Satchurator Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 11/29/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Vox: Satchurator
This powerful pedal is as simple as can be. There's an input jack, and output jack, and 9v charger outlet on the sides. On top it has 3 controls: "Gain" "Tone" and "Volume."
 Sound: 8.2
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Ease of Use: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (9) pictures (3) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.3
Satchurator Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 25, 2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: The Vox Satchurator is a distortion effects pedal designed by Joe Satriani in conjunction with Vox. As functional distortion stomp boxes go, this is a solid and simple piece of kit that does what it is intended to do competently well. The layout is a simple gain, tone, and volume knobs, two stomp switches, off/on and 'more' gain, and an additional 'Pad' switch which I'll expand on to later on. In terms of design it can be best described as a cross hybrid of retro/boutique sensibilities topped with some modern niches. The metallic red finish is certainly a looker and the cream retro knobs compliment well with the overall aesthetic scheme. // 8

Sound: Soundwise 'Joe Satriani' this certainly ain't, and it's a welcoming notion. Of course no single stomp box is ever going to emulate perfectly a certain aspiring sound, and while this can certainly get close to the aforementioned tone, it shouldn't be the ultimate incentive. It has a surprising versatile range of tonal palette that can vary from a smooth Drive to the extremes, and a few very interesting tricks to boot. The most interesting implementation of the Satchurator is the 'more' switch, where instead of more conventional volume boost there is a gain boost. It allows a hassle-free provision of what essentially is a two gain channel selection in live playing situations and the level of gain differences is cleverly determined depending on where the gain level is set beforehand. The purpose of the 'pad' switch is theoretically useful. It claims to allow other conflicting noisy pedal to be attached in the effects chain before the Satchurator for essentially balancing and taming the tone/signal fluctuations. To be honest it was near impossible to detect any variation between them off and on, but my guess is on exceptionally high volume levels on stages may prove to be its comfort zone. The Satchurator, while versatile, certainly has a striking tonal personality and has a tendency to be slightly treble heavy, although it never impedes the sound. It actually is a big blessing in disguise especially at high gain levels where the notes don't lose their definition and cuts through individually above the noise. Open chords sound smooth and creamy at most settings, and is sonically rich and responsive that is perfect for any soloing. // 9

Reliability & Durability: There's little to go wrong here. The Solid Metal chassis and tight build quality should ensure a lengthy lifespan. Minor niggles are related with onstage scenarios where the knobs are worryingly far too easy to rotate and proves to be an accident waiting to happen unless secured down. The 9V input jack is solid and the battery compartment is adequate and the switches are click-free operation which are welcoming. On the whole, since Joe Satriani relies on it himself, it should be safe to presume its a trusty performer. // 8

Overall Impression: With very minor reservations I can highly recommend this distortion box for users looking for a unique take on the much plagued distortion market. The gain boost and the 'pad' switch is surely a rarity, and the confident tonality package caters for a variety of play styles and approaches. It definitely breaks the trend of overpriced mediocre quality associated with signature products, and on the whole actually the Satchurator is somewhat a bargain if you account for all the useful features packed inside the cool red box. Highly recommended. // 8

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overall: 9.8
Satchurator Reviewed by: k2pblcnme, on january 22, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 110

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: This powerful pedal is as simple as can be. There's an input jack, and output jack, and 9v charger outlet on the sides. On top it has 3 controls: "Gain" "Tone" and "Volume." In addition to the "On" footswitch, there is a "Pad" Switch, which enables you to put high-gain pedals before the Satchurator, and a "More" footswitch, which basically overdoses the amount of distortion. There is a manual, but it's not really necessary, since the pedal is so straight forward. // 10

Sound: I'm running this pedal from my Schecter Omen 6 (which I replaced with a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck and a DiMarzio Evo 2 in the bridge) into a stock Fender Super Champ XD (tube amp). This thing sounds fantastic. The tone is pure as can be, and the distortion is pretty darn smooth. The "More" Switch really makes a difference, for the distortion gets more crunchy, but sounds just as good. With a little delay, you'll be all set! My only gripe is there is some humming coming from the amp, especially when the "Gain" is turned all the way up. I'm sure fiddling around with the EQ could get rid of most of it... // 9

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built like a tank, and probably weighs as much as one, too. Every piece is really high quality, from the chicken-head knobs to the footswitches. You could rest assured that you don't need to bring a backup to the gig, as I do not see this thing breaking down in the future. The metal casing can probably take a beating (don't feel like throwing my pedal against a wall right now). // 10

Overall Impression: I play all sorts of things for about 3 or 4 years. This pedal is definitely for someone looking for some sweet, smooth distortion, a la Joe Satriani(duh). It's a bit crunchy, but not overwhelmingly so, and the pedal features a pretty wide range of distortion. From this pedal, it's easy to get his tone, probably since I've heard he uses this pedal on stage. Using a tube amp really makes a difference. I was looking for a effects upgrade from my DigiTech RP250 (quantity of effects over quality), and it came down to the Vox Satchurator, Ibanez Jemini, or the T-Rex MAB pedal. The Satchurator won because it had more options than the T-Rex, and the sound was way more, I guess, "pure" than the Jemini. Plus, it was cheaper. I love the fact that it has true bypass, and when you do use it, it doesn't suck the life out of your guitar's tone. It sounds great on every setting, and my amp's onboard Delay makes it that much sweeter. My only gripe is the hum I mentioned before. If it were stolen, I'd replace it right away. Thanks to this pedal, I'm eager to see what Vox and Satch will do in the future, especially with the Vox Time Machine coming out. // 10

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overall: 10
Satchurator Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 15, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 95

Purchased from: TomLee

Ease of Use: This is the best distortion I've ever use. It's simple and easy. It's gain, tone, volumn. Really easy to get a Satch tone. I didn't use the pad Switch until I put a Wah in front of the satchurator. When I turn up the volumn of the amp and the gain of the Satchurator, the pad Switch have a nice control about the weird sound. It's a great tiny thing. The whole package is safe and the pedal just like the tank. // 10

Sound: I'm a Satch Big fan! But I just start to have my job for less than one year. So I need to get Satch's gear step by step. I've got a JS-1, it's amazing sound! Of course, I set the pedal like Satch Setting. Full gain, tone at 9-10 o'clock, volumn just over a half way. I didn't have a great amp. I just gotta cheap solid state amp right now. But! But! It's also sound great whenever I plug in the guitar and turn on the satchurator. Just Rock! \m/!! It's a little bit hum, but that's not the problem. I clone a Zvex super hard on myself. And put after the Satchurator, just like a preamp of the amp. Of course, it's what i want to get. And the dynamic of the Satchurator is the best I ever use. Roll down the gain and Pick your string slightly, you can get the clean sound with very little bit break up sound. Really smooth sound. Use the neck pickup, set the Satchurator at a low gain. You can play the "Down, Down, Down" intro, and kick on the "more" switch. You can solo all the way you want to play. At full gain position, You just the man on "Satch Boogie" & "Surfing"!!! // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a solid tank! I use it for a couple months. It's perfect. The red is so Sexy and the Led Shinning! It's 9 volt ac adapter. Really regular thing. It's of course the best thing for a gift for your boyfriend if he love Satch! I never need the backup. Because the Satchurator would never died~! In case, I'll buy it again. // 10

Overall Impression: I've play guitar for over ten years. Satch style is my favorite. So I play his song almost all the time of my guitaring~! It's perfect match of Satch tone! I've got a JS-1~ I've buy it at HongKong TomLee. BTW, the price I type in it's a discount the day I purchase it, it's just the coincidence when I got to that musical instrument store. I love it very much. Nothing hate for it. My favorite feature of the Satchurator is the tone of Satch God! Of course the colour is perfect sexy! // 10

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overall: 9.5
Satchurator Reviewed by: aradine, on january 26, 2009
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 200

Purchased from: Music Workshop

Ease of Use: I have #347 of god knows how many where made in the batch. it comes in cherry red, Basic design a Gain, Tone and Volume knob, an on/off Switch a more Switch and a pad Switch. the gain knob is great as it isn't like some other pedals that are "turn it up to half-way for a slight increase, then from 5 to 6 it is like blues crunch to metal". the tone knob takes a bit of fiddling to find where you want it and I usually leave mine at about 11 O'clock. The pad Switch is very useful, especially when I run this pedal before the Vox Tonelab. // 9

Sound: I previously used this as Guitar -> Vox v847 wah -> Satchurator -> Amp, which got me the sound I was looking for. now I go Guitar -> Satchurator -> Vox Tonelab (with Vox v847 wah in effects loop) -> Amp/Speakers/PA/whatever. my Tonelab usually emulates a Vox Ac30TB, because coupled with this pedal, plus some of the ones built into the Tonelab it gives off a great shred tone. the only thing I don't like is the fact that when the gain is set to 10 the more Switch doesn't do anything really noticeable. but with the right dialling in you can nail Satch's sound in an instant. // 9

Reliability & Durability: There is really not much I can say on this, it has a metal chasis so it is tough as a tank, I could jump on it all day and it wouldn't break, there are LED's which light up when you select on/off and more, although I wish it had the same thing as the Gemini, where the knobs light up to, so you can see what your settings are in a dark area. I would most definately use this Live, and already have once. but I would never use it Live running on batteries as I have a habit of playing right up until we go on stage, and I don't trust battery life on pedals. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of shred, but lately I have been playing a lot of classic rock and blues, turning the gain down gives a nice crunch, and the more Switch adds gain on for a nice solo sound, although I prefer having the Tube Screamer in my Tonelab for a solo gain boost. I was originally going to buy a Gemini until I A)saw the price B) realized they weren't coming out for another 4 months, so I settled on this and I am extremely happy with it, I also bought my Vox v847 wah that day as well and I got both at a combined price of $400aud with a free wall-wart and daisy chain. they have booth become regulars in my foot pedal set-up and when I finally get around to building my pedal board they will be permanent residents. // 10

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overall: 10
Satchurator Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 20, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 129.99

Purchased from: Tom's River Music Center

Ease of Use: This pedal is by far the single best distortion unit of all time. it's ease of use coupled with it's perfect tone create a fusion that will please both beginners and tone pros. Getting a good sound, any good sound, is a breeze with this pedal. The distortion ranges from a smooth bluesy Overdrive to a thick, creamy, huge sounding distortion. This is the first in a line of pedals by Vox designed by Joe Satriani, and the Satchurator and the time Machine both have far surpassed the expectations that come with their respective archetypes and predecessors. // 10

Sound: this pedal works extremely well with any guitar. I usually play my favorite guitar, my alpine white strat, through this pedal, but I also play my early nineties Washburn and my Epiphone les paul through this pedal. I've played it with a range of amps, from a fifteen watt Line 6 to a half stack, and through every amp I've used it sounds beautiful. It surprisingly feeds back very little, definitely the quietest distortion pedal I've ever heard (and I've tried them all), and on a clean sound this pedal creates a perfect rhythm and lead sound through use of the "more Switch", but more on that later. I use this pedal to emulate my favorite guitarists (the guitar masters Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen), and it works perfectly with their sounds and also works very well for the signature sound that I've created for myself. My favorite feature is the more Switch, which essentially acts as a second distortion pedal and boosts the gain to a perfect solo sound. Amazing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: this is definitely the most dependable and versatile distortion pedal in existence. Every component is the highest possible quality, from the rugged metal chassis to the internal circuitry, and I would most certainly gig without a backup with this pedal, the only other pedal I need is my Dunlop Slash crybaby. // 10

Overall Impression: I play instrumental music, in a range of styles, from blues to funk to metal to just straight up rock, and the Satchurator shines in every genre. This pedal suit's my style (if you can call every style a style) perfectly, and if it were ever lost or stolen I would hunt whoever did it down and make them suffer (only after buying a new one of course). I love the more switch, and the pad Switch (which makes the Satchurator compatible with Vintage or otherwise incompatible pedals), and the distortion is the biggest I have ever heard. There's really nothing that can compare in caliber to this distortion pedal, but the closest sound I can say is similar is the sound in revelation off of Joe Satriani's new album, professor satchafunkalis and the musterion of rock. Everything from the sound to the red finish is perfect about this pedal, and as a player with a lot of experience I'd highly recommend it. // 10

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overall: 10
Satchurator Reviewed by: D1D8ING, on march 31, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Ease of Use: The Satchurator is probably the easiest pedal ever to use. It has one gain knob (which apparently controls the gain), one tone knob (which controls the tone) and a volume knob. The pedal has lots of gain, I mean lots. It is very easy to get a nice sound out of it. The tone knob is very sensitive thou. I keep mine at about 9'o clock for the rock sound and about 11'o clock for the punkish, metalish sound. It is supereasy to use. // 10

Sound: My guitar is a Ibanez SAS36FM, I have not upgraded my pickups yet so I still have the standard Ibanez pickups. My amp is a Roland 30 watt cube x. I go guitar>satchurator>amp. Even through my shitty little transistor amp I can get a great tone, a awesome tone. It sounds almost like I would play through a tube amp and I've also done that and the sound does not differ that much. I have my amp on a clean setting so I get all my distortion through the Satchurator. I can honestly say that it is the best pedal I've ever heard, it's amazing. I can go from blues to even metal, yes even metal! If I want the metalish sound I simply turn up the tone so I get a more sharper distortion. For the more bluesy, rock tone I turn back the tone knob a bit for the more wet distortion. It is a really variable pedal! The more Switch also really makes the sound different. If the gain is on a lower setting and I turn on the more Switch I get maximum distortion. If I already have the gain turned up all the way and I hit the more Switch I just get a little bit more, it feels like it's just adding another layer of the same distortion. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built to last. I can never imagine it breaking down, unless you start to hit it with a hammer or something and even then you would have a hard time destroying it. I would certainly use it on a gig without backup because I'm not afraid of it breaking, I feel like it really can't do that. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything from blues to metal and this pedal can do everything. Sure it isn't the ultimate pedal for metal but hey, it does the job. It is easy to get the Satriani tone (which I btw love) but it is so much more then just his pedal, it's My pedal now. I have not used the pad Switch yet but it seems like a great invention. If this pedal was stolen I would definitely buy it again and I would find the son of a b--ch who stole it beat him up with the pedal because it's super durable. This is a great pedal that I can recommended to absolutely everyone, it's the best I've ever heard! // 10

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overall: 9.8
Satchurator Reviewed by: ToneMonster, on july 02, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 129

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Simple std. Layout, you need to understand the special features. More: boost Switch which adds a little "more" gain and tone grit without boosting the volume. If you have the gain on 2:00 the "more" will be like you turned it full up. If you have the gain already up this still gives you a touch "more". Pad: Use when you have this on a board or a Wah in front. It is a transparent pad just so the input does not clip. It does not make a difference in the tone or sound. // 10

Sound: Distortions are fickle boxes. This one is as good as any and for me it gives me a great tone without washout or over fuzz. It is articulate and does just what Joe says it does. I dig it and I am pretty picky about gains. I get the Joe tone on my rig and seeing how Joe has two of them on his board (low and high gain). I do not understand the negative comments here and there. I am normally not a fan of fuzz units and this unit is more than any diode fuzz box. It has not clarity and feel with little artifacts in the structure. Pinch harmonics and some english on your playing and it is really cool. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have never used any Vox stuff before. But it seems very well made and just a great color. I was never that into red but Joe has me digging the color. I like to just hold it and look at it, really just a cool box. When it's on the board I cannot see the inset stamped cool Vox logo so when I moving things around I like to just look at the quality of this one. Controls are reasonably firm without being too sloppy or loose. Jacks are tight without forcing or a weird fit like some have. I gave a 9 here because I just have no idea of the durability. I take care of my stuff so I am sure this will last for ages. // 9

Overall Impression: I have a very picky board and this is a keeper. I like the sound and although I run other gains and ODs this one will remain on the board as a really unique flavor. I run a Fat Boost before my Wah and I have an OCD before the Satchurator so the PAD is on. I always use the Fat Boost which stays on most of the time. My OCD is set for LP and a cleaner boost which can be on with this unit but it does not need it. The Fat Boost just enhances the overall tone and brings out the quality of this unit especially if you like put some english into your picking. Thanks Joe. Keep 'em coming! // 10

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overall: 5
Satchurator Reviewed by: Asskicker1020, on may 10, 2011
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 160

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: This pedal is really easy to use since it only has 3 knobs. Not much to say about this really cause the 3 knobs are just Gain, Tone and Volume. // 9

Sound: I have played this pedal using an Ibanez RGD320 and an Ibanez RG321MHthrough many amps from Peavey to Marshall to even a Line 6 Spider half stack just to see if it would make it sound any better. And the answer is NO. This is probably one of the most overrated distortion pedals I have ever come across and here are my reasons: 1. Wayyyyy to much treble even if I keep the tone at about 9 o'clock or less it still gets fuzzy and sounds even worse than the Line 6's distortion. 2. The tone is NOT very usable. 3. If I put the treble down on my amp my clean gets muddy and nobody really wants that. 4. This does NOT work good as a booster pedal as well it still sounds terrible. 5. The "more" Switch only adds gain it does not really help when your trying to cut through the mix when your playing in a band. I realy wonder how Joe Satriani himself can get a good tone with this pedal and still have decent clean sounds also... // 1

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is fairly solid except for the batter compartment because usually when I Pick it up from the ground the battery falls off. // 8

Overall Impression: I think this is a horrible pedal that I really regret buying. I don't love anything about it but hate quite a few things about this pedal and no I will never bother buying this thing again. Other than this pedal I have also tried the Ibanez Jemini and to my surprise the Jemini was a thousand times better. The tone is more usable,it has a very nice smooth and even tone for boosting and the tone does not get fuzzy. I don't know why people think the Jemini is nowhere as good as the Satchurator when it fact the Satchurator sucks. And lastly why does Joe Satriani even need this lousy excuse for a distortion pedal when he as a really great amp that can produce some of the greatest distorted sound I have ever heard, I mean think about it this way if you buy a distortion pedal then you might as well just buy an amp without any distortion on it because the amp would probably cost less if there was no distortion channel. // 2

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overall: 7.8
Satchurator Reviewed by: deletedacct123, on november 29, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 129.99

Purchased from: amazon

Ease of Use: This is easy to use. Takes the standard 9v adapter which is nice, and if you can't figure out how this things works you have bigger problems than a guitar pedal. Only complain is its too big - takes up two spots on my homemade pedal board. // 9

Sound: Using this with a solid state amp set to clean and a few different guitars - an Ibanez ARZ and Fender Strat HSS. Also use a Boss OD-3 to get a better crunch out of it. This pedal is noisy at high gain. Compared to my DS-1, this thing has tons more background hiss. The distortion is rich and creamy, but reminds me of the valvetronix sound which I've never been a fan of. Good for Mid gain stuff, but forget anything high gain - it'll do it, but sounds too "round" and there is too much noise at high gain. The "More" button increases both gain and hiss. Overall, not a big improvement over my DS-1, which I was hoping for. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Seems to be built well. No complaints here. // 9

Overall Impression: I play all types of music, and this seems to be a good match for straight ahead rock & roll type stuff. I wont be using this for any metal, because the sound just isn't there, nor do I think it was intended to be. Been playing 18 years and have owned all types of gear - this is decent as far as pedals go but nothing that blew me away. // 7

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