Gear Review: Greer Amps Lightspeed Organic Overdrive
What is up folks. Presenting to you, probably and possibly the most famous and popular pedal that Greer Amps has produced: the Lightspeed Organic Overdrive.
This blue box of wonder encapsulates some of the sweetest tones that you will ever find. Now you might ask, why is it called organic? Is it not genetically modified? Naturally grown from some local farm? Well..... You got pretty close if you were thinking of that.
When you hear the word "organic", you probably thought of the word "natural" -- And that's what the Lightspeed is. An overdrive that is tastefully designed to bring out the best of your guitar and amp, giving it a crisp and fresh overdrive sound without changing the original tone of your guitar and amp. The result? A clear, and natural sounding overdrive that leaves your fingers glued onto your guitar for the next 6 hours, wanting to squeeze out every bit of goodness that this pedal can give you.
The 3 knobs on the pedal include "Loudness", "Drive" and "Tone". "Loudness" presumably refers to the volume, while the other 2 knobs are self-explanatory.
It was pretty easy to get good sounds out of this pedal, mainly because it blends in pretty well with your guitar, instead of altering its tone completely. With rich harmonics and smooth clipping, the Lightspeed is nicely sensitive to the nuances of your picking, allowing you to exercise control over how much grit you require, whether you dig into the strings more, or go easy on them.
That Tone Knob
One thing to take note of though, is how the "Tone" knob does more than what other Tone knobs would. The Lightspeed is neutral frequency-wise, not cutting the bass, and altering the highs through the "Tone" knob. The mids get pushed, but barely, giving it a very unique sound as compared to other light gain overdrives. Rolling the "Tone" knob all the way down kinda snuffs out the highs of your guitar, perhaps giving you a tone more suited for jazz or jazzy blues. As the "Tone" knob gets rolled up, you start to hear more and more of your guitar blazing through, eventually giving it real bite beyond the 2 o' clock range. I found that it was pretty sharp when cranked fully, because of the wide sweep of the "Tone" knob. Wide sweep probably sounds good for players who are looking to add versatile pedals into their arsenal.
All About Gain
Rolling the "Gain" knob to 9 o' clock, and the volume to 2 o'clock, I was immediately greeted with a pleasant mild growl. The great thing about the Lightspeed, is definitely how it responds so well to your picking, which is something that all guitar players will probably appreciate. It allows you to actually focus on your playing dynamics, and deliver those crunchy sounds accordingly to how much you decide to dig in and grind it out on your guitar. Who doesn't love to make emotional/weird/funky/concentrated faces that correspond to whatever your are playing on the guitar?
With the "Gain" knob at 1 o' clock, the Lightspeed starts to hit the glassy territory of light gain, and thereafter, twiddling the "Tone" & "Volume" gives you a different sets of sounds that you would not expect. Roll down the "Tone" to about 8-9 o'clock, and you get a nice warm tone, crank it to 1 o'clock, and you suddenly have a snarl to your tone. Any higher than 4 o'clock would be the banshee territory, great for those wailing and screaming solos where you can match your faces of angst as you jam it out.
The Lightspeed stacks great with other pedals. I did prefer it to be pushed by other pedals (like the Little Samson and Southland), rather than it doing the pushing, but that is down to personal preference of course. Either way, it works fine! With the Lightspeed in front, in gives your tone that extra sparkle that you would require to add more colour into your playing. With the Lightspeed at a later stage, you get to enjoy the goodness of its base tone, giving you a great canvas to work on, whether its a TS-style, Bluesbreaker, Klon, or some other type of overdrive/distortion, rest assured that it has enough quality to ensure that whatever you pair it with, will sound pretty darn good.
For those who prefer TL;DRs - Your Guitar Tone, with more sparkle. Great response to picking dynamics. Nice aesthetics. Must Have.
The Lightspeed is a great addition to your pedalboard, and it certainly offers something unique instead of being "just like any other overdrive out there".
Grab one HERE at Echoinox for only $289 today!