Origin Effects launches the M-EQ Driver, a Pultec EQ redesigned for guitar players

Origin Effects M-EQ Driver
(Image credit: Origin Effects)

UK pedal firm Origin Effects has debuted its latest offering, the M-EQ Driver, which aims to bottle the sound of a classic Pultec EQ and then take it to new and interesting places.

The M-EQ Driver is directly inspired by the Pultec units found in studios since the ’50s, which were famed for their sparkly mid tones and valve saturation. However, Origin is clear it’s not a simple clone of the circuit, rather a version of the most useful parts for guitar players, packaged in a compact pedal. 

As such, it’s a flexible offering that ranges from a mid-boost, to overdrive and “howling, resonate distortion”. There’s a range of guitar-optimised mid boost settings, with a mini-toggle offering a choice of 0.8, 1.0 and 1.3 kHz to help your guitar to pop out of a mix.

The Cut control takes out the top-end, in a sort of reverse tone control sweep. This can be augmented by Origin’s adaptive circuitry toggle, which ensures it compensates for adjustments in volume and dirt, cleaning up as the volume is reduced. As such, tweaking your guitar’s volume will have interesting effects on the pedal’s tone. 

Finally, a key feature of the Pultec circuit, the valve-powered push-pull overdrive has been integrated here, albeit as a ‘valve-like’ circuit, meaning no tubes are involved. Again, though, it’s been ramped-up to better suit the needs of players, meaning that the subsequent overdrive can go much further than the original unit.

It’s a tempting proposition from a firm with a good history in doing this sort of thing well, and may just offer enough frills to persuade players that the (oft-overlooked) EQ pedal is an essential purchase.

Origin Effects M-EQ Driver is available, priced around $319. Head to Origin Effects (opens in new tab) for more information.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.