Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb Paradynamic MKII review

Give your tone its just desserts with this combination of drive and EQ

Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

A stackable overdrive that can do the job of two drive boxes in one, with powerful tone-shaping capabilities, the Angry Rhubarb is a home run for Redbeard.

Pros

  • +

    Plenty of versatility in a reasonably sized pedal.

  • +

    Two drive stages.

  • +

    Powerful semi-parametric EQ.

Cons

  • -

    Nothing really – switchable Q values would increase versatility but also detract from the inherent simplicity.

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Redbeard Effects, a UK-based guitar effects company, is a collaboration between Adrian Thorpe, the driving force behind ThorpyFX pedals, and guitarist Mikey Demus from the band Skindred. 

The Angry Rhubarb is the brand’s third pedal – following on from the Red Mist MKIV drive pedal and the Honey Badger Octave Fuzz – and is the direct result of pondering whether an overdrive circuit sounds better before or after EQ. Now a reality, it actually offers EQ sandwiched between two independent overdrive circuits. 

The semi-parametric EQ here covers a frequency range of 80Hz to 4kHz with up to 6dB of boost or cut for the selected frequency. In front of the EQ is a low to medium drive controlled by the Pre Drive knob, while after the EQ, the Post Drive knob offers a gainier drive.

Redbeard Effects Angry Rhubarb

(Image credit: Redbeard Effects )

Simply using the pedal with both drive knobs at zero gives you plenty of options. With a flat EQ, unity gain on the Volume knob is at about 11 o’clock, so there’s loads of knob travel left to dial in practical amounts of clean boost, from a tickle to a hefty slap, with or without targeted EQ. 

Pre Drive takes you beyond clean, delivering increasing grit and break-up shaped by the EQ, perhaps some sparkly shading of the top-end or a dip in the midrange for some drive reminiscent of vintage Fender amp tone. 

The Post Drive control takes you further into dirt, and seems to have a slightly brighter voicing. But having the EQ in front of it lets you really hone in on the character of the drive coming out of the pedal, whether you’re taming the top-end for a more mellow drive, building in a touch of throaty midrange presence to cut through the mix, or getting more extreme with the raucous bark of a parked wah. 

Verdict

Juxtaposition of the two drive knobs from a mild to a full-on drive and carefully applied EQ confers a versatility on this pedal that goes well beyond what most single overdrive pedals can do, making it a practical choice if it’s your only drive pedal. 

However, it’s also great for stacking because the tone-shaping plus that wide gain range give you plenty of options when combining with another drive.

Specs

  • PRICE: $249 / £199
  • ORIGIN: UK  
  • TYPE: Drive pedal 
  • FEATURES: True bypass 
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Post Drive, Pre Drive, Freq Gain, Freq, Bypass footswitch 
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output 
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 
  • DIMENSIONS: 70 (w) x  125 (d) x 58mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Redbeard Effects (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.