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075 | 1981 Inventions DRV: A Closer Look at this Distortion Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 75 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. We're exploring Renegade battles that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion we have another fantastic pedal. This is the 1981 inventions DRV pedal. I absolutely love this thing. The hype is real, and we're excited to talk about it in more detail on the other side.

Hi, everybody Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals. We hope you're having an amazing day. Well, today we are super pumped to be talking about the 1981 inventions DRV pedal. This thing has been quite the popular thing over the last couple of years, and finally got our hands on one about a month or two ago. And yeah, it's been an absolute delight and excited to share our thoughts on it today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. The DRV is just a great rat style overdrive with a lot more capabilities, as far as gain is concerned and just preserving like dynamic range with your tone and stuff like that. So it's a really great pedal. I really like it. And yeah, I'm excited to dive deeper into it today.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. And specifically the one that we're going to be talking about today, not that it really matters, it's just more of an aesthetic thing, but we've got a blackout version, which looks absolutely amazing. Love the way this thing looks and yeah, I love the sound of it. So yeah, definitely pumped to really just unpack what this pedal is all about. So for those of you not familiar with 1981 inventions, or in this case, the DRV pedal, it actually came out in 2018 and really just started to build... it actually was popular overnight. In fact, I believe they sold out the very next day after launching it, but it's been super popular all throughout 2019, all throughout 2020. And it continues to be super popular today.

In fact, if you jump on Reverb you're going to see that these things run at a premium. So obviously limited supply obviously increases demand. And so these things can run anywhere from 300 to 350. I've seen it maybe even as extreme as 400 or 500 if I remember correctly. But yeah, if you can get your hands on a new one [inaudible 00:02:25] like this is going to set you back about $250.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I actually was able to get one out of the first batch. Me and a few friends hit all... Actually stayed up to buy them like right at midnight. So I think I had like one in the sixties or whatever, but yeah, it was a great pedal. It fulfilled all my expectations for it, but ultimately it was one that I didn't end up leaving on my board. So it just kind of sat around until I decided to get rid of it. But it's a great sounding pedal. I used it a lot for if I just had one drive pedal and then I'd maybe throw a boost on the board with it and use it in that context. So it's a really great overdrive.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's a fantastic overdrive pedal. For those that do not know it was actually inspired by the 1985 Whiteface PRO CO Rat. So in other words, if you love that rat sound, this pedal is all about that. And that's the tone that it accomplishes with some generous improvements in mods that make it unique in its own way. Something that I failed to mention earlier when talking about 1981 inventions, just a little bit more history, as you mentioned, this actually came out in 2018. The company itself was created by Matthew [Hoop 00:03:41] whose his fame comes from being the lead guitarist for the Christian band, Relient K. He's actually a fellow Nashvillian, but I believe he actually just moved to Florida, not too long ago, but Matthew Hoop ended up partnering with his good friend, John Ashley from Bondi Effects and from what I've read online, they basically took about four years to do their research and development, to analyze what they wanted to keep, what they wanted to remove, whether they wanted to modify. And the end result ended up being this DRV pedal, which again has a really fantastic following behind it.

There are some people out there. I mean, we're obviously talking it up, we're we're fans of it, but there are people that don't like it and feel like maybe the hype is a little bit too much, but generally speaking, this is definitely a solid option for any board.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. With pedals like this, or like any pedal that has some sort of hype associated with it, like the brown [inaudible 00:04:39] protein, or like a king of tone, or like the DRV here, you have a lot of people who will just hate on it for the fact that it is popular and for the fact that they do sell out and things like that. And people do try and scalp the prices and do stuff like that. So I feel like that just kind of comes with the territory. But honestly, it's really impressive to me what Matt's been able to do with the DRV, with the guys over at Bondi, creating the circuit and being able to just build these by himself and form this brand and this company just as something that he's done on his own.

Scott Schwertly:
I mean, a hat tip to him. I mean, it's definitely been a very successful endeavor for him and we can speak to it. I mean, we're essentially a two man band here at Siren and understand the legwork and the hard work that's involved to launch any guitar pedal for that matter. And then to launch it at the level, it's been able to create the enthusiasm and the excitement that this pedal has. Yeah. Kudos to what Matt has been able to do with 1981 inventions. And on this topic since you brought it up, Eric, and probably don't need to have this conversation here on this podcast, but we'll probably, I know myself, I think I'll dedicate a video towards this on our YouTube channel, just about the whole nature of gear flipping.

And it seems like I'm thinking specifically of the PRS Silver Sky, I think it's the lunar one that's coming out soon or just came out. We prerecord these episodes so it may have already come out by now, but, or even in case of this one, you have the DRV pedal or anything that comes out in limited quantities. It's interesting to see the whole culture around flipping gear and there is an ethical thing in the air and you obviously can choose a side, whether you think that's like kudos to them for doing something wise with that and taking advantage of the opportunity or poopoo on them for doing something like that, where they're just manipulating the situation. So, yeah, I'd be curious to dig into this more in a separate episode, but just, you've brought up this whole idea of flipping gear and it seems to be something that is running rampant in our community.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, I think there's a difference. So there's flipping gear in the way that, like I came up learning about flipping gear when I first started playing guitar. And that was, you find some guy on Craigslist who just wants to get rid of his pedal. The first pedal I ever bought was the Line Six Echo Park. I bought it for $35. When I sold it I sold it for like 120 or something like that. So it's like that kind of gear flipping, I feel is different than buying something new that's a limited quantity and then reselling it at a ridiculous price. My mind goes to, what's been happening with Chase Bliss lately. The generation loss, the limited release they did with that. And people are asking $1,000 for it. And I know Joel, over at Chase Bliss did a whole post kind of just explaining that he's done with limited quantities now just because he thinks that's ridiculous.

And I mean, I would have to say, I agree with that, but there is an element to finding a good deal on something and then being able to flip it, make a little bit of a profit, be able to invest in your gear more. I mean, really that's how I've bought most of my gears by doing that. So yeah. I definitely have a lot of thoughts on all of that. So we should definitely do a conversation about that over on our YouTube channel.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So look for an episode on that guy, sorry for the... We rarely ever go down a rabbit trail, but I've been just really passionate about this topic lately, because I have seen a lot of abuse with those things that you're talking about, Eric, like the Chase Bliss stuff or the PRS stuff. But then there's also the smart way to buy gear, which is the other version that you talked about. So yeah, we'll have another conversation about this in days and weeks ahead. I definitely feel like we should revisit it. So back on topic, let's go back to the 1981 inventions, DRV pedal here. Bottom line, this is an amazing overdrive pedal. Again, if you love that rat tone, you're going to get that. One of the things that they did do with this pedal to make it different than the 1985 Whiteface PRO CO Rat is the inclusion of a fixed level preamp. And I believe it's got about 1/20th of the amount of gain. So a little tweaks like that, give it its own sort of unique personality.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. It's kind of the way I describe this pedal in particular is it's like everything you wanted out of the rat, but you couldn't quite get. So it's like, I wouldn't, honestly, I probably wouldn't put it as much in the same ballpark of a rat. Like if I'm picking out pedals to go on a board, like I probably wouldn't pick this to go in place of a rat just because the gain is so much lower. You can get to the normal rat gain stages and things like that. But I think really where it shines is in those lower gain settings and things like that, that just kind of allow you to push your amp a little bit more, just overdrive your guitar a bit and provides... I think of bands like Pedro The Lion or a Low Time, like kind of David Design type stuff, or even like Title Flight, Turnover, those kinds of bands. I feel like it shines more like in that vein than it does the traditional rat.

Scott Schwertly:
So switching gears here, we're going to give you guys a taste of what this thing actually sounds like. Before we do that though. Eric, do you want to quickly just go through the controls on this thing?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So you got the drive, cut and then the volume knobs. And so the cut control reacts very similarly to how your rat cut would. So really nothing major going on with the controls here and yeah. One foot switch, three knobs.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's super straightforward. Super easy to use. And yeah. So we're going to go ahead and toss to a demo or a sample of this real quick. Eric, what guitar are you going to go with today?

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

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Well, we're going to get this set up and as always guys, we'll see you on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. This is the 1981 DRV. It's a great rat inspired pedal that really, I mean, honestly fits a whole different category for me than the rat normally does. So I love it. Definitely check it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, it's a good one. Definitely a solid choice for anybody that is a rat enthusiast. So I think you'll love it.

All right. Well there you have it guys. That is the 1981 inventions DRV pedal. Join us next time. We're going to go back into the world of striding and we're going to be talking about the striding Mobius. So if you love modulation, this pedal doesn't [inaudible 00:12:34] a time. So excited to talk about that one in the next episode.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I remember I owned one of these for a while and it's just a great all-in-one modulator. So definitely excited to talk about that one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, she'd be a good one. Well, until then guys have a great day, have a great week and we'll catch you in the next one.

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