Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
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Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive

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Sparkle Drive, Overdrive pedal from Voodoo Lab.


6 user reviews
Prices starting at $130 Average price: $130

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Voodoo Lab
  • Model: Sparkle Drive
  • Category: Overdrive pedals
  • Added in our database on: 04/19/2004

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Buy new Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive

Sweetwater Sparkle Drive Overdrive Pedal $129.99

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive user reviews

Average Score:4.2( 4.2/5 based on 6 reviews )
 2 reviews33 %
 3 reviews50 %
 1 user review17 %
MGR/Anonymous02/02/2004

MGR/Anonymous's review"Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive"

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
I got this from Musiciandfriend after checking out some sound clips on the Voodoo Lab website. It was $129 which I think is a bit pricey for a pedal but it's all analog and made in the U.S.A so it's no piece of crap.

As I already said it's analog & U.S. made. The clean knob puts the original signal back in with the overdriven signal in varying amounts. This adds a nice bottom end to the overdrive & overall thicker sound. Pure clean signal when maxed. The in/out jacks are on the top instead of the sides which allows multiple Voodoo Lab pedals to sit side by side which to me looks alot neater on the floor. I hear it sounds very much like the original Tube Screamer but I've never had the privilidge of hearing one of those. I think the sound of this pedal is awesome & works well for blues/rock.

I dont like that the only way to change the battery is to take the entire bottom off of it. I cant see whats so hard about Voodoo Lab making it with a battery cover/door.

The housing is very sturdy but the switch is PC board mounted. I've heard that this can become a problem although I've not experienced any trouble with mine.

I've played this through solid state and a few different tube amps. It enhances the natural tube breakup when the amp is cranked, while through a solid state amp it creates a layering effect of clean and overdriven sounds combined. I personally like it alot more through a cranked tube amp but that's just me ;>D Overall a good pedal for a classic overdrive type of tone. The 4 rating is only because I feel it's a bit expensive, otherwise 5.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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James...08/04/2011

James...'s review"Tubescreamer sounds and more"

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
The premise of this pedal is fairly simple. It's a tubescreamer with a blendable clean boost. In that respect, the value is really good. Voodoo labs makes quality products and I've never had any trouble with their stuff. I know a lot of people argue about which opamp the sparkle drive uses and personally I think it's pointless. There have been countless debunkings of the opamp myth. It's time to let it die. A good TS circuit is a good TS circuit. The opamp doesn't matter. Controls are simple. It has the typical vol/treb/gain of the TS and the clean boost knob.

UTILIZATION

It's not too hard to use. Just plug in and start turning knobs. I kind of wish it was a smaller foot print, but the pedal feels well built so I'll live with it. The switch and knobs feel solid. I've never had trouble with mine.

SOUND QUALITY

I use mine with a variety of guitars through a Matchless Spitfire most of the time. I have used tons of overdrives. It's hard for me to find one I like these days. They all tend to make amps sound thin or bloated. I didn't like the sparkle drive at first and I came close to getting rid of it. I felt like it sounded the same on a lot of settings. But as I began to really play with the clean boost knob I realized that was the key to getting different sounds. With the knob high up, you get some neutral light overdrives. Turn the boost down and it takes on more of a grinding TS character. I generally find this pedal exceeds in low gain overdrive settings. When I need to give my amp just a little push....this is the one I go to.

OVERALL OPINION

This is a surprisingly versatile pedal that can do a lot, but I think it does best for slight boosts. It can't do the high gain thing too well. That's just not what it's for. I know a lot of people use these as an "always on" pedal. I can see that too. For the money you get a lot of functionality. I almost want 2.
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Tophe201403/06/2011

Tophe2014's review

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
OD + Clean boost blendable. The output is OpAmp not transistor.
The clipping OpAmp is a JRC4558

UTILIZATION

Very Easy, or almost. Let say you can have all clean or mix OD and clean.
The trick is to use it Trebble to max Volume to max and play with the gain and the clean.
It is very agressive with a "Hi Gain" preamp, it actually does a great job. It is not so great for pure vintage tone.

SOUND QUALITY

Sounds great, it cuts right thru, sound great with modern guitar, no problem with it.

OVERALL OPINION

A very good pedal if you good a modern set-up, it would work with a vintage setup, but there is better.
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aidan.0404/29/2008

aidan.04's review

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
The Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive is an overdrive pedal built on an interesting concept. It is has an 808 Tube Screamer style overdrive circuit to boost the signal, and a "clean" control blends back in clean but "boosted" signal, which is supposed to add back in some of the attack and feel which is lost in a strictly overdriven signal that is under compression. Its very similar to playing through a clean amp and a distorted amp and blending the two sounds together, which has been done by numerous guitarist in search of that mystical tone in their head.

Like every other Voodoo Lab pedal, the Sparkle Drive is 100% analog and hand-wired.It features true bypass switching and comes in a heavy-duty cast aluminum casing with a rugged metal switch. It even has a 5-year warranty.

UTILIZATION

The Sparkle Drive has 4 knobs, 2 of which really control the thing.

SOUND QUALITY

Basically at full blast, this pedal is like a crunchy classic rock overdrive, not a high gain distortion. Rather than scooped or bottom heavy, its more of a thick but midrangey sound thats sonically somewhere around what you would expect from a Tube Screamer 808, which is what it is supposedly based off of anyway.
The name Sparkle Drive is apt here, because being able to blend back in a boosted clean signal to the signal adds a bit of transparency, clarity, and sparkle to the tone, though it does diminish the gain.... which is already only moderate at best. So naturally, my favorite way of using this pedal is wide-open in front of my tube combo already running at slight boost, and then In just adjust the "clean" knob according to my mood.
Typically, I play my Ibanez Ghostrider with Gibson PAF humbuckers and occasionally a Telecaster. This pedal loves both of them and interacts differently with the different styles of pickups. When it comes to hand-wired analog pedals, you really have to try it out with your rig to know how you're gonna like it.

OVERALL OPINION

I can hardly say this would be my main overdrive. I mean, I prefer a TS9 tone to the 808 and already own an original TS9 and other pedals so its almost redundant, although this pedal was a bargain at 120 bucks so I might thin out my collection because of it.

This is an interesting pedal to have for the sonic versatility. I would definitely reccomend it as an 808 style overdrive if you don't have one or want to get one.
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Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive images

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  • Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
  • Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
  • Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive

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