Based in Nashville, Creation Audio Labs is one of the hip, underground boutique guitar pedal manufacturers that started out making modifications and repairs to existing pedals before developing their own line. Their Holy Fire is an overdrive and distortion pedal that tests the capabilities of high power and headroom. This pedal, powered by 48V of DC power, combines a smooth overdrive with a thick distortion to create a broad spectrum of gain. It also features a hi-cut tone control, similar to that of a Vox amp. The clean output is massive, and can compensate to any loss of level when rolling back highs or dialing in distortion.
First, while checking out the gain spectrum of the overdrive and distortion on their own, I found that the pedal wasn’t necessarily a high-gain beast. But if you play hard, it hits hard, with excellent note definition. And once you start to blend each side together, they almost act like a cascading preamp. Each side works together, with neither the overdrive nor the distortion overtaking the other.
Bear in mind this pedal is LOUD. The clean boost alone is capable of bringing a Twin Reverb to the peak of insanity! However, with the amount of level on tap, any loss of level from dialing out highs or distortion can be compensated.
The Holy Fire is clean, articulate and reacts as a tube amplifier would: it’s heavy on dynamics and natural compression. From clean boost to blues to hard rock, the Holy Fire Overdrive/Distortion is an American-made tone monster!
Retail price: $265
Factory direct price: $195