The Gamma Drive is a micro pedal that packs a considerable punch. The Gamma is worth serious consideration if you're looking for an all-analog, forgiving, and versatile gain/distortion box.
My first impression of the Pigtronix Gamma Drive is that it's hard to make it sound bad and retains note articulation even at high gains. It does lack mids which lends itself to sounding more "hi-fi" than some other pedals on the market. However, there isn't much that bummed me out about the Gamma, and if your looking for a guitar pedal with a small footprint but a big tone, then the Gamma just might be what you're looking for.
Pigtronix has been producing high-quality mini pedals that make crazy and otherworldly sounds. However, how do their more “everyday” pedals, like their Gamma Overdrive pedal, stack up to others in such a crowded market?
I’ve put the Pigtronix Gamma through its paces, and now that I’ve collected my thoughts, I’m ready to spill the beans.
Strap in and grab your favorite drink; things are about to get gritty.
The Pigtronix Gamma Drive Sound
I found the Pigtronix Gamma overdrive sound to have a bright and articulate tone. There is a mid-scooped nature to the Gamma that may or may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
I’m assuming this comes from the lack of midrange control with the EQs, but you’ll hear in one of the “gain pedal face-offs” this lack of mids.
However, the Pigtronix Gamma is a very versatile gain/overdrive pedal. You can get a fantastic clean boost that gives a little hair to a clean signal to all-out fuzz.
Sweetwater sent me a demo of the Pigtronix Gamma to play around with. After a week of using it as my primary boost, I will keep it 🙂
The Gamma has a punchy sound that remains articulate. This is a great guitar pedal for adding distorted textures for country, indie, blues, and hard rock.
- Stays articulate even at high gain
- Forgiving and versatile in the tones it can produce
- It's incredibly tiny and takes up minimal room on your pedalboard
- Built like a tank
- The sound may too scooped for some guitar players
- No Mid EQ control
The Gamma Drive Tone Spectrum
The following sound demos will give you an excellent idea of what the Pigtronix Gamma can do.
I recorded these audio samples with a Supro Delta King 12 mic’d with a FET-47 clone going into a UA Apollo Twin X. The guitar I used was a Fender Vintera ’60s Jaguar Modified HH.
Gamma Drive on a clean channel
In this demo example, the first pass is the Supro Delta King 12 clean channel. The second pass is the Gamma Drive engaged.
Gamma Drive on a drive channel
In this demo example, the first pass is the Supro Delta King 12 drive channel. The second pass is the Gamma Drive engaged.
The Gamma Drive EQ Circuit
The Gamma comes with an active treble and bass EQ. I found these EQs to be highly musical, and when trying to make them sound bad, I wasn’t very successful. The treble doesn’t get ear-piercing and remains smooth, and the low end stays round and punchy.
Again, I’ve included some sound examples to get an idea of what the EQ sounds like.
EQ without Gain
In this demo example, the first pass is the Supro Delta King 12 clean channel. The second pass is the Gamma Drive engaged with the Gain turned off.
EQ with Gain
In this demo example, the first pass is the Supro Delta King 12 clean channel. The second pass is the Gamma Drive engaged with Gain at noon.
Pigtronix vs. Other Popular Gain (Walrus Voyager)
To give context on what kind of overdrive flavor the Pigtronix Gamma is, I compared it with a Walrus Voyager. The Walrus Voyager and the Pigtronix Gamma aren’t meant to be similar. Still, playing between the two helped me understand what the Gamma is great at and not so great at.
You’ll notice right away how the Gamma has a hi-fi sound, and the Voyager has a lot more midrange presence. Both are equal in quality; they are just different spices for your tone.
Is the Pigtronix Gamma Drive worthy of a spot on your pedalboard?
If you’re after a versatile, well-made overdrive pedal with a minimal pedalboard footprint, the Pigtronix Gamma is absolutely worth it.
The tones this mini box produces stay articulate and punchy at high gain. The additional EQs are musical and add extra tonal variety. Also, the price point is good for a boutique, all-analog pedal.
So what are you waiting for? Check it out on Sweetwater and get back to shredding!