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Hamstead Soundworks Subspace Intergalactic Driver review

Optimised for low frequencies, this drive takes versatility to the next level

(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

We described the Odyssey as versatile, but this takes things further, particularly with that Parallel knob expanding the possibilities. It’s a complete drive workhorse with now’t taken out.

Pros

  • +

    Rock-solid build quality.

  • +

    Retains bottom-end.

  • +

    Huge variety of dirt sounds available.

  • +

    Parallel knob for blending in clean sound.

  • +

    Clean boost option.

Cons

  • -

    Nothing.

Hamstead’s Odyssey is one of those supremely versatile drive (opens in new tab) pedals that can provide you with a whole range of tones from clean boost (opens in new tab) to fuzz (opens in new tab)

The company has now followed that with a similar chameleon-like pedal that’s been optimised for low frequencies and expands on the Odyssey’s control surface with a sixth knob that allows a parallel blend of dry and effected tone. 

Such a feature set seems aimed at bass players, but it has attributes that will endear it to guitar players who are looking to shape fulsome drive sounds, too.

A three-way clipping switch defines the basic character of the dirt here and works in conjunction with Gain and Tone (high-frequency) controls. There are also three switchable options for increasing amounts (up to five-fold) of input gain level. 

While the USP of the Subspace is that it does not lose any low frequencies when engaged, you can roll off bottom-end if you wish; Treble and Bass EQ with 18dB of cut or boost can be placed either pre- or post- the drive circuit. There’s also a Clean Boost setting that bypasses the drive circuitry, so you’re just using the EQ, input gain level and volume knob. 

That clean boost demonstrates the utter tonal transparency of the pedal with the bottom-end remaining completely unmolested, and there’s a shedload of boost available – transparent or tonally-targeted.

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Moving on to the dirt sounds, the clipping options give you three different flavours as starting points with a massive range of gain delivering everything from early stage valve break-up to thick distortion and some fuzz-like variations.

Constructive use of the Treble and Bass knobs in the pre setting can shape the midrange to focus your dirt frequencies, and that parallel facility completely opens up your range of options. 

Basically a volume knob for your unadulterated input signal, it can be juxtaposed with the drive and EQ circuit’s volume knob to allow the creation of many sonic blends, such as adding some extra string clarity to a driven sound or tacking on just a touch of saturation to a clean sound.

Verdict

We described the Odyssey as versatile, but this takes things further, particularly with that Parallel knob expanding the possibilities. It’s a complete drive workhorse with now’t taken out.

Specs

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)
  • PRICE: £249
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Drive pedal
  • FEATURES: Buffered bypass, OptoKick footswitch, input pad switch (0dB/-10dB)
  • CONTROLS: Tone, Bass, Treble, Gain, Parallel, Level, EQ pre/post switch, Clipping switch (C1/C2/C3), Input Gain switch (X2/X1/X5), Input Pad switch, internal dip-switch for power up mode, bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 60mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 70 (w) x 130 (d) x 65mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Hamstead Soundworks (opens in new tab)

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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.