Here’s a pedal that I’ve been after for a while – the Marshall Shredmaster. I remember looking at these in guitar magazines when I was in high-school. I’m always keeping an eye out for an original one on eBay, but they always seem to go for $300+
The original Shredmaster was produced, and discontinued in the early-to-mid 1990s. Over the years they have become very desirable (read: very expensive) mostly because Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead uses one. Other notable users include Alex James from Blur, Gaz Coombes from Supergrass and Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine – it must be a UK thing?
Although they are called “Shredmasters” they aren’t really that hi-gain by today’s standards – for example a Fulltone OCD would probably have more gain. Some call it a “Marshall in a box” because it can get you close to that classic ‘Cranked Marshall Stack’ sound (you know the one…) with just about any amp. It can go from blues rock to Britpop, classic rock to modern alternate punk/rock, it’s quite versatile. In the same range of now discontinued pedals, Marshall made the “Blues Breaker” and the “Drive Master”.
As money was the restricting factor (or my lack of it) I decided to have a go at building my own Shredmaster. After trying a couple of different layouts which turned out to be incorrect, the layout that I got working was from Tagboard Effects here.
The controls are the usual Gain and Volume, and they work as expected. The tone can be shaped with Bass, Treble and the Contour control. The Contour knob seems to scoop out the mids when turned up high, and maybe boost them a tiny bit when turned down low. These three controls can give you a good range of sounds.
I tried to go with a Marshall theme: gold sparkly paint and Marshall style knobs. I was thinking of putting a Marshall sticker on it, but that would be just going too far…
It’s a great sounding pedal and I’m really happy how it turned out.