VS Audio’s BlackBird Overdrive packs two Fender-amp-style overdrives into one box

VS Audio has announced the BlackBird overdrive, a pedal that aims to recreate the overdrive sound of both vintage brown-panel and black-panel Fender amplifiers.

The pedal’s knobs are relatively self-explanatory: there’s tone, drive and volume. The two mini-toggle switches are where things get a bit more unique. The Era switch chooses between the two styles of amp overdrive, while the gain switch engages an extra amount of crunch. The circuitry also features an all-analogue signal path and silent switching.

VS Audio says the pedal’s gain can range from “quite clean and light to quite gainy overdrive with natural compression.” So no crushing distortion here – however, the gain switch will certainly take you into saturated drive. And, when stacked after other pedals, VS Audio also says the BlackBird performs well as a preamp, imbuing your driven sound with the character of whatever style of Fender amp you have it set to.


The pedal takes standard centre-negative 9V power, but can also run on 18V for more headroom.

You can hear the pedal in action below.

The Blackbird lists for €179. Find out more at VSaudio.com.