A plexi guitar pedal is a type of effect pedal that uses vacuum tubes to create a distorted sound. They are named after the Marshall amplifier company, which popularized the use of vacuum tubes in guitar amplifiers. Plexi pedals can produce a wide range of sounds, from a subtle overdrive to a full-on fuzz. If you’re looking to add some classic rock edge to your sound, a plexi pedal is going to be a great choice, lets find out why..
What Is A Marshall In a Box Pedal?
According to folklore, Pete Townshend of The Who requested a louder amplifier, which led to the creation of the first Marshall Plexi. Marshall’s response to this need was the 1959SLP, a tube guitar amp with 100 Watts of power that was introduced in 1965. The name “Plexi” came from the front panel, which was made of plexiglass.
Even though 100 Watts is a lot of volume, Plexi amps can’t truly be categorised as “high-gain” by modern standards because they just had one volume knob (no preamp or gain stage) and could only produce gently overdriven tones when turned up to decibel-damaging levels. But keep in mind that in the 1960s, distortion was a brand-new idea, and these amps were among the first created to provide it; the fact that they appeared on songs by people like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton is evidence of their significance.
Now lets talk about how the Marshall ended up in a box, or an effect pedal more accurately. Since the Karl Martin plexitone pedal, there have been many recreation of the plexi as a pedal format, each with their own unique spin on the original sound. It’s time now to explore a few specific options that we can recommend as the best plexi pedals on the market.
What Are The Best Plexi Pedals?
When it comes to choosing the best plexi pedals, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you need to decide what type of music you want to play. There are different types of plexi pedals that are designed for different genres of music.
The second thing that you need to consider your budget. There are some plexi pedals that are more expensive than others. Another key factor to consider are the features that you want in a pedal. Whilst most plexi style pedals will have a tone, level and drive control, others may include extra functionality.
You also need to decide if you want a pedal that is true bypass or not. True bypass means that the signal from your guitar will not be affected when the pedal is turned off. fifth, You also need to decide if you want a pedal that has an LED light or not. LED lights help you see the pedal in low light conditions. Lets dive into a few of our most recommended options.
Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe
There are several features on the Plexi-Drive Deluxe. There is a toggle switch and a 3-band EQ with knobs that may be used to instantly augment the bass or bright tones. Additionally, there are gain and volume controls to change the input and output volumes, as well as a dedicated boost button to instantly enhance your volume during solos or choruses.
It may be powered by batteries or by 9 or 18 volt DC adaptors, providing you more options in terms of headroom. Since the Plexi-Drive Deluxe features complete bypass, you can be sure that the tone will be transparent and that it won’t affect your sound when it isn’t in use.
Tone City Golden Plexi 2
The Tone City Golden Plexi is a mini pedal, making it an ideal option for anyone who wants to incorporate a plexi tone whilst dealing with limited pedalboard space. Another staggering feature about this pedal is thats its very affordable but produces a sound which on the face of it would appear to be much more expensive.
Even though this small pedal only has three controls, Tone City made sure to provide the necessities. The tone and gain controls have a larger range than you would anticipate, yet the volume control operates as you would generally expect. This adaptable pedal enables you to create excellent tones appropriate for blues, rock, and metal. It offers everything from a gentle crunch to crushing high-gain.
Because of the tone control’s sensitivity, you can connect this pedal to almost any amplifier’s clean channel and achieve the desired vintage plexi sound. Keep the control at a low setting for a mellow lead tone, or turn it up for a sharper cutting sound that will cut through the mix beautifully.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a unique, yet affordable guitar pedal, then Plexi is a great option for you. With its simple design and easy-to-use interface, Plexi is perfect for beginner and experienced guitarists alike. So what are you waiting for, try out a Plexi overdrive pedal for yourself.
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FAQ: Best Plexi Pedals
1. What are Plexi pedals and why are they popular in 2023?
Plexi pedals are stompbox-style effects pedals designed to replicate the classic sound and characteristics of vintage Marshall Plexi amplifiers. They have gained popularity in 2023 due to their ability to capture the iconic rock tones associated with Marshall amps.
2. How do Plexi pedals differ from other distortion pedals?
Plexi pedals are specifically designed to emulate the unique tonal characteristics and response of vintage Marshall Plexi amplifiers. They often incorporate diode-clipping circuits and other circuitry to mimic the distortion and dynamic response of these legendary amps.
3. Which Plexi pedals provide a clean boost option?
If you’re looking for a Plexi pedal with a clean boost feature, consider the Pettyjohn V2. It offers a clean boost alongside its classic Plexi-style distortion, allowing you to enhance your tone without sacrificing clarity.
4. Can Plexi pedals cover a wide range of tones?
Yes, Plexi pedals are known for their versatility. They can cover a wide range of tones, from classic Marshall crunch to high-gain saturation. With their various voicings, toggle switches, and EQ controls, you can fine-tune your sound and achieve tones suitable for blues, rock, and more.
5. Are there any Plexi pedals that provide signature sounds of famous guitarists?
Yes, some Plexi pedals are designed to capture the signature sound of renowned guitarists. For example, the MIAB (Make It A Breaker) pedal is favored by Angus Young of AC/DC, offering that distinctive sizzle and tonal shaping associated with his playing style.
6. How can Plexi pedals be used in combination with other effects pedals?
Plexi pedals work well in combination with other stompboxes to expand your sonic possibilities. They can be used before or after other pedals, such as a treble booster or an EQ pedal, to shape your gain structure and fine-tune your overall tone.
7. Do Plexi pedals emulate specific Marshall amplifier models?
Yes, many Plexi pedals are designed to emulate specific models of classic Marshall amplifiers, such as the JTM45, Super Lead, JCM800, and others. These pedals aim to replicate the distinctive characteristics and tonal nuances of these iconic British amps.
8. Are hand-wired Plexi pedals worth considering?
Hand-wired Plexi pedals are often highly regarded for their superior craftsmanship and attention to detail. They can provide a more authentic and organic tone, capturing the essence of vintage British amps.
9. How do Plexi pedals compare to tube amps?
While nothing can truly replace the feel and response of a real tube amp, Plexi pedals offer a convenient and portable alternative. They aim to capture the essence of tube-driven Marshall amps, providing a similar sound at a fraction of the size and cost.
10. Can Plexi pedals be used with a clean amp?
Absolutely! Plexi pedals can be used with clean amplifiers to add that classic Marshall overdrive and distortion. They’re particularly useful if you’re looking to achieve those iconic rock sounds associated with bands like Led Zeppelin or Billy Joe Armstrong’s signature Green Day tone.
11. Are there Plexi pedals with separate boost functions?
Yes, some Plexi pedals feature separate boost circuits. These pedals allow you to engage a dedicated boost function, giving you an extra kick in volume or gain when needed, without affecting the core distortion tone.
12. What advantages does using an 18V Plexi pedal offer?
Using an 18V power supply with a Plexi pedal can provide additional headroom and increased dynamic range. This can result in improved clarity, better response to picking dynamics, and overall enhanced performance.
13. Can Plexi pedals be used for tonal sculpting?
Definitely! Plexi pedals often offer a wide range of EQ controls, allowing you to sculpt your tone precisely. These controls enable you to shape your sound by adjusting the bass, mid, and treble frequencies, giving you lots of tonal range to explore.
14. Do Plexi pedals incorporate toggle switches to boost specific frequencies?
Yes, many Plexi pedals feature toggle switches that can boost specific frequencies. These switches allow you to fine-tune your tone by emphasizing or attenuating certain frequency ranges, giving you greater control over your sound.
15. How do Plexi pedals compare to a Bluesbreaker-style pedal?
While both Plexi and Bluesbreaker-style pedals offer excellent higher-gain distortion tones, they have distinct differences. Plexi pedals often aim to replicate the classic Marshall Super Lead sound, while Bluesbreaker-style pedals are designed to capture the characteristics of the Bluesbreaker amplifier, which has a slightly different gain structure.
16. Do Plexi pedals use diode clipping for their distortion?
Yes, diode clipping is a common technique used in Plexi pedals to achieve their distinctive distortion tones. These diodes clip the guitar signal, introducing harmonic content and creating the characteristic crunch associated with Plexi-style distortion.
17. Can Plexi pedals be used as a treble booster?
Yes, Plexi pedals can function as a treble booster in addition to their distortion capabilities. By adjusting the EQ controls and dialing back the gain, you can use them to shape your tone and boost the treble frequencies for added brightness and bite.
18. How do Plexi pedals compare to amp simulators?
Plexi pedals differ from amp simulators in that they focus specifically on recreating the sound and response of vintage Marshall Plexi amplifiers. Amp simulators, on the other hand, aim to model the overall characteristics of various amplifiers, including different brands and models.
19. Can Plexi pedals provide a significant gain spectrum for high-gain tones?
Yes, many Plexi pedals offer a significant gain spectrum, allowing you to achieve high-gain tones suitable for rock and metal genres. These pedals can deliver the aggressive and saturated distortion that is often associated with higher-gain sounds.