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Fulltone Custom Shop RTO Robin Trower Signature Overdrive Pedal Reviews

5.0 stars based on 9 customer reviews
Questions about the Fulltone Custom Shop RTO Robin Trower Signature Overdrive Pedal?

Questions about the Fulltone Custom Shop RTO Robin Trower Signature Overdrive Pedal?

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  • from Spacecoast Florida September 21, 2016Music Background:
    Professional Entertainer and Engineer


    The best and most unique feature of this Overdrive pedal is how it responds to the volume control on your guitar. If you turn your volume down low the pedal really cleans up nicely, I mean REALLY CLEAN, no fizz or buzzy stuff, clear bell like sound.

    Ready for some drive? Spin the guitar volume open and here comes the sustain and overdrive, as much as you want depending on how you set the controls.

    I own over a dozen different distortion pedals along with nine Boogie amps, a Marshall 100 watt and a Bugera 1960 150 watt head. I waited a long time before I finally bought the RTO, I'm so glad I finally got it.

    This is NOT ANOTHER TUBE SCREAMER. For comparison I have a vintage Maxon Tube Screamer as well as one of their newer 808 Overdrive pedals. None of the Tube Screamers I've ever used clean-up like the RTO when you turn the guitar down low.

    The tone controls on a Stratocaster become much more useable and important when using the RTO. You'll find yourself rolling off some highs and never missing them because the pedal has so much character.

    My favorite set up for using this pedal is the Bugera 1960 head into a Marshall 4x12, this combination yields up a very authentic Robin Trower tone. I run the Bugera with the master volume bypassed so it's a very loud amplifier, with the RTO and my American Standard Strat the sound is amazing.

    Now, throw in the Fulltone Vibe pedal and it's Robin Trower tone bliss.

    It's an expensive pedal and frankly, after living in LA for eight years, the whole "Made in California" thing means nothing to me. Inside the pedal looks to be well made, the mounting of the pots is the best feature. The case is surprisingly thick and heavy. The footswitch has a nice positive click feel to it. The LED is bright and easy to see but not too bright.

    It may be a bit expensive so skip all the other distortion and overdrive pedals you were thinking about buying, just go for this one and you'll be ready to rock some serious overdrive.

    Good music to all!

  • from October 4, 2015

    trower power

    I was a huge Marshall fan untill I ran into the fender hot rod series, the clean is killer but with this change I found my amp wasn't quite as heavy as I wanted, that's where the RTO signature OD comes in with many different options for tone and sound, this pedal has 3 knobs Volume (how much effect u want to come through)/ Drive (from sweet piercingly crunch to a full on heavy drive)/ Tone (this knob controls your output and sustain, a warm laid back tone right to a in ur face punching tone, I have to say Thanks to the Sweet Water staff for getting this pedal to me at the low cut price and speedy arrival, couldn't be happier!

  • from So Cal March 10, 2014Music Background:
    Semi Pro

    Fulltone RTO overdrive

    Outstanding pedal! Guitarists it doesn't get any better than this pedal. Solidly built in the USA, in So Cal. I have owned too many pedals to mention, and have been playing for decades. You simply cannot go wrong with this pedal. It's class all the way. Give Mark Magdich a call, he will take good care of you : )

  • from New Hampshire, USA January 5, 2014Music Background:

    Best Overdrive - EVER...

    This overdrive effects pedal definitely has the "WOW factor". I've been using the Fulltone OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Drive) effects pedal as my main OD, and after spending a couple months on the fence trying to decide if another OD pedal from Fulltone was worth the high sticker price, albeit, a "Robin Trower" signature one, I finally broke down and got it, and what a huge difference! I sold the OCD and use the RTO for all of my blues-rock playing. The RTO makes my American Special Strat sound very much like RT's $3500 signature start from the Fender Custom Shop, and this is not an exaggeration. I noticed the difference in tone immediately. I've used a lot of pedals over the last 35 years, and this was the only one that ever caused my jaw to drop. After I ordered it, I was hoping I didn't waste a lot of money on another variation of the OCD, and I was very happy to learn that i didn't. The lows are very pronounced and there's great sound even when turning down the volume on the guitar; sometimes bright and other times a bit subterranean. The mids and highs are very clear and the tones are atmospheric, bright, and crisp. It's the clarity and voicing of the tones that I think really blow me away. I love using it with my wah-wah and vibe. Though I still believe this pedal is pricey, I have to say that it's probably worth it in the long run. I will NEVER need another overdrive, and because this Fulltone pedal is so ruggedly built (in America) with very responsive controls, I am confident this pedal will last a lifetime. If you need a great overdrive that will really make you love your tone - and at low volume with no loss in quality voicing - then I believe the RTO is the way you want to go.

  • from Atlantic City, NJ October 5, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist, garage band player

    Perfect with a Strat and small tube amp

    I've had so many distortion / overdrive pedals in my years of playing that I can't remember them all. Got so disgusted with the sound of every one of them that I gave up using pedals for the last several years. On the advice of a few other Strat players who swear by Mike Fuller's products I once again looked into trying another overdrive pedal so I could play at lower volumes, which in turn made my neighbors happy. I looked at both the OCD, and the RTO, having been a huge Trower fan since first seeing him live at the Philadelphia Spectrum in 1976, I decided on the RTO.
    I'm totally blown away at the sound, the tone, the control, and overall vibe of this device. Once you find that sweet balance between amp volume and pedal settings, the rest is up to your guitar volume, and pick attack. I never thought I'd be able to play "Bridge of Sighs" through a Fender Blues Jr. and even come close to Robin's sound, and at bedroom levels. This pedal is a keeper, I don't ever see myself getting tired of this one and selling it on eBay at a loss. Even if you're not a Trower fan, this is an awesome dynamic overdrive pedal that suits well between single coils and tube power amps......

  • from Warner Robins, Georgia May 15, 2012Music Background:
    week-end bar room guitar slinger

    Works well with humbuckers

    I'm a big Trower fan but I play a mid sixties Gibson 335 with humbuckers, of course. I wanted to get a little bit of that great Trower sound going for me but I wasn't at all sure this overdrive would work well with a non-strat guitar. Fortunately, it works great and I am very pleased. It has a wide range of control and is easy to dial in. You can tell that it is professional quality. With true by-pass, you don't have to worry about it squashing your sound, if and when you switch it off. Somehow it has great clarity, even when the drive is turned up.

  • from Wyoming May 1, 2017


    Very unique. I wonder if Mr. Trower performs with it. He had a boss ds1 and a Marshall amp. I met rt in Beverly hills. I was at a loss for words, so I didn't ask. Go buy this if you like to use the volume and tone to shape. I don't care what the neighbors think. Worth every penny

  • from nebraska February 1, 2015Music Background:
    old guy learning to play

    robin trower overdrive

    Great tone great tone great tone!

  • from Kentucky October 29, 2010Music Background:
    Session player, semi pro-musician.

    RTO Signature Overdrive

    By far one of the best overdrives I've ever used...and I've used quite a few. It's smooth, cleans up well, might be better for single coils than humbuckers - but I'm still debating. Produces, what I would interpret as a "woody like" or familiar overtone of sorts. Not sure if that's exactly the wording I want to use but they seem to fit the best. It just has a very pleasing (to me) overtone you can hear through the drive. This is not a heavy overdrive, it's inteneded, in my opinion, to mimic a cranked Marshall, which it does and can do. (Be it an early metal-face.) Of course your set-up may differ, so you may experience different results.

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