MI Effects based in my home town of Sydney, Australia make some of the best effects pedals on the planet and one of their most popular (and most cloned) is the original Crunch Box. The Super Crunch Box is a hot-rodded version of the popular overdrive/distortion pedal with some great new features that make it the most versatile OD pedal I have reviewed to date. In addition to the Volume, Gain and Tone controls MI Effects have added a Presence control, a High/Low Gain switch and a 3-way Compression switch which uses either Stock red LED’s as in the original, a Silicon Diode Pair for lower output and different harmonic content or a softer clip mode to provide more clean signal in the mix and a higher output. I have tried to demonstrate every possible combination of features in my demo above because this pedal can be used in so many ways. Plugging into a clean amp, in my case a Ceriatone Chupacabra 50 set to 60′s or Plexi mode I was able to create everything from a light crunchy clean to over the top distortion all of which that sounded just as good as the overdrive on my actual amp. I didn’t even bother to demo this pedal on an already overdriven setting on my amp because it had all the gain and clarity that you could possibly need without boosting the signal further.
My favourite settings can be seen in the video above at 3:27 using the high gain mode with the gain, presence and tone dimed and the compression in position 1. Despite running the pedal so hot it still remains perfectly articulate. In low gain mode you can get a nice light crunch using the settings at 8:27. In the low gain mode with the Compression mode set in the center (0) the overdrive is very dynamic and touch responsive so that you can adjust how overdriven the sound is with your picking dynamics.
If you want an Overdrive pedal that has maximum flexibility and really does sound like an amp I would encourage you to check out the MI Effects Super Crunch Box, easily my favourite OD pedal that I have tested in the past year or so.