“No ordinary overdrive pedal”: The Electric Love and Brian Wampler Aquatone is a Boss Blues Driver clone with a twist – and 100% of profits will go towards breast cancer research

Electric Love Aquatone
(Image credit: Electric Love)

Electric Love – the effects brand established by musician and DIY pedal enthusiast Ben Carlin – has unveiled another boutique overdrive pedal that will once again contribute to a good cause.

Designed in collaboration with Brian Wampler, the Aquatone is described as a reimagining of the Boss Blues Driver with some additional twists, and is being sold on Reverb in support of breast cancer research.

It’s not the first pedal release from Carlin that supports the cause. Last year, Electric Love unveiled an overdrive pedal, fuzz pedal and delay pedal to raise money for Play for P.I.N.K. – an organization that supports volunteers who organize sporting and lifestyle events to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

It was these very pedals that caught the eye of the Wampler founder, whose expertise was enlisted to produce a Blues Driver-inspired stompbox that's been dubbed “no ordinary pedal”.

And, in a continuation of Electric Love’s endeavors, 100% of profits from Aquatone sales will go directly to the BCRF, whose mission it is to eliminate breast cancer through the advancement of groundbreaking research. The brand has also pledged a minimum donation of $1,000.

Electric Love Aquatone

(Image credit: Electric Love)

As for the pedal itself, a central toggle gives players the option to switch between lower and higher gain distortion modes, both of which are answerable to Gain, Volume, Bass, Mids and Treble parameters.

That’s notably more controls than the original Blues Driver, which only offers Tone, Level and Gain knobs.

Reflecting on his latest project – and collaboration with Wampler – Carlin said, “I still remember cobbling together a master volume adaptor for a Hot Rod Deluxe years ago, guided by a Brian Wampler YouTube tutorial. 

“Fast forward to today, and I’m collaborating with the man himself,” he continued. “It’s surreal and incredibly meaningful.”

Carlin’s pedal exploits are deeply personal. Pedal making became a creative outlet for Ben after his wife, Mary, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Thanks to top-notch medical treatment, she was able to make a full recovery.

Electric Love Aquatone

(Image credit: Electric Love)

Two years later, Carlin’s daughter, Charlotte – only four years old at the time – was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As Carlin says on his Reverb store, “Thanks to a fantastic medical team, surgery, research, and a positive attitude she did great and is doing great”.

“We are incredibly grateful to the doctors, nurses and cancer researchers for all they do every day,” Carlin told Guitar World at the time of Electric Love’s previous release. “Cancer research is the key to saving more lives and ultimately to a cure for cancer.”

“I wanted to blend my love of music and creating pedals with a campaign to raise money for cancer research,” Carlin says. “I’ve seen firsthand the power of research and the importance of it. Because of changes in the tax laws, I couldn't do my original idea of selling them on my personal Reverb page – I had to create a company to sell them, so Electric Love was born.”

The Aquatone will be available for $199.

Head over to Electric Love’s Reverb store for more info.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.