#1
This pedal. Oh man this pedal.

I made a video to go along with the review. Remember that I have a shoddy microphone, and that I'm an awkward teenager who had to shovel literal tons of horse poop to earn the cash for this pedal. Most of the distortion from the guitar is coming from the Soul Food during the full board demo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pddx6C8mC7U

What is the Soul Food Pedal? In a simple phrase, it's a klone with a buffer. But it is a darn good klone. The Klon Centaur is an overdrive pedal which has a sound that many pedal companies have tried to emulate, and it resembles a toaster. EHX's description of the Soul Food: "Tone aficionados kept telling EHX’s Mike Matthews about a pedal that had achieved a lot of buzz because it was only obtainable at an exorbitant price. That pedal was the KLON CENTAUR. A believer in bringing great tools to starving musicians, Mike tasked his trusty team to create an affordable alternative, and that is how the SOUL FOOD was cooked up."

How does it work? Attempting to explain the magic, the pedal has 3 main controls: Volume, Treble, and Drive. It also has a buffer switch in the circuitry. The volume control adjusts the output volume of the pedal, which is useful to limit or boost given the use of the pedal. The Treble control adjusts the amount of treble boost/cut given to the sound. At 12 O' clock, the control is neutral. Moving counter clockwise reduces the treble and extends a darker, fuzzier sound. Moving clockwise extends the treble, producing high-end spark and fizz. The Drive control adds clipping gain to the signal. Before 12 O' clock, the Drive function acts mostly as a clean boost, adding some OD the farther up the knob is rolled. Past 12, the distortion becomes particularly noticeable, and midrange frequencies are greatly increased. Inside the housing is a true bypass-buffer switch. You can have the pedal act as true bypass when turned off, allowing your signal to just pass through the pedal untouched. You could also choose to activate the buffer for whatever if you want to, assuming you know what a buffer is c: It is powered by a standard 9V adapter/chain, center negative plug.

How does it sound? Ridiculously good. At minimal gain settings, the pedal works remarkably well as a clean boost, while also giving you the option of shaping your tone with the Treble knob. Putting a bit of gain through the Drive knob can give you a touch of spark to your tone. Pushing the Drive knob to 12 O' clock, while adjusting the volume for unity/boost, you'll start to hear the clipping and mids really ring out. With the Drive knob at full, the pedal produces a medium-heavy overdrive saturation, while also boosting mids to cut through a band setting and give you a gnarly, delectable tone. Rolling the Treble knob clockwise to max, particularly noticeable at high-gain settings produces a bright, sparkling, cutting tone. Rolling the Treble knob counter clockwise to minimal use produces a dark, fuzzy, grimy tone. The buffer function does what it is supposed to do, albeit subtly.

Cons? Yes, all pedals have issues, even this wonderful one. The first issue are the components. EHX has developed a notorious reputation for having low build quality pedals. The Soul Food, being a lower-price pedal, is prone to advance that reputation, so do not ever drop it or jump on it or smack it. I haven't had any build issues yet, but I am being careful. The second issue is the buffer. The work it does seems a fair bit subtle compared to some buffers. To further explain these issues, EHX included a 9V standard 200ma adapter (about $8 USD) with the pedal. That's $8 for just the adapter, and $59 for the OD and the buffer. Most Klones cost $100+ just by themselves, and a buffer costs around $80. You can see how the quality could lack. You'll also need to work with the pedal for a hour or two before you are able to implement it to its full ability for your tone.

Pros/How do I (myself) use it? Even with the component quality issues, this pedal is a steal for the sounds it can make. The sound alone is worth well over the $67 that I payed for the pedal. It works marvelously, and considering the low price, the buffer and components are justified. I use it as a mid-range boosting heavy overdrive. I set my RAT to a crisp, high and low-pushing OD, while the Soul Food rips with the mids and allows my tone to soar. Chords are full, distinguishable, and rich with harmonic content. Single note lines are clear, pushing "the front end", and making me weak in the knees.

Conclusion: If you haven't already bought this pedal, I suggest to you to buy it. It could work for any guitarist, whether for metal, blues, super post rock, or jazz. The clean boost sounds great, while also allowing for tone shaping, and the heavy OD sends other Klones back to their moms. Also, the buffer works remarkably well for the price. My settings are: Volume just before 12, Treble just before/just after 12, Drive just before 3.

Rating: 9/10

Post-Review Remarks: 8/1/2015- The switch on my SF has failed a few times. Some contact cleaner helped it out, but I just bought a Chellee Ponyboy to replace it. It has more versatility, better timbres, and is better built. If you need something cheap for a smaller gig board, studio use, or tight on budget, the EHX SF is great for you. If you have the extra $60 (Ponyboy is $120 atm), get the Ponyboy.
Last edited by Will Lane at Aug 1, 2015,
#2
HNPD! Aren't you the one that had an amazing review of that other ehx pedal a week or two ago? If so, great write up again! You have a future in gear reviews, lol. I have a sf myself, mines almost always on, great pedal. Its become my favorite pedal to use to lower the volume on a tube amp for apartment playing. It boosts other pedals quite well too.
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#3
HNPD! Nice review! I once gave a Soul Food a shot myself but found that klones/clean boosts in general don't seem to fit my tastes as well as I thought they would. Regardless, it's a nice little pedal and a great value!
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#4
Hnpd!
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#5
HNPD! Soul Foods are nice. I use mine to color my lead tones.
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#6
HNPD!

They sound so good and are so affordable that I may pick one of them up one of these days even though I don't need it.
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#7
Nice review

I'm wondering if that's just the way the buffer is meant to be? I agree it's pretty subtle, but to me it sounds just like you're plugged straight into the amp (rather than through a longer chain of pedals). For a lot of people that's near enough perfect, I'd say. A buffer can be not subtle enough as well, if it's too obvious that might be a bad thing as well.
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#8
Was tempted to pick one of these up with all the sales going on, didn't bite the bullet. Maybe next time. HNPD
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#9
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HNPD!

They sound so good and are so affordable that I may pick one of them up one of these days even though I don't need it.


i am in the same boat as you.
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#10
Same boat here!
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#11
Woot!
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#12
HNPD, been wanting to pick one up along with a pitch fork.
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