“A very responsive pedal that will deliver an excellent range of rich, cranked-amp style drive”: Mad Professor Royal Blue Overdrive review

On this evidence, there's nothing mad about this professor, which offers plenty of gain but remains a dynamic and persuasive pedalboard option

Mad Professor Royal Blue Overdrive
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

Like the Sweet Honey Overdrive, this is another very responsive overdrive pedal that delivers an excellent range of rich, cranked-amp style drive.

Pros

  • +

    It's a compact pedal.

  • +

    Great sound quality.

  • +

    Ergonomic knobs.

  • +

    No-fuss control setup.

Cons

  • -

    Not much, but side-mounted connections bother some.

  • -

    Need a screwdriver to change/use the battery.

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Mad Professor Amplification debuted in 2002, and ever since it released its first guitar pedal there have been many additions to its catalog, some of which have remained in the range while others have been discontinued. 

One of the last Mad Professor pedals we took a look at was the Loud’n Proud, which offered the sound of a vintage Marshall amp with a fuzz pedal causing mischief in front of it. That is one of those now-discontinued models, but the Royal Blue Overdrive we’re looking at today has never been out of production. 

Mad Professor's pedals are very well put together, each with the same form factor with inputs/outputs on the sides. There’s also a nine-volt connection on the right-hand side, but all will run from a PP3 battery accessed by removing four crosshead screws and the bottom plate. 

Mad Professor Royal Blue Overdrive

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

The Royal Blue Overdrive covers a higher gain range than the Sweet Honey, and has a pair of very effective tone controls that offer plenty of scope in dialing in your tone.

Both controls offer boost/cut shelving EQ and, besides offering tweaks to top-end presence and bottom-end girth, the Treble and Bass can be combined in the absence of a Mids knob to influence the midrange – turn them both up for a scoop or down for a Tube Screamer-style mid boost. 

Mad Professor Royal Blue Overdrive

There are no quick changes if you want to use the pedals with a battery – it’s out with the screwdriver and time to remove the baseplate. (Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

Incidentally, with the Drive knob at zero and the Volume knob at full, you’re pretty much at unity gain, allowing you to use the pedal purely for its EQ capabilities with the Treble and Bass knobs set accordingly.

Like the Sweet Honey Overdrive, this is another very responsive overdrive pedal that delivers an excellent range of rich, cranked-amp style drive.

Specs 

  • PRICE: $229/£179
  • ORIGIN: Finland
  • TYPE: Drive pedal
  • FEATURES: True bypass
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Drive, Bass, Treble, Bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V battery or 9V DC adaptor 3.5mA 
  • DIMENSIONS: 63 (w) x 111 (d) x 50mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Mad Professor Amplification

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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.