Just days after launching his own amp brand with Mojotone, Alex Lifeson gets his teeth into the pedal market with his first stompbox – the LERXST By-Tor

LERXST By-Tor overdrive / boost pedal
(Image credit: LERXST)

It’s barely been a week since Alex Lifeson debuted his LERXST signature amp range, designed and produced in collaboration with Mojotone. Now the partnership has given birth to a brand new signature overdrive and boost pedal, the LERXST By-Tor.

The pedal is currently available as a Reverb-exclusive. It has come more quickly than we might have anticipated, but isn’t a complete surprise, given the brand’s recent debut announcement mentioned future plans for “a range of amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, and pickups”. 

So what is the By-Tor? Essentially, it’s a two-in-one drive and boost pedal designed to capture the flavor of the recently revamped LERXST Omega head, but without the expensive (and weighty) tube circuitry.

It’s named after Rush’s tune By-Tor and the Snow Dog and, appropriately, promises to offer “the same intensity and growl that the tube amp is known for”. The control array is a straightforward Tone, Gain and Level for the Drive side and a Level control for the Boost side.

The Omega itself is based on a Marshall Silver Jubilee-style build and the By-Tor has the same tonal touch stones, with Mojotone’s Michael McWhorter pitching it as a “a British-voiced amp in a box”.

Both of the pedal’s functions can be used independently or in conjunction and a handy feature comes in the form of a Boost First / Drive First toggle switch, which enables you dictate the order of the signal chain. 

Boost First creates more saturation, while Drive First enables you to use the Boost side in a more traditional manner, i.e. kicking-in to gain-up solo sections.

The tonal range is pitched as everything from “light and crunchy” to “overdriven chaos”, which sounds like a fun amount of flexibility. Reverb’s own Andy Martin certainly gets some killer Rush-style sounds out of it in his demo above. 

At $295, it’s on the mid- to high-end of the amp-in-a-box price scale, exceeding the likes of a few Marshall-flavored rivals, like Wampler’s Plexi Drive ($239) and heading towards the likes of UAFX’s Lion ’68 (at $399). 

However, given this is made in the USA and that the original Omega head retails for $2,495, this is certainly looking like a more cost-effective way to get you in the Lifeson ballpark.

Either way, while we’d initially read the LERXST press release hints of a wider range of products to come as being a vague promise of future offerings, there are clearly more concrete plans afoot. We wonder what's next?

Head to the LERXST Reverb store for more information and purchase links. 

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.