V3RT66 Top1

Almost every guitarist is familiar with Tennessee pedal manufacturer Visual Sound‘s popular pedal power line, the OneSpot, but the company is first and foremost an effects shop with an emphasis on reliability.

Before we get to the company’s latest offering, the V3 Route 66 American Overdrive, it bears mentioning that Visual Sound’s V3 line of pedals offers a lifetime warranty that not only includes the purchaser, but it even applies to second or third owners of the pedal. They also design their stomps to withstand 10 million hits with what they call the “forever footswitch”. How’s that for putting your money where your mouth is?

The V3 Route 66 American Overdrive is an update on the original Route 66, but it comes with revamped circuitry and some new optionality. The pedal is a dual footswitch overdrive pedal with one side serving as the overdrive option and the other side serving as a compressor, so users have the ability to stack and combine providing a variety of compressed overdriven tones. A lot of the emphasis in this version update seems to be on bolstering the quality of the compressor as well as adding functionality. They made strides on allowing the overdrive side to serve as a true clean boost. Finally, the company makes a point to highlight that their overdrive pedal is particularly solid as a bass effect as it is as a guitar effect.

Visual Sound offers the V3 Route 66 in a more traditional rectangular casing, as opposed to the original V3 which was more of a pentagon shape to mirror that of a highway sign. Clever, but surely that design was a nuisance on a pedalboard. At $179, the V3 Route 66 is reasonably priced for a dual switch overdrive pedal with loads of options for tone control, particularly when you factor in a lifetime warranty. – Ryan Dembinski