Arming the Artists

what makes the reissue pedals?

Posted: 9th March 2023

February 2023 saw the legendary Shredmaster, Drivemaster, Bluesbreaker and The Guv'nor pedals reintroduced to the Marshall family.  These vintage reissue pedals have all been faithfully recreated to offer the iconic sounds of the originals - the only difference being that new pots and jack sockets have been used, as  the original parts are no longer available.

Read time: 4 mins


Released alongside the Drivemaster and Shredmaster in 1992, the Bluesbreaker set the benchmark for many other boutique overdrive pedals, and could be considered the original transparent overdrive.

The Bluesbreaker gives a soft clipping overdrive and fairly low gain. The pedal features a simple but effective control setup with gain, tone and volume. It's most commonly used as an always-on boost pedal and is great for fattening up and livening up a clean amp sound. With the gain turned up, it has a nice smooth old-school Marshall tone reminiscent  of our more vintage voiced combo amps.

Hear the bluesbreaker

Bluesbreaker - Blues Lead
Bluesbreaker - Blues Lead


Circuit-wise the Drivemaster is almost identical to the Guv'nor, only this time it has been simplified and doesn't have the FX loop. Like the Guv’nor, the Drivemaster is a hard clipping diode distortion with controls for gain, bass, middle, treble and volume. This pedal is great for getting that classic hard rock tone and is a pedal that has been spotted on pedalboards from players such  as Jeff Buckley and Dan Hawkins.

Hear the Drivemaster

Drivemaster - Southern Rock
Drivemaster - Southern Rock


Like the Bluesbreaker and the Drivemaster, the Shredmaster is a hard clipping distortion. When compared to the other pedals the Shredmaster has a smoother tone and is darker sounding. 

The name suggests that this pedal is only suited to high gain - which it does well, however, it's also great for lower gain tones.

In comparison to the other pedals in this range, the controls on the Shredmaster are slightly different. It still has the typical gain, volume, bass, and treble, but the mid control has been replaced with a  contour. Contour still affects the mid-range, but unlike the other pedals it's not interactive with the bass and treble. It's a notch that starts wide and shallow which increases in depth and Q as the contour is increased. Contour can be a very powerful control that can take your sound from a very mid-heavy, all the  way to a very scooped aggressive sound. 

This pedal has been very popular since its release in the 90s, and has been used by players such as Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead, Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, and even as a bass distortion by Alex James of Blur.

Hear the Shredmaster

Shredmaster - High Gain Lead
Shredmaster - High Gain Lead

the guv'nor

Originally released in 1988, The Guv’nor is often considered the first amp-in-a-box pedal. It’s named after Jim Marshall’s factory nickname - The Guv'nor, and having his name on the pedal gave it his stamp of approval.

The Guv'nor circuit became the basis for many other boutique pedals which have followed over the years. It's a hard clipping diode distortion with  controls for gain, bass, middle, treble, and level.

Unique to this pedal is the FX Loop, so you can place other pedals such as a delay or EQ in the chain, which will also be engaged when the Guv'nor is switched on. This can be useful if you're just using the Guv'nor for your lead tones. Tonally it's very much a classic JCM800 inspired  sound, but can also be used for lower gain tones. 

Hear the guv'nor

Guv'nor - 80s Rock Rhythm
Guv'nor - 80s Rock Rhythm

So there you have it, now you know what goes into to each of our reissue pedals and the history that makes them so iconic.

You can take a look at the full range here.