Updated: Jun 2, 2020
If you've not heard of this great UK based pedal manufacturer, you are missing out. #HudsonElectronics have been creating their own take on different pedals but have hit a home run with this class A germanium pre-amplifier based on the classic #broadcast consoles of the 1960s.
This particular unit is a limited edition from #RegentSounds. Not only does it look extremely classy in this lovely creamy yellow, which is a nod to the stores 'sand colour', but the toggle switch has three positions instead of the standard two, with an added clean setting. Internally, the pedal also runs at 24v from a standard 9v adapter, creating more headroom and a tighter low end.
The three controls are Low Cut, Gain Trim and Level. The last is self-explanatory and can be used as you'd expect. Set high it is great as a clean boost too, whether into a tube amp or into another dirt pedal. The Gain Trim works as a normal gain or drive control, turning it clockwise will increase the gain on offer, not 'trim' it as you might be thinking. The Low Cut is a great feature and very powerful and is at the front end of the chain which makes it very interactive with the gain control.
With the toggle switch in centre position, the pedal is in low mode. This really is a lovely addition as it stays clean pretty much all the way on the gain trim but adds a beautiful colour to the tone and, to my ear, a slight compression from the NOS germanium transistors and specially chosen steel core transformers. As it is so clean, this setting maybe very useful for high output guitars, baritones and even basses that might not be able to find the sparkling cleans in the standard version of this pedal.
Move the switch to the left, and we enter into the realms of the standard unit. This is the medium gain setting and takes us from clean to some useful overdrive crunch. The pedal starts out pretty transparent, but when the gain is increased there's a very useable thickening of the midrange and added compression, but the broadcast retains a very dynamic feel.
Over to the right, and we're into high gain territory. This means that we have warm saturated mids, with fuzzy harmonic overtones and the high end slightly rolled off at more extreme settings. There is also an internal trimmer to adjust the amount of gain at maximum. This unit is left at factory settings though.
I bought this one second hand as I've found that the Broadcast was pretty hard to get hold of. All the shops I checked were out of stock, this was true of the amazing #Sidecar pedal too - I even contacted Michael of Hudson Electronics to find out where I could get one of these and found him to be very friendly and informative.
However, my excitement at its arrival was well founded. I opened the cardboard box to find the pedal sleeping in a soft, cosy bag, and when I removed it was very impressed with the build quality. It's a very solid pedal, and although a little larger than the almost ubiquitous MXR size enclosure, isn't too large to find a place on my board and the fact it takes a standard 9v centre negative adapter is very useful.
In the demo you can hear some different guitars through the pedal into my Two Rock Studio Pro 35. This is a great amp and used by many for a very good reason as a tremendous pedal platform. I play through different settings, going all the way from sparkly clean to full on overdriven fuzzy goodness. Have a watch, take a listen and hopefully you'll find it informative.
In a world where there seems to be a new boutique pedal maker popping up every day and where we're hugely spoilt for choice, it can be hard to decide on what new pedal to get. I can say though with all honesty that if you want something that can be your 'always on' colour pedal, adding that certain mojo this could well be for you. However, if you're also looking for something that can add gorgeous drive sounds and get from a slight crunch to a unique sounding overdrive with fuzzy edges, this performs with aplomb.
In conclusion, the Hudson Broadcast has got a permanent place on my pedal board and that's about the highest praise I can personally give it.
Take a look at this and other cool stuff on their website: