Review: Fulltone Deja Vibe CS-MDV MKII and Full-Drive 2 V2 Pedals

(Image credit: Fulltone)

Unless you’re a passionate, dedicated follower of Michael Fuller’s work, you may be wondering why we’re reviewing a pair of Fulltone pedals that were introduced more than 20 years ago. Fulltone fans already know the answer, but for the rest of you, the reason is because Fuller is constantly making tweaks and improvements to his products, and whenever he makes significant upgrades or circuit changes he’ll bestow his pedals with further classifications such as mkII or V2. In 2018, Fulltone made serious upgrades to two of the company’s most successful and enduring pedals — the Full-Drive 2 and the Deja Vibe — that deserve the same attention as many new stomp boxes. If you’re already familiar with the Deja Vibe and Full-Drive 2, the Deja Vibe CS-MDV mkII and Full-Drive 2 V2 are well worth second looks, as Fulltone has preserved most of what players loved about these pedals to begin with and added a whole lot more to fall in love with all over again — or for the very first time.

FEATURES Both the Deja Vibe CS-MDV mkII and Full-Drive 2 V2 have significantly smaller footprints than their predecessors, making these pedals easy to fit on already-crowded pedalboards. The Deja Vibe CSMDV mkII provides the same set of controls as the CS-MDV-1, including volume and intensity, an oversized speed knob and mini two-way toggle switches for modern/vintage and vibrato/chorus settings. However, the Deja Vibe mkII now provides a significantly faster and slower speed range made possible by Fuller replacing the original potentiometers with a pair of custom-made Fulltone Opt-ocouplers possessing a range of 40 ohms to 5 mega ohms. The onboard and external speed control allows for linear performance without any abrupt changes in speed, making it smoother to dial in the desired effect speed. The external pedal jack now is compatible with almost any type of expression pedal, including units with 10K, 50K or 100k potentiometers. It also has greater volume output, allowing users to match or even boost levels when the effect is engaged. Unlike previous versions, the pedal has a Class A Jfet output section allowing up to 15dB volume boost and also lets it mate with other effects and high-gain amp settings seamlessly.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.