We recently had the opportunity to talk with Greg Lounsberry from Lounsberry Pedals. These great pedals focus on gain and overdrive for keyboards, bass, and guitar. Their use of FET preamps with gain staging and Germanium diodes gives a thick, full signal with extraordinary touch sensitivity.
I finally got the chance to use the Nigel Touch Overdrive from Lounsberry Pedals at home and out in the wild. The pedal not only performed beyond expectations but also beyond Lounsberry Pedals’ description of the Nigel Touch Overdrive. While Greg Lounsberry is proud of his creation, dare I say he is overly modest regarding how crushing this pedal performs.
Let me expound on this a little bit. The description of the Nigel Touch Overdrive on the company website says the Nigel Touch Overdrive “It’s like a Plexi that fits in your pocket!”. This description is more than true. The Nigel Touch Overdrive with my vintage Fender Quad Reverb, Peavey Classic 20, and Marshall JCM 2000 on the Nashville clean setting delivered outstanding results. I was able to dial in the Nigel Touch Overdrive from a subtle brown coloring to full-on 70s, and 80s gain.
Starting with a relatively clean amp setting, the Nigel Touch Overdrive setting the DRIVE slightly past 9 o’clock gave me a slight break up a full blues tone. The sustain was increased as the tone became full, and the advertised touch sensitivity was very present. As I dialed the DRIVE up it was akin to taking a trip through time. The pedal brought me from the overdriven tones of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. As the DRIVE passed 12 o’clock, Aerosmith and AC/DC type off Plexi tones were very noticeable. The pedal is hard rock heaven. I then plugged the Nigel Touch Overdrive into my Fender Excelsior, a quirky little amp that creates a beautiful overdrive when pushed. Setting the DRIVE back to 9 o’clock, the Fender Excelsior started singing. This amp howls when pushed. I began to creep up the LEVEL control, and the Fender Excelsior preamp tubes began to sing. I could get the amp to the “sweet spot” without rattling the window.
My curiosity then forced me to ask, “if this pedal pushes tubes so well, how would it perform with a solid-state amp?” I plugged the Nigel Touch Overdrive into my Roland JC 120 and my Randell Commander IV. In both cases, the results were stellar. While I was no longer pushing preamp tubes, the Plexi vibe and touch sensitivity were still there. The tone brought me back to playing a few Aerosmith and AC/DC riffs that sounded right in the pocket.
At the beginning of this review, I said, “the pedal not only performed beyond expectations but also beyond Lounsberry Pedals’ description of the Nigel Touch Overdrive.” When I talked with Greg Lounsberry, he said the pedal was not truly designed for high-gain metal. I hate to contradict Greg, but the Nigel Touch Overdrive is an excellent tool for you metal guys.
I selected the high-gain channel on my JCM 2000. This setting is similar to a hot-rodded JCM 800 or a JCM 900. I cranked the gain to get a full-on metal tone. I then slightly brought the Nigel Touch Overdrive’s DRIVE back and set the LEVEL a bit above unity. The Nigel Touch Overdrive’s touch sensitivity was present as the LEVEL gave me the expected boost in volume. My leads were singing when using this application with my band, and the Nigel Touch Overdrive lifted me above the mix.
The Nigel Touch Overdrive is an excellent choice for anyone looking to add touch sensitivity, sustain, and fullness to their guitar tone. The bloom of the notes is fantastic, as is every aspect of this pedal.