Ollie recommends: Electro Harmonix Crayon 76 Overdrive Distortion Pedal

Hello! I’m Ollie and I’m a sales assistant at Red Dog Music Edinburgh. My staff pick is the Electro Harmonix Crayon overdrive pedal – a mainstay of my ever-changing pedal board over the past year.

As a budget-conscious pedal aficionado, trying to find a well-rounded and versatile overdrive for under £60 was a challenge that seemed completely futile… Until I got my hands on the Crayon. What surprised me most was the pedal’s functionality: the presence of two separate bass and treble controls (rather than the conventional “tone” knob found on most lower-budget drives) makes shaping your tone a walk in the park, and makes it much easier for perfectionists such as myself to really obsess over the tiny details. The advantage of these individual controls also opens up the possibility of using the Crayon almost as a standalone EQ (by reducing the gain and increasing the treble, for example, the pedal can act as a treble booster to give extra bite to any screaming guitar solo). It’s not called a “full range overdrive” for nothing.

CRAYON-OLLIE

The vast scope of drive that the Crayon can produce is also outstanding. The pedal’s gain control can be dialled from tiny touches of tube-like crunch to almost fuzzy, distorted extremes.

I usually set the gain about half way for a creamy, Hendrix-inspired tone (think “Spanish Castle Magic”), but as an active musician who plays everything from funk to noise rock, the Crayon’s versatility has served me very well for, well, everything! The Crayon is also a useful tool for gain stacking – in my live set up I often use it to push the already chaotic fuzz of an Earthquaker Devices Acapulco Gold to achieve crazy amounts of noise.

The EHX Crayon is a must-have for any guitarist (although I’ve heard it’s also great for keys…) looking for an budget-friendly and fully customisable all-rounder overdrive.

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