There are some things that I just downright love: A pulled pork burrito. Calvin and Hobbes. Puppies, and dogs in general. Pedals with one knob. I could wax poetic about the first three things mentioned, but Tone Report is about guitar stuff, so I’ll spare you my thoughts on cuisine, thought provoking, philosophical comic strips, and the cutest and most fun animal companions known to man. I will, however, share my feelings about the Greer Special Request “D-Style” FET preamp pedal. When I opened the box it shipped in, I was delighted to see the golden box with a single knob. Another thing that stuck out was the phrase “D-Style.” I will give you a full disclosure and tell you that I do not own a “D” amplifier, nor have I ever played one. I have been led to believe that if I did, I would sound like a symphony of rugged angels, have the strength of Hercules, and possess the grace of the lovechild between a unicorn and a swan. But I digress. The Special Request circuit is based around the FET input of a D-style amplifier, and features internal voltage doubling, meaning you can use a nine-volt power supply, but the pedal will run at 18 volts, adding extra headroom and clarity.
The first thing I did was run this pedal straight into my amplifier. On lower settings it added warmth and presence, but not a dramatic altering of my tone. On higher settings, there was a slight amount of grit present with the aforementioned qualities. The trick to pedals like this one is knowing what they are and what they aren’t. This isn’t meant to be an overdrive pedal or a clean boost. It accentuates certain frequencies and adds a particular sweetness to dirt boxes or dirty amps. I ran this pedal after my Catalinbread Karma Suture and EarthQuaker Devices Speaker Cranker. It took a bit of top end from both, giving me a smoother, warmer drive tone. Again, it wasn’t a drastic change, but the difference was noticeable, and I could hear right away that this would be useful in a band setting to even out drive and fuzz tones. Sometimes clicking on a fuzz during the middle of a song can seem unpleasant and abrasive, but keeping the Special Request on all the time and adding shades of dirt gives that next level you’re looking for without sounding like you’re interrupting the music. To that end, I found that I prefer it as an always on pedal.
If you’re a lover of single coil pickups (who isn’t?!), the Special Request is a great way to add warmth and depth without subtracting the snappiness that you’ve become accustomed to. It simply enhances the signal, adding fullness and clarity, and it tames ice-picky Telecaster bridge pickup tones with ease. Your guitar’s personality stays intact, but it sounds better with a bit of Special Request magic.
If you’re mostly happy with your rig, but need a little something special to put your tone over the top, the Special Request is worth looking into. Whether you’re looking to add extra dimension to your dirt boxes, spice up your amplifier, or just want a rad looking boost pedal, this box will do all of those things and more. It is simple, but capable of many great tonal feats, and you can be confident taking it out on stage every night because it was built to last by no-nonsense tone hounds in Athens, Georgia.
What We Like
A useful tone enhancement device. Simple operation.
May fall into the “For the Guitarist That Has Everything” category.