How will the latest release my from favorite pedal company stack up to the dozens of drives I employ?
Overview & Cost: $94.99 from Interchangenoiseworks.com
Interchange Noise Works is back with a new line of pedals called the Streamline Series, which offers up three different gain stages all under $100 USD. With only a single volume knob, these pedals are curated to provide affordable, easy to use gain tones that every guitarist should love. The series consists of the I overdrive, the II transparent drive/boost, and the III distortion.
I decided to go with the Streamline I myself, as I was looking for a sort of gritty, always-on overdrive. The Streamline I is based off of an old Electra Distortion circuit with some tweaks and mods to dial in the overdriven sound. With convenient top jacks, a single knob, and an affordable price tag, this is an incredibly user friendly overdrive pedal. This is definitely an overdrive that is more of an amp sizzle, borderline distortion generator, instead of a rip off of a Klon/Tube Screamer/Timmy-style circuit.
Review & Opinion
I’m a huge fan of this Streamline I overdrive for one simple reason: it perfectly emulates the type of overdrive and distortion you only get from cranking an amp way too loud. Even though it is based around the rare Electra distortion, it really doesn’t feel as derivative as most overdrive pedals I review and demo. In fact, it kind of sounds nothing like the drive stages I usually employ. It nails the sizzle and overloaded sound that I use a treble booster to achieve.
It also gets major love from me because of how nicely it cleans up as you roll down your guitar’s volume knob. It doesn’t just get quiet, it actually really cleans up, letting you play pretty dynamically with just a slight adjustment to the output. Overall, the Streamline I does cross over into the distortion realm a good bit more than you might think. But it isn’t similar to that compressed, sort of saturated distortion tone that comes to mind from more well-known gain stages like a DS-1, RAT, etc…
Instead, it is a this very bright, crispy, sizzling gain that is quite enjoyable. I layered it with shimmery reverb from the Astral Destiny and had this killer fuzz-synth sounds emerge. Kick off all other pedals into the amp and you’re left with a gritty, punk or garage rock sounds. It’s even close to that shredded speaker sound of The Kinks or The Who. My glowing recommendation of this pedal goes out to those who want a unique sounding overdrive that will naturally blow up their amp.
Conclusion & Final Rating: 8.3 out of 10
While the Streamline I misses out on a top tier score due to a lack of flexible controls, everything else about this pedal is extremely impressive. I love the price point, how it fits on my board, and that it is not just another derivative overdrive circuit. I’d love the chance to stack this with the II and III, as they were built with that signal chain order in mind. But by now, Interchange Noise Works has established themselves as my absolute favorite pedal company when it comes to gain and distortion. Looks like this will have a long life on my main board right behind the Element 119!