Ashdown Pro-FX Retro Drive review

An overdrive that aims to get the best out of your amplifier

Ashdown ProFx Retro Drive
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

A very decent drive and price: this vintage amp flavour won’t bust your budget.

Pros

  • +

    British-style overdrive that complements your amp.

  • +

    Tone knob is very practical.

  • +

    Quality build with Neutrik jacks and solid steel enclosure.

  • +

    Inexpensive.

Cons

  • -

    Some players may want a little more output volume for additional clean boost.

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Built to provide vintage Brit-style amp drive, the Retro Drive sports the expected Gain and Output knobs but also has a Tone knob that covers a very practical range of top-end presence, which can be used to dial in a sound that best complements your guitar amp.

Starting off on the lowest settings of the Gain knob, you have to set the Output to about three o’clock for unity gain so there is a little leeway beyond that to dial in a bit of kicked-in clean(ish) boost if you want. 

Further on, the Gain knob takes you through all shades of driven amp crunch through to the full-on raunchiness and harmonics reminiscent of a vintage non-master volume Brit amp with its volume knob maxed. 

It works well with a clean amp that needs an extra driven channel to be switched in at will, but also has all the necessary ability to push an already driven amp that bit further.  

VERDICT: A very decent drive and price: this vintage amp flavour won’t bust your budget.

Ashdown ProFx Retro Drive

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Specs

  • PRICE: £79
  • ORIGIN: China
  • TYPE: Drive pedal
  • FEATURES: True Bypass
  • CONTROLS: Bypass footswitch, Gain, Output, Tone,
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output,
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 50mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 873 (w) x 112 (d) x 58mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Ashdown Engineering

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Trevor Curwen

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.