Got a N.O.S. Reverend Drivetrain II off eBay a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday I tested it against my Fulltone Fulldrive 2 (pre-mosfet, powder coat blue version) and T.Jauernig Sweet POI (overdrive side of his Gristle King Overdrive v.3), as both pedals are TS-derivatives. Guitar used was a Heritage H-150 with Duncan ‘59’s (I find it harder to get overdrive pedals to sound nice with humbukers). The FD2 is my reference pedal, since it sounds nearly identical to an 2001 Ibanez TS9 I used to own. The Sweet POI was bought because I wanted a TS-type pedal that could handle humbuckers and had some sort of bass control. I find them both very good, and the reason I got ‘em is because I find that tube screamers sound good with my Fender ’59 Bassman RI, better than other types of fancy circuits. I’ve had other amps that were much more forgiving of overdrive pedals, especially a VOX AC30HH, but bills keep coming so I’m thinning the herd, but keeping the BMRI for now because it’s the one that sounds good at low volumes so it’s the better one to play at home. I’m mostly a rhythm player but the mid hump in my older pedals never bothered me. The slight bass cut on the FD2 really comes in handy when the Bassman is cranked, taming the obvious excess bass of the amp, by which time it’s hard to distiguish what’s the amp’s own overdrive and what’s the pedal’s. However, I don’t get to play my amps cranked very often.., The Sweet POI sounds less like a pedal than the FD2 to my ears and has a LOT more gain on tap, making it closer to a distortion pedal than a “proper” overdrive pedal. It has two types of diode clipping to be chosen from and a pre-set bass boost toggle that’s really nice. The one thing that I struggle with this pedal though is the tone knob. I find it really hard to find the “sweet spot” where it will keep some warmth and still have enough sparkle on the tone. Also, the 3 control knobs are quite interactive, so any new adjustment on one has to be compensated on the other two. Enter the Reverend Drivetrain II. At the first stroking of the strings, they all sound similar, but the Drivetrain has more output, is quieter and smoother than those other pedals. It doesn’t emphasize the mids as much, even less than the FD2 set to “FM (flat mids)” mode. More (good) surprises came when I started turning the eq knobs, first on the manual’s recommended settings, than at random. Those controls have a good range to them but they’re never over the top and maintain the smooth character of the pedal throughout their entire spectrum. The eq circuit does behave more like an amp’s tone circuit than a pedal’s. You can increase the lows, but they are felt as if you were increasing the bass on the amp and not on the pedal. Very interesting... So, instead of a “dry” bass boost or knob found in some pedals, the increase of low frequencies was even, smoother and embraced the whole tone. Similarly, you can also cut those bass frequencies, which is really a necessity if one is to play a cranked ’59 Bassman RI. The treble knob also works very well both cutting and adding highs to the tone. Even at higher settings the sound was never harsh and always pleasing to my ears. Next, I tried the Drivetrain II against the FD2 doing the Steve Ray Vaughan “thang” (i.e. cranking the volume with just a hair of drive). The Drivetrain II is simple yet versatile; it can be used as a “clean” boost with the drive knob at minimum, with the added bonus of having control of the low and high frequencies. It sounds really pristine. I could get the FD2 to sound almost the same as the Drivetrain II using the same trick, but I’d have to turn the tone knob all the way counter-clockwise to tame excess highs. I didn’t try the FD2 in “comp-Cut” mode against the Drivetrain II because I understand it would be an unfair comparison because the comp-Cut mode removes the clipping diodes out of the circuit. I’ve read about these Reverend pedals since the late 90’s, but at the time curiosity was never high enough to encourage me to bite the bullet, but this was a blessing, because I only learned about how overdrive pedals and vintage-style tube amps work together very recently, so, if I had bought a Drivetrain years ago I would’ve dismissed as being a bad pedal. The “boutique” trend came in strong in the mid-2000’s and I bought the hype: all my stompboxes are of the premium-priced with true bypass variety... I’ve always struggled to find an overdrive that complemented my BMRI. This amp has gorgeous cleans but doesn’t overdrive nicely as, say, a Marshall or a VOX, and most pedals I put in front of it can’t seem to get along. The Drivetrain sounds less than a pedal than other overdrives I’ve tried and smoothes out the harsh, brittle corners of the Bassman’s own overdriven sound. I’m a Reverend /Visual Sound Garagetone Drivetrain believer now. Amen! P.S.: I’d like to thank you fellow TDPRI members for sharing your experience and knowledge about stompboxes, with a special thanks to .11 Gauge; I couldn’t have made a better educated purchase without it! Cheers!