When you are first starting out, you cannot help but think that things are going to get a bit easier as you mature as a musician. You dream of the time when playing the guitar is a mere enjoyment and you do not have to suffer as much. But as you get closer to achieving that goal and fulfilling that sole purpose, you realize that everything gets harder and harder and requires even more blood, sweat and tears. This is true not only for guitar craftsmanship but the gear as well, and the pedals in particular. When you understand your tone better, you become pickier with the units you reach for and finding that perfect stompbox becomes hell of a journey. But that does not mean that it is not feasible to find that unique piece that speaks to your soul. Plus, I am here to assist you on that quest. Today I am going to talk about one of the distinctive members of distortion family – Xvive Golden Brownie T1. If you want to find out why this fella falls in the category of best distortion pedals, just keep on reading!
Xvive Golden Brownie T1 promises to be “Marshall-in-a-box” type of pedal. It strives to replicate the sounds of Marshall JCM 800 in a stompbox enclosure and deliver all the best qualities of tubes without the actual valves. This way you can taste the feel of that legendary tone at a fraction of price and experiment with vintage vibes and all that ‘80s rock and blues. Xvive Golden Brownie T1 belongs to the Thomas Blue signature series and was designed by “STRAT KING” Thomas Blug. Therefore, you are guaranteed to receive quality in every single detail. But that does not mean that this tiny fella will cost you a fortune – it is extremely affordable for what it is. And trust me, this is a huge advantage for those who are on a budget and are scraping every penny to get their hands on a decent distortion pedal. Additionally, Xvive Golden Brownie T1 has a very expensive-looking chassis. The brown textured shell is topped with heavy-duty silver knobs, convincing you that this pedal means business from the very first glance. The chassis is also quite durable, meaning that it will not break on you during the most important moments. The only downside here is that Xvive Golden Brownie T1 can only be powered with an adapter and power supply. I guess the enclosure was too tiny to fit in the batteries. If that is not a deal-breaker for you, then I think this pedal has the full package in terms of features.
I truly believe that pedal manufacturers are real geniuses when it comes to incorporating high level of precision in the tiny pedal enclosure and just a couple of controls. You might be thinking that it is their job and I should not be so impressed, however, that job is rather challenging. Anyway, we, players, do not have to worry about “behind-the-scene” stuff, we can only review the end result. Speaking of which, Xvive Golden Brownie T1 provides you with the ability to tame the beast hidden under the shell and become a boss of your sound. Let’s see what control options we have and what exactly we can modify here.
The control panel starts with the Gain knob, which adjusts the amount of gain added to the sound. It can either intensify or dial down your distortion and give you even wider range of tonal possibilities. Volume sets the overall level of the output and blends everything together. Tone changes the color of your sound and can easily take you from punchy rock to shimmery blues. Then we have the Presence, which takes your distortion even further and allows you to explore a true growl and sustain. Last but not least, we have a footswitch that activates the effect. It can also trigger the true bypass, which is indicated by blue LED light.
As I have already mentioned, the character of Xvive Golden Brownie T1 is hugely defined by Marshall vibes. In fact, it tries to replicate its sound as precisely as possible. But it does so without being too ambitious and trying to squeeze a 4×12 stack into such small chassis. Rather, it changes your signal in a way that makes any amplifier sound like a Marshall. That is the whole mystery behind the sonic quality of Xvive Golden Brownie T1. This tiny beast excels at creating the sense of tubes and steeping your sound with organic vintage distortion. At lower settings, it has subtle, but distinctive break-up. But this pedal shows off its full capabilities when you crank it up all the way. That is when you get surrounded with sweet but heavy distorted sounds that fill you up in the most unique way. The Tone offers wide variety of different sounds and underlines the shimmery nature of trebles as you rotate it clockwise. And the Presence boosts those higher frequencies and saturates the whole piece with brightness and sustain. On the whole, Xvive Golden Brownie T1 does exactly what it claims to and even more. You might not understand the whole scope of its possibilities from the review, but if you listen to the couple of demos, you will be convinced in the greatness of this unit.
In conclusion, Xvive Golden Brownie T1 knows how to rock up the whole rig. It can be dialed down or cranked up and performs equally well regardless of the settings. This tiny beast will turn your mediocre amplifier into a Marshall haven, and expands the versatility of your performance even further. All in all, Xvive Golden Brownie T1 is a spectacular pedal at an affordable price but its sound is way more expensive. It can even be said that it is one of the best “Marshall-in-a-box” stompboxes. Good luck!
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