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Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive Overdrive Pedal Reviews

4.5 stars based on 9 customer reviews
Questions about the Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive Overdrive Pedal?

Questions about the Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive Overdrive Pedal?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Charlie Davis

    If you've ever wished for an overdrive pedal that offered amazing clarity, regardless of the gain setting, than this is the one for you. The clean control allows you to blend your direct signal back in, giving your single notes and chords amazing definition. If you need one main overdrive, or a good boost pedal, buy the Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive!

  • from Gotham December 26, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist 20+yrs

    Sparkle Drive

    This has become my "can't live without it OD" I had been eyeballing this for awhile. I liked the idea of blending the clean signal back in. Now I haven't played every OD under the sun. So I can't compare it to everything out there. I have tried or owned Fulltone's OCD and PlimSoul, TS9, Tech 21 GT2, Tri-AC, and XXL, MXR M77 custom modified OD and the Boss OS-2. I also had been using the MXR GT-OD which I liked a lot until I got the Sparkle Drive.

    This pedal is about impossible to make sound bad or unusable. I'm mainly using a Strat with single coils through a Tech 21 amp set to a clean Fender tone. This combo of the 3 is allowing me to get the blues tones I have been hearing in my head. I haven't really tried it out much with humbuckers or P90s yet. Unfortunately I don't think any of the online demos do it justice. Go in person and try it out with your gear.

    I thought the GT-OD was transparent. This pedal is now the meaning of transparent to me. You can use it like a traditional OD if you like and get that gritty bite and compressed tone and/or use the clean knob to dial back in your uncompressed clean signal to smooth things out. You are able to get textures you can't get with a normal OD. It can be kinda like running a clean and dirty amp at the same time.

    Good range on all the knobs. I like the inputs at the top if the pedal. Also if you just want to use it as a clean boost it is great for that as well. I'm loving Voodoo Lab products. The Tremolo and Micro-Vibe are great too.

    I have not tried the new mod version. I didn't want to be bothered with the extra settings. Funny thing is I wouldn't mind running 2 of the original, maybe even 3.

    Also different power supplies will effect the performance of your pedals. I have had some pedals sound like crap with certain wallwart power supplies only to find out they sound great with others. I don't use batteries.

  • from Seattle, WA July 19, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Working Musician

    Finesse Players Rejoice!!

    This is a wonderful pedal for players who want some grit mixed into their feel and nuance. It can growl and roar like an 808, but the clean dial is perfect for rhythmically driven players who understand that groove and texture is as much between the notes as it is in the notes themselves. This pedal is easy to dial in and goes from edgy/slight breakup to straight screaming TS808...with a just little less warmth than the original 808s

    I play a 72 Tele Deluxe through a JCM800 2 x12 and this pedal is perfect for my setup. I've honestly never been a fan of the 800s pre-amp gain. At anything above 2 it gets a little too mushy for me. With this pedal I can use the pre-amp gain on the amp to provide just that little extra warmth and color. The end result is pretty astounding. If you are into nu-rock and metal this will not do the trick. For everything else, this pedal gives you a wide array of tones and most importantly it does not get in the way of your playing.

    It is a very reactive pedal that does not suffer from the smearing or buzzing that so many other pedals produce. Basically if you are the kind of player that does not want his/her workhorse gain to cover up the nuances of the performance, this thing is pretty hard to beat.

  • from USA August 27, 2011Music Background:
    Professional / casual / pro-bono

    Amazing v2

    Just like Matt P. said - this thing is just fabulous. I almost *never* rate something 100% -being an engineer, I always get cheesed when a product "doesn't quite make it".

    This product does "make it". When it's on, ALL of my guitars (14 of 'em!) sound better, fuller, more alive, more dynamic, and just "out front" without any compression or artifacts. Through any of my ("what, eight already? Okay, honey, I'll sell one before I buy another!") amplifiers.

    It sounds as if there is some kind of exciter happening, but the sound isn't the same - Sparkle is fat but articulate at the same time. I have spoken to many folks (bandmates and other musicians) about what this pedal actually does, and nobody knows - it just makes everything sound wonderful.

    ...and that's 100% clean.

    Then, there is the distortion. Apparently, there is an option to dial-in some distortion and mix it with the clean signal. I have nothing to say about this function, because I never use it.

    In all honesty, that's because I'm busy. Onstage, with 16 pedals on my board, I tend to set them where I like them, and then just "stomp". The clean sound alone - the enhancements this pedal makes to any guitar's clean tone - ENTIRELY justifies the buck-thirty cost.

    I have seriously considered buying a second Sparkle Drive to use with some grit/disortion.

    The bottom line - for the clean tones alone, you will not be dissapoiinted. Sweetwater's return policy is top-shelf, so what's not t like?

    I've been playing professionally, casually, and "just for fun" for almost 40 years. I rarely "rave" about a product. The Sparkle Drive makes the grade, clean. Any disortion is just a bonus. Five stars, blown-away, fabulous!

    Get one.

  • from Altoona, pa February 2, 2011Music Background:
    Professional musician, hobbyist


    I absolutely love this pedal! I currently play through a Mesa boogie mark v combo amp and I'm playing with a country band and I never turn this pedal off! It takes the natural tone of my telecasters and really makes them shine. I have it set to add just a touch of that Nashville dirt and make the sounds "sparkle" if you will. I simply love the pedal and highly recommend it! Couple it with a good compression pedal and you'll have a sweet chicken Pickin tone.

  • from Westmoreland, NY May 2, 2010Music Background:
    16 yrs Playing guitar Classic Rock/Blues/Modern Church


    I cannot believe I went as long as I did without buying this pedal. I heard it was good but It never dawned on me to actually get one. If you are looking for a punchy full sounding tone...this is your baby. I can't believe how well it dials in. It's very smooth and creamy. It can be used as a signal Clean boost or TS-808 overdrive. My favorite is somewhere in the middle. I have 2 other overdrives and 2 other distortions all that work well when the Sparkle Drive is on. I basically leave this pedal on all the time. It's off when i want a simple clean sound. This should be the first pedal any guitarist buys...no doubt.

  • from Paragould, AR January 31, 2008Music Background:
    Sunday morning and other church events pro...

    Everything the description says it is!

    I was using two different settings for the "Boutique" amp simulator on my Vox Valvetronix to achieve the sound I wanted and the "Boutique OD" was a little to harsh. All I wanted was the slight boost to dirty things up a bit. It was was annoying running an extra cord to the amp for the foot-switch that does not even light up to let you know what setting you were on. Something to help me hit that Brad Paisley tone on my amp that I had dialed in on the POD XT Live. So I started playing around with different overdrive pedals. I first started off with an old Danelectro Daddy O overdrive I had sitting around, surely it should work with the 3-band EQ. Wrong! Boy did that ever change the overall tone, I threw that back in the closet. Then I borrowed my dads Boss Super Overdrive SD-1, yeah Boss they never let me down. Well it was very close, but still changed the tone a little to much and it was too noticeable when it was turned on. The point was to boost the power enough to dirty it up, blend and not change the tone or volume.Enter the Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive. I got this pedal in and the first thing I noticed was simplicity in packaging and detailed instruction for use (no stupid instructions for the entire line, just the Sparkle Drive). Then the product its self shared the same attributes: simplicity in design, easy to read controls, no clutter making for easy access and built like a stomp box should be. Something you can stomp on or through off a building, although not sure why anyone would want to do that.Now the important parts, the sound. The Sparkle drive can be used in several different ways. It took me a while to realize that cause I just started using it for what I needed it for at the time. If you are looking for a clean boost to dirty up you amp or other OD/DS pedals start with the "GAIN" at zero and everything else at 12-o-clock. To bring in more smooth tube like grit, bring in the "GAIN" slowly until satisfied. For the overdrive option turn the "CLEAN" at zero, bring the "GAIN"; to what ever amount of overdrive you want and leave the rest at 12-o-clock. To soften things up, start bringing in the "CLEAN" These are some tips on getting started, but play around to find all the different tones it has to offer. I love using this thing as the main overdrive even in front of my Line 6 POD XT Live when I play direct without an amp on Sunday mornings. Yeah it even works like that!

  • from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio April 16, 2014Music Background:
    experience playing in club bands in 70's & 80"s, Guitar player in praise and worship band

    sparkle drive

    Very nice soft clipping overdrive. I really like blending in the clean knob with the gain. This gives me a great overdrive tone. Also works well with my keeley mod blues driver and keeley mod rat. I Play classic rock, country , jazz/rock, contemporary christian and gospel. My guitar is a carvin SH550 semi hollow body. My amps are 65 reissue deluxe reverb and tech 21 trademark 60. I highly recommend this pedal if you want a very musical soft overdrive pedal.

  • from Seattle,WA USA October 1, 2012Music Background:

    Pretty sweet pedal

    It is basically a 808 sound with the ability to filter some clean signal back into the mix. Good sound, lots of variety if you prefer a cleaner tone. Avoid this if you like metal.

  • from Central Florida June 19, 2012Music Background:
    Working Musician for ages, Project Studio Owner

    Cheers to Cascading Gain !!!

    I'm giving this a lower review because mine came with a defective switch, but from the look and feel of it, this is probably not too common. The pots are smooth and the box is metal which is sweet. Each control is quite useful and the clean mix pot is very clever. I like the distorted tone but prefer the sound of distortion generated by a tube amp. In combination with tube distortion it works nicely. Mesa Boogie came up with the idea of cascading gain and I've played a Mark 4 for years. I use this pedal with a two channel amp and it gives me that third channel that I'm used to. This model (but not all of their products) comes with a 5 year warranty and is made in the good ole' U.S.A. It's a quiet and very useful device.

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