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ThorpyFX The Bunker review

Revisit Lovetone’s roots with Adrian Thorpe's take on one of our favorite tone condiments, the Brown Source overdrive

ThorpyFX The Bunker review
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Our Verdict

A more flexible and rugged version of the Brown Source that should appeal to a wider variety of contemporary guitar players.

For

  • Military-tough build.
  • Stable performance.
  • Lovely, harmonically rich and complex overdrive.

Against

  • Nothing.

Much like a bunker is covered in brown dirt, so too will your signal with this upgraded version of the Lovetone Brown Source overdrive

The prototype was voiced using a Tele and Hiwatt amp while aiming for Jumpin’ Jack Flash guitar tone, and The Bunker manages to capture that stack-in-a-box overdrive sound in spades, covering an impressive amount of sonic ground with depth, dynamics and cut.

Similar to the Big Cheese/The Field Marshal, the four-way tone switch of the Brown Source has been reworked to include a three-way EQ/tone Mode toggle with a tone stack bypass footswitch labelled Sauce. When engaged, the sound is brighter and more gain-y with the Texture control set between nine o’clock and minimum. 

Adjusting Texture - a feedback loop producing intermodulation distortion - adds harmonics and complexity to the sound, and, with the knob set around four o’clock, is roughly in line with the fixed position of the original incarnation.

Specs

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)
  • PRICE: £189
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Overdrive pedal
  • FEATURES: Tone stack bypass; 3 tone modes
  • CONTROLS: 4x knobs: Vol, Drive, Texture & Tone; 2x footswitches: Bypass & Sauce; 3-way Mode selector switch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input and output jacks; 2.1mm barrel (centre negative)
  • POWER: 9V DC (adaptor not supplied)
  • DIMENSIONS: 65 (w) x 125 (d) x 53mm (h)
  • CONTACT: ThorpyFX

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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.