Greg Howe's Lick Box
While chatting over a…um ‘coffee’ one day a while back, guitar ace Greg Howe asked Carl whether he could develop a pedal that would re-create his signature sound. A pedal that would combine Greg’s unique High Gain and Crunch tones, but allow him to manipulate these sounds and layer them for even more guitar fun. A little unorthodox yes, but Carl was never one to back down from a challenge, nor one to think inside the box.
The result is the Greg Howe Signature Lick Box, and not only does it fulfill Greg’s requirements, but it adds even more great tones to Greg’s palette!
So what is this crazy pedal? Well, at first glance it looks like many other Carl Martin pedals…there is a High Gain channel which has loads of bottom end and nice crisp highs, a very dynamic Crunch channel which emphasises the mids with very little compression, and of course that famous 12db Boost channel that we are all so familiar with.
So that’s it? Ok, so the High Gain and Crunch channels were voiced to Greg’s spec’s, but it’s still just a pedal based on Greg Howe’s own signature tones? Nope….underneath the simple cosmetics is a rethinking of how these channels work together. Yes, you can use either the High Gain or Crunch channels on their own (and they are awesome!), and you can adjust the tone for each with it’s dedicated Tone control, and yes, you can also add up to 12 db of crystal clean Boost to either of those channels….but you can also turn on both gain channels together! By placing the High Gain first in the chain, you allow the Crunch voicing to overrule the High Gain while adding a few db to your volume. You lose some of the lows and highs, but this results in a focused and controlled mid-range that cuts through the mix. Of course you can add up to 12 db of clean Boost as well for meatier leads dripping with tone and sustain!
The Greg Howe Lick Box features the usual cast metal casing, the high quality switches with ‘on’ indicating LED’s, and the new Carl Martin DC/DC converter circuitry. This new power circuit allows you to use a 9V Power Supply while still maintaining the +-12V circuitry that is crucial for component quality and extra headroom above most 9V pedals. Of course we recommend the Carl Martin ProPower Version 2 as the power supply of choice. Power consumption is a surprising 150 mA.
Mixdown Magazine Australia.
If you haven’t seen, heard or used a Carl Martin pedal in the last year or two, you must have been living under a rock. You should get down to your local guitar store and try a few of them, because they are some great sounding pedals at very smart price points. I’ve played with most of the pedals in their range, and today I got to try a new addition. One that is going to get a lot of tone nuts jumping up and down for a go. With that, I would like to introduce you to Greg Howe’s Signature Lick Box, the latest in a range of pedals that has been designed by the team in Denmark. Now, if someone’s tone is worth trying to capture, Greg Howe is going to be right up there on the list. Carl Martin has done just that for you.
This is not just a simple turn it on and turn it up magic box. There are too many variables in everyone’s equipment and what they want from a pedal, so Carl Martin has included three different stages in this pedal, with each one voiced for that sound.
That means you can run any combination of the three for a variety of tones. The Boost can be layered over either the Crunch or the High Gain, but even better still, you can turn on the Crunch and then layer the High Gain over the top of that, for a real meaty tone that pulls back on the high frequencies slightly and is loaded with character. Then you can drop the Boost on top again for that little extra push to have it jump out in the mix. Essentially, this is like having three great pedals crammed into one box, without the need for patch cables in between. What’s not to like about that?
Wow is all I can say, I cant even begin to do the sheer variety of sounds available in this box justice but I just pressed record and this is what came out!
Hopefully some of you lads and lassies will find it helping, but for what its worth just buy one!
Riffi Magazine (Finland)
The Greg Howe Lick Box is a rocker that suits well for a large variety of different genres. Two channels give a broad palette of dynamic distortion when used separately, and when combined together one gets a mid-heavy and slightly compressed sound that has a long sustain. One can practically set the knobs on any given position and use the result as it is, except when turning the tone knob all the away down which is the only occasion I found a bit unpleasant. The boost function gives a nice lift for the signal, which helps to raise leads and solos above the rest of the band mix. It is also possible to tickle one’s amplifier by adding a slight amount of boost, which gives either a meatier or sharper sound, depending on the situation. This brings more harmonics and gives some nice ring into the tone as well. A full boost is not often required – with moderate amount of added gain one gets already a plenty of delicious sounds.
Henry Lach (Canada)
Got my Lick Box on Thurs LOL. Played a gig with it last night. I LOVE IT! ! ! It works great with the Roadie. I swear I got more playing compliments last night than ever before. I’m still sorting out when to select the boost with one of the channels vs crunch and distortion together. The later really does cut through the mix because of the extra mid range on the crunch channel. Killer.I removed both of my Fulltones (OCD and GT500) from my board, so I have the same number of switches, but it seams somehow more streamlined and efficient when I’m tap dancing on the board…on top of sounding much better. The Lick Box is also very quiet, which as a single coil Strat player is critical.I can’t wait for the next gig!
Vintage Guitar (USA) 2017
Funk fusioneer Greg Howe makes his living traveling the globe blowing minds with his exciting mix of agile licks and wide interval achievement. He needed an effects pedal that was small enough to fit into his carry-on luggage, and could retain his sonic persona played through mysterious backlines. Carl Martin rose to the challenge and created the Greg Howe Lick Box.
Plugged into an old Fender Pro Reverb, the Crunch channel was smoky with a beefy midrange and crispy bite. The Tone knobs though not terribly complex, offer a usable range of colors. The sweet spots begin at around one o’clock and will indulge the Allman Brothers blues rocker within you. Switching to the High Gain channel produces cranked Joe Satriani meets Joe Bonamassa tones with copious harmonics, sustain, and notes that truly sing. It’s still too smooth for contemporary metal, but engaging the Crunch and High Gain channels together will allow you to do some serious damage. You can also tweak those channels in tandem, balancing the gain stages while adjusting levels of saturation and EQ to achieve the kind of rich distortion that will compel promoters to fly you around the world just like Greg Howe.