Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Vick Audio Owners' Club

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by StormJH1, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    I checked and while there were a few discussions of pedals from Vick Audio, there was no Owners' Club...until now! I have zero affiliation with this company - I just tend to hop around from brand to brand, especially when it comes to well-built clones or affordable boutique shops. The builder (Mike Vickery) is out of Gilbert, AZ, and his hand-built stuff ranges up to about $139, or as low as $69 for some of the one-knob fuzz pedals.

    For reference, I'll post a few links to some other discussions (TDPRI only) that were helpful to me, and convinced me to try some of these pedals that I initially dismissed due to their low cost and suspect graphics art (which, actually, has significantly improved). I'll review the 3 pedals I now own in separate posts to avoid clutter. Feel free to share impressions if you've played one, or post questions if you want to connect with other owners. Cheers!
  2. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Tree of Life Overdrive


    The Tree of Life is almost like a dual "clone" that becomes its own design. On the lower gain settings (really, from about 8:00 to 11:00) it behaves like a Hermida Zendrive, which is a significantly more expensive boutique OD known for its "D-Style" sounds. It actually functions very well as clean boost - you can run it with the gain all the way at zero, or turn it to about 9:00 level and 9:00 gain for a clean boosted sound that is already at unity gain. Tons of headroom for increasing both output and saturation, and a thick low end with that tube amp "sag".

    On the higher gain settings, Vickery said he was going for something similar to the Fulltone OCD. I've had an original OCD and several variants - it's definitely in that area, but probably also gainier.

    One thing I notice about this pedal is that while the Tone knob has a pretty wide available sweep for dialing into your particular amp, your use of the knob differs quite a bit as you go up and down the gain setting. On the Zendrive lower settings, I found the upper end to be chimey and brilliant, so I rolled back on it a bit. But I was using it more around 1:30 or 2:00 with the higher gain settings, which tend to become more saturated and compressed. It's really an amazing pedal and I have to say that it actually lived up to both the written descriptions and YouTube demos, which isn't always the case.
  3. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Tweed Tone Distortion


    This pedal is now discontinued, but he made enough of them that you can track one down fairly easily. Mine was about $52 after shipping on Reverb (I think they were originally around $70 or $80).

    The Tweed Tone has only two knobs: Level and Gain. So it has no tone control of any kind, and that would normally scare me. In this case, though, while the pedal isn't "transparent" by any means, it does seem to carry over much of the EQ characteristics of your bypassed tone. To put it another way, if your amp is bassy and boomy, the Tweed Tone won't sound thin and trebly, and vice versa.

    It's not really a Fender Tweed "amp-in-a-box" - if you want that, check out the Wampler Tweed '57 for over twice the price. Rather, it's a stompbox that simulates a cranked vintage Tweed amp, probably with even more gain than you could practically get cranking an actual tube amp. If helpful, think of it almost like a fuzz pedal. I wasn't blown away by this pedal, but also felt like it was pretty good for the price and did offer something different than the other distortion and OD pedals in my collection.
  4. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Lucky No. 13 Fuzz


    So, when Vick Audio started out, he was really only selling through a few distributors, direct from his website, and through sites like Reverb, eBay, etc. He got some forum attention by selling a single-knob Fuzz pedal simply called "Fuzz Box" for some insanely low price (like around $35). This pedal, which is now sold for usually around $69, I believe was based off the old Colorsound Fuzz pedal from the 1970's.

    I had a chance to try out a "Fuzz Box" and did not particularly like it. It sounded thin, and did a strange gated thing (not in a good, musical way) when I tried to roll off the volume. But the same store also happened to have a "Lucky No. 13" fuzz, which I later read might have been based on a similar circuit, but with some revisions and a "modernized" sound.

    I liked the Lucky No. 13 quite a bit more, and bought it. I'm not very knowledgeable about fuzz pedals and how they all compare, but if you're familiar with the "Muff" school of powerful, saturated, noise with good low end, this is pretty similar to that. And, unlike the Fuzz Box, it did roll off with guitar volume quite well. The single knob is less of an issue than you might think because all the "level" knob does is add varying degrees of noise. The output of pedal is pretty much at unity gain (or higher) pretty much from 9:00 up on the pedals, so it's just a matter of how raunchy you want the sound to get. Vick Audio makes several fuzzes, so I may look at some of their other affordable ones based on Fuzz Face, Mosrite, etc. in the future.

    Note: Yes, that it is silicon misspelled as "silicone fuzz" at the top of the pedal. Adds charm :)
    MrValve likes this.
  5. MrValve

    MrValve TDPRI Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Tacoma, WA
    I have the Lucky No. 13 as well. It's about all I need in a fuzz.
  6. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Holic

    Mar 16, 2014
    I know this is an old thread, but I have a Vick Audio Tree of Life on the way and I'm really looking forward to it. I usually use boosts with my low watt tube amps to bring the overdrive, but lately I've been playing with more dirt pedals. My favorite is the Timmy, though I just got a J Rockett Archer klone and am dialing it in with my amps.
    I've tried plenty of different OD's, including a TS that I built (GGG), klon clones (Soul Food, Creme Brulee, Archer), BluesBreaker (Snouse Black Box), DOD Looking Glass, EHX Crayon (like this one with the gain below 12 oclock), Zvex Distortron, Chicago Stompworks OD250 clone, and an OCD. I wanted to try something along the lines of a Zendrive, so the Tree of Life got my attention.
  7. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2009
    philly suburbs
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.