“This is the sort of pedal you may wish to keep on all the time”: Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive review

A low-gain drive from the Finnish pedal specialist that makes all your strings sound good, not just the B(ee)

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

This is the sort of pedal you may wish to keep on all the time, but it also stacks really well as a booster in front of other drive pedals. The company also has a limited-edition version with its ‘Fat Bee mod’ that essentially tweaks the bottom-end.

Pros

  • +

    Compact size.

  • +

    Great sound quality.

  • +

    Ergonomic knobs.

  • +

    Simple control surface.

Cons

  • -

    Some may not like the connections and/or the power input being on the sides of the pedal.

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Mad Professor Amplification’s first products were made in 2002 and the company says that they are a culmination of decades of work with guitars, amps and pedals. Since that first pedal arrived, there have been many additions to the catalogue, some of which have had real longevity, while others have been discontinued. 

One of the last Mad Professor pedals we took a look at (back in issue 445) was the Loud’n Proud, which offered the sound of a vintage Marshall amp with a fuzzbox in front of it. It is now discontinued, but the one we’re looking at today is a stalwart of the range and never out of production. 

The Sweet Honey Overdrive is Mad Professor’s take on the low- to mid-gain overdrive pedal, typically used to add a little hair to clean amps or to drive already dirty amplifiers a little harder.

There’s an easy-to-dial-in three-knob control surface here with self-explanatory Volume and Drive knobs, plus a Focus knob that the brand says is for adjusting the feel and dynamics of the pedal, as well as overall EQ.

The pedal is capable of a small but practical clean boost with the Drive at minimum and a decent guitar amp-like raunch at maximum. What is particularly notable is the response to playing dynamics, which really is quite amp-like – you can play softer for the clean-ish sounds, while bolder strokes can really bring out dirt.

All of this expressive nature can be tempered with the Focus knob, providing plenty of variation on the driven theme. 

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

At its lower settings, there’s a smooth, warmer rounded sound and the dynamics are such that you have to dig in that little bit harder to get overdriven sounds, but as you turn it up you’ll get an increase in top-end presence and an easier transition into driven sounds.

This is the sort of pedal you may wish to keep on all the time, but it also stacks really well as a booster in front of other drive pedals. The company also has a limited-edition version with its ‘Fat Bee mod’ that essentially tweaks the bottom-end. 

Specs

  • PRICE: $229/£199
  • ORIGIN: Finland
  • TYPE: Drive pedal
  • FEATURES: True bypass
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Drive, Focus, Bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V battery or 9V DC adaptor 5mA 
  • DIMENSIONS: 63 (w) x 111 (d) x 50mm (h) 
  • CONTACT: Mad Professor

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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.