052 | Greer Amps Lightspeed: A Closer Look at this Organic Overdrive | Transcript

Transcript

Back to Episode Homepage

Scott Schwertly:
Hello and welcome to episode 52 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. We're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have another fun pedal. I'm so excited to be covering this one. It's taken really 52 episodes to cover a pedal from this company, but we're going to be talking about the Greer Amps Lightspeed Organic Overdrive. Absolutely love this pedal. It's adored by many. And excited to unpack it on the other side.

Hey, everybody. Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you're having a great one. And on that note, we have a great pedal. We're going to be talking about a fun one today. This is the Greer Amps Lightspeed Organic Overdrive. I know, Eric, you've had this one for quite some time. I think you had it and you got rid of it. And I know I just picked up my personal copy, maybe about three or four weeks ago. I'm in love with this pedal. I love it. It's been on my board now ever really since I got it, so I haven't replaced it yet. It's a joy, it's a fun pedal to have. But yeah, what have been sort of your initial thoughts, since I know you've had a lot more history with one?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I mean, when I went and picked yours up to demo for the episode, I kind of sat and just played it for a while and I really missed it. I forgot how much I actually liked this pedal. And so, I mean, it's just a great overall light to medium gain, just overdrive. And even at the higher gain settings, it's just a really nice open amp-like overdrive. So just overall, just a really great pedal, really great circuit. And yeah, I'm excited to talk about this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, for sure. I mean, like you said, it's got that really nice light, medium sort of overdrive tone to it. It sounds very natural. I mean, they obviously use the term organic. But yeah, it just really has that natural sound. And when you think about overdrive pedals, distortion pedals, fuzz pedals, most of them sound pretty much the same. I mean, there's obviously some unique differences, but generally speaking, they all sound kind of the same. But I feel like in this overdrive category, this one definitely stands out, I mean, that natural tone that you get from it. Yeah. It makes it hard to replace it with something else.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. And I think there's an element of the mystery of nobody actually knows what this thing's really based on at all, to where it sounds really good. And so it's like, I want to know, but I don't know. But yeah, just overall, just super solid pedal. I probably will try and pick one up in the near future if the opportunity arises. But yeah, I'm really glad to be able to try it out today.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, definitely. Well, this pedal has actually been around, sort of that mystery that you're talking about, has existed for a few years now. The pedal actually came out, I believe in January of 2014. So kind of the standard Lightspeed color is blue and white. And then since then, they've released a number of limited edition, different color options. I mean, you can get everything from white to pink. The one I have right now is kind of like a clear, almost grayish color with a teal typography or font on top of it. But yeah, lots of different varieties as far as colors, if you don't want the standard blue and white one. But yeah, again, it's been around for a few years and again, this is a Greer Amps pedal. So this was created by a company called Greer Amps by Nick Greer, who has really sort of a solid reputation in the space. He obviously builds really quality products, and this being one of them. And they're based in Athens, Georgia. So it's got some Southern roots to it, and a lot of great stuff coming from Georgia right now with Greer Amps.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So obviously it's Greer Amps. I think they started building amplifiers. And everything I've heard from their amplifiers is just great. They sound great. And so to see them take that excellence and just kind of throw it into a pedal is really cool. And I mean, because they do make amps, they were able to take kind of the overdrive from an amp and package it in the pedal really well.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, they'd been doing this for quite some time. I mean, it goes back, I believe, to 1998, is when Nick started everything. And then 16 years of evolution and then fine tuning things, you get this pedal here, the Lightspeed, in 2014. So yeah, lots of great history, obviously a very reputable company. And at the end of the day, you get a really fine product.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, and like I was saying earlier, there's just some general wonderings of where this circuit got its roots and kind of what it's based on. But from everything I was reading online, the closest thing that people have been comparing it to is the Paul Cochrane Timmy, just with fixed bass and treble controls, and then basically it changed tone controls, kind of what the word on the all the forums and stuff is. So I don't know how much I buy that because I've had a Timmy before. But at the same time, I think it's cool to note that that's kind of the closest thing people have found to compare it to.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. And that's another solid pedal. And speaking of the Timmy, that's another one that we need to cover here on the Sonic Renegades Podcast. So we'll add that one to the list as well. But no, I mean, if they're comparing it to the Timmy, obviously that's a great compliment. So two really great pedals for sure.

Well, if you guys are curious about who actually uses this pedal, I know some names that I found. Jason Isbell, Dweezil Zappa, even some YouTube stars like Rhett Shull I know is a big fan of this pedal, even Lee Anderton of Andertons, based in the UK. In the worship scene you have names like David Hislop. So a lot of people, again, big fans of this pedal and what it can do. And yeah, I'm glad that I finally have my hands on it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I also found Jacob, I think it's Tilly, and then Jim Fairchild and then also Drew Shirley, all have been seen using this at some point or another.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Yeah. Drew Shirley's from Switchfoot, right?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Very cool stuff. Yeah. Again, lots of fans out there, lots of musicians that obviously are big fans of this pedal.

So before we get into the actual demo, just some quick things to note about it. I know, Eric, you mentioned before, one reason that you actually gave up this pedal before was because it wasn't really cutting through the mix. And I can definitely see that with sort of, again, that low to mid sort of natural tone, it's not the most aggressive sounding pedal. I mean, obviously can crank it up a little bit if you wanted to do that. But any other insight on that front?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So, I mean, I think it'd be worth noting, just kind of, I mean, this pedal is pretty simple as far as controls go. It's your basic volume drive and then tone knob. And so with a drive knob, it goes from pretty low to like, you have to get to about noon to actually start getting some breakup. And then it goes to kind of more of the light-medium gain space as you turn it up past noon. As far as the frequency is concerned, as you turn it to the right, it kind of opens up more, you get more of everything. And then as you dial it back, it kind of rolls off some of the top and maybe just kind of cuts you back to more base and presence kind of stuff. And then obviously, your volume control is pretty simple. But I mean, overall, it's just a super open overdrive. I really like it for a lot of things. Especially if I'm doing rhythm parts or tracking rhythm parts and things like that, it's really nice to have. The only reason why I did get rid of it at the time is just because I didn't have room for it on my board and it just sat in a drawer for like three weeks and then I was like, well, I might as well just give this up.

Scott Schwertly:
Gotcha. Yeah. I don't know if I'd ever want to do away with it. So knowing that you kind of feel regret about it, I think I might try to hold onto this one a while longer. Again, I've really enjoyed it and it's got a nice special place on my board right now for it.

Well, perfect. Well, if you guys are ever thinking about picking one of these up, brand new they're about 199, so you can kind of do the math. If you try to pick up a used one on Reverb or someplace else, again, you're probably going to be looking at ... They hold their value really well, so I mean, even could be like 170, 180, something around that price range. But yeah, definitely check out a new one if you can. Again, they've got so many different varieties and color that you can find the one that's the perfect fir for your board. So yeah, definitely recommend that route.

So with all that said, we're going to go ahead and demo this thing for you and get everything plugged in. Eric, what guitar are you going to go with today?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go ahead and use the Telly for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. We're going to get that set up, guys, and we'll see you on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That's the Greer Amps Lightspeed; just a great organic overdrive. Just overall, just a great addition to anybody's board. I mean, I would say this is a really good pedal if you run a high wattage clean platform amp, because you're able to get those overdriven tones without having to make your ears bleed. So yeah, just a great pedal. I definitely recommend checking it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, it's a good one. It's solid. I love it. And yeah, excited that we're actually able to cover this one today. So yeah, a great one to add to any arsenal of pedals.

Well, perfect. Guys, well, that's what we wanted to cover today. This is the Greer Amps Lightspeed Organic Overdrive. Join us next time. We're actually going to take a look at a Joyo pedal, specifically the Joyo Voodoo Octave pedal. So if you love the world of fuzz, that's a pedal to take a look at it. So we'll cover that next week on the Sonic Renegades Podcast. So thanks so much for joining us, guys. Have a great day, have a great week, and we will catch you in the next one.

Close (esc)

Get Our Free eBook!

Do you love dirt as much as we do? Learn the rich history behind all the overdrive and distortion pedals you know and love. Download our free ebook, The History of Guitar Distortion.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now