SoundLad Liverpool Scran review

One of the most versatile Brit-rock in a box drives at this price? Definitely maybe

SoundLad Liverpool Scran
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

Brit-rock in a box? That's a catchy tagline, and the Scran will give you some Noel Gallagher sparkle and snarl, but this is an amp-like drive with a lot more tricks up its sleeve, offering a dynamic performance that responds to your playing.

Pros

  • +

    Very versatile amp-like drive and dirt sounds.

  • +

    Excellent value.

Cons

  • -

    Food-themed controls dials are an acquired taste... But they soon make sense.

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SoundLad Liverpool’s Marc Dunn has form for having a hand in capturing amp-like drive. If you recall the Funny Little Boxes’ 1991 overdrive pedal we gave a glowing review, he played a key role in its development. 

The Scran – a British term for basic but tasty food, in case you weren’t aware – sets its sights on a UK tonality, compared with the 1991’s grunge. However, it’s not your usual clone or Marshall-in-a-pedal story...

The controls follow the food theme and part with familiarity as a result: Thick, Soft, Toast, HP, Cheese and Beans mean you need to do some research. Dunn is happy to oblige with a detailed explanation on the SoundLad site – or check ours out right here! 

SoundLad Liverpool Scran

(Image credit: Future)

Thick in itself is a powerful tool; go left for biting treble boost and crank right for Fuzz Face territory. Interestingly, HP and Toast are gain controls, too, with HP adding bass and gain, but Toast being more of a traditional gain control.

Exploring the relationships between the controls reveals amp-like gain and response to pick dynamics that nods to British amp icons. This blurs the line between overdrive pedal and the feel of an extra amp channel.

Plugging into a clean Fender Deluxe Reverb – keeping that Thick dial at 9 o’clock while setting Toast the same (with everything else at midday) – reveals a Voxy chime with our bridge humbucker. The Thick can then dial in more Orange woolly warmth as both head to midday. 

The Thick and HP controls offer a lot of scope to move into the supernova of prime-era Oasis, and can brighten up your neck ’bucker or thicken a single-coil. Wind back that thickness for snappier Coxon drive and you can tonally reenact the battles of old with Blur. A versatile, vintage-flavoured overdrive at a fair price.

SoundLad Liverpool Scran

(Image credit: Future)

Specs

  • PRICE: £99 (approx $107)
  • TYPE: Overdrive 
  • CONTROLS: Thick (amount of gain and bass going into circuit), Soft (Neve-esque inductive EQ for treble response for ‘mix placement’ that we’d advise setting after your gain is dialled in), Toast (gain), HP (thickening gain control for bottom end), Cheese (subtle and seemed to be similar to Soft to our ears and proved useful finding a sweet spot for presence if you set it after the other controls), Beans (volume)
  • SOCKETS: Input, Output, Power
  • BYPASS: True bypass
  • POWER: 9V DC (6mA draw)
  • CONTACT: SoundLad Liverpool (opens in new tab)

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Rob is the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar (opens in new tab), handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar, he worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including as Editor of Total Guitar. He's currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with his own songs and is enjoying playing covers in function bands.