Skip to main content

Carl Martin PlexiRanger review

Footswitchable control for the classic sound of a treble-boosted Brit amp

Carl Martin PlexiRanger
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Our Verdict

This is a versatile pedal that would be worth the money for either one of its two footswitchable effects. But getting both together in one package makes it a really solid buy as an eminently practical pedalboard workhorse.

For

  • Drive and boost in a single pedal.
  • Independent footswitching for both effects.
  • Classic sound revisited.
  • Practical range of frequencies for the boost.
  • Lo-Cut switch.

Against

  • Not a thing!

The combination of vintage British amp and treble booster (Dallas Rangemaster et al) as put into practice by the likes of Tony Iommi, Rory Gallagher and Brian May is a shoo-in recipe for a classic rock sound. 

It makes sense, then, to put a British amp-flavoured overdrive and a booster into the same pedal. And that’s just what Carl Martin has done here with the aptly named PlexiRanger, a pedal that provides separately footswitchable drive and boost sections that can be used independently or in tandem. The right-hand side of the pedal takes care of boost functions as well as low-end attenuation with a Lo-Cut switch. 

This switch offers two levels of bottom-end roll-off that work really well for taking the murk out of your tone or taming the excesses of a 4x12 cab. Up to 15dB of pure clean volume boost is delivered by the Boost knob, but if you want some tonal shift, you can find your desired frequency via the wide-ranging Freq knob and use the Range knob to set how much you want it boosted by. 

There are plenty of options, from a tonal sweetening with minimal added boost through powerful, tightly targeted, tonally shaped boosts whether fat, throaty or toppy to get your amp singing. It works a treat with our vintage Vox AC30 and Marshall JMP50, bringing in a richness with just the right amount of extra treble combined with a front-end push.

We don’t all have vintage British amps, though, and that’s where the pedal’s other half comes in. Carl Martin is known for its Marshall-flavoured Plexi drive pedals, and one of those is exactly what you get in this pedal’s left-hand section.

Carl Martin PlexiRanger

(Image credit: Carl Martin)

This is classy overdrive from almost clean to driven raunch with plenty of top-end adjustable via the Tone knob. While the Plexi side doesn’t get into high-gain territory by itself, kicking in the boost adds an extra dimension to the sound, bringing out the harmonics, and can really get it screaming.

Specs

  • ORIGIN: Denmark 
  • TYPE: Drive and  boost pedal 
  • FEATURES:  Buffered bypass 
  • CONTROLS: Gain, Tone, Level, Frequency, Boost, Range, Lo-Cut switch,  Plexi footswitch,  Boost footswitch 
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output, standard Remote 
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 100mA  
  • DIMENSIONS: 120 (w) x  95 (d) x 56mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Carl Martin