Linkerman
UG's Tony Stark
Join date: Jan 2007
6,720 IQ
#1
After getting "tired" of my Boss OD-3 OverDrive, which sounded too round and smooth for my liking, i embarked on a journey for a new overdrive pedal that could also double as a clean boost.

I tried all the pedals i could find at stores, watched countless YouTube videos, read lots of reviews and posted a thread here.
Everything was pointing me towards a Toyroom FX Zendrive clone, so once i got the funds together i contacted Tim again to make me the pedal, and this time i never got a reply to my e-mail, nor to my attempt to contact him through the UG forums.

At the same time, i got wind of a pretty nice deal at Prymaxe Vintage that would allow me to get one of the pedals on my "top overdrives" list at a great price, especially considering that they cost 179.99 € (+ shipping) on most european stores.
So i jumped on the deal.


In a few days' time, i got my new tool on the mail: a CMAT MODS Signa Drive.







And what a great tool it is.
It's similar to a Tubescreamer, but infinitely better. Much more open-sounding, dynamic and fluid, it sounds amazing.
It has your standard overdrive pedal controls, gain, level and tone, plus a 3-way toggle switch.

On the top position, you get a classic overdrive tone, and is the mode i use most of the time.

On the middle position, it cleans up a bit so it's excellent as a clean boost, with the gain down and the level up. I love this mode, it's incredible how good it sounds.
I only don't use it as much as the first mode because i prefer the amount of gain i get from the first mode for most of the music i play.

On the bottom position, there's a very noticeable volume drop (you have to compensate with the level knob) as the gain increases and the sound gets more compressed. The result is a really tasty, "crunchy" overdrive.
I almost don't use this mode, not because it sounds any less good, which it doesn't, but because my mid-to-high gain needs call for my other pedals, it's a ground i already had covered.

It can run from a 9V battery, or from a power supply with 9V to 18V.
Running it at 12V or 18V with my T-Rex Fuel Tank Chameleon actually makes a difference, the pedal sounds even more "open", and the gain knob acts a little different, getting dirty a bit later, which is perfect if you want to use it as a clean boost.

As you can see from the pics, its build quality is excellent, the design and assembly are very tidy and organized.

Overall it's a brilliant sounding, pretty versatile overdrive (with its 3 modes, and especially if you also consider the ability to run at different voltages). Chad Matthews did a really great job on this pedal.
Even the gearmanndude called it "the best drive pedal".
I'm very satisfied with it, it's exactly the overdrive i wanted and needed.

Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a new overdrive pedal.



Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#2
very nice
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Ikilledkenny
Protests the hero
Join date: Apr 2006
516 IQ
#3
Judging from your title, I was expecting a BBE Green Screamer, but that thing is beautiful.
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ezkamenrider
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
418 IQ
#4
Looks really cool. From what i've heard on youtube, sounds awesome!
Linkerman
UG's Tony Stark
Join date: Jan 2007
6,720 IQ
#5
Quote by Dave_Mc
very nice

Thanks, Dave!

Quote by Ikilledkenny
Judging from your title, I was expecting a BBE Green Screamer, but that thing is beautiful.

The title is a little joke, like "this pedal is screams all the other green TS-type overdrives away"...

Yeah, even the circuit is beautiful.

Quote by ezkamenrider
Looks really cool. From what i've heard on youtube, sounds awesome!

In the YouTube videos sounds awesome, but in person it sounds even better than that!
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
ezkamenrider
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
418 IQ
#6
I don't doubt it...awesome purchase, man! Too bad it'd cost too much to bring it to Brazil. =/
Linkerman
UG's Tony Stark
Join date: Jan 2007
6,720 IQ
#7
Quote by ezkamenrider
I don't doubt it...awesome purchase, man! Too bad it'd cost too much to bring it to Brazil. =/

Have you checked the CMAT MODS website? Worldwide shipping is just 9$...

And right now PrymaxenVintage offers 15$ off orders 99$ and up (coupon code PRY15), and shipping to Brazil is just 9.95$, so it'd be even cheaper.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
cdr_salamander
or simply Nick
Join date: Mar 2009
1,335 IQ
#8
When did CMAT start using PCBs? Were they always like that? I swear I had a Waterbox that was handwired back in the day...
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mmolteratx
UG God
Join date: Sep 2008
3,786 IQ
#9
Quote by cdr_salamander
When did CMAT start using PCBs? Were they always like that? I swear I had a Waterbox that was handwired back in the day...


I've never seen one without them.
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(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
10,786 IQ
#10
congrats!
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Linkerman
UG's Tony Stark
Join date: Jan 2007
6,720 IQ
#11
Quote by cdr_salamander
When did CMAT start using PCBs? Were they always like that? I swear I had a Waterbox that was handwired back in the day...

It's my first experience with a CMAT pedal, so i have no idea.

Quote by gregs1020
congrats!

Thanks, Greg.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
Maineguitarist
Go to Mainer
Join date: Jun 2012
887 IQ
#12
Bet Tim's not to pleased . HNPD man, those are some nice OD's.
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sg4ever
clashof the coconuts
Join date: Jul 2006
3,913 IQ
#13
Very nice. The more I hear about these and listen to demos, the more I would like to get one.
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Ernie Ball Volume Jr
Joyo Sweet Baby OD
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TC Electronic Nova Delay
Line 6 M5
Linkerman
UG's Tony Stark
Join date: Jan 2007
6,720 IQ
#15
Thanks, guys.

I agree, Grawgos.
It's definitely one of the best sounding tubescreamer-type overdrives on the market, and its $135 price is more than fair (but i got it for less than that, it was an absolute steal ), considering the workmanship.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
ikey_
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2009
4,739 IQ
#16
i LOVE mine. liked you said, so versatile there is almost no reason to give it up witg the 3 modes....sounds great on all 3.

whats a tubescreamer????

ywah i do wish it was point to point wired. then i slapped myself and realized its only 135 bucks. of course, if sounds killer, so in the end, i dont care. its a fantastic pedal.

i really dont think any tubescreamer boutique clone can compete in the 135 range...
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ezkamenrider
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
418 IQ
#17
Quote by Linkerman
Have you checked the CMAT MODS website? Worldwide shipping is just 9$...

And right now PrymaxenVintage offers 15$ off orders 99$ and up (coupon code PRY15), and shipping to Brazil is just 9.95$, so it'd be even cheaper.


Well, that's pretty awesome. But in Brazil there is always the risk of paying almost the pedal's price on taxes when it arrives, so I have to prepare my budget for that. But that is very good to know, thanks for that!
sg4ever
clashof the coconuts
Join date: Jul 2006
3,913 IQ
#18
I'm sort of getting tired of my Fulldrive 2 because I rarely use the boost function. The Signa Drive seems like it sounds very good, but would anyone say that it stacks well with other overdrives or boosts?
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Ernie Ball Volume Jr
Joyo Sweet Baby OD
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
Line 6 M5
Linkerman
UG's Tony Stark
Join date: Jan 2007
6,720 IQ
#19
Quote by ezkamenrider
Well, that's pretty awesome. But in Brazil there is always the risk of paying almost the pedal's price on taxes when it arrives, so I have to prepare my budget for that. But that is very good to know, thanks for that!

I was prepared to pay import and customs taxes when it arrived here in Portugal, but Primaxe Vintage marked the package with a 6.95$ value, so it went through customs and was delivered to me straightaway, with no extra costs.

So, i basically bought a pedal that costs 179€ (+ shipping) in european stores, for 99€ total (shipping included!) in a USA store.

Quote by sg4ever
I'm sort of getting tired of my Fulldrive 2 because I rarely use the boost function. The Signa Drive seems like it sounds very good, but would anyone say that it stacks well with other overdrives or boosts?

It seems to get along well with my Deus Ex Machina (modded IC Big Muff clone) and Dr. Boogey (Rectifier-type distortion), but i haven't tried stacking it with other OD pedals yet.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
sg4ever
clashof the coconuts
Join date: Jul 2006
3,913 IQ
#20
Fair enough. Sounds worth experimenting with.
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Ernie Ball Volume Jr
Joyo Sweet Baby OD
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
Line 6 M5