GAS Alert July '07
- Rothwell Audio Hellbender
Rothwell Audio are a UK company with some 30 years pedal building experience. Everything is handmade, and not a PCB in sight. Founder Andrew Rothwell started out with British Aerospace, and has built a reputation for high quality, reliable effects pedals and associated devices at reasonable costs for a boutique range. I guess when you used to build military jets, you know how to build kit to last.
The Hellbender is an overdrive pedal with standard controls - Volume, Gain and Tone. When I plugged in for this review, I was expecting the Hellbender to be an Ibanez Tubescreamer in a polished aluminium case, and am pleased to report it is that.... and more! With the gain control low, you'll enjoy a mild drive ideal for a boost for clean lead breaks. The tone is warm and full, and clear as a bell. With the gain cranked, you get the same warm, full drive with a roaring distortion and enhanced sustain ideal for heavy, crunching rhythm, or screaming lead. To my ear, it's a Tubescreamer with a little more room at both ends of the gain spectrum - and therefore pretty much ideal for me.
If you can find one, check it out... and go see Rothwell Audio's other offerings, including the 'Hot Little Knob' tone circuits for Strats, or the 'StompJuice' PSU - these guys make some cool gear - http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co.uk
. The Hellbender is available direct, or from http://www.jamguitars.co.uk