - which is different to the centre position starting point of the previous pedals. With the switch set to Blue you are in Blues Breaker and Blues Driver style territory; the middle setting is essentially a significantly cleaner version of that, while the Red down mode gets you more into raunchier Plexi style territory. As noted above - this pedal has a lovely dynamic and lively crunchy feel, and as attested by the That Pedal Show gang - you get plenty of headroom and range here to pretty much suit all playing styles. As with any pedal - it really depends how much you like this particular voicing or tuning of this genre style - and I seem to like it very much. I wasn't sure that the lower gain G2 would necessarily be of equal appeal to me compared to its more boisterous siblings - but it seems I was wrong. I now of course need to negotiate my pre-order with REVV as I have to have this one as well now!
The first released was this precision-honed, laser-sighted mids-focused G3 which was immediately met with a lot of love for that quintessential tight modern punchy tone which so appeals to the senses. Critics and plaudits were proclaiming it the most amp-like of this generation's metal pedals and it soon appeared on hundreds of pedalboards including mine. Many had it pegged as the best High Gain distortion pedal of 2018 - ahead of such luminaries as the new Boss MT-2w Waza Craft and Horizon Effects Apex PreAmp - even though to me those are all slightly different flavours! In any case it went straight onto my own board and has largely stayed there - bar the very occasional rotation with Metal Zones and Abasi Pathos and perhaps a couple of short stints from a couple of others. In any case it remains my principal pedal choice for Slot #23 in the chain.
The G4 was a real surprise at the start of the year - it kind of came from nowhere and entered my collection and pedal-chain well before the end of January! In many ways the G4 was the antithesis to the Tight Punchy Mids of the G3 - instead being looser (more sag), thicker, rawer and more saturated. At the time I was looking to down-size from my rather huge Diezel VH4-2 - I had stopped off to run the Wampler Triple Wreck on said slot #26 for a while, but when the G4 came around - it was as if it was the perfect replacement for both of those - at a fraction of the size. So the G4 has been firmly settled in place in the pedal-chain since January and has experienced little if any rotation - remaining the firm favourite for that style of tone.
At the start of this journey I had never really considered that REVV would bring out a pedal for each of the key channels of their flagship Generator 120 Amp. I felt that Channel 3 was the best loved Channel - which is why we got the G3. But now we've had the whole trifecta. Based on how much I loved the G3 when I got it - the G4 was pretty much a shoe-in and I think I just ordered that blind as soon as the pre-orders were announced.
I then thought that the G3 and G4 made a formidable pairing, but never really considered that there would be Trifecta in the making here or any sort of full set as such. Mastery of High Gain does not necessarily translate to the slightly more subtle nuances of chewy breakup crunch. There's a reasons why Marshall tends to own that middle ground - as that core tonality is just so satisfying at any level of saturation. And yet the G2 is sufficiently different to what is already out there, and also retains the family character that made the G3 and G4 pedals so appealing. For sure there may be 'better' individual pedals out there - depending on your own preferences and sensibilities - yet there's some magic family touch about this particular trifecta that makes it so appealing and makes me want to complete the set and see all 3 siblings performing together!
There's no question that this is one of the most heavily contested corners of pedaldom - yet it seems we have another righteously worthy champion contender vying for crunch supremacy.