Terms like “amp-like” or “amp-in-a-box” are thrown around a lot by advertisers these days. The Sweet Honey actually delivers on that promise. The real key to this pedal is the Focus knob. You could call it the “wattage” or “headroom” control. To put it another way, turning it down makes it a 15 watt amp while turning the knob up makes a 50 watt amp. So the lower it’s set, the quicker you get “break up” or overdrive, the same way you would with a tube amp.
The Focus Knob is why I gave the pedal full marks for features but I took away points for versatility because unlike other amp-esque pedals, you don’t quite hit that “blown speaker/fuzz” sound.
The pedal also lost points on build quality because like all Mad Professor pedals, you only have to look at it and the paint will get a scratch or chip. The paint looks cool, but doesn’t last.
The sound quality is great. It’s one of the few overdrives out there not based on a Tube Screamer. But I feel like the pedal might gain something by having an option for 18v operation.
The Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive could easily be your only gain pedal, but it also works incredibly well with others. It’s a real value and something different from the Tube Screamers, Klones and Blues Breaker knock offs that dominate pedal boards today.