Harley Benton Twoface review

Meet the no-nonsense, one-stop blues box that partners TS-style drive with tremolo for a measly 85 bucks

Harley Benton Twoface
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

If you’re looking for a drive and tremolo to pair with a tube amp for blues and rock, it’s a compact, great-sounding pedal that won’t break the bank.

Pros

  • +

    Two classic guitar sounds in one.

  • +

    Compact design.

  • +

    It's really cheap.

Cons

  • -

    Not much but high-gain freaks look elsewhere.

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The Twoface is a combined Tube Screamer-style overdrive and tremolo pedal from Thomann’s in-house brand. What it perhaps lacks in style it makes up for in efficiency. It’s housed in a compact enclosure, with a footswitch for each circuit as well as an order-switching toggle. 

There are two levels of clipping available on the overdrive side, courtesy of the Warm/Hot switch. Elsewhere, everything functions as expected. Into a decent low-wattage tube amp, the ‘level up, gain down’ strategy yields tasty saturation and compression for punchy blues licks. 

Pushing into modern rock is easy. Switching from a Fender neck single coil to a Gibson bridge humbucker – and toggling to the ‘Hot’ setting – results in punchy chords and even the ability to chug out some palm muting. Depending on the amp, some attention to level and gain is needed to avoid fizz. 

However, that style of playing isn’t really what the Twoface is designed for. It’s more aimed at the blues player with a small tube amp that doesn’t sport a tremolo. Thus, setting up the overdrive side as a boost before exploring the tremolo options yields the best results. It’s an optical tremolo, resulting in a choppy effect when Depth is dialed all the way up. 

A more subtle approach is possible, though. Pulling back the Depth and setting the Speed at something slower, but not lethargic, gives extra interest to chords and riffs. The bias control changes the color by making the waveform non-symmetrical. This more swampy sound really opens up the pedal at hotter gain settings and interacts nicely with a tube amp when pushed at the end of the chain. 

There’s little to fault the Twoface on. The bottom line is that it’s well-implemented, straightforward and sounds good. Then again, it should: the Tube Screamer circuit is over 40 years old, and a simple tremolo is a weekend project for a DIY pedal builder. 

It’s not revolutionary. However, if you’re looking for a drive and tremolo to pair with a tube amp for blues and rock, it’s a compact, great-sounding pedal that won’t break the bank.

Harley Benton Twoface

(Image credit: Future)

Specs

  • PRICE: $85 / £70
  • TYPE: Overdrive and tremolo pedal
  • SOCKETS: In/Out
  • POWER: 9VDC centre-negative
  • CONTROLS: Depth, Bias, Speed, Level, Tone, Drive, Hot/Warm, Effect order
  • BYPASS: True bypass
  • CONTACT: Harley Benton

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Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.