John Suhr makes not only great sounding guitars but also stompboxes. This one here is the Suhr Riot Distortion pedal. I have tried hunting this pedal down from several online shops but most of them had been sold out. From my knowledge, these Suhr Riot pedals are getting snapped up everytime stocks arrive. Most online shops offer a T.B.A pre-order duration for at least 2 weeks but that was just not my thing. I needed the thrill of the hunt so I had no choice but to stalk ebay for several days. Finally 4 pieces showed up and the rest was history. The other 3 were snapped up within the day itself and it was back to sold out status again.
So what's the hype with this purple pedal? I have read many raving reviews on how excellent this pedal sounded and watched one too many youtube demos of this pedal in action. They sounded really good. Too good to be true! But does this pedal live up to it's hype for real?
My first impression of this pedal was the color of the housing. If purple is your thing then i guess you'll love how it looks like grape candy when looked from reflecting light. The pedal is well built and feels very sturdy in hand and could probably take a couple of hard knocks.
I have read many reviews before deciding to take the plunge on getting one of these and all the reviews and hype i have read are true! This pedal really sounds more like an amp rather than a stompbox. Nice transparent tone with a good amount of gain. The pedal cleans up nicely when the volume is rolled off producing some very nice sparkle with my Fender American Deluxe. The voicing switch adds some versatility to this pedal. The voice switch enables some mid boost, scooped mids and a marshall vibe when toggled. There are many possibilites in tweaking to hit the right spot. It's hard to describe tone through words. Youtube has several demos of the pedal and they really can be accounted for.
In's & Out's
The usual input & output, 9v-18v dc input is there but this unit also has a special FX Link input. What the heck is that you ask? The FX Link is a way for MIDI to turn pedals on/off without having to insert them into a loop-switcher.
The many raving reviews online and on youtube speak for themselves and this pedal has a lot of tone to offer. On the downside, The Suhr Riot did not have insane amounts of gain on it's own but by stacking pedals with the riot can coax some major gain altogether. I'll recommend stacking it with a BB preamp. They work beautifully together and have very minimal noise issues on my strat with vintage spec pups.
If your setup consist of a clean tube amp, In my case, it's a VOX AC15 Heritage Handwired head and cab. The Suhr Riot pedal can compliment that clean amp into a modern hi gain stack. Lots of saturation, sweet overtones , transparency , tight low end, responsive dynamics and with a dash of rich harmonics. The Suhr Riot has the key ingredients of making a great dirt pedal.
Be sure to check out the Koko Boost and Shiba Drive as well. These Suhr pedals are really something.
Buy It Now Price on Ebay at USD$199 excluding shipping.
Street Value: $250 - $300 Used