After a short wait for a couple of weeks for stocks to be replenished, I finally got my EHX Soul Food delivered today. I just finished playing it for a couple of hours straight, and I will say this: I am NOT surprised why this pedal is so popular. It’s touch-sensitive and extremely expressive, and I simply couldn’t be happier with this pedal than I am right now.
Also, I will say this right off the bat: I know that the Soul Food is supposed to be a part-for-part clone of the Klon Centaur, but I actually don’t really care about whether it sounds like a Klon or not. I’ve never seen or played a Klon in person, so I have no reference point. In spite of that, to me the Soul Food can stand entirely on its own as a great overdrive pedal; “klone” or not. If it indeed is at least similar to a Klon, then I understand why the Klon is so coveted.
This overdrive has sent me into absolute overdrive bliss! Unlike my Timmy – which will always be on my board – the Soul Food adds a bit of color, but in such a wonderful way that I will daresay that I will probably be keeping this overdrive on my board next to my Timmy.
Within the first few minutes of plugging in the pedal, I noticed that the Soul Food performed a little magic with my tone by boosting the harmonics in my signal. Even in the neck pickup of my R8, which can sound a bit muffled at times, the sparkle was spectacular, and I felt as if the tone in my neck pickup suddenly came to life.
The other thing I noticed right away was the usable EQ. One complaint I have about a lot of overdrive pedals is that the EQ’s are weak. There’s just not that much difference when you move the EQ knobs around. But the single EQ – which is really a treble boost/cut – on the Soul Food is incredibly useful. Set at noon, it’s neutral, then you boost or cut treble by turning the knob right or left respectively. The sweet spot for my R8 was between 1pm and 2pm. That just made the tone of my guitar, no matter what pickup I was using – just jump out. Quite lovely!
Here’s a thing to consider if you’re not sure about an overdrive pedal: Play around with the EQ settings before you get rid of the pedal. You might be pleasantly surprised. Personally, I’ve never liked an overdrive where the EQ’s were set at neutral. I’ve found you have to set them for each different guitar that you use. With my R8, just adding a bit of treble boost really helped the naturally deep tone of that guitar. I imagine I’ll do a little cut with my 59 replica.
Anyway, here are some clips I recorded while tooling around (the first three are with my R8’s neck pickup, the last is played with the bridge pickup)…
Testing the EQ
In this one, I have the drive set to noon, and the volume set to unity, so all the grit is coming from the pedal. Not really my favorite setting. But apparently, it’s the same with the Klon. It was best used with predominant boost against an amp on the edge of breakup, then add gain to taste.
This next one is with the pedal in its sweet spot for my R8: Volume at 12, gain at around 10am, and EQ at about 2pm.
Finally, I did a quick lead in the lead break of a song I wrote.
As I said, I’m in overdrive bliss. I love how this pedal sounds!
Totally forgot to mention that for a pedal that costs less than $70, EHX could’ve just packaged up the pedal in a box and leave it at that, letting the pedal speak for itself. But not only do you get the pedal, EHX included a 9V power supply as well! That’s just so cool to me, and so very classy of EHX to go the extra mile for its customers.